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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  November 25, 2020 3:00pm-4:00pm PST

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robert mueller's russia investigation who pleaded guilty to lying to the fbi. also breaking just a short time ago, president-elect joe biden delivered a sober compassionate thanksgiving address to a nation in the grips of a worsening pandemic. his message, "we're at war with the virus, not with one another." the u.s. death toll from the coronavirus has now topped 261,000 with more than 12.7 million confirmed cases. experts are make one final plea to americans to avoid travel and celebrating thanksgiving safely with one doctor warning the holiday could become, "the mother of all superspreader events." first to cnn's kaitlan collins at the white house for more of president trump's pardoning of michael flynn. kaitlan, give us the latest. >> reporter: jim, he announced it by tweet that he is going to pardon his first national security adviser mike flynn, who only lasted on the job for 24 days before donald trump fired him in 2017 for lying. at the time he said to vice president mike pence of course we later learned that flynn had actually pleaded guilty to lying
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to the fbi on two occasions and that's a guilty plea that he later tried to undo and tried to get his case thrown out. and of course that ended up in that shocking twist that we saw earlier this spring where the justice department tried to drop its own case into flynn. and it had been tied up in this legal limbo for the last several months until of course now the president has intervened and this is how this saga is ending. but jim, it's really hard to overstate the effect that mike flynn had on donald trump's presidency. because of course it was those contacts that he had and that he had lied about with then russian ambassador sergei kislyak during the presidential transition. that's what he lied about to the fbi and to the vice president about. but of course that's also what they started investigating and that's what the president was asking at the time. the fbi director jim comey about in that oval office meeting when comey later said that the president asked him to let the investigation into flynn go. of course we later saw how that relationship went. the president later fired james comey. that led to the appointment of
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the special counsel robert mueller. so you really saw what a lasting effect just that simple decision by the president to hire mike flynn at the time had on his presidency and of course now it's coming to a close as the president himself is also getting ready to leave office. >> that's right. michael flynn was not just an isolated case in all of this. he was in many ways central to this russia investigation. and kaitlan, in some ways this pardon is as close as perhaps we'll ever get to a concession from the president. this makes him sound like a short-timer to some extent. >> reporter: that's right. the president isn't saying that he's lost the election. he is refusing to acknowledge it publicly and is insisting the office -- but look at his actions here. it's making clear the president realizes he's on his way out because of course before this there were some questions about whether or not the president was going to pardon flynn. but there were also questions about whether or not they'd wait and see how it played out with the justice department. and if it could end on its own without a presidential pardon. but clearly the president realizes his time in office is running short.
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sew has pardoned flynn. he could be pardoning several others, jim, that had been on his list for a while now. george papadopoulos, paul manafort. there's been talk about jared kushner's father charlie kushner. and several other people in the president's orbit. because we've seen how over the last few years he has used his pardon power to benefit people that he knows. >> it's a friends and family plan it seems. all right, kaitlan collins, stand by. we'll get more from you on all this. let's get reaction from the chairman of the house intelligence committee, congressman adam schiff. chairman, you say the president's decision to pardon michael flynn is yet another abuse of his pardon power. why do you find this pardon so troubling? >> well, let's remember what michael flynn did. after the election in which the russians helped the trump campaign mike flynn had a conversation with the russian ambassador and contrary to u.s. policy, which was to impose sanctions on russia, tried get the russians to back off any reaction. essentially don't react, we'll take care of this.
