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tv   CNN Newsroom Live  CNN  February 16, 2021 1:00am-2:01am PST

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hello, and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the united states and all around the world. you are watching "cnn newsroom" and i'm rosemary church. just ahead, winter weather rages across the united states with millions struggling to stay warm as the power goes out. we will tell you just how cold it could get. and the storm is likely to impact vaccine centers. what closures could mean for the country's vaccination rollout. plus, president biden is moving on from his predecessor's
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impeachment trying to focus congress and the country on his covid stimulus bill. good to have you with us. much of the u.s. is facing a dangerous deep freeze. ice and snow are falling from west virginia to texas and wind chills have been recorded as low as 42 below zero in colorado. right now more than 5 million americans are without power as temperatures plummet. texas is particularly hard hit as the southern state isn't used to these harsh conditions. president biden had already declared a federal emergency over the weekend and the governor has now deployed the national guard. at the same time, tornadoes have been spotted along the east coast. this is the scene in georgia.
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reports of storm damage also coming out of north carolina as well as search and rescue efforts there for missing persons. travel has been affected by dangerous icy roads and multiple airports across the u.s. have also been closed. school districts are canceling in-person classes and some vaccination centers will be closed. ahead of the storm people lined up in missouri to get a coronavirus vaccine. now that state has canceled vaccination events for the next few days. alabama, on the other hand, is encouraging people to attend appointments despite a state of emergency there if they can do so safely. state officials from texas to illinois are warning residents to stay indoors. one major concern, conserving enough energy for everyone to make it through the storm. mary maloney has more.
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>> reporter: all across the u.s. people digging out from under the snow. >> this is a lot. >> reporter: as another storm moves in. >> how we respond over the next 48 to 72 hours. >> reporter: as they dig out from another storm. >> what we're facing is three winter storms in seven days. >> reporter: it's expected to hit areas inundated with snow and ice like in texas where 3.5 million people are stuck in homes without power in subfreezing temperatures. >> there's a huge demand, a very limited supply. it is a system wide failure across the state. >> reporter: in kansas the governor is asking people to conserve energy. >> i can't stress this point enough. we all must cut back on natural gas and electricity usage now to ensure we have enough available to make it through the sub zero temperatures. >> reporter: the snow temporarily halting air traffic
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in major airports in texas, louisiana, mississippi, and creating deadly road conditions. >> i'm going to ask us to hunker down. >> reporter: the storm causing concerns over the covid vaccine rollout as some states impacted halt vaccination events and others prepare for delivery delays. mary maloney reporting. the storm's impact on vaccinations was felt and seen in a very real way in one texas county. just take a look at these long lines. these are scenes from rice university in houston. a power outage put thousands of vaccines in danger of spoiling so officials snapped into action quickly giving out shots to avoid wasting the vaccine doses. >> we reached out in the nearby neighborhood where people could walk or get very easily to us. in addition, we worked with community nearby that has a series of volunteers that they
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could mount and give out vaccine to a community that could walk. so quite honestly it was not people on our list. many people it caught were in the groups of 1a or 1b. we were able to get these vaccines very quickly into arms and not waste them. >> many of those doses went to students. others went to local hospitals and the county jail. joining us now with the latest is meteorologist tyler maldrin. good to see you. what's the best advice? >> you need to play it safe if you're going to be operating a generator during the power outages. play it safe in general. if you don't have to step outside in the record historic cold, don't. hunker down and stay warm. we are dealing with record cold. over the last seven days we have had almost 2,000 records broken overall.
