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New Day Saturday

Trump's Impeachment Trial Delayed Until February; Senate Will Receive Article Of Impeachment Monday; NYT: Trump And DOJ Lawyer Said To Have Plotted To Oust Acting A.G. To Try And Overturn Georgia Election Results; U.S. COVID Deaths Top 413,800 With Nearly 25 Million Cases As CDC Reports Biggest One-Day Increase In Vaccinations; Pfizer's COVID-19 Vaccine Trial For Kids Is Now Fully Enrolled; Over 125 People Charged In Capitol Hill Riots. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired January 23, 2021 - 06:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED MALE (Voice over): This is CNN. More people get their news from CNN than any other news source.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (Voice over): Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announcing the trial will begin the week of February 8th.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (Voice over): Nobody wants an impeachment at the start of a new administration where you're hoping to turn over a new leaf. There are millions of Americans out there who believe that the election was stolen and they believe it because Donald Trump and Congressional Republicans told them that. So now they've got this Frankenstein monster that is raging in the village and they don't know what to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (Voice over): January is now the second deadliest month for coronavirus. So far, more than 64,000 deaths recorded, more than 8,300 in just the previous two days, underscoring the need to improve vaccine distribution.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (Voice over): Our biggest limiting factor right now is the vaccine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (Voice over): The lack of candor, did the lack of facts in some cases over the last year cost lives?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE (Voice over): This is NEW DAY WEEKEND with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to you there in St. Louis and good morning to you wherever you are watching this morning. Former President Trump will face an impeachment trial for the second time. We know the date now is February 9th. Monday, House Democrats will walk over the single charge of incitement of insurrection to the Senate. The trial will start two weeks later. Senate leaders reached a deal to delay it.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. Meanwhile, President Biden is attempting to push ahead with his agenda of course. He's taking executive action to address the pandemic, the economic crisis, including expanding food aid and raising the federal minimum wage. He says we need to act like we're in a national emergency.

There's another urgent matter as well here -- fixing the vaccine roll- out. There's a new study that finds about 6 in 10 Americans, you don't know where or when to go to get your shot. The governors say they need help sorting out the vaccine distribution, quote, "mess."


GOV. SPENCER COX, (R) UTAH: Look, we shouldn't -- this shouldn't be "The Hunger Games" like it was with PPE.


BLACKWELL: We're going to start this morning on Capitol Hill where the concern of maybe getting some bipartisan support for convicting the previous president is starting to fade. So far, Republicans are publicly saying that they expect Trump to be acquitted, but CNN has learned that some influential members of the party have been quietly lobbying for conviction.

PAUL: CNN Congressional reporter Daniella Diaz is on Capitol Hill for us. Daniella, it's good to see you this morning. So we know the articles are set to be delivered on Monday. Walk us through how this is going to play out.

DANIELLA DIAZ, CNN CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Right, Christi. So Senator Chuck Schumer actually broke the news last night that the articles will be walked to the Senate side. Now, this is important because both Mitch McConnell and Senator Schumer -- Senator Schumer reached a deal that even though the articles are going to be walked on Monday, they actually won't hold the trial until two weeks after which is what Mitch McConnell wanted.

He was hoping that the trial would take place in February. He wanted the second week of February. It's going to be the first week of February. There was a compromise there, but see, both sides win with the situation. Senator Chuck Schumer wanted Biden's nominations to be cleared through the Senate. This is going to allow time for that to happen. Mitch McConnell wanted Trump's defense to build their defense for the former president. This is going to allow time to happen for that as well.

And of course, there's this COVID-19 package that the Senate also wants to pass that is a priority for the Biden administration. So both chamber -- both sides of this chamber are winning with this date.

PAUL: All right. Daniella Diaz, good to see you. Thank you so much. DIAZ: Thank you.

PAUL: So while the Senate is moving closer to this impeachment trial, the Biden administration is trying to really keep the focus on the President's agenda.

BLACKWELL: CNN White House reporter Jasmine Wright is with us now. Jasmine, the Biden administration is pushing pretty aggressively for this COVID relief package, of course the cabinet confirmations as well, but an impeachment trial could really slow down those plans.

