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New Day Saturday

Health Officials Brace For COVID Surge After Holidays; RV Played Warning Message Before Blast In Tennessee, Possible Human Remains Found Near Explosion Site; Unemployment Benefits Run Out For Millions Of Americans As Trump Refuses To Sign Relief Bill; Iconic Chicago Deli Innovates Ways To Survive Amid Uncertainty; Europe To Begin Vaccine Rollout Tomorrow As New COVID-19 Variant Spreads; Japan And South Korea See Record-Breaking New Case Numbers. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired December 26, 2020 - 06:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED MALE (Voice over): One of Nashville, Tennessee's main entertainment and tourism districts is one giant crime scene.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (Voice over): It blew out the back windows on our two floors and blew debris and stuff over across the bed where my wife was sleeping.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (Voice over): The spirit of our city cannot be broken, but we're not going to rest until those responsible for this outrageous and cowardly attack are brought to justice.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (Voice over): For most Americans, even the first dose of a vaccine is still months away, but another surge may be just days out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (Voice over): I just never believed that we would get to 330,000 American lives lost by Christmas Day and still accelerating at 3,000 deaths a day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (Voice over): It seems clear that he's not going to read the bill or sign it or veto it and if he doesn't sign the bill by the end of the day, then actual unemployment benefits will cease.


BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning and thank you so much for joining us. I'm Boris Sanchez. Victor and Christi have the morning off. We're following breaking developments in a Christmas Day explosion in Nashville, but before we take you there for a live report, we must mention the growing dread, another surge in coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths and an even larger surge that we're expecting after millions of Americans gather for the holidays.

Southern California is one of the areas hardest hit right now. In Los Angeles County, the public health director says someone dies from coronavirus every 10 minutes. We're going to bring you the latest on the virus and the vaccination effort in just a moment.

But as for that explosion in Tennessee, investigators have found what might be human remains near the site of what appears to be an intentional bombing, the blast damaging dozens of buildings and injuring at least three people yesterday morning. We also now have sound of a recording that warned people near the RV that exploded to evacuate. Listen closely to this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you can hear this message, evacuate now. If you can hear this message, evacuate now. If you can hear this message, evacuate now.


SANCHEZ: Just bizarre. Natasha Chen joins us now live from Nashville. Natasha, what's the latest that you're hearing from investigators?

NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Boris, the investigators are still working on a very large blast radius and that's why we are so far back from the perimeter. This is where media is allowed to be. We are on 2nd Avenue and that is where the explosion happened, but it's several, several blocks away from where we are. The mayor, last night at a press conference, did say that at least 41 businesses were damaged in this blast.

And of course there were people who also lived near where the explosion happened, witnesses telling CNN how frightening that was just around this time yesterday morning, first hearing gunshots, calling 911 and the city officials really touted the efforts of six metro Nashville police officers who responded and when they arrived on scene, they heard that message that you just played coming from the RV and really helped people evacuate from the area.

Now, when I asked the mayor last night what message he would have for the potential person or people responsible, here's what he told me.


MAYOR JOHN COOPER (D), NASHVILLE: My message is expect a knock on your door. You know, it's going to, I think, be a puzzle, a mystery for some period of time, but I expect them to solve it and they're bringing the resources to bear to be able to solve it. This should not be an America where you have bombings on the street.


CHEN: He said that this was done to create chaos on Christmas Day, but that the city is resilient and will rebuild. Just a note on the three people that are hospitalized, those are civilians and the police chief told me that those are not life-threatening injuries, but still they are -- they were first relieved, city officials said, that there wasn't more damage to human life, no more injuries than there already are. However, there is a bit of anger now in trying to figure out why this happened. And of course, and there is a curfew that this downtown area is under at this moment. That started the afternoon of Christmas Day, 4:30 P.M. local time and will extend into Sunday afternoon to try and keep people away from this area as investigators do their work, Boris.

SANCHEZ: Yes. We're glad that those victims are going to survive their injuries and of course we'll keep coming back to you as we get more news. Thank you for the latest. Natasha Chen reporting from Nashville.

CHEN: Thanks.


SANCHEZ: Despite repeated warnings, millions of Americans traveled over the holidays, raising concerns that the nation is weeks away from yet another devastating new spike in COVID-19 cases. CNN's Alison Kosik takes a look.


ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (Voice over): Starting Monday in the U.K., all passengers must have a negative COVID-19 test within three days of boarding a flight to the U.S.. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo praised the decision by the CDC for passengers to be tested who are flying from the U.K.. "Testing people for COVID-19 before they get on planes is common sense. We cannot repeat the mistakes of the past and we must continue to do everything we can to keep New Yorkers and Americans safe," Cuomo said in a statement Friday.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the new testing requirements for travelers, but research by the agency's own scientists shows the rule may have only a small impact on the spread of the new U.K. strain of the coronavirus.

According to researchers on the CDC's COVID-19 response team, testing three days before a flight might reduce the risk of spreading the virus by just 5 percent to 9 percent. Pfizer and Moderna are testing to see whether their vaccines work against the new variant which thus far has not been detected in the U.S..

Southern California is grappling with surging COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths as the state passes another grim milestone, reporting more than 300 new COVID deaths for a third straight day. In Los Angeles County, a person dies every 10 minutes from COVID-19, county's public health director says.

DR. CHRIS PERNELL, PUBLIC HEALTH PHYSICIAN: I think people don't think coronavirus will happen to them. They think coronavirus will happen to another family, but there is no safety other than those public health measures that we have been preaching from the mountaintops.

KOSIK (Voice over): As Christmas comes to an end and we head into the new year, experts say the safest way to celebrate is at home with the people you live with or online with friends and family. For those that host a New Year's celebration, the CDC suggests staying outside, limiting the number of guests, wearing and making extra masks available and keeping background music low to avoid shouting.

ERIN BROMAGE, PROFESSOR OF BIOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS: Well, we're just seeing, you know, these amplification events and that's what's happened at the end of this year in the U.S.. We had, you know, Thanksgiving, we had Labor Day, we had Halloween and each one of these events brought lots of people together and just gave the virus more fuel to move through the population. So Christmas is going to do a similar thing.


KOSIK: And the TSA says in the days before Christmas, more than 1 million people pass through security checkpoints at airports across the country. It's stoking fears from health experts that we could see a spike in coronavirus cases on top of what we're seeing now. Boris?

SANCHEZ: Yes. Expect it to be a very, very bleak winter. Alison Kosik, thanks for that report. A new wrinkle in the back and forth over the coronavirus relief bill this morning as millions of Americans are waking up, checking their bank accounts and seeing zeros. "Reasonable" is how one Republican ally of President Trump is framing his latest demands to toss out the deal over a demand for bigger paychecks to Americans.

The deal is part of a package that would fund the government and it's physically parked at Mar-a-Lago right now waiting on the President's signature as millions of Americans are said to lose unemployment benefits today, but if you look at Senator Lindsey Graham's tweets, there is little indication the President is actually going to sign it.

Let's get right to CNN's Sarah Westwood in West Palm Beach, Florida. Good morning, Sarah. Senator Lindsey Graham now opting to back the President's point of view instead of Mitch McConnell's. He's going on record saying that $2,000 checks for Americans is a worthwhile demand.

Point of fact, though, Graham voted for the bill as is and he literally said, quote, "This package provides a lot of relief for people who are hurting and should have been done months ago," end quote. This pivot from Graham a sign of the power that Trump still holds over the Republican party.

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, Boris, and a sign of the reversal that Trump is essentially asking Republicans to make on a bill that they voted for, believing at the time that they had the White House's backing on this. Remember that $600 figure for the individual checks was something that Trump's own treasury secretary brought to Congress as the White House's proposal.

So it's been sort of a stunning reversal for President Trump to come out and oppose it now. Senator Lindsey Graham was down here in West Palm Beach yesterday and played a round of golf with the President.


Before that, Republicans on Capitol Hill really had no clarity as to just how seriously Trump planned to challenge the bill, whether his opposition amounted to a veto threat, for instance, or whether he was just trying to put pressure on Republicans, but Graham sort of gave a little bit of insight into that yesterday and I want to read you what he tweeted after he got off the course with Trump.

"After spending some time with President Trump today, I am convinced he is more determined than ever to increase stimulus payments to $2,000 per person and challenge Section 230 big tech liability protection." Now, that Section 230 thing, that is unrelated to the stimulus and spending package, but was the reason why Trump vetoed the defense authorization bill despite that having passed with a veto- proof majority.

The relief bill also was initially supported by a veto-proof majority. although it's unclear how Republicans will react to increased pressure from Trump, but yesterday, the President doubled down on these calls to increase the individual payments saying, "Made many calls and had meetings at Trump International in Palm Beach, Florida. Why would politicians not want to give people $2,000 rather than only $600? It wasn't their fault, it was China. Give our people the money."

