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First Move with Julia Chatterley
Countries Across Europe Tighten COVID Restrictions; Record COVID-19 Numbers Reported In Australia And South Korea; China Doubles Down On "Zero COVID" Policy Ahead Of Winter Olympics In Beijing; Israel Set To Roll Out Fourth Vaccine Doses; U.S. Mills Cutting Isolation Period For Vaccinated People; Putin Blames NATO For Standoff Over Ukraine; Unruly Passengers Could Lose TSA Precheck Privilege; Preserved Dinosaur Embryo Found In Fossilized Egg. Aired 9-9:45a ET
Aired December 22, 2021 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: Live from New York, I'm Alison Kosik in for Julia Chatterley. This is "FIRST MOVE." And here's your need to know.
A storm coming. The W.H.O. warns as Omicron spreads across Europe.
Fourth jab. Israel recommends another booster vaccine for 60s and over.
And shorter stay. The UK cuts COVID isolation to seven days. The U.S. considers a similar move.
It's Wednesday. Let's make a move.
And a warm welcome to "FIRST MOVE."
We'll have the very latest on the global response to the Omicron variant spread throughout the show today.
The World Health Organization regional director for Europe, he will join us to talk about the state of the pandemic there.
But first, a cautious day of trading on global markets. U.S. futures turning weaker after Tuesday's comeback rally that saw all the major
averages rising 1.5 percent or more.
Europe looks like it's pretty much unchanged. Expect choppy markets throughout the holiday season and perhaps beyond as investors await a
clearer picture of how Omicron is affecting economies.
The World Bank cutting its outlook for Chinese economic growth next year due to the health crisis and the country's ongoing property slump. It says
Chinese GDP rising by just over 5 percent in 2022. That's the second slowest rate since 1990.
All right. Let's get right to the drivers.
The World Health Organization warning a storm of COVID infections is coming to Europe. The Omicron variant is largely to blame for more than 2.7
million new cases in the past week.
A host of countries are tightening their health precautions. Germany's health minister not ruling out a hard lockdown.
Let's get straight to Barbie Nadeau. She joins us now.
So, Barbie, with you know this latest -- the latest surge in cases across Europe, we're seeing a very different restrictions depending on what
country are you looking at.
BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: That's absolutely right. It's really, really scattered, the approach, when you look at it. You know they're
looking at a hard lockdown in Germany for the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. And they're still dealing with the Delta variant there.
You know you got Sweden locking down. They basically ignored the pandemic the first time around. They didn't lockdown at all. Now they're considering
very harsh restrictions.
Elsewhere, you have things like curfews on bars and restaurants.
Here in Rome, from tomorrow, we'll have to wear face masks outdoors as well as indoors. And vaccinated people are the only people that who can go to
restaurants sit and dine inside. We see in Paris as well the numbers are increasing a lot there. They're starting to vaccinate children aged 5 to
11. In Rome and in Paris, they cancelled New Year's Eve services.
And across the board though, it seems that most people, most countries are going to let you, you know, get together with family for Christmas and then
come down hard for New Year's Eve celebrations.
KOSIK: So, do you think that you know there's going to be any kind of political class for European leaders who are taking more restrictive
actions, which have been pretty unpopular over the past year?
NADEAU: Well, yeah. You know we've seen protests across Europe, violent protests in some places against lockdowns and against these restrictions.
You know, so many of the restrictions are just against the unvaccinated, trying to get those people who are hesitant for whatever reason to get
their shots and to get the people who are vaccinated to get their boosters.
And any of the political leaders, we had Mario Draghi, the prime minister of Italy, speaking today, saying you know, no lockdown, the economy is good
as stay. It is a priority. Now that's a very different approach than we had a year ago when Italy did lockdown for the holidays.
So, there is some political fallout across Europe. People are angry. People are tired of it. People thought, hey, you know, the vaccines are here. This
is going to be over. And that's clearly not the case yet.
KOSIK: Well, we could all agree on that. We are tired of this pandemic.
Barbie Nadeau, thanks very much.
In Asia-Pacific region, records are being broken for both daily COVID cases and the number of patients in critical condition. Australia and South Korea
are among the countries being hit the hardest.