JASMINE WRIGHT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Victor, it could eventually slow down any movement on Biden's, what he wants to do, but listen, Biden, yesterday, was given more time. Like my colleague Daniella said, he was given more time for those cabinet members to be considered, given more time for that $1.9 trillion coronavirus package to be -- to be considered, to have discussions with those members.

And Biden entered his presidency on Wednesday with none of his cabinet members confirmed. So far, there are only two out of those 23 nominees that he has in place. That is unusual.


Now, Biden spoke yesterday at the White House during an event. He was asked about the potential delay before that move was made, before that decision was made. Take a listen to what he had to say here.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you support Mitch McConnell's timeline for a February impeachment trial?

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I haven't heard the detail of it, but I do think that having some time to get our administration up and running, the more time we have to get up and running and meet these crises, the better.


WRIGHT: Now, Biden's team is focused on getting those national security nominees through, getting the secretary of treasury nominee through. They find those important and then they will go down the line, but again, he is getting an extra week to get some of those people, those necessary people, as he has said, confirmed in his cabinet and he also legislatively gets another week for that $1.9 trillion coronavirus package to be -- to be considered, for those discussions that he and his team will have bipartisanly with those lawmakers on the Hill.

Now, in lieu of any legislative success or bills being put on the floor for his administration, in terms of controlling the coronavirus package, he has been leading exclusively by executive actions. In these first three days of office, he has passed 30 executive actions and those are focused on the coronavirus, including invoking the Defense Production Act that he will use to create more supplies to administer those vaccines.

It also includes walking back some of those moves that Trump made in office, including stopping construction on the border wall as well as reversing that ban on -- that travel ban on predominantly Muslim countries. So Biden has been using those executive orders and he will continue to do so next week, including signing an executive bill to start a policing commission, Victor, Christi.

BLACKWELL: Jasmine Wright for us there in Washington. Thank you so much.

PAUL: Let's bring in CNN political commentator Errol Louis. Good morning to you, Errol. How you doing today?

ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good morning. Good morning. How are you?

PAUL: I'm well. Thank you. I want to get to something that we haven't talked about yet, but a headline in "The New York Times" this morning. They are reporting that President Trump and a Justice Department attorney, Jeffrey Clark, had allegedly formulated this plan to oust the acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen to put Clark in that position and that way, they could use the DOJ power to force Georgia state lawmakers to overturn the presidential election.

We know that that was -- in that state we know that that was a priority for President Trump. Clark is denying all of it, but I wanted to ask you what evidence is there or what evidence is needed to assert that this actually happened and what is the potential consequence of it?

LOUIS: Well, the evidence seems to be standard reporting. "The New York Times," doing its usual good job, talked with four high-ranking administration officials who were privy to some of these conversations. I should mention that the reporting has now been matched by "The Washington Post." So it's as close of a version to the truth as we're likely to get for right now.

And then when asked about it, there have been no direct denials that these conversations took place or that the substance was incorrect. What appears to have happened is a number of different proposals were brought to the president -- then President Donald Trump's desk and that he was very interested in the idea of putting direct legal pressure through the Department of Justice on Georgia officials to try and get them to reverse the count in that state and basically overturn the results.

And apparently, Christi, the only reason it didn't happen was that there was going to be a mass wave of resignations at the top of the Justice Department because some of the top officials there were appalled at the idea that, purely on the president's say so and not based on any independent findings or facts other than what could be gleaned from the internet, there was this plot being hatched to shake up the top leadership of the Justice Department.

A really interesting window into just how desperate Donald Trump was to try and throw out the results of the election.

PAUL: This wouldn't have anything -- this wouldn't come into play in the impeachment trial, though, would it?

LOUIS: Not necessarily, although it will affect, I think, or could potentially affect what some people think should be the outcome of all of this. You know, keep in mind that the Senate, when they hold their trial, yes, they're only voting on the one trial about incitement to insurrection, but they also have to weigh what the consequence is, what the penalties will be.