Now, the relief bill was bundled with the spending bill that would keep the government open. That bill needs to be signed by Monday for the government to stay open. So a lot of pressure on President Trump as people wait to see whether they will actually get checks this next week as they were promised when the relief bill passed, Boris.

SANCHEZ: Yes, Sarah. It's almost as if the President wants people to think that he had no input in this and Mark Meadows and Steve Mnuchin, his negotiators on Capitol Hill, played no role in advancing his agenda when it came to this bill getting through Congress. Sarah, quickly I want to go back to the Nashville explosion. We know the President was briefed on the incident. Do we know if the White House has any plans to address it?

WESTWOOD: Yes, Boris. That's not something that the White House has answered or indicated at this point. The President was briefed on it yesterday, as you mentioned, but we did not hear anything from him yesterday even though, as we just saw, he was tweeting about the stimulus bill, tweeting about some other unrelated things, not focusing on the Nashville bombing and it's unclear whether the President is continuing to receive updates or whether we'll hear from him about it today, Boris.

SANCHEZ: All right. We know you'll keep us updated. Sarah Westwood reporting from West Palm Beach. Thanks so much. Still to come, today millions of Americans will lose their extended unemployment insurance, as we mentioned, and a partial government shutdown next week is still looming. Details on that ahead.

Plus, New Year's celebrations are just around the corner. Find out how you can help prevent post-holiday COVID surge next.




SANCHEZ: The coronavirus pandemic has shuttered many small businesses across the country. For the ones that are managing to stay open, it has become a life lesson on survival. The historic Manny's Cafeteria and Deli in Chicago is no stranger to tough times. Dating as far back as the 1960s, they were forced to shut down due to social unrest during the Civil Rights Movement. This year, civil unrest and the pandemic threatened the business, but the owners have found a new way to survive. CNN correspondent Adrienne Broaddus has their story.


ADRIENNE BROADDUS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (Voice over): If history is a teacher ...

DAN RASKIN, OWNER, MANNY'S CAFETERIA & DELICATESSEN: There's Manny. That was my grandfather and then my dad.

BROADDUS (Voice over): ... the owner of Manny's Deli has learned the only thing constant ...

RASKIN: I'm not done changing it.

BROADDUS (Voice over): ... is change. Chicago's iconic Jewish deli was started by the Raskin brothers before the U.S. entered World war II.

RASKIN: I am Dan Raskin. I'm the fourth generation owner/operator here at Manny's. We've been in business for 79 years.

BROADDUS (Voice over): Manny's.

JERRY KARP, LOYAL CUSTOMER: Old, traditional delicatessen that you cannot find in many cities in the world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For 44 years has been the place where I go to clog my arteries and clear my head.

BROADDUS (Voice over): Manny's closing its doors for good because of COVID-19 would be like someone you love dying.

KARP: I think a lot of people would cry. A nostalgic place would be gone and we're losing enough of them.

BROADDUS (Voice over): Inside, the walls hold history.

RASKIN (Voice over): I definitely think my favorite memory was when President Obama came in.

BROADDUS (Voice over): days after Obama was elected in 2008, his first public stop was at Manny's.

RASKIN: He wanted to come in and get a corned beef sandwich and some cherry pie.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Best corned beef you'll find, sliced by the the best corned beef man behind the counter you'll find anywhere, Gino. BROADDUS (Voice over): The kitchen is 70-year-old Gino's second home.

GINO GAMBAROTA, MANNY'S EMPLOYEE: It's like coming to work and being with your family. You know, especially now it's important, more so than ever, you know?

BROADDUS (Voice over): The empty chairs and declining revenue are reminders of what the pandemic has stolen.

RASKIN: It's been hard. I mean, especially businesses downtown. There's not a lot of people working in the city. This is just Manny checking out a customer.

BROADDUS (Voice over): Memories can't protect Manny's from the pitfalls of the pandemic. On Twitter, Dan asked for help and customers came to the rescue.

RASKIN: At certain times during the pandemic, there has definitely been low lows.

BROADDUS (Voice over): Decades before COVID, Manny's faced challenges.

RASKIN: The riots in the '60s.

BROADDUS (Voice over): That was following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.. It forced the company to pivot. Dan's father, Ken, shared stories about cutting hours.

RASKIN: He said when the riots started then, he said that they decided to close because it wasn't safe and there was curfews.


