News Wrap: Pfizer says its COVID-19 vaccine offers strong protection to children under 5

In our news wrap Monday, Pfizer says three small doses of its COVID-19 vaccine offers strong protection to children under 5, the U.S. surgeon general warned of burnout and staffing shortages among health care workers, the first Russian soldier to be tried for war crimes during the conflict in Ukraine was sentenced to life in prison, and the number of refugees globally crossed the 100-million mark.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    President Biden has pledged that the U.S. will intervene militarily if China invades Taiwan. He said the need to protect the island was — quote — "even stronger" after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

    While in Tokyo, the president also launched a new trade deal with 12 Indo-Pacific nations. We will have more on all this right after the news summary.

    Pfizer says three small doses of its COVID-19 vaccine offer strong protection to children under 5. The company plans to share its data with U.S. regulators later this week.

    Meanwhile, the U.S. surgeon general, Dr. Vivek Murthy, warned of burnout and staffing shortages among health care workers after more than two years fighting COVID.

  • Dr. Vivek Murthy, U.S. Surgeon General:

    If we fail to act to address health worker burnout, we will place our nation's health at increasing risk. Already, one in five physicians and two in five nurses say they intend to leave their practice altogether. Those are extraordinary and disturbing numbers.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Murthy also released a new report predicting a shortage of three million essential low-wage health workers in the next five years.

    The first Russian soldier to be tried for war crimes in Ukraine was sentenced to life in prison today. The 21-year-old pleaded guilty to shooting a 62-year-old Ukrainian civilian in the head. His attorney said they plan to appeal.

    Meanwhile, in a video addressed to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged countries to ramp up their sanctions against the Kremlin.

  • Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukrainian President (through translator):

    What should the sanctions be like? Maximal, so that Russia or any other potential aggressor that might want to brutally attack a neighbor would know straight away what the consequences are.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Also today, a veteran Russian diplomat at the United Nations' office in Geneva resigned in opposition to the war in Ukraine. In a letter, he said he had never been so ashamed of his country as he was on the day Russia invaded.

    The number of refugees around the world has crossed the 100 million mark for the first time ever. That's according to the U.N.'s Refugee Agency. It attributed the staggering milestone to the war in Ukraine and other deadly conflicts in places like Afghanistan and Ethiopia. It estimated the Ukraine war has forced more than six million people to flee the country and displaced another eight million more inside Ukraine.

    Pre-monsoon floods in India and Bangladesh have killed at least 24 people in recent weeks and displaced at least 90,000 others. India's northeastern Assam state has seen some of the worst of it. Entire villages are inundated, forcing many to build makeshift shelters. Others were left stranded due to damaged roads.

  • Person (through translator):

    We don't have any idea how we will survive. We're just waiting for the government to take some action and have a look at our situations. We have nothing to eat or drink, and my children are starving now.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Both India and Bangladesh are prone to frequent flooding, made worse by extreme weather conditions from climate change.

    The World Health Organization said today that the monkeypox outbreak detected in a dozen countries may be a random event. It believes the spread may have been linked to sexual behavior at recent rave dance parties in Spain and Belgium. Until now, there haven't been widespread outbreaks of the viral disease outside Africa.

  • Dr. Ahmed Robleh Abdilleh, President, World Health Assembly (through translator):

    It is spreading currently. And, once again, we are haunted by the specter of a new epidemic. This reminds us how much today's world is more and more vulnerable and interconnected.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    So far, there's only been one confirm monkeypox case in the U.S. in Massachusetts. But there are at least four other probable cases, one in New York, one in Florida and two in Utah.

    We will have more on this later in the program.

    The U.S. Supreme Court today made it harder for prisoners to win release by arguing that they had ineffective counsel in state court. The 6-3 ruling was a defeat for two Arizona death row inmates who said their state lawyers failed to provide an adequate defense.

    Writing for the majority, Justice Clarence Thomas said federal courts can only consider evidence already presented in the state court record.

    And stocks rallied on Wall Street today after suffering seven straight weeks of losses. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 618 points to close at 31008. The Nasdaq rose 180 points, and the S&P 500 added 72.

    Still to come on the "NewsHour": Tamara Keith and Amy Walter break down what's at stake in Georgia's Republican primary; civilians desperately seek shelter as Russia tries to expand its military gains in Southern Ukraine; a new report details widespread cover-ups of sexual abuse among Southern Baptist church leaders; plus much more.

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