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that's incredible. over the last 48 hours records are in jeep did i. at the moment it is minus 5 in oklahoma city. 3 degrees in dallas. in the east it warms up a little bit. this is arctic air we have engulfing pretty much 2/3 of the country. it makes it feel much, much colder on your skin. the wind chill readings are minus 40. that is the reason why we have wind chill advisories and wind chill warnings from canada down to mexico and pushing east into areas of the south and midwest. unfortunately as we just talked about, there is an energy crisis. we have widespread power outages across the country because of snow and ice and the cold. cold temperatures are creating
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record high demand. nearly 5 million people without power. what should you do if you decide to use a portable generator? read the owner's manual to operate it properly. keep it away from the windows and doors outside. way outside. invest in a carbon monoxide detector. they can create carbon monoxide fumes and that is deadly. unfortunately, rosemary, we have more systems pushing eastbound. that means that oklahoma and texas could see more snow and ice. >> some great advice there, too, as well as the forecast. tyler mauldin, many thanks. president biden is putting his predecessor in the rear-view mirror. on top of his to do list, the race to pass a $1.9 trillion
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covid relief bill. cnn's kaitlyn collins has the details. >> reporter: with the distraction of former president trump's impeachment trial behind him, president joe biden is forging ahead with his agenda following a weekend at camp david, biden returned to the white house with one item at the top of his list, getting his covid relief bill through congress. >> president biden is not willing to wait. >> reporter: republican lawmakers still overwhelmingly oppose biden's $1.9 trillion plan and his top aides say he's building support with the gop just not in washington, d.c. >> i was looking at that the other day. we have many republican mayors, republican governors. we have more than 50% of republicans in this country. there's just one place that we don't have anybody who has signed on yet, and that's in the united states congress. >> reporter: but biden ran his campaign promising to bring unity to washington.
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democrat senator chris coons says biden will keep pushing for bipartisanship even if his first major piece of legislation isn't. >> we can proceed with a democrat only bill. president biden is uniting the american people. he is moving forward on relief that has the support of 3/4 of the american people. >> biden's top health officials are pushing for the passage of his stimulus bill arguing that schools need more resources to reopen. >> i think that the schools really do need more resources and that's the reason why the national relief act that we're talking about getting passed, we need that. the schools need more resources. >> reporter: on friday the cdc issued more guidance for reopening. >> most doesn't come from in school transmission but comes from outside in the community. >> reporter: dr. wa lynn ski said they are mandating they
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open. it's got more questions than answers. >> can you point to any scientific reasons for students in the united states not to return to in-person classes tomorrow as long as schools are taking the five steps? >> you know, i think you look -- as you noted, there's 90% of communities with this high rate of transmission going on right now. we really don't want to bring community disease into the classroom. >> reporter: top white house aides said they were not involved in the making of the new guidance. >> i can assure you the white house is not directing the cdc on how they're to determine their guidelines. >> reporter: meanwhile, biden opened the federal insurance marketplaces for three months. it will give millions of americans affected by the pandemic another chance to buy health care plans. >> we want to use every tool in the tool kit to make sure people are covered in the middle of this pandemic. >> reporter: the house is drafting the legion for
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president biden's relief bill. it will be in the senate's hands after that. they are hoping to get this bill, the final version of it at least, on president biden's desk by next month. the expectation is once he signs that he will turn his mind and attention to the pandemic and other priorities including immigration and infrastructure. first, the white house says they are focused on getting this bill passed through congress and having president biden on the road this week to sell it to american voters. kaitlyn collins, cnn, the white house. and you can join us for a cnn town hall with u.s. president joe biden moderated by anderson cooper today at 9 p.m. eastern in the united states. wednesday morning in hong kong. meantime, although donald trump was acquitted of inciting the capitol riot, the investigation into the insurrection is far from over. nancy pelosi is planning to
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establish an outside 9/11 style commission to investigate the causes of the attack. cnn's ryan nobles has more. >> reporter: some pretty big developments since that vote on saturday night that ultimately acquitted the former president. there's still a lot of questions being asked about what happened on january 6th, so much so that speaker pelosi has decided that she's going to push forward with plans to create a 9/11 style commission to look into what happened on january 6th. this is something that would have to be passed by statute, meaning the house and senate would have to pass it and sign in law by the president. these would be independent experts not affiliated with parties. they would not be current members of the house or senate or of the government that would look into everything that happened and then issue a report with recommendations on how to change things moving forward. now that's not the only fallout from what we saw on saturday. also, these republicans that
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broke party ranks and voted to convict the former president are now hearing that from their constituents and party leaders at home. for instance, richard burr, the senator from north carolina not running for re-election, he's on the verge of being censured. bill cassidy his party censured him on saturday after he passed that ballot to convict the former president. republicans dealing with how this impacts their future. there are many party leaders still very loyal to the former president. they want to see him part of the conversation moving forward while there are other republicans ready to move on. there's no group of people feeling that pressure more than the members of congress who are part of the republican party. one republican lawmaker is not just facing the anger of his party for criticizing trump and voting to impeach him, he's also facing the rage of his own
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family members. "the new york times" is reporting that congressman adam kinzinger got a vitriolic member from 11 members of his family calling him a disappointment and accusing him of being a member of the, quote, devil's army. the family went on to say president trump is not perfect but neither are you or any of us for that matter. it is not for us to judge or be judged but he is a christian. it is now most embarrassing to us that we are related to you. here's cnn's michael smerconish with his take on the letter. >> reporter: here's what was most stunning to me. these family members who are disgusted, worded so strongly, with kinzinger, they are seeking and receiving direction from donald trump, from god and then the third leg of that stool, which i think is most telling,
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is that they tell kinzinger that he has now lost the respect of lou dobbs, tucker carlson, greg kelly, and most importantly mark levin and rush limbaugh, the very people who profit by perpetuating the polarization that exists in this country. honestly, this is like a lab experiment for what has gone wrong in this country. and just ahead here on cnn, why there's mounting confusion and frustration from parents and teachers on how to safely reopen u.s. schools amid this pandemic. we're back with that in just a moment.