Removal is not on the -- on the table, the voters took care of that, but there is this idea of censuring Donald Trump so that he can no longer hold high office, meaning he would essentially be excluded from being able to -- or precluded from being able to run for office again. That's something those senators might be interested in and these kind of facts become relevant to that sort of a judgment.

PAUL: We also have that reporting that there are Republicans, senators who are secretly lobbying for potential conviction here of the president.


They wouldn't do it publicly necessarily because of their own obviously politics and wanting to survive in D.C., but I mean, with that said, what do you make of the potency of that? I mean, they can lobby all they want, but if they don't actually vote for it, and they need Republican votes to impeach in this trial, what good does it do?

LOUIS: Well, look, here's how this goes. I've seen this a million times, Christi. They need 17 Republican votes plus all of the Democrats in order to get the necessary margin to convict Donald Trump at the end of the impeachment trial. I I've seen this happen a million times.

What you do if you want this that to happen, one scenario is that you tell each of the 17 senators individually you are the deciding vote, you are the deciding vote, you know, it's very hush, hush, you're the deciding vote, please come to a meeting and let's talk this through.

And then all 17 get to the meeting, they look around the room and they realize, oh, I wasn't the deciding vote, but now the whole dynamic, the whole conversation has changed and if they do realize that they can go ahead and do this, exclude Donald Trump from politics, from running for office again, they may very well decide politically that that's what they want to do.

It's kind of lonely in the minority, Christi. I mean, as they watch themselves unable to move legislation, unable to hire the staff, unable to have the offices that they want and watching the Democratic agenda proceed, they may decide, listen, Donald Trump has cost us enough and we don't want to live through this again.

PAUL: You mentioned the minority, but let's talk about what the heck is going on with this 50-50 in the Senate? I think people are waking up going why are there any negotiations happening? It's 50-50. You would think Vice President Harris would be the deciding vote. Explain the necessity of these negotiations.

LOUIS: Well, yes, they need an operating agreement. That's going to be the rules of the road for the Senate going forward and because it is so close, Christi, you don't necessarily want to have to drag the vice president into the chamber to settle every vote on every minor piece of legislation and so what Mitch McConnell is trying to do is establish some kind of a threshold by which you might need 60 votes on many different pieces of legislation.

It is a traditional method by which the Senate does a lot of things. The problem is the Democrats don't necessarily want to go along with that. They don't want to have to go to the other extreme. You know, if it's -- if it's inconvenient and cumbersome to have the vice president in the chamber even for routine pieces of legislation, it's even more cumbersome to have to get to 60 votes to get anything done in the chamber.

And certainly, Chuck Schumer didn't come all this way in order to have to round up 17 votes every time he wants to do anything in the chamber. So they're going to arrive at some kind of an agreement. They're both old-time members of the Senate -- of the Senate, they know each other very well, they know what's on the agenda and what's at stake and some kind of an agreement will be -- will be worked out.

It's going to include a lot of different things besides simply agreeing on the margin. There'll be other little bells and whistles that are attached, many of which we probably won't know about.

PAUL: All right. Errol Louis, I was watching you last night. You're back up this morning and we certainly appreciate it. Thank you, sir.

LOUIS: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: So we've got some new developments about that extra dose that doctors, some of them, have been able to pull out of the vials of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Something is changing about that. Also there's a new poll that shows that more Americans are willing to get vaccinated, but can they get an appointment? We've got the latest on the pandemic next.

PAUL: Also, guns in the Capitol, we're not talking about those that were being carried around by police, why some lawmakers still feel unsafe even with all the heightened security in Washington.

BLACKWELL: And after a report that the Olympics this summer might be called off, what is ahead for the games?




BLACKWELL: The FDA has approved a new syringe that can extract an additional dose from each Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine vial. Johnson & Johnson also says they could submit clinical trial data to the FDA within just a couple of weeks.

PAUL: And in the meantime, there's a new poll showing 66 percent of people are willing to get a shot now that multiple vaccines are available. That's up from 51 back in October.

BLACKWELL: CNN's Polo Sandoval is following the latest from New York. So three elements of some good news there.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Absolutely, but at same time, you also have a fairly concerning poll that's showing about 6 in 10 Americans surveyed have no idea when or where they would be getting their vaccine when it's time, but back to that promising Johnson & Johnson vaccine candidate.

