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CNN 10

U.S. Government Report Looks Into the Global Computer Chip Shortage; Game Reserve Makes Progress in "Rewilding"; Flying Cars Get Closer to Taking Off

Aired January 26, 2022 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hi I`m Carl Azuz. Thank you for taking 10 minutes out of your Wednesday to watch our show. First topic, is the

Omicron variant of corona virus our ticket out of the worldwide COVID pandemic? That is a question that epidemiologists around the world are

asking. To be clear, no one knows yet. Omicron is a mutation of the virus, more of those can emerge and they could be worse or better, but

there`s hope. A British expert on infectious diseases says all viruses try to become endemic, meaning they mutate into something that`s regularly

found among people like the flu virus. Several viruses have done this before. They evolved into less severe versions of themselves and

eventually became some of the annual colds and influenzas people get. When it comes to Omicron, it is less severe than other variants of COVID like

the Delta strain.

It`s still possible for people to be hospitalized with Omicron, but it`s far less likely and many who catch it have no symptoms at all. One down

side to Omicron is that it`s incredibly contagious. It`s likely to infect more people who are exposed, but even that has a silver lining because

health experts say that can provide natural immunity to COVID. And they say immunity induced by vaccines can help protect people as well, what

remains to be seen is what COVID-19 does next. Will it continue to change into something less severe that becomes a less dangerous part of our lives?

Or will a potential new strain of COVID be worse and trigger new health restrictions? There`ve been large protests around the world about the ones

currently in place, but some countries are hopeful the worst is behind them and they`re moving toward easing or removing their COVID rules all


China is not one of these countries. It has some of the strictest virus rules in the world, and as its capital of Beijing prepares to host the

Olympics starting next Friday, the city of 21 million has confirmed at least 67 cases of COVID in a recent outbreak. Most of those cases were

identified as the Delta variant. The government says six were caused by Omicron, but for the thousands of athletes preparing to compete in Beijing

in less than two weeks, the fear of a positive COVID test is now tightly tied to their Olympic dream.


SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: For Winter Olympic athletes just getting to Beijing is as nerve racking as competing for gold. Nearly 3,000

athletes will be gathering under the world`s strictest COVID countermeasures. They`ve trained their entire careers for this moment but

a positive COVID test could derail it all.

HANNAH SOARS, U.S. OLYMPIC FREESTYLE SKIER: One positive test is going to do us in at this point. It`s super stressful. I didn`t know that I really

struggled from -- with anxiety to be totally honest until, like, the last couple months.

WANG: U.S. Mogul Skier Hannah Soars and her teammates have been isolating in Utah for the past month. They live in separate homes, socially distance

on the mountains, order groceries for delivery.

SOARS: No one`s looked at each other, in the eyes. I haven`t literally been inside anywhere besides this house for the past month.

WANG: Soars even wears a KN-95 mask under her neck warmer on the slopes.

SOARS: And so I just treat everyone like they have COVID, and it creates a lot of anxiety in my life but hopefully gets me to China.

WANG: Athletes need to test negative for COVID twice before boarding a plane. Once within 96 hours and another within 72 hours before departure,

then daily tests in Beijing. Organizers are relying on sensitive PCR tests, which means recently recovered but healthy athletes could

potentially be isolated or barred from competing.

WILLIAM SCHAFFNER, PROFESSOR AT VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: They`ve gone to the public health extreme. That test is so sensitive it is

nearly picking up remnants of the virus. You are not contagious to anyone else.

WANG: Organizers aren`t taking any chances. The host country is sticking to its zero COVID policy where just one case can trigger lockdowns and mass

testing. During the Tokyo Summer Olympics here, 41 athletes tested positive for COVID at least two dozen had to withdraw from competition.

Now with Omicron and even stricter rules at the Beijing games, it`s inevitable some athletes are going to lose their chance to compete. A

positive test could send an athlete into isolation at a facility in China until they get two consecutive negative tests, which experts say could take

weeks. Olympians will be completely separate from the rest of China, part of what organizers are calling a closed loop system. Multiple bubbles

connected by dedicated shuttles. Then there`s the mountainous venues, Yanging and Zhangjiakou, north of Beijing all connected by high-speed

rails. British skeleton racer Laura Deas was in Yanging last fall for training.