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we are following some breaking news this hour. just moments ago myanmar's military held its first news conference in the country's capitol two months after seizing power and holding aung san suu kyi. let's go to paula hancocks. what all was said at the news conference? >> reporter: rosemary, the main thing the military wanted to
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point out in the news conference is what has happened over the past two weeks in myanmar is not a coup. this is something we had heard earlier in the day and they said that we were carrying out our duties according to the constitution. this is a constitution which effectively guaranteed the military to have 25% control of the parliament at all times including the main ministries. what they have said once again is they will hold elections and they will hand over power to the winning party. now this is something that they have consistently said since the beginning, that they believed that the election back in november was fraudulent, that it shouldn't have gone the way it did. they want want it to go the way it did because there was an overwhelming majority that voted for the nld, aung san suu kyi's
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party. what the military said is there was widespread election fraud without giving any actual evidence or presenting that. as you said, rosemary, this is the first time we've officially heard from them in this format in two weeks. we're not hearing anything remarkably new. they are insisting this is not a coup and they were able to do this under the constitution. >> paula hancocks bringing us up to date on this developing story from seoul there. many thanks. here in the u.s. more states are loosening their covid-19 restrictions as case levels fall, but health experts are warning americans not to let down their guard. cnn explains why. >> reporter: health experts expressing cautious optimism as
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coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in the country show signs of improvement. johns hopkins university indicating daily cases falling for more than 300,000 in january to less than 100,000 now. however, there's some grave concern over the spread of variants, including 7 home grown just identified in the united states. >> i'm concerned about the variants because we're not doing enough surveillance and we don't know how widespread they are. we don't have any information if they are more contagious or deadly. we don't know if they're going to work with our vaccines. >> reporter: they warn it's too early to loosen restrictions or people let their guard down. >> we're seeing variants in florida, new york and i would be very concerned. my advice is to continue masking, socially distancing and avoid crowd environments. >> one of the busiest for air
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travel during the pandemic. more than 4 million people flying since thursday. states including montana have lifted mask mandates. new york now with limited indoor dining. in new york the state system crashed over the weekend as people with certain underlying conditions now eligible for the vaccine flooded the website. >> i know the biden administration is hard at work at getting states more information about how many vaccines are out there. it's got to be done real quickly because it's impossible for states to plan. >> reporter: the cdc rolled out guidelines for schools much to the frustration of some stressed out parents and students looking for a way back to in-person learning. here's why, the cdc guidelines focus on five strategies for in person learning including universal mask wearing, cleaning, contact tracing but the cdc recommended full
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in-person learning return only in places where levels of community transmission are low. the problem right now, almost 90% of american children attend schools located in high community spread areas, so-called red zones. >> there's more in the community, more in the school and most of these in school does not come from in-school transmission but comes from outside and into the community. so what we would advocate for is to have more kids in school as our community spread comes down. >> reporter: a spokesman for the cdc reached out about the red zone and said schools can implement in-person learning provided that they're, quote, strictly implementing implementation and monitoring programs in the community. some schools don't have the resources to do that. jason carroll, cnn, new york.