Dr. Fauci in an interview saying yesterday he would not be surprised that in the coming weeks not only is the data analyzed, but as he said, decisions would be made. Now, if it becomes a third vaccine to be authorized for emergency use, that would add millions to the vaccine pool.


SANDOVAL (Voice over): Ashley Bennett never got to hold her 10th child in her arms. The South Carolina mother died due to COVID-19 after her entire family tested positive for the virus and one week after delivering her baby by emergency C-section.

COURTNEY BUCKNAM, SISTER DIED DUE TO COVID-19: If we can learn anything from this, you know, the COVID is so serious and we need to truly take precautions because she was only 36, she had no underlying conditions and she was gone basically in 10 days.

SANDOVAL (Voice over): Bennett's case added to a national death rate that remains alarmingly high. California reported its deadliest day on Friday. There is, however, a glimpse of hope with new data showing a downward trend in hospitalizations nationwide.


The seven-day average for new cases has also reached its lowest point since early December and the average for the national test positivity rate fell below 10 percent, the second consecutive day in weeks. One of President Biden's coronavirus advisors worries any respite may be temporary.

DR. CELINE GOUNDER, FORMER MEMBER, BIDEN-HARRIS TRANSITION COVID ADVISORY BOARD: You're going to see people traveling again probably for spring break in March and April and that is exactly when we expect that these variants, in particular the U.K. variant, to really have taken hold in the U.S..

SANDOVAL (Voice over): Some are concerned that new variants could cause new surges faster than vaccines are being distributed. Lines are long even for those lucky enough to register to get a shot. ELIZABETH "JO" DURHAM, WAITED HOURS IN LINE TO GET VACCINATED: I was very disheartened when I did get to the door and they took us in to get our shots, with that many people sitting out -- standing outside, they had five people administering the shots.

SANDOVAL (Voice over): Houston health officials report 1,600 appointment slots to get first vaccine doses booked in about five minutes. Extremely limited vaccine supplies are also being reported elsewhere across the country.

GOV. PHIL MURPHY, NEW JERSEY: So we've got 275 distribution points already in the state up and running, six mega sites. Our problem right now is dose supply. If the FEMA sites were set up with supply, that would make a huge difference.

SANDOVAL (Voice over): Walmart, the nation's largest retailer, expanding COVID-19 vaccinations to seven more states, Chicago and Puerto Rico, possibly helping accelerate distribution. The man nominated to serve as the nation's next surgeon general hopes authorization of other vaccine candidates can provide a desperately needed boost to production.

Dr. Vivek Murthy, U.S. SURGEON GENERAL NOMINEE: The supply will increase over the coming months as they bring more and more production online for the Pfizer and for the Moderna vaccine. It is possible that another vaccine may come into the mix. If the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or if the AstraZeneca vaccine come through with strong data and they're authorized by the FDA, then we could see more vaccine from them on the market.


SANDOVAL: You know we update you on a daily basis regarding all those measures. An important figure to also watch is a number of confirmed cases of that U.K. variant. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this morning, at least 200 cases or just under 200 have already been confirmed. The top three states seeing those right now, California, Florida and here in New York, though, Victor, Christi, important to keep in mind those are just the cases that have been confirmed. Authorities fear the number is much higher.

PAUL: Yes, they do. Polo Sandoval, great wrap up. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Pfizer says that their COVID-19 vaccine trial for kids is now fully enrolled. That includes, children, teens and pre-teens, 12 to 15. the company says it has more than 2,200 participants. Let's bring in now CNN contributor Dr. Abdul El-Sayed. He's an epidemiologist and the former Detroit health commissioner. Doctor, welcome back.

DR. ABDUL EL-SAYED, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you for having me, Victor.

BLACKWELL: Let's start here with the -- I don't want to call them the kid trials, but the pre-teen and teen trials, 12 to 15. They get really sensitive about calling them kids when they turn 12 and 13. So how long do we expect this trial to go, will it be as long as the first and what are some of the special considerations for this age group?