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that was i think the message he was trying to communicate when he was asked about it by the fbi he lied about it. when he was speaking to the vice president he lied about it. the president said that he had to fire mike flynn because he was lying. and now after flynn twice pled guilty to lying to the fbi the president pardons him and wants to portray him as some kind of a hero. well, heroes don't lie to the fbi about contacts they have with hostile foreign powers. it is a body blow to our national security. it's also a body blow to the rule of law and i think makes a mockery of our democracy to those watching from around the world. >> chairman schiff, news of flynn's pardon was met with praise from some of your republican colleagues including the house minority leader kevin mccarthy who said the president is right to pardon the respected three-star general, as he put it. what's your response to that? >> well, mr. mccarthy has shown over the last four years that there is no bottom to his willingness to debase himself to
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earn trump's favor. after all, this is the same majority -- or rather minority leader who was going to the trouble of separating starburst candies for the president to make sure that he only got the ones that he liked. so i wouldn't look to kevin mccarthy as an authoritative source here. but we are seeing much the same way that mccarthy and others have echoed the president's false claims about the election and the false statements about fraud in the election, he is now echoing the president's false statements about michael flynn. >> and we're learning president trump is considering pardons for several members of his inner circle including other figures from the mueller investigation. do you view this as an attempt by the president to undo the conclusions of the special counsel's investigation and sort of rewrite the history of the russia probe? >> i think it's in part an effort to vindicate himself somehow by pardoning people who were part of the same ugly
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cabal, for lack of a better description. but i think it's also protective on his part. he doesn't want these people cooperating with authorities in the future should he face legal liability. so i would fully expect that there may be more pardons along these lines to reward people who have lied for him, to protect other people who may under threat of their own jeopardy need a pardon to fend off any potential testimony against the president as a private citizen. you could also see the president prospectively pardoning people that he thinks might face charges. he may even try to pardon himself. which don't think is constitutionally sustainable but nonetheless there is no limit to this president's capacity for self-dealing. >> can you do anything if he tries to pardon himself? >> well, i've introduced a bill to make it clear that you cannot
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self-pardon. it's part of the pro-democracy act, which would also require in the case of a pardon like that of flynn that in any case in which the president or member of their family is a witness, subject or target that the complete investigative files in the event of a pardon would be provided to congress. that wouldn't stop a corrupt president from pardoning someone like flynn, but it would be a disincentive if that person knew that all of the information in the case would then be turned over to congress. >> but just to ask you a follow-up question on that, that legislation would not pass the congress more than likely not be signed by the president obviously. legally, though, could a self-pardon be challenged in court, do you think? >> yes. and the way it would work frankly is if the southern district of new york, for example, moved forward with the prosecution of individual 1, the president of the united states, for his participation in what the indictment described as directing and coordinating this
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campaign fraud scheme involving hush money payments and michael cohen, should they go forward with that the president's lawyers, the former president's lawyers now, would argue that his self-pardon prevented the prosecution from going forward. that would be litigated. the department of justice has taken the position in the past a president cannot pardon themselves. that certainly would be i think the position of the justice department going forward. and it would ultimately be up to the supreme court to decide. but i will say this. as other justices have written, the constitution is not a suicide pact. and if you interpret the pardon power as being so absolute as to allow to you pardon yourself, any president could act as criminally as they chose and simply pardon themselves. and i don't think the framers would have any such intention, nor do i think any responsible supreme court would likely interpret it that way. >> all right. chairman schiff, it sounds like a conversation we're going to be
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having in the coming weeks. we thank you for your time. we appreciate it. and happy thanksgiving to you. >> to you too. >> all right. and let's discuss all the breaking news with the former ohio governor john kasich, our senior legal analyst preet baa rara, our white house correspondent kaitlan collins and our national security correspondent jim sciutto who's done a ton of reporting on the russia investigation. preet, let me ask you, as a former u.s. attorney what's your reaction to learning michael flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the fbi, has been granted a full pardon? >> well, as a lot of people have been saying, in the hours preceding this moment it's shocking, not surprising, it's very disappointing. and i'll make one prediction. jake sullivan, the incoming national security adviser, will likely not be needing a pardon four years from now. that seems pretty clear. there have been bad pardons before you could describe as corrupt and illegitimate and unfortunate. but i want people to resist what often happens with respect to things that this president does.