BROADDUS (Voice over): Fast forward to 2020.

RASKIN: It was heartbreaking.

BROADDUS (Voice over): Unrest following the police killing of George Floyd forced Manny's to adapt again.

RASKIN: The last eight months, when you look back at all the events, it's not just COVID, but it's the rioting, everything just compiles on top of each other and just happy to survive it.

BROADDUS (Voice over): Survival is in Dan's DNA. He found a way to keep business going by delivering to Chicago suburbs, a model involving more labor to pack everything up and go and it costs more, but means 43 employees continue working and with each meal, Dan delivers hope.

RASKIN: We will survive and we'll get through it. So we're very fortunate we have had some great support and people are understanding that we're working under different conditions and we're here for people to place orders.

(END VIDEO TAPE) [06:20:01]

SANCHEZ: Thanks to Adrienne Broaddus for that report. COVID vaccines will be administered in more European countries starting tomorrow, but a new and possibly more infectious strain of the virus continues to spread from Britain. It was just detected in France. We'll take you there for a live report next.


SANCHEZ: Welcome back. we're continuing to monitor the breaking developments in Nashville, Tennessee where police say someone intentionally detonated a bomb near the tourist district. Investigators have found what might be human remains near the site of the bombing, the blast damaging dozens of buildings and injuring at least three people yesterday morning. Fortunately, they are expected to overcome their injuries.

Here's the weird thing. For 15 minutes before the explosion, an automated audio recording warned people to evacuate the area. Six police officers rushed there, responding to gunshots. They're being credited with getting people out of harm's way. Authorities say there were no credible threats signaling an impending attack before Christmas. Now the FBI is asking anyone with information to please come forward.

COVID vaccinations are set to begin across several European nations beginning tomorrow as a new, faster-spreading variant of the coronavirus continues to pop up around the world, France the latest country to detect a positive case of that variant that was first identified in the United Kingdom. By the way, the CDC has issued new guidelines requiring a negative COVID test from all passengers traveling to the United States from the U.K..

[06:25:03] And due to the new strain, England has moved more parts of the country into Tier 4 lockdown, their toughest restriction. Let's go live to CNN's Cyril Vanier who's in Paris for us this morning. Cyril, France one of several countries preparing to distribute vaccines tomorrow. Give us a sense of what you're hearing from people there on the ground.

CYRIL VANIER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Boris. It's an absolutely massive undertaking because it is common to the entire European Union. That's 450 million people across 27 countries. Now, France, French authorities, they're starting the vaccination tomorrow.

On the side of the authorities, there's cautious optimism because they know that this is the closest thing we have to a silver bullet against this pandemic, even though they're aware, of course, that there are major logistical challenges because the only vaccine approved so far is the Pfizer one which, as we know, has to be kept at minus 70 degrees Celsius and that's just -- logistically that's really, really hard on the cold chain and the supply chain.

Now, on the side of the population, there's a bit more hesitancy. At the beginning of the month, according to our estimates, about a half of the french population intended to get the vaccine. That leaves roughly a half of the population that doesn't believe in this, doesn't want to get the vaccine. Many people believe that, you know, for a vaccine that's been developed in 10 months, they still have questions about it.

Having said that, there is also the case anecdotally of people who are not sure they're going to get it themselves, but have approved for their elderly parents in nursing homes to get it. So within the subsection of the population that is more vulnerable to this virus, there's a little bit more acceptance of the virus -- of the -- beg your pardon -- of the vaccine, Boris.

SANCHEZ: And Cyril, what do we know about this positive case of the new variant that was just found in France?

VANIER: Yes. Worrying news last night in France. This is a French national who lives in the U.K. and who traveled a week ago. That was Saturday. Same day that I traveled from the U.K. to France and so I know exactly what the timing was. At the time, the U.K. had not hit the panic button on this new variant and moved half the country into the toughest Tier 4 restrictions. So travel was free at the time and -- it was freely available, I should say.

And that person arrived in France in the city of Tours, then got tested positive for COVID-19 and because he had traveled from the U.K., his test was sent for DNA sequencing and we found out on Christmas Day that it was indeed the new variant, more transmissible variant of COVID-19 and it's quite possible that there are already more cases because we are told that other positive tests have been sent for DNA sequencing that present clues that perhaps they also belong to this new variant, Boris.