LAURA DEAS, BRITISH SKELETON RACER: Everything that we did we, you know, training, eating, (Inaudible) was all within this bubble, but if felt

incredibly organized.

WANG: Ahead of the games she self-isolating in the UK and getting creative training without a gym. While Deas knows what to expect in Beijing, it`s

the next few days that are the most tense.

DEAS: I`ve jumped all these hurdles over the past few years to get to this point and I`m just, you know, just trying really hard to do all the right

things now so that I can get to Beijing safely without COVID.

WANG: For athletes this year just stepping foot into the Olympic bubble will be a victory. Selina Wang, CNN, Tokyo.


AZUZ: 10 Second Trivia. In February 1961, James Webb was appointed as NASA Administrator by what U.S. president? Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F.

Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson or Richard Nixon. It was President Kennedy who appointed Webb in 1961 not long after Kennedy was inaugurated.

Webb said he didn`t think he was the best person for the job. He wasn`t an engineer or a scientist, but President Kennedy thought he`d be good at

handling the policy side of NASA and Webb oversaw the agency for more than seven years in advance of the moon landing. He`s the namesake of the James

Webb Space Telescope. NASA launched it on Christmas Day and it just reached its orbit this week. That orbit is around the Sun. The Webb

Telescope is a million miles away from Earth and scientists say that that position will give it an advantage over the Hubble Telescope because that

instrument which does orbit the Earth is constantly moving in and out of the planet`s shadow. Webb`s location should give it a more unimpeded view

and its technology, Webb is an infrared telescope. That should help it detect the faintest signals of light from a distant universe. The

spacecraft cost $10 billion. It will be adjusting its instruments in the months ahead and is expected to start sending its first pictures back to

Earth this summer.

In terms of people working for it, Walmart is the largest, private employer in the United States. It has 1.5 million employees in American and a total

of 2.2 million working for the company worldwide. In the 2021 Fiscal Year, the company`s revenue was $559 billion and a boy who`s less than two years

old recently helped with that.



JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He`s like a little king on his throne, throne of boxed furniture and somehow managed to order from Walmart

totaling $1,786. No wonder his dad added a tag line, I love shopping.

P. KUMAR: My wife was thinking I did it but I was thinking that she did it.

MOOS: It turned out he did it. His mom had placed a dozen or so chairs in her Walmart shopping cart intending to pick out a couple later, but 22

month old Ayaahsh Kumar ordered everything using his Mom`s phone. His parents didn`t realized until --

P. KUMAR: The people are coming with the boxes, lot of boxes and they were just dropping, so one box came, two box came.

MOOS: Now there`s a giant pile of boxes at their Monmouth Junction, New Jersey home unopened because they hope to return most of it. Walmart seems


MADHU KUMAR, TODDLER AYAAHSH KUMAR`S MOM: The customer service person she was laughing so much. Oh my god.

MOOS: But they won`t return everything.

P. KUMAR: We are thinking of keeping a few items as a memory.

MOOS: A little souvenir of his first shopping spree.


MOOS: The Kumars removed their debit card from the account so Ayaahsh can`t do anymore damage. As for the $1,786 -- well you got a lot of chairs

for that.

M. KUMAR: Yes. (Inaudible).

MOOS: They`re even letting the neighbors know that this the home of the world famous New Jersey toddler and little rockstar. When someday their

son hears, "Attention Walmart Shoppers", that means you kid. Perhaps the youngest Walmart shopper. Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


AZUZ: Attention Walmart shoppers, maybe it seems time we should give that kid some more "limited screen time". Empty out the cart and shut down the

cell phone. Someone that "Walsmart" will order you more new home furnishings, "burnishing" his reputation. As a savvy shopper despite high

"inflation", he`ll target your device so you better "cost go get it" lest you leave you nothing else to "debit or to credit". All right. Indianola,

Iowa is our last stop today, want to give a shout out to you our viewers at Indianola High School. Thank you for watching. I`m Carl Azuz for CNN.