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you know, donald trump lies on a scale and with a kind of abandon that's unprecedented and he's doing the same with respect to this pardon portfolio and we'll see how many more come before he leaves office on january 20th. just because prior presidents have engaged in from time to time pardons that i think are rightly criticized doesn't mean that what this president is doing is parallel to that. he is pardoning again and again in a circumventing process, going around the pardon attorney in the department of justice, people who are associated with him, close to him, in the case of roger stone, who committed crimes in an effort to protect him. and then you've been talking of course about the possibility of self-pardon. the scale and scope of the way in which he's abusing his pardon power, he has the constitutional authority but it can still be an abuse of power, is unprecedented in modern times. >> and governor kasich, white house chief of staff mark meadows tweeted his congratulations to michael flynn. several of your fellow republicans are cheering this development. what's your message to your
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fellow republicans about this? >> let's get on with all this. the president's lost. now we're having a big debate about his pardons. every president has the ability to pardon. i have great respect for preet. he's a really great constitutional guy. he understands this. former u.s. attorney. i just -- it's going to be more pardons that are going to come. that's what presidents do. i remember when bill clinton had some pardons and people went crazy. it's the power that they have. and frankly he's done. he's going to leave. the transition has started. let's just move on. i mean, i listened to adam schiff. i've known adam schiff not closely but for a while. i mean, the language is harsh. i think it's time to start healing. tomorrow's thanksgiving. can we just move on a little bit? and you know, we're going to have a new administration coming in. i think the early appointments have been good. it seems to be kind of pulling the country together. people are beginning to say, well, you know what, this is not so bad.
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and so that's kind of where my head is. and jim -- >> governor kasich, if you -- if you don't mind, if i could just challenge you on that just a little bit. >> sure. >> you know, michael flynn pleaded guilty to lying to federal prosecutors. >> yeah. >> doesn't that bother you that he's now getting a full pardon? >> presidents have the ability to do a pardon, jim. and he's going to do more pardons. there are other pardons that presidents have done that i didn't agree with. it's sort of like -- i remember back when gerald ford probably cost himself re-election when he pardoned richard nixon. that's what presidents do. >> should he pardon himself? >> i want to move on. look, i want to change -- i want to change the subject. donald trump was defeated. he has been rejected. okay? they've started the transition. they finally pressured him into doing it. his friends pressured him into doing it. he's going to do some things we're not going to like. but you know, i'm ready to move on. i'm not even thinking about donald trump now. i'm thinking about joe biden,
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who's he going to put in, what's his policies going to be. that's where my head is. and that's no disrespect to the legal beagles here. i'm just telling you where i am and frankly i think that's where most americans are going to be. just get on with it. >> and preet, speaking of those legal beagles or eagles as the case may be, it's important to remember that at one point flynn was cooperating with robert mueller and then he stopped. that is unusual, is it not? does that belief -- or does that lead to you believe that this resolution was likely, that we were going to see this? >> i think there's been a lot of reasonable speculation to that effect, that if you think you have an ace in the hole, which is a pardon from the president in the future, you need not continue to cooperate because you're going to be saved at the end. and you know, remember, the conduct of michael flynn is conduct that the president himself used as the reason to fire him. so he was fired not by one president but by two presidents and pled guilty not once but twice. and at the end of the day i understand what governor kasich
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is saying, and i understand you need to keep these things in perspective. there was a appoint where the justice department, even when it was being at its most aggressive, was suggesting, and it changed over time, a recommended sentence of 0 to 6 months, and at one point i think they said it should be six months. but it would have been fine with no incarceration for the crime given his other prior military service and honorable service. so i understand that the thing for which he's been charged is not something that deserved a life sentence. but it still sends a terrible signal not just because of the pardon at this moment but the entire saga leading up to this moment that included a department of justice attorney general who totally decided to reverse course on a case that was strong and where there were double guilty pleas to try to make the case go away. so it's an overall i think undermining of people's faith that there's an equal system of law for everyone, whether you know the president or not. >> and jim sciutto, you've reported extensively on what flynn did.
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what does it say that he would be pardoned here at the end of this administration? >> well, the issues of law, which i'll leave to preet, and i get the politics and with great respect to governor kasich, but we have to remember what this was about. right? the national security adviser did damage to u.s. national security here. during the transition he communicated to the russians, undermined u.s. sanctions on russia that had been imposed because russia interfered in the presidential election. right? delivered a message that it's all going to be okay under the new sheriff in town, president trump. within weeks of russia interfering in that election. that did damage to u.s. national security, one. and two, the other issue was by lying about it he created another national security risk because of course the russians would know he was lying because the russian ambassador spoke to him, knew he had spoken to him about it, and yet michael flynn lied about it. i mean, this was the concern that sally yates raised, right?