EL-SAYED: That's right, Victor. They're kids in everybody's mind but theirs.


EL-SAYED: But look, this is really a critical demographic to be trying these vaccines in because of course one of the most important things we can do is get schools back up and online and we know that COVID-19 is transmissible, particularly in children over 10, and so if we can try these vaccines in children between the ages of 12 and 15, of course for Pfizer you have an authorization for 16 and up, then what you can do is start protecting children, reopening schools without nearly as much worry as you would have otherwise had.

That being said, it's really important to make sure that you're thinking about some of the long-term consequences in children that you might not think about in adults. Their brains are changing, their bodies are growing and you have to ask whether or not these vaccines would have any additional side effects in people who are growing and changing at that speed.

There's no reason to think that they would, but of course that's the reason we do science, because you want to make sure that your hypothesis, that there is no additional change or no additional worry, is in fact true. And so they're likely to take a bit more time, follow these children up a bit longer, but it's good news that we have these trials moving in children and hopefully we'll be able to get vaccines in their arms as well, knowing that we can open their schools without having to worry too much.

BLACKWELL: Let me stay with Pfizer for a moment. the vials used to be buy five, get one free maybe because there was an extra dose that some could pull out of each vial to get that sixth dose. Pfizer announced that it's going to count that sixth dose as part of the 200 million doses as part of the contract with the government, but there's got to be a special syringe sent to get to that -- to get to use that extra dose.


What's the significance as we try to get more people vaccinated and as supply is the concern from every mayor and governor we're speaking about and getting this vaccine into arms?

EL-SAYED: Well, I'll tell you what, Victor. On the one hand, it is great that you can get six doses out of a five-dose vial. On the other, I really wish that Pfizer wasn't then changing its authorization practices to recount the number of doses because of course even yet and still, we still don't have enough of this vaccine out to people.

And so I think that -- I think in some respects, they're playing a little bit tight with the accounting to try and make up for the fact that they've been really slow on the manufacturing process and we need more vaccine and on the other hand, look, it's -- you know, when you design these processes and you have a sort of serendipitous discovery like the one that they had, that's a good thing for all of us.

But we need more vaccine and so, you know, counting that extra dose toward its $200 million cap -- excuse me -- 200 million dose requirement seems a little bit fast and loose because that suggests to that -- to us that they don't think that they're going to be able to meet it without adjusting back their authorization.

So it is concerning and it is a reminder that these corporations are corporations. They're out there for their earnings over everything else and, you know, as much as we rely on them for the public good, there are risks to that and we're starting to see that right now.

BLACKWELL: Yes. I said at the top of this that you are the former Detroit health commissioner. Dr. Lena Wynn, who's also a CNN contributor, is the former Baltimore health commissioner and she had an interesting suggestion in a write for "The Washington Post."

You know, President Biden has asked Americans to wear masks for the next 100 days, but she writes this, "That Biden can get around the issue of mask mandates being a state prerogative by tying federal funding to masking requirements. This will force governors' hands. They can issue statewide mandates or forego federal funds." As a former local public health official, what do you think about that plan?

EL-SAYED: Well, I'll tell you what. We need more masks and we need more people in every community across this country, whether they are places where people are ideologically opposed to masks because of the disinformation of the last president or they're places where people have been masking up already. At the same time, there are -- there are these sort of nifty approaches that the president could use, but those have political costs.

And, you know, he has come in on a message of trying to bring resources and trying to unite the country and I wonder whether or not that kind of approach might backfire on him, inflaming some of the ideological approaches which of course are bunk and driven by disinformation, but yet and still exist in the minds of people who choose to believe them.

Whether or not those might backfire a little bit on us and leave people feeling like their rights are being infringed on, whereas this approach might just say, look, we're all doing it, why don't you just join along and without the megaphone of the president's Twitter, perhaps a little bit more finesse than force could be more effective in this particular political moment that we find ourselves in.

BLACKWELL: Yes. It's remarkable how many people still don't regularly wear masks when they're out in public places. Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, always good to have you, sir.

EL-SAYED: Thanks for having me Victor.


