Politics Sunday shows preview: Omicron surge continues; anniversary of Jan. 6 attack approaches
Japanese government not considering new restrictions despite omicron detection
Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said on Thursday that the government would not be amending its current COVID-19 protocols despite the fact that local transmission of the omicron variant has been detected in the country, Reuters reported.The first cases of the omicron variant were detected on Wednesday in Osaka among a family of three. An additional case of the variant was discovered on Thursday in a woman in her 20s in the Kyoto prefecture, the wire service noted.
The United States' record-setting number of COVID-19 cases amid the spread of the omicron variant and the anniversary of the violent Jan. 6 insurrection nearing next week are expected to dominate this week's Sunday show circuit.
The U.S. is experiencing a new surge of COVID-19 cases, with numbers rapidly outpacing figures from last winter. On Wednesday, the country reached a record number of COVID-19 cases, reporting over 486,000 new infections, to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The day prior, the U.S. saw over 439,000.
Christmas Travel Ruined As Omicron COVID Surges, Thousands of Flights Canceled
In the U.S. alone there have been hundreds of canceled or delayed flights as travellers try to get home for Christmas.In the U.S., United Airlines and Delta Air Lines have canceled or delayed hundreds of flights, with Omicron cases among flight crews being cited as a main reason behind the decision.
Last January, the country saw cases as high as over 294,000, per CDC data.
Initial research and data are starting to paint a picture of what the omicron variant may look like, with early indications that it is not quite as severe as health officials once feared.
A conducted by U.S. and Japanese researchers, suggested that less severe impacts on the lungs, throat and nose were caused by omicron. That study is still under review and was conducted on hamsters and mice.
President Biden's chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci also pointed to hospital data and international research suggesting that omicron was less severe among people who are vaccinated than the delta variant.
"We know now, incontrovertibly, that this is a highly, highly transmissible virus. We know that from the numbers we're seeing," Fauci during a White House briefing earlier this week, adding "all indications point to a lesser severity of omicron versus delta."
The US is lifting its travel ban against southern African countries, but medical experts say stigmatization has already perpetuated anti-Blackness
The US is lifting the travel ban on New Year's Eve. Experts say that isn't enough and want the US to do more to promote global vaccine equity. Southern African leaders and medical experts called the travel ban 'Afrophobia'The global medical community has not seen a science-based explanation to ban travel from eight southern African countries, Davis said.Only two of the eight countries banned — Botswana and South Africa — had reported an Omicron case before the US identified its first on December 1.African leaders harshly criticized the US's and European countries' move to limit travel from southern Africa.
While those signs are encouraging, the CDC has faced some criticism for amending its guidelines regarding isolation periods. On Monday, the CDC that as long as individuals who had COVID-19 were asymptomatic, they could shorten their isolation period from 10 days to five days.
The CDC suggested that following isolation people should wear masks regardless of vaccination status when in contact with others for the next five days.
"The reason is that now that we have such an overwhelming volume of cases coming in, many of which are without symptoms, there's the danger that this is going to have a really negative impact on our ability to really get society to function properly," Fauci in defense of the new guidelines " on Thursday.
Fauci is scheduled to appear on ABC's "This Week" and CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday.
Schools Might Be Heading for a January ‘Omicron Break’
Unless we radically rethink pandemic protocols, there will be a lot of absences in a lot of places.Ben: On Monday, the CDC released new COVID guidelines advising that people who have tested positive need to isolate for only five days, down from ten, and that they can return to the general population if they’re feeling better at that point — no negative test needed. That last point especially has drawn a lot of criticism.
Meanwhile, next Thursday will mark the one-year anniversary of a mob of supporters of former President Trump ransacking the Capitol and attempting to stop Congress from certifying the 2020 presidential elections.
Video: One year later: Recap of events since Jan. 6 attack (NBC News)
Lawmakers, aides and reporters hid in offices, closets and a secure, undisclosed location in the Capitol as Trump supporters breached the building on Jan. 6. Over 700 people have since been charged in connection with the violent series of events, and a House select committee was established to investigate the events surrounding the riot.
That violent day has not only exacerbated partisan divisions between Democrats and Republicans, but has also driven a wedge between a smaller handful of Republicans who have broken ranks with the party in their response to the riot, notably including Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wy.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), and their GOP colleagues.
Cheney and Kingzinger both sit on the House select committee investigating Jan. 6, much to the disapproval of some of their GOP colleagues. They are the only two Republicans included on the panel.
Covid-19 surge is 'unprecedented'
The new year is starting with a massive influx of Covid-19 that's different from any other during this pandemic, doctors say. © John Moore/Getty Images Long lines form for Covid-19 PCR tests December 28 in Stamford, Connecticut. "We're seeing a surge in patients again, unprecedented in this pandemic," said Dr. James Phillips, chief of disaster medicine at George Washington University Hospital. "What's coming for the rest of the country could be very serious. And they need to be prepared.
Cheney is scheduled to appear on ABC's "This Week" and CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday.
Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Mich.), who does not sit on the committee, initially voted in favor of a bill to set up a congressional investigation into the events of Jan. 6. Along with Cheney, Kinzinger and seven other House Republicans, he also voted to impeach Trump last year following the riot.
In June, however, Meijer and those seven other House GOP members who supported impeachment voted the party line against the creation of the select committee investigating Jan. 6. The group argued that a panel including only two Republicans would be overly partisan.
Meijer is scheduled to appear on NBC's "Meet the Press."
Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), chair of the House's select committee on Jan. 6, is also scheduled to appear on NBC's "Meet the Press," as well as ABC's "This Week" and CNN's "State of the Union."
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who also sits on the committee, is scheduled to appear on CBS's "Face the Nation."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) the full schedule of activities to commemorate Jan. 6, including a conversation with historians Jon Meacham and Doris Kearns Goodwin, a moment of silence and a prayer vigil.
Below is the full list of guests scheduled to appear on this week's Sunday talk shows:
ABC's "This Week" - Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; New York City Eric Adams (D); Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.)
NBC's "Meet the Press" - Thompson; Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Mich.)
CBS' "Face the Nation" - Cheney; Education Secretary Miguel Cardona; Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.;) Robert Pape, political science professor at the University of Chicago.
CNN's "State of the Union" - Thompson, Fauci; Gov. Larry Hogan (R-Md.)
"Fox News Sunday" - Cardona; Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-Ark.); U.S. Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger.
Fox News Channel's "Sunday Morning Futures" - Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kansas), Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.), Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio), Jon Taffer "Bar Rescue" Host
Coronavirus US: As the Omicron variant drives a steep rise in Covid-19 cases, Los Angeles hits record number of new infections .
With the Omicron variant of coronavirus surging across the US, Los Angeles County recorded its highest number of new Covid-19 cases in one week since the start of the pandemic, according to health officials. © Bloomberg/Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images A Covid-19 testing site at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Monday, Dec. 6, 2021. The first confirmed U.S. case of the omicron variant of the coronavirus was detected in California, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, as the recently detected mutation continues its spread around the world.