As Selina Wang explains.
SELINA WANG, CNN REPORTER: Countries throughout the Asia-pacific region are scrambling to respond to the threat of Omicron. Australia's New South Wales
has hit yet another record. Reaching more than 3,700 new daily COVID-19 cases.
But despite that surge, Prime Minister Scott Morrison says they're not going back to lockdowns. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT MORRISON, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: My message is to stay calm. Get your booster. Follow the commonsense behavioral measures as you go into
Christmas and we look forward to that. Australians have worked very hard to have this Christmas together and we want to protect that. One of the things
we agreed today is we're not going back to lockdowns.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WANG: Just last week, the health minister of New South Wales warned that based on current modeling, the state could record up to 25,000 new daily
COVID-19 cases by the end of January.
Meanwhile in South Korea, the country reported yet another record of more than 1,000 patients in critical condition. It's reinstated strict social
distancing measures including a 9:00 p.m. curfew nationwide for restaurants and cafes. And in the greater Seoul area, only four people are allowed in
And China is doubling down on its zero COVID strategy. China reported 57 locally transmitted cases on Tuesday. Most of them in the city of Xi'an.
The city has launched mass testing of its nearly 13 million residents and advised them not to leave their homes unless necessary.
And the city of Dongxing which neighbors Vietnam, reported one case on Tuesday. In response to that, just one case, the city announced compulsory
home quarantine and schools transport and public facilities shut down.
With the Winter Olympics now less than 45 days away, China's zero COVID strategy will be pushed to the limit.
Selina Wang, CNN, Tokyo.
KOSIK: With many countries racing to get people boosted with a third vaccine shot, Israel says it's ready to roll out a fourth. Over 60s and
medical workers will be offered them first.
Journalist Elliott Gotkine is in Jerusalem for us.
So, Elliot, what's behind this decision for Israel to roll out a fourth dose for some people? What does the data show?
ELLIOTT GOTKINE, JOURNALIST: Alison, there isn't a huge amount of data about the effectiveness of the need for a fourth dose of the COVID vaccine.
So, what's Israel's panel of coronavirus experts has looked at the data that's out there and seen the spiking cases in the rapid spread of Omicron
in the places like the United Kingdom and the United States. It has seen the research showing that a third dose does provide better protection
against infection and also against illness.
And on top of that, it is also seeing a spike in cases here in Israel in recent days. So, I think what it's doing now is really erring on the side
of caution. It is seeing that in its view, and it probably wasn't an easy decision. In its view, the rewards for wants of a better word of giving
people a fourth dose of the COVID vaccine outweigh the risks of not giving it to people.
We've already heard Prime Minister Naftali Bennett talking about a doubling of the cases every two or three days, if not sooner. And of course, there
are other measures the Israeli government is enacting as well.
We already saw the U.S. and Canada and other countries being added to its red no-fly list for Israelis. We have also seen more restrictions are going
to be coming in for people who are not vaccinated or cannot prove recovery from COVID in terms of where they are allowed, which stores are allowed to
enter in shopping malls.
Half of public sector employees are said to be working from home. From Sunday, the private sector is being encouraged to do so.
And the education system in areas with a high prevalence of COVID and a low take-up of vaccination rates among children. They could be going back to
home schooling, too.
So, a lot of measures that Israel is trying to enact now. It knows that it can't stop this fifth wave. It knows it can't stop the spread of the
Omicron variant. But it's doing its very best to protect Israelis and to try to slow its spread. Alison?
KOSIK: What's the reaction though from those who are in this group for the fourth shot? Knowing that the country's panel of vaccine experts admitted,
they just don't have the data on whether it's necessary yet to have this fourth dose?
GOTKINE: So, there is one hospital that's carrying out a study jointly with the health ministry here in Israel. So, we are awaiting data on that. And I
suppose you know the proof will be in the pudding in terms of what people's reaction are to it once the fourth dose becomes available. What the uptake
Israel is still one of the best boosted countries in terms of the third shot of the COVID vaccine and I guess we'll have to wait and see once it's
rolled out. Once we see the kind of uptake that we're seeing among the over 60s, medical workers and people with suppressed immune systems to really
get a sense of the weariness, if you like, among the Israeli public or whether there is still you know a desire to follow government guidelines
and get that fourth dose to hopefully get better protected against the Omicron variants and the fifth COVID wave.