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that helped lead to flynn's firing. so beyond the politics, beyond the law there was damage done to u.s. national security by the national security adviser. and that has consequences. right? whatever you believe the punishment should be, the results of his behavior here and the lies in the communications was one that did damage to the country's security. >> and kaitlan collins -- >> and jim, i want to tell you, i'm not defending michael flynn. i'm just trying to say that presidents have this power. maybe the power should be taken away. adam schiff has this bill. he hasn't even passed the house of representatives. because this is the power that we give to presidents. and that's not to excuse him. but look -- and this is not about politics. this is like i would like the 70-plus million people who voted for donald trump to start looking at what joe biden's all about and to start thinking about, well, maybe he's not a bad guy, maybe we can come together as a country.
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now, i understand this is going to be a point of contention and discussion. i got all that. but for me worried about my country, remember, i was on this channel saying that i was in favor of the impeachment of donald trump. so i'm not making any brief here. i'm just trying to say in my judgment for the good of this country we need to move on. >> kaitlan collins, the white house statement on flynn's pardon says -- and this is a quote. "it sets right an injustice against an innocent man and an american hero." but interestingly, what it does not say is that the president is the one who fired michael flynn for lying. >> no. and neither does -- it's stunning to see this statement coming out of the white house defending this pardoning but also what the chief of staff said, mark meadows, congratulating flynn on this pardon when it was mark meadows's predecessor a few back, reince priebus, the first chief of staff, who was also lied to by mike flynn. i'll never forget when mike flynn was in court one december and judge sullivan, emmitt sullivan, basically delivered this blistering rebuke of mike
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flynn's conduct, saying this crime was incredibly serious, that he not only lied to the fbi, he lied to senior incoming administration officials including the vice president, the chief of staff, and the press secretary at the time, and judge sullivan told flynn that arguably he had sold out his country by doing what he did. and so of course, you know, as time goes on i understand what governor kasich is saying but what this -- what flynn was accused of and what he pleaded guilty to is incredibly serious. but of course going forward, to speaking of moving on, it doesn't appear that that's going to happen over the next two months because we are told by sources that the president does plan to pardon other people or commute other people's sentences. so you should be on the lookout for more people who where attorneys know the president is trying to do the same for their clients or people the president knows. >> i think the president is trying to remind everybody he's still the president for two more months. can't move on just yet. all right. thanks to all of you. appreciate nap just ahead, president-elect joe biden delivers a thanksgiving message to americans exhausted by the
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ahead of a strange, difficult, and lonely thanksgiving holiday president-elect joe biden just delivered a message of unity for the millions of americans who are suffering through the coronavirus pandemic. cnn's m.j. lee has the details. >> life is going to return to normal. i promise you. this will happen. this will not last forever. >> reporter: president-elect joe biden sharing a thanksgiving message with the nation on wednesday. >> i know that this time of year can be especially difficult. believe me. i know. i remember that first thanksgiving, the empty chair,
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the silence. it takes your breath away. it's really hard to care. it's hard to give thanks. it's hard to even think of looking forward. and it's so hard to hope. i understand. >> reporter: speaking from wilmington, delaware, biden discussing the sacrifices americans are making as coronavirus cases surge across the country. >> we thought a nearly year-long battle with a virus that has devastated this nation. that's brought us pain and loss and frustration. and has cost so many lives. we need to remember, we're at war with the virus, not with one another. >> reporter: after weeks of delay the biden transition team now receiving access to classified information. >> we believe that we've been getting the information that our teams need. >> reporter: and announcing biden will receive his first presidential daily briefing since becoming president-elect on monday.
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the former vice president also preparing to announce? members of his economic team next week. biden compared to nominate former federal reserve chairwoman janet yellen at his treasury secretary. biden predicting that the challenges that confront his future government will be without precedent and entirely unique from those he faced as barack obama's vice president. >> this is an thinot a third ob term because we face a totally different world than we faced in the obama-biden administration. the president -- this president trump has changed the landscape. >> reporter: biden also insisting that as he builds out his administration a major focus will be bridging political divides across the country and that he's even open to adding a republican to his team. >> the purpose of our administration is once again being united. we can't keep this virulent political dialogue going. it has to end. >> reporter: every move from biden and his transition team seeming designed to draw stark contrast to president trump.