SANCHEZ: Yes. And notably, Cyril, some experts believe that variant is already in the United States, but because that DNA sequencing isn't being done as extensively, it's difficult to detect. Cyril Vanier reporting from Paris. Thanks so much.

Several countries in Asia are seeing a resurgence of coronavirus cases, South Korea finding more than 1,100 new cases on Friday. That was just a day after it hit a record high of 1,200. Japan also seeing its highest number of new cases on Friday, more than 3,800. That's the third straight day of record-breaking numbers for Japan.

CNN's Selina Wang joins us now from Tokyo and, Selina, Asian countries are seeing surges even with strict restrictions to slow the spread. Do we have any idea why?

SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Boris, what's interesting is actually Japan and South Korea had been praised for handling the pandemic remarkably well without using the type of strict lockdowns that we've seen in other parts of the world. In Japan, for instance, the government actually doesn't have any legal means to enforce COVID restrictions, but experts credit a culture of mask-wearing as well as people generally adhering to government guidelines for keeping COVID cases from exploding as we've seen in parts of Europe and the United States. But it is clear, if you look at the data, that COVID is gaining momentum here in Japan. In the first nine months, it took more than nine months for Japan to reach 100,000 infections, but it took less than two months to double that figure to now more than 200,000. I have spoken to infectious disease experts who are critical of what they see as the government's prioritization of keeping the economy open.

In fact, the Japanese government had been encouraging people to actually go out and travel and eat through this domestic travel campaign which the government has only recently temporarily halted. And Boris, if we look at the case of South Korea, this country had been considered the pinnacle, the model nation for combating COVID-19 through its aggressive contact tracing system.


To deal with this recent surge the country has banned large gatherings. It's also ordered tourist attractions to close down but it has yet to enter any lockdown since the start of the pandemic and the challenge that South Korea is facing now is that the previous ways of infections were largely concentrated because of the large clusters in churches or night clubs.

But now these new infections are harder to trace because they're coming from places like restaurants and offices. Now even though this new surge we're seeing in Asia may pale in comparison to some of these increases we're seeing in other parts of the world, it is a very important reminder that it is extremely hard to contain this outbreak, especially during these winter months when the cold weather is driving people indoors and Boris, quite frankly everyone is dealing with COVID-19 fatigue. Boris.

SANCHEZ: Yes, even the countries that have served as models to the world to containing this virus 12 months into this pandemic are dealing with flare ups. It underscores what you said about this being incredibly difficult mission. Selina Wang reporting from Tokyo. Thank you very much.

Back to the United States now where despite record high COVID counts, millions of Americans are still traveling for the holidays though for some passengers the rules are about to change. Remember reports about that new COVID strain in the United Kingdom, in response the CDC announcing it will soon require proof of a negative COVID test for all passengers entering the United States from the United Kingdom.

Joining us now to discuss is Executive Associate Dean at Emory University school of Medicine, Dr. Carlos del Rio. Dr. Del Rio, thank you so much for joining us early on this holiday weekend. I want to ask you about these new CDC restrictions. How effective do you think they're going to be in preventing the spread of this new potentially more contagious COVID strain?

DR. CARLOS DEL RIO, EXECUTIVE ASSOCIATE DEAN, EMORY UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: Good morning Boris. I'm not sure they're going to be that effective because unfortunately they're requiring testing within 72:00 hours of boarding which means if you're negative, in the next three days you can become positive. What I think would have been nice to have the negative test, PCR test 72:00 hours before boarding and then have a rapid antigen test done right at the moment of boarding.

I think that would increase the security that indeed a person with COVID is not going to - is not getting on the plane. The other possibility is to simply also have rapid testing done at the time of landing in the United States but I think one test in my mind is not enough. I think you need to do two tests at least.

SANCHEZ: And Doctor, we've heard from some experts who say that it's likely that this variant is already here in the United States. Would you concur with that idea?

DEL RIO: It's highly possible. I mean I think this you know these viruses are moving very quickly. We saw that at the beginning of the pandemic. I wouldn't be surprised if it's here now but I want to stress to the public that rather than getting terribly concerned about this new strain, I think we need to reinforce the restrictions we've been talking about.

We've been talking about mask wearing, we've been talking about social distancing and avoiding crowded places, avoiding places with poor circulation, lots of people. I think we really need to hunker down, remind people of those restrictions and again very excited about vaccines rolling out.

We have to do a better job of just getting vaccines out as quickly as possible because it is indeed our best line of defense right now.