KOSIK: Amazing. So much is still unknown.
Elliott Gotkine, Thank you so much for your reporting.
In the UK, the government cutting the self-isolation period in most COVID cases from 10 days to seven days. And the U.S. could take similar measures
soon for those who are fully vaccinated.
Jacqueline Howard has the details, and she joins us now.
Jackie, so how long would it take for a shortened quarantine here in the U.S. to actually go into effect? I mean, do we have data on it? And you
know, I guess, where are we at in that kind of process?
JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER: Yeah, Alison. Health officials are still reviewing the science and collecting data on this. But we could hear
from some of the nation's top health officials in the coming days or weeks, regarding the discussions that are happening right now around possibly
shortening the self-isolation period for people with COVID-19.
So, the current CDC guidance here in the United States is for anyone with COVID-19 to self-isolate for 10 days. Those 10 days start immediately after
you have symptoms, one full day after you develop symptoms or one full day after you test positive.
But health officials are considering shortening those 10 days, possibly to follow in the footsteps of the UK and shortened to seven days, or even
possibly to cut the 10 days in half and make it five days.
And if that does happen, it would be for people who are fully vaccinated and showing no symptoms. So, those are some of the discussion happening
Here's the CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ROCHELLE WALENSKY, DIRECTOR, U.S. CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: We're viewing that science and our policy right now. And
understanding in the context of people who have been vaccinated, people who have been boosted, people who have mild or no symptoms associated with what
might be a positive test, they have some low level of infection but they're not being symptomatic. We're reviewing that science right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWARD: So, you see, Alison, they're reviewing the science right now. So, we don't know exactly when we might hear about what's come out of those
discussions. But we expect to hear something soon. Alison.
KOSIK: All right. So, the UK is already doing it. Why is the U.S., it seems to be one step behind and sidebar not just with you know, not just with the
quarantine period but also even just with testing? Why is the U.S. seemingly so far behind?
HOWARD: That's right, Alison. I mean, there is a lot happening right now with the emergence of Omicron. We're seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases here
in the United States. So, it seems like health officials are trying to balance addressing this emergence of Omicron and addressing what we are
seeing now as a winter surge, a winter wave, while also really reviewing the science and looking at areas where we could possibly shorten isolation
for people who are fully vaccinated.
So, I think that the United States is kind of a step behind because of this balance. But, Alison, so far during the pandemic what has happened in the
UK when it comes to case numbers and hospitalizations, the UK is typically just a few weeks ahead of the U.S. So, what we typically see in the UK
happens later in the United States. And so, that's also a reason why you might see these responses happening kind of a step behind. But again, it
looks like health officials are just reviewing the science and looking at the data.
KOSIK: OK. Jacqueline Howard, thank you so much for all that great context.
And these are the stories making headlines around the world.
The Indian capital region of Delhi has banned all gatherings due to a rise in Omicron variant. All events celebrating Christmas and New Year are
cancelled. The city is also requiring masks to be worn for entry into any establishment. The ban is in place until further notice.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is demanding security guarantees from the U.S. and NATO, including a binding pledge that NATO won't expand further to
the east. This comes amid soaring tensions of a Russia military buildup near Ukraine's border.
Melissa Bell is following this story for us. And she joins us now. So, Melissa, amid the tension that's building, is there any dialogue happening?
MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there is now, Alison, at last, after so many days of the world watching that military buildup along Ukraine's
borders, after so many days of the rhetoric rationing up, and on other side, I might add. Not only Vladimir Putin who spoke at a televised meeting
of the Defense Ministry yesterday, but also what we heard from the head of NATO from the United States' top diplomat to Europe warning of these
coordinated sanctions that would be nothing like Russia had ever seen before.
We've seen these heightened tensions, these growingly, increasingly angry rhetoric on either side with each warning the other of what consequences
would follow if they continued their aggression. But there is at least now life at the end of the tunnel since we know that both sides, that is the
United States and Russia specifically will be looking towards the beginning of talks possibly as early as next month.