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no single national issue more top of mind than the covid-19 crisis. biden transition team receiving briefings on everything from vaccine distribution, testing and ppe supply chains. dr. anthony fauci saying he has been in touch with biden's top aides including his incoming chief of staff. >> i've been in conduct with ron klain, telling me that we're going to be talking about this very soon now that the transition is in process. >> reporter: now, so many americans are going to have to skip their usual thanksgiving traditions this year. and biden saying this afternoon that his family is no exception, that for years his family has traveled so that they can get together and have a big family gathering but not this year. he and his wife are going to be staying behind here in delaware this year and only having a very small family get-together. jim? >> all right. m.j. lee, thank you so much for that. just ahead, multiple states now seeing record numbers of new coronavirus cases. you're strong. you power through chronic migraine
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the coronavirus death toll in the u.s. has now climbed past 261,000 people as the country tops 12.7 million cases. cnn national correspondent athena jones has the latest. >> reporter: with thanksgiving just a day away experts fear another huge spike in coronavirus infections at a time when the numbers are already
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surging. >> it's potentially the mother of all superspreader events. >> reporter: tuesday marked the deadliest day since early may. more than 2,100 lives lost to the virus. a doctor in st. louis reporting this video to drive home the point. >> i hope that the last moments of your life don't look like this. i promise you, this is what your mother or your father or your children, when they get covid disease, will see at the end of their life. >> reporter: nearly 90,000 people set to spend the holiday in a hospital bed as the u.s. sets a record for hospitalizations for the 15th straight day. and nearly 5 million people have boarded planes since the cdc warned last week against traveling. experts warn thanksgiving dinners could supercharge the virus's spread. leading to skyrocketing cases and hospitalizations three weeks from now.
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>> the final message is to do what really we've been saying now for some time to the extent possible, keep the gatherings, the indoor gatherings as small as you possibly can. >> some states already on the verge of buckling under the pressure. >> one out of 41 coloradans are contagious right now. that is significantly up from the prior week. it is the most -- highest percentage of contagious coloradans that we've ever had. >> reporter: colorado officials fear on its current trajectory the state will more than double its death toll by the end of the year. california reported nearly 17,000 new cases tuesday, its highest single-day total ever. hospitalizations have nearly doubled in the last two weeks in los angeles county, where officials reported the highest number of covid-related daelths in more than two months and warn it's going to get worse. >> statewide i don't believe we've ever seen as many hospital admissions increased like we did just in the past 24 hours and i
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hope but don't expect it will be the highest we ever have. >> reporter: a ban on outdoor dining goes into effect in the county tonight and a health department official is urging people to leave home only for essential needs. as doctors across the country urge people to start taking proper precautions like mask wearing or reap the consequences. >> if we don't do things right, america is going to see the darkest days in modern american medical history. >> reporter: and denver's mayor has become the latest state official to raise eyebrows for not practicing what he's preaching when it comes to taking precautions. mayor michael hancock's office confirming he flew to mississippi to join his family for thanksgiving not long after sending a fetweet discouraging travel. in just the last few minutes the mayor released a statement apologizing to the residents of denver. jim? >> athena jones, thank you very much. we'll get more on all of this with michael osterholm, director of the center for infectious
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disease research and policy at the university of minnesota. he's also a member of the biden-harris transition covid-19 advisory board. michael, thanks so much. what would you urge americans to consider as we head into this holiday? >> well, despite the fact that we have great news coming down the pike with vaccines, we still have to live with the reality that we are living in the most dangerous public health moment since 1918. that the challenges we have before us right now with the ever increasing number of cases and rapidly increasing number of cases in many areas that we are going to see our hospitals literally on the verge of collapse. that's where we have to understand we're at right now. >> and dr. jonathan reiner, you saw him in the piece a few moments ago, former white house medical team adviser, warning that thanksgiving could become the mother of all superspreader events. is that overstating things, do you think? >> no. i think it's all a relative issue. jim, remember at one time when new york had 32,000 -- or
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contributed to 32,000 cases a day in this country back in april and we thought it couldn't get any worse and now we're approaching 200,000 cases. i think the whole frame of reference we have today for what means getting worse is, and i think it's absolutely true. we are going to see continued increased number of cases. i worry that the thanksgiving day surge will then just add into what will become the christmas surge, which will then make this one seem as if it wasn't so bad. so we have to understand we're in a very dangerous place. people have to stop swapping air. it's just that simple. and if we don't we're going to see many, many of our he friends, colleagues, and loved ones ending up in a hospital and unfortunately some of them not making it. >> and you're a remember of the biden-harris coronavirus task force. now that the former transition process is under way, what kind of cooperation are you seeing from the white house coronavirus task force? people like dr. anthony fauci and so on. are there conversations going on back and forth? are you receiving information from hhs? what's going on? because i think a lot of