PAUL: So prosecutors have charged more than 100 people for their role in the Capitol riots. Investigators say now comes the hard part. We'll tell you what they mean.



PAUL: I don't know if you've heard this number yet, but there have been more than 125 arrests in connection with the Capitol insurrection. And now, prosecutors say the investigation is moving into a more complicated phase.

BLACKWELL: Yes, extremist groups are now the focus. The ones that participated in the attack, but understand that, that could take months to try to piece together partially because unlike some of the early suspect who posted on social media, some of them even live- streamed from inside the Capitol. There were a lot of attackers who went through great lengths to hide their identities.

PAUL: Still, officials say they expect to make hundreds more arrests, and that could bring possible seditious conspiracy charges as well. So, fallout from the insurrection, I don't know if you know this, but it is tearing families apart. And here is our case and point, Guy Reffitt, he's charged with unlawful entry at the U.S. Capitol and obstruction of justice. Now, according to FBI documents, he told his own son and daughter that he would shoot them if they turned him in. His 18-year-old son Jackson spoke with Chris Cuomo last night.


JACKSON REFFITT, FATHER ARRESTED AFTER CAPITOL HILL RIOTS: He said choose a side to die. And if I chose a certain side, I would cross a line and he would do something he didn't want to do. That can be open for interpretation now. Well, I did feel threatened at those comments.


PAUL: Now, he says his father's views have grown scary enough that he tipped the FBI off about his dad the month before the insurrection. But he says he didn't know his father was going to D.C. until the day he left.

BLACKWELL: Now, listen to this, there's been a series of incidents this week involving Republican representatives trying to bring weapons on to the floor of the House of Representatives. Here's CNN's Sunlen Serfaty with the story.


SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In a brazen move, some Republican members of Congress are defiantly dismissing Capitol Hill security meant to keep the U.S. Capitol safe. Capitol Hill police are now investigating Republican Congressman Andy Harris, after the congressman tried to carry a concealed gun with him on to the house floor Thursday.


Setting off the metal detectors and afterwards, trying to pass his gun to another congressman to hold it for him.

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): Why does a member of Congress need to sneak a gun on to the house floor?

SERFATY: And also, on Thursday, according to a tweet from a "Huffington Post" reporter, Congressman Don Young had a switch blade on him, passing it to his wife before he went on to the house floor.

OCASIO-CORTEZ: We still don't yet feel safe around other members of Congress.

SERFATY: Multiple house Democrats tell CNN, they feel unsafe around some Republican members. One house Democrat telling CNN, the increasing tensions with certain incoming freshmen has been building for months. This is just the latest example of Republicans not only breaching security protocols, but often times bragging about it. Freshman Republican Congresswoman Lauren Boebert releasing this provocative video on her first day in Congress, declaring she'll be bring her 9 millimeter glock to the halls of Congress and streets of D.C.

REP. LAUREN BOEBERT (R-CO): It's our job in Congress to defend your rights, including your Second Amendment. And that's exactly what I'm here to do.

SERFATY: And freshman Congressman Madison Cawthorn saying "fortunately, he was armed when the mob stormed the Capitol earlier this month. Members are permitted to keep guns in their offices and carry guns on the Capitol grounds, but not in either legislative chamber. Following the insurrection on Capitol Hill, metal detectors were quickly installed just off the house floor, requiring members for the first time to walk through them to get onto the floor. The move was met with immediate uproar from many Republicans.

A handful who outright refused to go through them, ignored Capitol Hill police and just walked right onto the floor without being screened. Congressman Mullin yelling at Capitol Hill police, "it's my congressional right to walk through and they cannot stop me." Congressman Andy Biggs calling the metal detectors crap, the stupidest thing. And others just blatantly mocking the new security.

BOEBERT: I can tell you none of us were looking to one another saying, gosh, I hope there are more metal detectors outside.


PAUL: All right, so from pretty unique challenges facing the Biden administration right now to the legacy of Donald Trump, are you wondering, how is history going to view this unprecedented time that we are all living in together here. Well, tune in for the new CNN special report "LIVING HISTORY" with Anderson Cooper, Doris Kearns Goodwin and Ken Burns. That is tonight at 11:00 p.m.