And of course, that couldn't come a minute too soon when you consider just how tense the situation has begun. This begin Vladimir Putin who spoke that
Defense Ministry meeting last night warning that he was looking for dialogue but prepared for something far worse. Have a listen to the tone
that he struck.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): But why? Why did NATO have to expand? Why withdrawal from the ABM treaties? What is
happening now, the tension that is building up in Europe is their fault on conflicts, bloodshed. This is absolutely not our choice. We do not want
such a development of events. But we want to be able to have at least understandable clearly stated legal guarantees. This is the meaning of our
proposals laid out on paper and sent to Brussels and Washington.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BELL: Now those proposals, Alison, you mentioned a moment ago referred to there by Vladimir Putin are essentially not only that NATO would guarantee
that it would not seek to further expand eastward. Something that is against NATO's open-door policy, that is non-starter as far as NATO is
concerned. But Moscow going further than that in its demands also demanding that NATO roll back its weaponry, its manpower from those countries that
have joined since 1996, those specifically potent in the border states neither acceptable to those European nations, nor would it be to NATO.
And yet what we heard from the U.S.' top diplomat to Europe yesterday was that despite those demands, some of which are clearly not possible are
clearly not within the realm of what NATO and the United States are willing to discuss. Those conversations can begin. There will be the beginning of
dialogue. And I think that is the beginning of some kind of hope out of this, first beginning of some light at the end of the tunnel that we've had
for some time. Since these last few weeks, that buildup of troops began along Ukraine's border, Alison.
KOSIK: OK. A small positive note there. Melissa Bell in Moscow. Thank you.
An astonishing tale of survival. A government minister from Madagascar survived a helicopter crash and swam for 12 hours to reach safety. The
chopper came down off the islands northeast coast. 57-year-old Serge Gelle was filmed right here evidently exhausted after his ordeal. A second man
managed to swim to shore. A search is underway for two more people who were on board the helicopter.
Still to come on "FIRST MOVE."
The W.H.O. tells Europe to boost, boost, boost. As it says Omicron will be dominant there in weeks. I will speak to its European head.
And President Biden rose up free at-home tests. But is it enough to stem the tide?
KOSIK: Welcome back to "FIRST MOVE." I'm Alison Kosik.
U.S. stocks still look set for a modestly lower open. The bulls taking a breather after Tuesday's first day of winter snap back rally. The shortest
day of the year was not short on drama, though. Wall Street posting strong gains with tech rebounding almost 2.5 percent. Stocks rose amid hopes that
Omicron can be contained without formal new health restrictions in the U.S.
Reports say U.S. health officials could green light COVID-19 anti-viral medications from Pfizer and Merck as soon as today. Moderna's CEO saying
the company could begin clinical trials of an Omicron specific vaccine early next year if it decides one is needed.
Meantime, the World Health Organization is warning Europe to boost, boost, boost, ahead of what it calls a coming storm of Omicron infections. It says
European countries have just weeks before Omicron becomes the dominant variant and healthcare systems could be pushed to the brink by the sheer
volume of cases.
Joining me now is Dr. Hans Kluge who is the World Health Organization's regional director for Europe. I am grateful for your time today. I notice
you are wearing a mask because of policies where you are physically sitting?
DR. HANS KLUGE, REGIONAL DIRECTOR FOR EUROPE, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: My pleasure.
KOSIK: Let's talk about Omicron and what this variant is doing? It is highly transmissible, but it's also less severe. So, talk with me about how
concerned we should be about the variant, what do you see coming?
KLUGE: So, we should be very concerned, but there is no reason for panic. What we see is that it transmits three times faster than the Delta and this
is globally. And that the governing time is two to three days in countries like United Kingdom, Denmark. So, it means we have only limited strategies
to come through the winter, keeping it down.
Number one, wearing the masks and to the potential to wear respirators for vulnerable people to protect them from hospitalization and this number one.
Number two, to shorten the interval between the second dose and the third dose, meaning to boost because the booster works very well against Omicron.