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americans are hopeful that you guys are talking to one another. >> well, the transition team actually has a limited number of individuals who are actually working directly right now with health and human services. and they are getting the kind of information that we need. and that team will then be reporting back, and we all will provide whatever input we can. but i'm optimistic right now that we're on the right track for working together closely with these government scientists, policy makers and doing the very best we can going into the next administration. >> so this transition happening this week, that was a positive development you think in terms of -- >> it's a very positive development. and again, we're all in this together in the sense that come january 20th we will have already had to have been working on vaccine delivery, how we're going to get vaccine out, what we can do to deal with testing, all the things that the biden-harris administration has already identified as key
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priorities. and i think the most important message i can give is someone who has served roles in the last five presidential administrations, it is really a very positive sign to see the dedication of science on this. science will rule the day. >> we hope so. michael osterholm, thank you so much for that. happy thanksgiving. we appreciate it. >> you too. >> let's all keep this one safe. thank you. and ahead, officials are scrambling to handle the surge in coronavirus pandemic as millions of americans gather for the holidays. at dell technologies, we started by making the cloud easier to manage. but we didn't stop there. we made a cloud flexible enough to adapt to any size business. no matter what it does, or how it changes. and we kept going. so you only pay for what you use. because at dell technologies, we stop...at nothing. ♪
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millions of americans relying on food banks this thanksgiving. cnn's vanessa jurkevich has a closer look. >> reporter: the journey to get food. through the cold and covid 19 has been long and hard for regina status. >> got to take it one day at a time. and as long as you have for today you save for tomorrow. when tomorrow get here, something's going to happen. >> reporter: and it did. just in time. >> thank you. >> no problem. >> days before thanksgiving, agatha house foundation, a local food pantry in the bronx, new york, made a special thanksgiving delivery filled with everything she needs for her and her two teenage daughters. >> it's just a relief that i don't have to purchase all of that. >> reporter: over 50 million americans like regina won't have
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enough to eat in 2020, in part because of the pandemic. feeding america, the largest hung rerer relief group in the u.s., projects 8 billion meals will be needed in the next year to feed food insecure americans. >> about 40% of the people who right now are turning to food banks for help around the country are people who never before relied upon the charitable food system. >> onions. >> reporter: regina is out of a job. her car was totaled months ago. and she's not receiving unemployment. she now relies on a once a week delivery from the food pantry. day to day is your pantry stocked or what does it look like day to day? >> just surviving. that's all i can say. you just have to survive it. >> reporter: the 15th congressional district here in the bronx has the highest food insecurity rate among children in the country. at agatha house they're hoping to take the stigma out of needing a little extra help. >> we have to look and try to
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imagine ourselves in the position, what we would want for ourselves, not just to give them a cardboard box but to make them feel loved, special. >> reporter: this small operation says it's seen a 100% increase in need. >> even with the little that they get, hopefully there's someone in there are building or one of their neighbors that they can invite for a plate of food. >> yes. got to give miss mainly some stuff. >> reporter: despite her struggles to put food on the table -- >> thank you. >> you're welcome, miss mamie. >> reporter: regina is sharing what she has with her neighbor and remains grateful for this thanksgiving. >> even if we didn't get the agatha house or we were just having regular chicken every day, just to say that you was alive to eat it, that's a blessing in itself. >> reporter: now, one of the ways that people have been able to meet this growing need of food is through the kindness of others. donations from other americans. there's a concern that once this
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holiday season passes people will forget that this need is there. and volunteers are so key to standing up these food distribution operations. there's also a concern that as covid cases spike across the u.s. people will be afraid to volunteer during a time that they're needed most. jim? >> absolutely. this is such a critical time to reach out to people in need. vanessa yurkevich, thank you so much for that report. we appreciate it. and ahead we'll talk to the governor of one of the states hardest hit by this coronavirus pandemic. see yourself. welcome back to the mirror. and know you're not alone because this. come on jessie one more. is the reflection of an unstoppable community in the mirror.