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well, it's not every day we see positive news about the covid-19 pandemic, but today we can. the u.k. has reported its lowest one-day new case total since october. despite these encouraging numbers and the success of the country's vaccine program, leaders are remaining cautious. prime minister boris johnson said the threat from the virus remains very real. for more, cnn's selma abdel aziz joins us. good news on declines cases and the vaccine rollout going well. what is the latest? >> reporter: well, rosemary, it is a triumph, but it comes with caveats. we're looking at the lowest case number this country has seen. the first group of vulnerable people have been vaccinated. 50 million people now with the first dose. that all begs the question, when
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are restrictions and rules going to be lifted? last night the prime minister had to disappoint people and say not yet. the plan is on february 22nd i'm going to lay out a roadmap but everything will be eased slowly and steadily, cautiously but irreversibly. there's very little political or public want for another update. first steps should be schools. the authorities looking at reopening those on march 8th. then non-essential retail, the economy reopens and finally the hospitality industry should be the final step once the authorities are ready. they're facing a very real threat from the variant of covid-19. you're still looking at more people in hospital with covid-19 in the hospital but cautious but optimistic steps being taken to ease restrictions, ease the
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lockdowns. two-pronged approach. vaccinate as many people as you can. keep the rules and restrictions in place. >> selma abdelaziz, appreciate it. joining us is roger kaplan from the grossman school of medicine. he's the founding director of the division of medical ethics at nyu langone department of population health. thank you for being with us. >> thanks for having me. >> i did want to ask you this. how likely is it that private businesses will eventually make it mandatory for employees to be vaccinated against covid-19 before returning to the workplace? and can they legally do that? >> well, not to beat around the bush but i'm going to say 100% it's almost assured that private businesses will start to say if you want to work on a cruise
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ship as a crew member, if you want to work at a hotel, if you want to work in many office spaces, you're going to have to get vaccinated. legal little i think they have the right to protect their workers and customers who are going to want some assurance let's say if they fly, travel in a train, go on a krut boat. >> so if an employer decides to fire an employee, they are completely protected? >> i think you have to make a reasonable accommodation. that tends to be the standard we hear about in various countries. someone says, aisle work at home. i don't want to have to come in. the employer says, you can do your job that way, they can reasonably avoid the vaccination if they don't want it, but in
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general the employer is going to be able to say, safe workplace, the maintenance of confidence of consumers or people that we send our sales force out to that requires vaccination, i think that's going to hold up in front of courts and judges. >> dr. kaplan, thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you. donald trump may have avoided two impeachment convictions, but his troubles are not over yet. why he's preparing for several legal challenges in the weeks ahead.
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even though donald trump was acquitted in the senate for inciting the capitol riot, he could still face other charges related to the attack. the washington, d.c., attorney general's office is now investigating whether trump's actions violated district law. our cnn's jessica schneider reports, it's one of several legal challenges the former president is facing. >> reporter: former president trump is facing legal threats from around the country, and now that he's out of office and without the protections of the presidency, even his former ally mitch mcconnell seems to be sending signals to prosecutors they should proceed. >> president trump is still liable for everything he did in office. he hasn't gotten away with anything yet. >> reporter: the vote shifts to probes in georgia, new york, washington, d.c. in georgia they have launched two separate inquiries.
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>> it's a very simple equation. we're going to look at the law and we're going to look at the facts. should we decide anyone violated the law, then we're going to charge them. >> reporter: georgia's secretary of state investigating two of trump's calls to officials where the then president pressured them to overturn the results. the first was to brad raffensperger. >> all i want to do is this. i just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have because we won the state. >> reporter: trump's senior adviser jason miller tells cnn there was nothing improper about the call. continuing if mr. raffensperger didn't want to receive calls about the election, he shouldn't have run for secretary of state. in new york the trump family business is under investigation by the manhattan district attorney's office.