But, of course, in the staged manner. First the healthcare workers, the vulnerable people, that expand to the general population, ultimately, with
Christmas coming, everyone for itself to think through what or might essential contacts even go out to a party or a gathering.
KOSIK: So, you are encouraging to move the timeline closer. But you've also said in the past that vaccine mandates should be an absolute last resort.
Talk with me about what your thinking is behind that statement.
KLUGE: Right. So, vaccine mandates should be absolutely a last resort. We should do everything possible to convince the people. Because we know that
vaccine mandates can increase public distrust, it can increase social exclusion. At the same time, it works different in different context. So,
it is a decision by the country and the most important is to go into the debate with the communities.
KOSIK: But we feel like we are losing that debate. There are huge chunks of populations that are just resistant to getting vaccines.
KLUGE: I would say that the majority of the people or of good will. And that we can responsibilize them. The percentage of antivaxxers is a small
proportion in the population.
And for example, we should encourage the people, not only to wear them masks but also if you go to a gathering with limited people, take a surge
test. The people are not the problem. The people are the solution.
KOSIK: Doctor, what is it going to take to get to the end of the pandemic? If a big chunk of people don't get vaccinated, is it even possible to get
out of the pandemic?
KLUGE: Well, we identify before a group five pandemic stabilizers. Number one increase the vaccination coverage and in particularly address the
vaccine has in people. Two, boost. Third, double the number of people wearing the masks indoors. Four, ventilation, particularly in classrooms
and fifth to have new treatment protocols with new drugs coming on the market. But the umbrella is international solidarity because have you seen
with Omicron that no country is safe until everyone is safe.
KOSIK: Here in the U.S., President Biden went ahead and announced that there would be free testing to Americans handed out in January.
It feels like the U.S. is one step behind here. Is the U.S. a little too late on this? Is the U.S. too far behind the curve?
KLUGE: Well, I am speaking obviously responsible for the 50 countries, we're sitting here. But I would say that every country has been doing very
good things, every country can do better. The key issue is to go from a reactive mode to a proactive mode. So, for the countries where Omicron is
not dominant yet, please don't wait. Because the biggest threat, my biggest concern are the healthcare workers. They are really one of five has science
of burnout. So, we need to invest and support the healthcare workers before the other storm of Omicron arrives.
KOSIK: If you could answer the next one quickly, you know, Omicron kind of blindsided us. Can we tell at this point what is coming next? Is there a
way to know?
KLUGE: We don't know when it will finish, but we know how to finish it. People to wear the mask, get the booster, international solidarity and
limit your contacts.
KOSIK: OK. Dr. Hans Kluge, regional director for Europe at the World Health Organization. Thank you so much for your time.
KLUGE: Thank you.
KOSIK: And we'll be right back.
KOSIK: And that's a live look at the opening bell on Wall Street at the New York Stock Exchange. I'm Alison Kosik. And welcome back to "FIRST MOVE."
U.S. stocks are up and running this Wednesday, a softer but largely drama- free open for the major averages. I'll call it encouraging action with stocks holding on to most of yesterday's big gains.
Tesla is higher for a second session. CEO Elon Musk says he's finished selling some 10 percent of company shares for tax purposes. The piece meal,
stock sale has weighed on test the performance the past month. But Tesla is still up 33 percent year-to-date.
Meantime, the Turkish currency a bit weaker against the U.S. dollar after its historic whiplash rally. The lira soared as much as 18 percent intraday
Tuesday after Turkish officials announced emergency support to prop up the currency.
The U.S. is ramping up the nation's testing infrastructure as Omicron cases spike. President Biden has announced 500 million free at-home test kits
will be provided to Americans. He also said new federal testing sites will open across the country. Meantime New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says
he is hopeful the New Year's Eve celebration in Time Square will go on as planned.
Shimon Prokupecz joins us now live from a pop-up testing site here in New York. Shimon, you have been out there. This is day two for you. Are the
lines getting any shorter? I know this is the big rush for people to get tested for COVID before the holidays?
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. So, it actually seems like some of these lines are getting shorter. We're at this
one location here in mid-town. And for the most part, it has been moving pretty quickly. There aren't as many people online as we have seen at other
locations. What is happening is people are really just spending their time going around, looking online, going around the city trying to find places
they can get tested.