BLACKWELL: So one year after the coronavirus outbreak, normalcy is returning to the city of Wuhan. After the break, life after the lockdown, live report from China with CNN's David Culver. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


BLACKWELL: So, there is more uncertainty this morning surrounding that new coronavirus variant that was first identified in London. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson says, in addition to its spreading more quickly, it may be associated with a higher degree of death.

PAUL: Now, researchers are still looking at the data, we want to point out, but there is early evidence suggesting the increase in risk could affect all age groups. CNN correspondent Scott McLean is in London. Scott, we know that there's been a number of cases already across the U.K. What do we know about the real threat of this variant?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, there's still a lot of questions about that mortality issue, that you mention, Christi. So, what we know for sure is that this new variant is certainly more transmissible from person to person. And about 30 percent to 70 percent more transmissible than the original virus.

And because of that alone, there are more deaths in the U.K., simply because there are more cases. It also means more people are showing up at British hospitals which have almost twice the number of COVID patients today than they did at the peak of the first wave of the virus back last Spring.

So, the Prime Minister's scientific adviser says that if you look at the overall data, several studies suggest that this new U.K. variant which make up a massive chunk of the cases that are showing up in the U.K. right now appears to be a little bit more deadly than the original virus. So, for instance, he said that 60-year-old men, you'd expect of the all the 60-year-old men who get infected with the virus, about 1 percent of them will die. With the new variant, they expect about 1.3 percent or 1.4 percent to die. But here's where things get a little murky, guys.

And that's that, if you look at people only who show up in the hospital with either strain of the virus, you are no more likely to die from the mutant strain, this new U.K. variant of the virus than you are from the original virus. And so, for that reason, the government -- well, they can't say for certain that this variant is more deadly. Listen.


PATRICK VALLANCE, CHIEF SCIENTIFIC ADVISER, UNITED KINGDOM: I want to stress that there's lots of uncertainty around these numbers, and we need more work to get a precise handle on it. But it obviously is of concern that this has an increase in mortality as well as an increase in transmissibility, as it appears of today.


MCLEAN: So, it's a concern because of what you see on this graph. The U.K.'s death toll has already exceeded the peak of the first wave of the virus last Spring, the government expects that number to continue to climb for several weeks still. The good news is that early research suggest that vaccines will be effective on this new strain of the coronavirus. And the U.K. is vaccinating its population faster than any other country in Europe.


But even the government's own projections say that, that massive vaccination campaign that's taking place won't have a big impact on deaths or hospitalizations until the end of this month at the earliest or more likely next month. Victor, Christi.

BLACKWELL: Scott McLean for us, thanks so much, Scott.

PAUL: Thanks, Scott. So, it was one year ago that Wuhan entered a 76- day lockdown. And today, pictures from the city streets show -- I mean, look at that, it looks as though they're virtually back to normal.

BLACKWELL: CNN correspondent David Culver is with us now. David, you're just back from Wuhan. How have things changed there?

DAVID CULVER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Victor and Christi, back again. I can't believe it's been 12 months. I mean, to think about where we were this time last year. This entire country was really wrapped up in uncertainty, unease. And as you saw in those images, things are relatively normal.

You see people feeling a lot more comfortable with even being out in public, and even scenes like this. I've got to show you this. This is from a club in Wuhan. You can see folks not really too worried about spreading anything, close with one another. Many of them even willing to take off their mask, and that was something that we saw play out over the Summer.

We saw pool parties. Over New Year's Eve, you saw people shoulder-to- shoulder in celebrations, and that's not just to say there's not continued concern and this cautiousness that's carried out because of new outbreaks now here in China, particularly in the north. But I'm going to show you what we saw on the ground as we were there just over the past few days. Take a look.


CULVER: Here we are back in Wuhan, China. This is a city when you mention its name, folks around the world now know it as the original epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. The city is marking one year since an unprecedented lockdown took place. It's a lockdown that lasted 76 days, and essentially sealed off this city of 11 million residents from the rest of the world.