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prosecutors are scrutinizing the trump party for whether they committed tax fraud. they're waiting to see if they can force a subpoena to get trump's tax returns. it's possible trump could face criminal charges for inciting the violence that erupted at the capitol on january 6th. no one is being overlooked in the probes and lawyers inside d.c.'s attorney general's office are investigating whether trump's words or actions vi viovio violating the law. >> there is a crime to incite rebellion, and that is a statute that i hope investigators, federal investigators, the district of columbia will investigate, whether or not he meets that standard. >> reporter: but the former president still has a hold over the republican party even with
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legal liability looming, and the senators who have stuck with him are speaking out against any repercussions. >> does donald trump bear any responsibility for the attack on the capitol on january 6th? >> no, in terms of the law, no. he bears responsibility of pushing narratives about the election that i think are not sound and not true, but this was politically protected speech. >> reporter: trump is also facing two defamation lawsuits. one is from a former contestant on the apprentice accusing him of sexual assault and another from a former contestant accusing him of rape. jessica schneider, cnn, washington. and earlier i spoke to cnn political analyst sabrina sadike and asked her about the independent commission nancy pelosi plans to set up regarding
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last month's capitol riot. >> perhaps there will be an opportunity through an invest investigation, especially as legal investigations continue into the legal president and it's being led out of the state of new york and will cloud his political future as well as what comes after his future and it let him off the hook, the private sector has not been so accommodating with republican donors pulling out. fred eschelman gave $2.5 billion to investigate voter fraud and now he wants his money back. what might this reveal about the power of private sector gop donors holding trump account able as opposed to self-serving
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republican senators? >> i think what's going to happen is the republican party has to reckon with what its future looks like after the trump presidency. you have a number of republican megadonors and corporations who have long given money to the gop who are now asking themselves, what cause is it we are supporting? as you pointed out, it was republicans in the senate who voted to acquit former president trump of charges that included incitement of the insurrection on capitol hill, but there are a lot of outside voices within the party or who have helped propel the party in the past who want to see the gop do away with trumpism -- so-called trumpism once and for all. >> that was sabrina sidiggui. >> u.s. president joe biden is
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heading back to a town hall. cnn's jeff zeleny shows us what's weighing on their minds. >> i'm giving him a shot. >> reporter: caroline didn't vote for joe biden but she's pulling for his success. >> i think he's a very nice man. i think he's very good. one of the politicians i think can go across the aisle and that's something that's a big plus. >> when we first met her in the heat of the campaign last fall she was torn. >> i get it why people don't like trump but at the same time he has done a few things that i thought were important. >> reporter: but said she ultimately decided trump would do a better job fixing the economy. >> i voted for trump. >> reporter: in the end biden won wisconsin by less than a point and cedarburg by only 19 votes. most signs of the election are long gone, it's a new season and
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many voters hearsay a fresh start from the acrimony of the trump era. >> the tone down of the rhetoric, not having to be glued to the tv or media has been very refreshing. >> you're welcome, hon. >> reporter: natasha is a small business owner who supported biden but senses more calm. >> you can tell there's morrisseyville lit at this. the business owner, i come here wanting to feel joy and happiness. >> you sell toys. >> i sell toys. we don't try to be political here. >> reporter: the headwinds come into sharper view at a nearby vaccination center. >> our goal is to provide 1,000 vaccines a day 7 days a week. the only limitation we have is
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getting the vaccine. >> reporter: paul pharaoh said he received only 900 doses instead of seven,000. by that i mean it's working together to come up with a solution for biden. angela lang and her group, black leaders organizing for communities, we elect people and know they will not be back. >> i always get skeptical and nervous when people say they want to unite everyone and bring everyone together. i think sometimes that means watering down progressive policies for the sake of unity. >> reporter: and for biden, that is the challenge, trying to be a successful leader in the eyes of
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lang, quinnlan and all others who hunger for change. >> he is the president so it's like, let him do his job and then we can decide in four years if we want him or somebody else. well, coming up, africa isn't just battling covid. parts of the continent are facing a new ebola outbreak as well. the latest details to come here on "cnn newsroom." kills 99.9% undry sanitizr of illness-causing bacteria detergents leave behind. proven to kill covid-19
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welcome back, everyone. the world focused on covid-19, health workers are scrambling to contain a new ebola outbreak in guinea. they have confirmed 7 cases of the virus and 3 deaths. guinea was hit hard by the world's largest ebola outbreak ever. it ended almost five years ago.