One of the things here is that they didn't have rapid tested yesterday. So, a lot of people came back today to get the rapid test. But they've had the
PCR and they've been doing that. So, it's been going relatively well here.
Some other locations actually have been closed today to deal with some of the staffing issues. So, it's really become a thing for people to you know
who really want to get tested to try and find these locations. And so, they walk through the streets and they find them and here we go.
So, we see people getting tested. As you said, the mayor today really putting emphasis on the fact that they do not want people hiding. They want
people out and about if you're fully vaccinated. You should feel free to go out and about. Of course, they're telling people to be safe.
But the whole thing is - their point is if are you vaccinated, you should continue to live your life and as for the New Year's Eve celebration, it
does seem like the mayor has hinted that it's going to go as planned. They perhaps will make some changes, add some more safety measures. But right at
this point, it does appear that the mayor is indicating that that's going to go as planned. He said he's going to have more information in the coming
But I think the key in all of this is despite that so many people are testing positive here in New York City, the positivity rate over 11 percent
now. You can find testing. You got to go out there. You got to do a little work. It's an inconvenience. But you can find it. And obviously, the big
thing is the city officials, the mayor, the president all saying, live your life, don't hide, just stay safe.
KOSIK: And let's hope the Ball Drop happens as planned with the Ball Drop - I mean, the big festivities in Times Square.
Shimon Prokupecz, thank you so much for all of your reporting.
And from fighting the virus, the fighting for the economy. A new poll suggests Joe Biden's economic ratings are the worst of any president since
Jimmy Carter in the 1970s. So, can he turn it around?
Greg Valliere is the chief U.S. policy strategist at AGF Investments. And he joins us now.
Greg, great to see you.
Let's talk -- let's start talking about, though, the speech that President Biden gave yesterday detailing free test kits to Americans. What other
takeaways you - you got from that? And I mean, is that enough just that to put - you know offering these tests to Americans?
GREG VALLIERE, CHIEF U.S. POLICY STRATEGIST, AGF INVESTMENTS: Frankly, Alison, no. I don't think it's enough. He said a lot of the right things,
soothing things. You know we shouldn't panic. We're going to get through this. I applaud him for trying to calm the situation down rhetorically. But
when it comes to you know new supplies, new test kits, it's going to take a while.
KOSIK: What more should he be doing at this point?
VALLIERE: I think there is not a lot you can do except urge people to get vaccinated. Urge people to wear masks.
He has done that and as has Dr. Fauci and all the other healthcare officials. There is no magic wand right now. I think the good news is I
think we can get through this in a couple of months. I think as the winter ends, this clearly will have peaked. And we will be looking at a much
better climate in the spring. But for now, there is no magic solution other than getting vaccinated.
KOSIK: All right. To Build Back Better the president's signature legislation on climate and social spending. You predicted it would fail,
Biden says it's still possible to get a deal done, despite opposition from Joe Manchin. How do you see his agenda getting done now?
VALLIERE: Well, not that it has failed, which I did - I'm thinking there's a chance, things could get revived next year. I think it stunned people in
Washington that this is maybe dead. I think even Joe Manchin feels that there is something to be salvaged. So, I do think that after the holidays
maybe by late January, we have a big deadline by the way, February 18th. That's when the government might shut down if we don't keep the government
I think by the middle or end of the winter we'll revive these talks. It won't be $2 trillion. It won't be as huge as the program to die. But there
are some parts of the program that are pretty popular that Manchin himself could support.
KOSIK: OK. Let's talk a little bit about Omicron spooked the markets on Monday. Markets are sort of processing it now. But there is that
uncertainty that's been introduced into the markets. What is your outlook both for stocks in the economy short-term and into 2022?
VALLIERE: Well, this is not a great time frankly to be imposing more restrictive policies fiscally. We're going to probably increase the tuition
payments starting on February 1 or increasing monetary policy, making that more restrictive as well, with a new variant. Talk about a perfect storm.
So, I think the markets are going to be real rocky until we know for sure just how serious the Omicron variant is.