As we've come back, you'll notice business is back open, face masks no longer required in the public, and if you're a good distance away from other folks. However, while business may be getting back to normal, the other thing we notice is there's a deep agony felt amongst folks who lost loved ones. Wounds that have yet to heal. Many of them are actually still angry with the local officials who they blame for not doing enough early on.

And our visit here coincides with a source-tracing mission of the W.H.O. A field team that is likewise in Wuhan to find the truth to the origins of this virus.


CULVER: That field team is currently in quarantine. They're expected to get out at some point this coming week. They'll likely then hit the ground and start going actually into the field to start their investigation. It's a highly politicized issue, Christi and Victor, when you look at the origin theories, many of them have been floated, that perhaps it was a lab, the Trump administration had suggested this was unleashed on the world. We'll see what kind of pressure the Biden administration puts on China and the W.H.O. as they try to get to the bottom of what the source of the virus is.

PAUL: All right, David Culver, thank you so much. All right, lightening it up a little bit, if you are a Super Bowl fan, guess what? People will be allowed to go watch the game.

BLACKWELL: Yes, the NFL is making sure that healthcare workers get a seat.



PAUL: So, legend, hero, those are just two words being used as tributes continue to pour in for baseball hall of famer Hank Aaron.

BLACKWELL: Now, of course, he's known for breaking Babe Ruth's home run record in 1974. But he's done a lot more than that. Coy Wire is with us now. He changed lives, Coy.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, good morning Victor and Christi. Henry Hank Aaron died peacefully in his sleep at 86 years old. Herman and Hank was so much more than just an athlete, he was a pioneer for racial and social justice. And there have been so many poignant reflections on his life since word of his passing.

Five of the six living U.S. presidents releasing statements, George W. Bush who presented Aaron with the medal of freedom in 2002 saying in part, "the former homerun king wasn't handed his throne, he grew up poor and faced racism. Hank never let the hatred he faced consume him."

And long-time Aaron teammate, renowned player and manager Dusty Baker saying, "Hank Aaron was the most important person in my life next to my dad. He was the best person that I ever knew and the truest most honest person that I ever knew." All right, the head of the Olympics says the Tokyo games have the full support of the Japanese government.

That reassurance coming after the "Times of London" reported that an unnamed senior member of Japan's ruling coalition said that authorities have privately concluded that the Olympics could not proceed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Thomas Bach says he spoke to all 206 member nations yesterday to ease any concerns. Here he is.


THOMAS BACH, PRESIDENT, INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE: Everybody is really determined to make these Olympic games in six months from now, all the prospects are good. We are working hard, and these games, the first priority will be about to make them safe and secure for all participants.


WIRE: The Summer Olympics are set to open July 23rd. Now, Super Bowl LV is just 15 days away, and I want you to see this super surprise, some Florida healthcare workers got just yesterday.


ROGER GOODELL, COMMISSIONER, NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE: If you're in those, bring it, I want to --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Roger.

GOODELL: I want to invite each member of your team, the five more than -- to be our guests at the Super Bowl. I don't know if that means --


GOODELL: I don't know if that means you accept or not.






WIRE: The NFL announcing yesterday that 22,000 fans will be allowed in the stands in Tampa, 7,500 of which will be vaccinated medical personnel. Many from the Tampa and surrounding areas, Victor and Christi, but all 32 teams will have a chance to select their own vaccinated workers. The league is also planning to use the big stage to honor healthcare workers throughout the game.

BLACKWELL: That's great. Well deserved. Well deserved. Coy, thank you so much.

PAUL: Thanks, Coy. So, let's talk about that one person waking up this morning --


PAUL: One, who won the billion dollars! BLACKWELL: One winning ticket to last night's billion dollar mega

millions jackpot, it was sold in Michigan. The jackpot was the second largest in mega millions history. The third largest in U.S. lottery history. Lump sum cash option for the jackpot, almost $740 million.

PAUL: Congratulations to them. I know --


BLACKWELL: You just need to take a second and think, my God, $740 million.

PAUL: I know it. I know. And of course, all I go is, that could feed a lot of people.

BLACKWELL: No, that's -- yes, it could. We'll be back.