SANCHEZ: And one last question about this new variant. You mentioned the vaccines. The CEO of Pfizer says he's cautiously optimistic their vaccine is going to work against the new strain. Do you have any reason or evidence to think it may not?

DEL RIO: No, I have none. I think that the mutation is an attacking an area where you know is the vaccine is really so much broader antibody response. No specific area. I don't see why the vaccines approved, neither Pfizer, nor Moderna vaccine would not work against this strain.

SANCHEZ: OK and Doctor, you mentioned the need to hunker down. You know it's difficult during the holidays to tell families that they have to stay separated. There's pandemic fatigue. They've spent you know months extensively separated already. Is there a safe way to celebrate New Year's Eve with your loved ones without you know getting into a situation where you're propagating a surge that we're likely to see in three weeks?

DEL RIO: You know I think it's really important that you're going to do that, that you stay within your bubble, that people get tested before they get together, once or maybe twice as I mentioned just like when you're going to be traveling. I think to limit the gathering to less than 10 people.

I mean as much as you can do to not have a lot of people, not have a lot of strangers. As I've said over and over you know the - your level of protection is strong as your weakest link and if there's a weak link then the virus is going to spread.

We've learned how quickly this virus and how easily this virus spreads. So, we have to take all the precautions possible.

SANCHEZ: And doctor, I wanted to ask because we've been hearing a lot about the vaccines, very positive news but we've been hearing less about treatments for those already infected with COVID-19. What do we know about how coronavirus treatments are doing in the fight to eradicate the pandemic?


DEL RIO: You know treatments have not been as exciting. I mean there have been some progresses, but the reality is we don't have a magic bullet. We don't have a drug that really cures this infection. We have - the only approved drug being Remdesivir, you know it decreases the duration of hospitalization by a couple of days in people that have severe disease, but they really have very little effect otherwise.

We have to take dexamethasone that has been shown in a study to decrease mortality but again, we're talking about very sick individual and then we have the monoclonal antibodies, right and I think the monoclonal antibodies need to be scaled up more. They have to be used in outpatient settings. They have to be used in people who have high risk of progressing in disease.

And I think we need to do a better job really getting the monoclonal antibodies out there to the people that need them because if we don't, we're wasting a possible - a potentially useful resource that would allow us to prevent people from getting hospitalized, from getting sick and from ending up in the ICU.

SANCHEZ: Doctor, we actually have a little bit more time with you than I expected so I just wanted to present a hypothetical to you. Getting back to the idea of holiday travel, say someone is already traveled to be with their loved ones for Christmas and they're trying to figure out what they should do next.

What is the best course of action to take to try to prevent a further spread, if you've already exposed yourself to a coronavirus by traveling?

DEL RIO: Well, I think again masking is really important, right? We know that wearing a facemask prevents you from transmitting to others so I think you know wearing the face mask will be very important. If you're going to be inside with other people, wear a face mask and remember to socially distance, if you're going to be sitting with somebody talking, you know make sure you're wearing a facemask and you're sitting six feet apart.

I think that will be a very important way to preventing possible spread. Stay in a place that is open, go out on a walk. Don't be inside, don't be in a close poorly ventilated place so all those things will help you at this point in time.

SANCHEZ: All right Dr. Carlos Del Rio, thank you so much for the time Sir and Merry Christmas to you.

DEL RIO: Merry Christmas to you.

SANCHEZ: Thanks. A lot of fits and starts with sports this year. Fortunately, we're finishing 2020 strong. Almost too many sports to keep track of. Christmas day is usually the NBA's time to shine but they had to share the spotlight with the NFL yesterday and one player put up numbers not seen since the 1920s. Who that? Your Bleacher Report is next.




SANCHEZ: Tennessee sports teams are lending their support following news of that intentional explosion in downtown Nashville yesterday. Coy Wire joins us now. Coy, great to see you as always. Merry Christmas. This is yet another instance where sports can be part of the healing process?

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Boris in that, this is one of the things that makes sports so special right. Very few things can bring together an entire city like sports can. Nashville's professional sports scene tweeting their support for the first responders who have been working around the clock for most last 24 hours.

The Titans tweeting in part, "Nashville has been through a lot this year. It will bounce back together stronger and tougher." The Titans, they can further that healing process tonight. They're on the road against the Packers and they have a chance to clinch the division for the first time since 2008.