If by the end of February as I've said it looks like it's starting to peak. Things are getting better. I think the markets will be in pretty good
shape. You know two or even three rate hikes by the Fed this year is not going to ruin this economy or ruin the markets. Actually, the markets might
be pleased to see the Fed is taking inflation seriously. So once again, it's the variant. Once we get through that I would be more optimistic.
KOSIK: So, you don't see the Fed changing its accelerated tapering and rate hike schedule because of Omicron?
VALLIERE: I don't think so. First of all, they're going to do finish the taper. I don't think there is any doubt that they will end the asset
purchases by mid-spring. You know, maybe they'd push back the first-rate hike until mid to late summer, instead of late spring. But I do think there
will be at least two rate hikes. But you know that's in the markets. And I don't think the markets would freak out if the Fed is doing it because the
economy still looks strong, if inflation still looks strong. Well, that's another story.
KOSIK: OK. So, let's end on this. What are some of your top predictions for 2022? Go.
VALLIERE: Geopolitics I think will be a surprising wild card. I really worry about Ukraine. I think that Putin's comments indicate there could be
border skirmishes over the next few months. I really worry about rocky relations with China. I really worry that Iran will not agree to a nuclear
deal so with all this domestic stuff we are talking about, I think you can't overlook geopolitics.
KOSIK: OK. And I just want to ask one more prediction for 2022. When will we see inflation peak?
VALLIERE: Well, in some things like lumber, we are seeing it right now. I think some commodities could soften. I think the labor, the wage side will
stay pretty hot. I think this labor market will stay red hot well into the summer. By the fall, though, I think inflation in general will have clearly
peaked. That also would be a good second half story.
KOSIK: What does that mean for the supply chain disruptions that have plagued us all year?
VALLIERE: Yeah. It would be naive to say we were out of the woods on that. I think there are many months to go. But I think even there as we come to
the end of 2022 the supply chain problem will start to look better.
KOSIK: We can only hope. Greg Valliere, great talking with you. If I don't talk to you next week. Have a Happy New Year. And I'll talk to you in the
VALLIERE: All right. You take care.
KOSIK: Thank you.
Now to holiday travel. And if cash penalties aren't enough for unruly airline passengers, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is ready to
send them to the back of the security line. Under a new partnership, the FAA will share information about passengers like this with the
transportation security administration and have them removed from the pre- checked screening program, which is a fast way to get through U.S. airports.
Meantime, some U.S. travelers are canceling their holiday plans because of the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.
But as Pete Muntean reports, millions of others are heading to the airport.
PETE MUNTEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, so many are facing that dreaded go, or no-go discussion. And it seems that millions of people are still
going. In fact, the TSA just screened 2 million people at airports across the country on Monday. That is the fifth day in a row we seen numbers
higher than 2 million.
In fact, Friday's number, the highest number we have seen since the Monday after Thanksgiving. It is clear that so many people still have a lot of
confidence in traveling. We've seen long lines from L.A. to Boston to Atlanta.
You know, Dr. Anthony Fauci says that people should weigh the risks if you're vaccinated and boosted, it should be safe, he says. AAA anticipates
a total of 109 million people will travel 50 miles or more between December 23rd and January 3rd. And the TSA just updated its projection saying 30
million people will travel by air between now and January 3rd with the busiest day being Thursday.
We will see if this doubt leads to any decline in these numbers. Airlines say that cancelations did pick up a little bit as the Omicron variant began
to make headlines.
Pete Muntean, CNN, Reagan National Airport.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
KOSIK: And finally, on "FIRST MOVE."
A 70-year-old fossil is shedding light on the links between dinosaurs and birds. This is the perfectly preserved embryo an oviraptorid dinosaur
curled up inside its egg. It was found in China more than two decades ago but sat in storage for 10 years and is now the subject of a new study.
Researchers say the fossil shows that dinosaurs were moving around and changing poses before hatching in a similar way to modern day birds.
Basically, this shows that the evolutionary relationship between birds and dinosaurs are closer than you think.
That's it for the show. Don't forget to tweet me, to follow me on Instagram @alisonkosik. Stay safe out there.
"MARKETPLACE EUROPE" is next. I'll see you soon.