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for the latest, cnn's david mckenzie joins us live from johannesburg. david, what is the latest on this ebola outbreak and how equipped are health workers to deal with this in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic? >> reporter: well, rosemary, i don't think the covid outbreak will have much of an impact. why this is particularly troubling, rosemary, is that the outbreak is confirmed to an area in southeastern guinea on the border of liberia and ivory coast, and it was a similar scenario that played out in 2014 where people moved back and forth through those borders very regularly. it's important to get in there quickly to contact trace anyone who was in touch with the nurse who died of ebola and several
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people during her funeral contracted and later died. it's likely that she wasn't the index case of this, the first case of this particular outbreak. so they'll have to try and trace very quickly those contacts. the good news is they are more experienced to deal with ebola. there is something being deployed to help and that should have an impact in stepping it out before it extends beyond the people in that region of guinea. the w.h.o. is extremely concerned about this outbreak because of what i mentioned. separate resurgence of ebola in a different outbreak of some 6,000 kilometers away an example of how to quickly get vaccines in and try and stamp out this
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outbreak before it expands further. rosemary? >> david mckenzie bringing us the latest from johannesburg. just ahead here on cnn, why one woman says star football quarterback tom brady owes her and her family an apology.
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tesla founder elon musk wants to have a chat with russian president vladimir putin. on saturday he tweeted at the official kremlin account, would you like to join me for a conversation on clubhouse? a second tweet in russian said it would be a great honor to talk to you. musk made his debut on clubhouse, an invitation only audio app last month. the kremlin calls it interesting and wants to hear more. >> translator: you know that president putin personally does not use social media. he does not post anything there, so this is a very interesting proposal, but we need to understand better what it means, what exactly is being proposed.
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>> cnn business reporter paul lamonica said musk's request to talk with putin could be about any number of issues. >> what exactly does elon musk want from a conversation with vladimir putin? is it to discuss the thorny issues that a russian hacker was trying to infiltrate tesla? they could talk about space exploration. there are concerns that russia doesn't want spacex to have its internet satellite service given to the provider, to russian consumers. there are a lot of business-type conversations that putin and musk could have. who knows? maybe they'll talk about rap music, cryptocurrencies. i don't think anything is beyond elon musks grasp and interest
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right now. >> we'll see what happens. a florida woman wants an apology from quarterback tom brady for tossing the lombardi trophy after his team's super bowl win but as cnn's jeanne moos reports, most fans are backing brady. >> reporter: this is one completion -- >> oh! >> reporter: that wouldn't be complete without someone wanting an apology from tom brady from chucking the lombardi trophy from boat to boat. now -- >> it upset me this was disgraced. >> reporter: she helped create the trophy saying -- >> i personally would like an apology, not just to me and my family and the other silversmiths, but to the fans. >> reporter: but most fans seem unapologetic on brady's behalf.
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it's a silver football on a stick. calm down. you act like it was a live baby or something. even the general manager of the tampa bay buccaneers quoted the comedy classic stripes. >> you call me francis and i'll kill you. >> lighten up, francis. >> reporter: fans taunted sorry. not sol ri. >> i didn't sleep for the past two nights i was that upset because i know the passion that goes into this trophy. >> reporter: some said the water toss was nothing compared to how the stanley cup gets treated. they drink beer from it, eat a whole box of cinnamon toews crunch. and they quote gronk be careful. the last lombard at this trophy he used as a bat and left a dent
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in the trophy. snl put a dent in tom brady's image with what they called drunk tom brady. >> she's a little banged up but she still works. >> but even brady's 8-year-old daughter knew this wasn't a great idea. listen to her yell, dad, no! >> no! >> reporter: at least brady didn't go deep as in underwater. jeanne moos, cnn. new york. we are getting this breaking news in from north carolina. three people have died as a result of a tornado that hit there. we also understand there are 10 injuries. several homes were destroyed and several others were severely damaged. we'll continue to follow this story. i'm rosemary church. "early start" is up next. you're watching cnn.
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welcome to our viewers in the united states and all around the world. we have reports this morning from the white house, the u.k., seoul, abu dhabi and the pentagon. this is "early start." i'm laura jarrett. >> good morning. i'm christine romans. it is tuesday, february 16th. it is 5 a.m. in new york. a brutal winter storm so intense it is making history. this morning more than 200 million people are under alerts from southern texas to northern maine. more than 1/3 of the u.s. reporting subzero temperatures since yesterday causin


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