Let's stick with the NFL now is a rare Christmas day game and as Boris said in the tease Who that? Saint star running back Alvin Kamara who played at the University of Tennessee in the Christmas spirit wearing those red and green cleats against the Vikings and he might as well have been Santa because he gave all his fantasy football owners something to smile about yesterday.

6 smashing touchdowns, tying in with Ernie Nevers for the most in any game in NFL history. That record was set way back in 1929. Kamara setting or tied five NFL records yesterday. Saints went 52-33 and Kamara, now he's going to have to give a little bit more in the way of a fine for wearing those red and green cleats but he's not letting that get him down.


ALVIN KAMARA, NEW ORLEANS SAINTS RUNNING BACK: If they find me, whatever it is, I'll just mention it and donate it to charity. The grinch always tried to steal Christmas, you know this.

(END VIDEO CLIP) WIRE: Right, LeBron and the Lakers leading the way on the traditional

Christmas day game in the NBA. It's Los Angeles' second consecutive appearance on Christmas. Lebron's 14th and even after a historically short off season, he's rolling right now. 22 points against Dallas yesterday even with Mavs superstar Luka Doncic playing incredible defense like this.

LeBron slides his way into second on the Christmas day scoring list. Now 12 points shy of Kobe Bryant. That's a loss of opening day, just nine days of threatening together, Lakers are already getting their group blowing up the Mavs by 23. All right, Rockets star James Harden will play against the Blazers tonight just days after breaking NBA protocols by going to a party inside and without a mask.

The league clearing Harden after testing negative every day since the party on Monday and while Harden will play, six other Rockets players will not due to the virus. Houston already had to postpone its season open on Wednesday because they didn't have enough players available.

Finally, Duke's Women's Basketball team will not play at all. According to a school statement, student athletes decided to cancel the rest of the season yesterday due to safety concerns, positive tests and contact tracing forced them to pause all activities ten days ago and postponed to games. The Blue Devils has been three in one in their first year under head coach Kara Lawson and the school says it fully supports the decision.

Boris, remember two weeks ago Duke's men's team cancelled its final 3 nonconference games. Coach Mike Krzyzewski Boris saying that it was so his players could spend the holidays with their families.


SANCHEZ: Yes, Coach K expressing his skepticism that college basketball's going to be able to function normally or somewhat normally. Tough times. Coy Wire, thanks so much for that.

WIRE: Good to see you.

SANCHEZ: Same. When we come back, how entertainment gave us an escape, hope, heartache and quite a few laughs in what has been an unprecedented year in so many ways. Stay with us.


SANCHEZ: The coronavirus pandemic upended everyone's plans for the year but as the old saying goes, the show must go on. 2020 throwing curve ball after curve ball and as CNN's Stephanie Elam shows as Hollywood too was put to the test.


STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The pandemic shuts down Hollywood. Tiger King roared into our living rooms and the stars aligned to keep us together. As the world came to a screeching halt, here's a look back at how entertainment give us an escape, hope, heartache and even a few laughs along the way.

JENNIFER ANISTON, ACTOR: I'm shaking. I did not see that coming at all.

ELAM (voice-over): The year started out with some nostalgia at the SAG awards with a public reunion, 15 years in the making.

ANISTON: This is so unbelievable.

ELAM (voice-over): Moments after watching her acceptance speech, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston once Hollywood's reigning power couple were spotted sharing a moment backstage while celebrating their wins.

Parasite became the first foreign language film to win the Screen Actors Guild top prize. The South Korean film broke through barriers.


Mixing dark comedy, horror and drama to create a social commentary on class inequality. Parasite was showered in accolades and finished award season by cementing itself in Oscar's history. Sweeping four categories including Best Picture the first time for a non-English language film.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our breaking news Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will no longer go by His in Her Royal Highness. They're giving up those titles.

ELAM (voice-over): Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's big news sent shockwaves across the globe.

PRINCE HARRY: I know I haven't always done it right but as far as this goes, there really was no other option.

ELAM (voice-over): The move sent the royal establishment into chaos as the couple sought to become financially independent. The Queen said she would have preferred they continue to service senior members but respects and understands their decision. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex went on a farewell tour of sorts across England, making their last official appearances as royals as the pandemic began to take hold.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: We're back with new developments of the coronavirus pandemic. School closures, major event cancellations are picking up all across the United States.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered all 40 million residents to stay at home.

ELAM (voice-over): And just like that Hollywood came to a standstill. Movie sets went dark. TV tapings were canceled. Live performances and concerts were scratched. Movie theaters were forced to close, and the major studios went into overdrive. First postponing the release of Quiet Place 2, then Disney's Mulan followed by an entire summer's worth of blockbusters.