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we have breaking news right now. the daily u.s. death toll from the coronavirus pandemic has just passed 2,000. that's right. 2,000 for just the second time since may. let's discuss with the democratic governor of connecticut, ned lamont. governor, thanks for joining us. this is sobering news, hitting 2,000 for the second time since may. what is your reaction to that? just stunning numbers. >> here we go again. although it's different. new york and connecticut were hit very hard last spring, less hard this time around. we see those numbers creeping up every day, and it's tough to make everybody say here we go, hold tight, maintain the distance, put on the mask and we'll get through this if you're careful. >> so with this very sad
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statistic in mind, what are you asking your residents to do this holiday weekend? >> thanksgiving is going to be different tomorrow. it's going to be smaller, just with your immediate family. black friday on friday, no big sales at 6:00 a.m. in the morning. they're going to extend out a few weeks. you can buy from our local stores online, pick up at the curb. doing everything we can to keep retail and restaurants open, but only if we do it safely. >> how personally are you celebrating thanksgiving? i know many viewers are making tough decisions tonight. i guess it's not too late to change plans and listen to the advice of these experts. >> jim, my kids are stuck with metro. usually they have friends often from other countries. they come, i get to explain thanksgiving to them. not this time. it will be just the six of us sitting around the table. looking forward to being trog
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though. >> i know you're taking additional steps with black friday shopping in mind. you were talking about that a few moments ago. i think that's important. people are focusing on thanksgiving and not thinking about black friday. what are your concerns about that popular shopping day? >> i'm telling retail, i want to keep you open. i can only keep you open if you do it safely. safely means number one, no overcrowding, 50% capacity. let people make an appointment, line up outside or have only one entrance. make sure people are wearing the masks. do as much as you can online. like i said, you don't have to go to one of the big internet bots. that's what we're trying to do to tamp down the crowds and have a good retail season. >> throughout this pandemic, you've been making some decisions working with your nearby governors, governor cuomo, governor murphy. are the three of you working together on any new restrictions as we brace for what may become a very dark winter for this
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country? >> jim, in the spring we worked together very closely. it didn't make any sense if i closed down my bars and andrew cuomo kept them open in new york. all that meant was people driving back and forth. covid didn't know any borders. this time and again we're working closely, trying like heck to keep retail and restaurants open. new york city closed its schools. we kept our schools open. >> what's your message to the people of connecticut tonight? >> that i'm so proud of you it's been a really tough go of it. it's going to not be an easy 60 days coming up. you're more likely to wear the mask than just about any state in the country. that's how we've kept our infection rate low and our schools open. that's how we'll get out of this, by working together. >> that's exactly right, working together. governor ned la month. happy thanksgiving. we appreciate it. thanks for all those words of
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caution to your constituents and people out there everywhere tonight. thanks so much for that. >> right back at you, jim. thanks. we'll have more news just ahead. ♪ (music swells) (dog barking) ♪ (music fades) (exhales) experience the power of sanctuary at the lincoln wish list sales event. sign and drive off in a new lincoln with zero down, zero due at signing, and a complimentary first month's payment.
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finally tonight let's take a moment to remember some of those we've lost that the coronavirus pandemic. butler was 41 years old, a caring and compassionate woman. she leaves behind a husband and two children. >> a father of five and grandfather of two. his family says he was a jokester who found the humor in
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every situation. may they rest in peace on this thanksgiving holiday weekend. i'm jim acosta, thanks for watching. erin burnett out front starts right now. have a happy thanksgiving. stay safe. two different leaders on displi as the country heads into thanksgiving. president-elect biden pleading for the country to come together as president trump goes off on the election making new baseless claims that he won. plus coronavirus numbers surging tonight. deaths and hospitalizations hitting alarming highs as many americans ignore warnings and travel. president trump announcing a full pardon for michael flynn, his former national security adviser who admitted lying the the fbi about contacts with russia. who's next? let's go "outfront." >> good evening. i'm kate bolduan in for erin burnett. tonight, the most clear contrast

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