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CNN10 2021-01-19

CNN 10

A Glimpse of Inauguration Security; An Explanation of Herd Immunity & A Report on COVID-19 Vaccines; An Avalanche Survival Story. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired January 19, 2021 - 04:00:00 聽 ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Welcome one, welcome all to CNN 10. My name is Carl Azuz. It's great to have you watching this Tuesday, January 19th.

We are one day away from inauguration day in America. The U.S. Constitution set that date as January 20th every four years.

Keeping people safe is always a challenge at these events. Under normal circumstances, there are hundreds of thousands in attendants, watching a new or reelected leader take the oath of office and describe a vision for the next four years.

But these ain't normal circumstances. The coronavirus pandemic is one big reason why. Additional security concerns are another, following the riot that took place at the U.S. Capitol building on January 6th.

And we told you last week how through an internal bulletin, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation had warned of possible armed protests that state capitols in the days leading up to the inauguration. Those did not happen, at least not in a large scale. There were some protests and counter-protests in several states over the weekend, but observers say the crowds were peaceful and manageable for the large numbers of police officers who were on hand.

There will be as many as 25,000 National Guard troops on hand for inauguration day -- at least that's how many the Pentagon has authorized for the job of keeping the event secure. A retired Army officer says the National Guard and before that, the militia, have been deployed to every inauguration since the days of President George Washington. But he added that is about twice as many as there have been in other recent inaugurations.

There was a temporary lockdown at the U.S. Capitol building yesterday. Witnesses said they saw smoke a few blocks away and the lockdown interrupted a rehearsal for President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration. The problem turned out to be a fire at a homeless camp not far from the Capitol, but the response gives you a sense of the heightened security that's present for the inauguration.


ALEXANDER MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Here on the streets of Washington, D.C., things are pretty quiet. There's a sense that this is the calm before the storm. The question is whether the storm comes, whether there's more violence in the days leading up to and on the day of Joe Biden's inauguration.

They are not taking any chances. We are here just near the eastern side of the Capitol building. You can see they've set up what is essentially a fortress around the capital eight foot fences. They call them non-scalable. There's razor wire all along the top there is just a staggering amount of security here on the streets of D.C. many of which have been closed down for traffic and for Pedestrian traffic.

Thousands -- 25,000 National Guard troops may be mobilized for the inauguration of Joe Biden. You can see some of them right here behind me.

They have been deployed near the capitol they are armed and they have been joined by various law enforcement agencies to create this patchwork of security, this incredible, coordinated security operation.

Now, the FBI has said that there are no specific threats but there is concerning online chatter. They have said in a bulletin that armed groups have expressed interest in carrying out protests in D.C. and in all states. And one of the concerns expressed by the mayor of Washington, D.C. on Sunday was that because the federal buildings here in D.C. are so fortified and there's so much security in the nation's capitol, that would be protesters or rioters could target other parts of the city or state capitols.


AZUZ: A CNN medical analyst says the United States might have passed the peak of new coronavirus cases. A few weeks ago, health officials said hospitalizations related to the disease were at about 132,000 per day. Now, these hospitalizations are down to 124,000 per day. So some improvement there.

But a former commissioner from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says there's a new variant of COVID, a new strain of it that could cause another increase in coronavirus cases. He says the silver lining there is that a lot of people will have already been infected with the disease and will be immune to it, and a lot of others will be getting a new emergency vaccine.

This is how herd immunity is achieved. It's when most of a population becomes immune to a disease and it can happen in two main ways, either enough people have recovered from the illness and developed immunity naturally, or a drug like a vaccine prevents people from getting sick in the first place. Scientists don't know yet if the two approved vaccines work against the new COVID variant.

There's also been some confusion about whether the second doses will be available. Drugmakers say each of the approved vaccines requires two shots given a few weeks apart to be fully effective, and because the government released all of its available doses to try to give as many people as possible their first shot, it's not clear if the second dose will be available to everyone on time.

The Trump administration says it's confident that ongoing vaccine production will keep up with demand.


DR. LEANA WEN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: If you've received the vaccine but others around you happens, you still have to follow precautions. That's because we don't know yet whether the vaccine prevents you from being a carrier of coronavirus. You could be immune from getting ill yourself but might still transmit the virus to others without knowing it.

So if you are getting together with members of your extended family who are not vaccinated, make sure that everyone is still following precautions. See one another outdoors with members of different households spaced at least six feet apart, avoid being indoors together and wear masks if you must be.

Some people who have received the vaccine might decide that they can take on risks that they might not have before. Maybe they want to travel or get that hug from a grandchild remember that the vaccine is still not effective. So it's important to keep up other measures like masking to reduce risk, also risk is additive. So if you do one high risk activity, don't also do others.

Remember too that it takes time for the vaccine to kick in. Two-dose vaccines require both doses to be administered, then another two to three weeks to reach a high level of immunity.



AZUZ (voice-over): Ten-second trivia:

The terms "starting zone," "track," and "runout zone" are typically used to describe what?

Avalanches, mudslides, ski jumps or drag strips?

These are all terms to describe the detachment of a large mass of snow and ice known as an avalanche.


AZUZ: There are around 4,000 avalanches in Colorado every year. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center says people trigger about 90 percent of these disasters.

And Maurice or Maurice Kervin is one of those people. He says he knew conditions were risky on January 8th when he and a friend were snowboarding in the back country, a remote area near Loveland Pass. His quick thinking and a survival airbag which you'll hear give a whooshing sound in this next report are the likely reasons why he was able to survive and record an avalanche.


MAURICE KERVIN, SURVIVED AN AVALANCHE: I was the trigger point for sure. You'll see me glance in the video above my right shoulder. I'm watching the cracks go up the ridge above me.

I didn't really panic much at all. My go-to was to stay afloat at first.

SUBTITLE: Maurice Kervin says this moment, releasing an avalanche airbag, helped save his life.

KERVIN: Basically pull that strap and it opens an air tank in your backpack that inflates the bag above your head and so it kind of gives your back and neck a little bit of shelter.

SUBTITLE: The avalanche happened near Loveland Pass, about 50 miles west of Denver.

An avalanche killed five snowboarders in the same area in 2013.

An average of 27 people have died in avalanches each winter in the U.S. over the last decade.


AZUZ: For "10 out of 10" today, do you want to build a snowman? Well, whether or not you do, it's probably not going to be quite this big. This is a snow monster, a snow Megalodon, a snow -- man, it's 15 feet tall.

A family in Iowa put this thing together. The young man who led the way happens to be six feet three inches tall, and he used an eight-foot ladder to top it off.

Rome wasn't built in a day and neither was this thin. The builders just kept adding to it whenever they could.

When folks are home and frozen too, the next right thing may be to venture into the unknown, avoid getting lost in the woods and ask every friend who doesn't have a frozen heart if they want to build a snowman. Hey, some things never change.

Coincidentally, it's a school in Sioux City, Iowa, that gets today's shout- out. Talking about North High School. Thank you for subscribing and leaving a comment at youtube.com/CNN10.

I m Carl Azuz for CNN 10.