In New York Broadway abruptly turned out the lights. And music festivals fell silent.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you know we had a big show tonight. Do you know who was on the show tonight?

ELAM (voice-over): But as the world reeled, it came as no surprise that some of our favorite entertainers found ways to put on a show.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's check in and welcome Wanda Sykes. Hello Wanda.


ELAM (voice-over): Performers found new ways to connect to their fans.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you're at home, just want to touch my hand to you right now.

ELAM (voice-over): By bringing music and axe into our living room. And using social media to foster a sense of community while we've been apart. Stuck at home audiences turned to at home streaming services, binge watching TV shows like Tiger King and drooling over Hamilton.

While the Mandalorian, the Crown and Schitt's Creek got a lot of buzz and the possibilities were endless with HBO Max and Peacock launching in the middle of the pandemic.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Academy award winning actor Tom Hanks announcing that he and his wife Rita Wilson have both tested positive for coronavirus.

ELAM (voice-over): When COVID hits close to home, celebrities rally to raise awareness and as the virus raged, more and more stars came forward to share their own experiences battling the symptoms.

DWAYNE JOHNSON, ACTOR: I wish it was only me who tested positive, but it wasn't. It was my entire family so this was a real kick in the gut.

ELAM (voice-over): Sadly, COVID took the lives of some of our favorites like legendary country star Charlie Pride and Broadway actor Nick Cordero, whose long and intense battle was chronicled on Instagram.

The year brought even more sad news with the Death of Jeopardy legend Alex Trebek from pancreatic cancer. He left a special posthumous message for his viewers.

ALEX TREBEK, DEATH OF JEOPARDY: Keep the faith. We're going to get through all of this, and we will be a better society because of it.

ELAM (voice-over): Also gone Sean Connery, Naya Rivera, Kelly Preston, Regis Philbin and Eddie Van Halen. But perhaps the most shocking Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman. He died after fighting a very private 4-year battle with colon cancer. Boseman leaves behind a legacy. Insiders say he could become the first actor to receive two posthumous Oscar nominations for his work in Da 5 Bloods and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Remember once you walk in, you may take off your


ELAM (voice-over): By summer, Hollywood productions slowly picked up again with strict safety protocols in place but not everything has been smooth sailing. Tom Cruise recently unleashed a tirade on the set of the next Mission Impossible enraged by crew members for reportedly not following social distancing measures.

Hollywood also came out in droves to support global, social and political movements. Stars like A Rod and Jennifer Lopez, Nick Cannon, Joe Jonas and Madonna, all hit the streets to call for justice in the death of George Floyd and to support Black Lives Matter.

And in the race for the White House, Kanye West made the ballot in some states, receiving about 60,000 votes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I first met Joe Biden when I was doing my show V.

ELAM (voice-over): But Hollywood largely threw their support behind the winning Biden-Harris ticket.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen, the cast of The Office.

ELAM (voice-over): Finally, this was a year for reunions from Fresh Prince of Bel Air to Legally Blonde, Mean Girls and Father of the Bride. Casts from our favorite shows, movies met up virtually to relive the days that once were.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're living in a tough time. We don't know exactly how to do this or how it's going to turn out, but we've managed to stay OK all these months because we have each other.

ELAM (voice-over): We made it through a tough year and to end it on a high note, the great Gloria Gaynor will honor and celebrate healthcare workers, first responders and essential workers with the performance of what else, I will survive in Times Square on New Year's Eve. Stephanie Elam, CNN, Los Angeles.


SANCHEZ: It felt like it might never end but as Stephanie Elam said we've made it. It's finally here. Say so long 2020 and hello 2021 with Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen live from Times Square New Year's Eve starting at 8:00 right here on CNN.

Coming up new details this morning about that Christmas morning blast in Downtown Nashville. The FBI is now asking for the public's help. New Day continues after a quick break.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of Nashville Tennessee main entertainment and tourism districts is one giant crime scene.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That blew out back windows on our two floors and blew debris and stuff all over across the bedroom.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The spirit of our city cannot be broken but we're not going to rest until those responsible for this outrageous and cowardly attacks are brought to justice.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For most Americans even the first dose of vaccine is still months away but another search maybe just days out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just never believe that we would get to 330,000 American lives lost by Christmas day and still accelerating at 3000 deaths today.