tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN April 27, 2021 12:00am-1:00am PDT
attorneys for the family of andrew brown jr. calling his death at the hands of law enforcement an execution. they say they were shown just 20 seconds of body camera footage. multiple sheriff's deputies were on the scene, so where is the rest of the video? also tonight president joe biden about to announce new guidance on masks ahead of his first address to a joint session of congress this week. i want to bring in now cnn's brian todd. he lives in elizabeth city,
north carolina. he's live. excuse me. he doesn't live there. he's live in elizabeth city, north carolina. brian, pardon me me for my error. thank you for joining us this evening. we're still waiting for the body camera footage by cnn. we've obtained this exclusive video from the aftermath of this shooting. what does it show? >> reporter: well, don, this is video we obtained from a neighbor who lives across the street from andrew brown's house. this neighbor filmed what is essentially the immediate aftermath of the shooting. you do not see the actual shooting in this video. what you do see is andrew brown's car crashed on a tree across a grassy area and across roanoke avenue from where his house is. he tried to get away as his lawyers have acknowledged. they say he was trying to evade the sheriff's deputies who were there, that he made concerted efforts to evade them so that he wouldn't harm them. he did crash his car against a tree on that other side of the street. there's a white house that you see in that frame there just to
the right of where his car is. that house got a bullet hole in it from the firing. we talked to the gentleman that owns that house. he says the bullet came straight through his front wall and landed in his house. then investigators came and retrieved the bullet. what you do see in that video, don, is the immediate aftermath of this shooting. we also got some additional details from one of the brown family attorneys, chantel lassiter, who viewed that 20 seconds of body cam footage, as bad as it was to only see 20 seconds, she gave us some pretty jarring detail of what that footage shows. she says that when that 20 seconds begins, the shooting is already going on. so according to the brown family attorneys, they believe the shooting starts before that video clip even comes on. i asked her how many deputies were surrounding his car and shooting at it. she said at least six or seven. so you're getting the impression there were multiple shots fired and that they say that andrew brown made a concerted effort to avoid harming anybody. he was trying to get away. he had his hands on the wheel,
they said, when the deputies kept firing at him. don. >> brian, you also managed to get a hold of his death certificate today. what can you tell us about it? >> reporter: it's, again, a jarring piece of information, don. it says -- whether it says manner of death or cause of death, it says single penetrating wound of the head. it also says that he died within minutes of receiving that wound and that it was at the hands of others. now, it's not a lot that it says on there, but it does give detail. of course that's the kind of detail we're craving because none of us have been allowed to see that body cam footage. we're not getting a lot of detail of course from the sheriff's deputies or from the county attorney. the brown family attorneys putting that burden almost squarely on the shoulders of the county attorney, michael cox, saying that he was not giving them the answers they wanted. he did not give them an adequate explanation in their view of why he couldn't show them more than 20 seconds of this footage. and we have tried to get a hold of him in his office for a
response to their criticism, and he hasn't gotten back to us yet. so michael cox shouldering a lot of blame tonight for the lack of transparency here in elizabeth city. >> brian todd on the story for us live in elizabeth city, north carolina. thank you very much for that, brian. i appreciate it. joining me now is darius horton. he is a member of the elizabeth city, north carolina, city council. councilman horton, thank you. i appreciate you joining us. your county sheriff says that he is following through on his commitment for transparency and accountability in this case. but it has been five days since the shooting and only 20 seconds of body camera video have been shown to the family. what's going on here, sir? >> thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to come. i wish i could accurately answer that question. what's going on is simply we have a mess. we have a city that is full of outraged citizens, people who have much unanswered questions.
and while we as elected officials would love to paint a picture that is only going to get better, better, and better in terms of the transparency and accountability, it seems like it's only getting worse, worse, and worse. >> the sheriff says that the entire incident, sir, was over in less than 30 seconds, suggesting that the family was able to see most of what happened in the 20-second clip. do you believe that? >> absolutely not. you know, for him to only -- or the county attorney to only release 20 seconds of the incident, first and foremost, when the officers arrived, even if the shooting perhaps -- or if i could use the word "execution" was only 30 seconds, the incident was much longer. and the family is in desperate need of answers and more. 20 seconds and to have to wait and be given time after time and
promises not being fulfilled and then for a 20-second clip, certainly this family is probably more hurt now than they were this morning. >> do you think the sheriff's department is trying to hide something? >> honestly, from my standpoint, absolutely. it's sad to say in 2021 that we would even think like that, but here it is five days later. the lack of transparency for the brown family attorney to be told that the family would be able to come view this video and then at a certain time, and then an hour before, they were informed that they were not going to be able to view because the video -- things of the video needed to be retracted. and so you have this family that's already grieving. they're already hurt. they're already confused. and now, you know, a 20-second clip, which really hasn't
provided any answers for this family. and just the way that this matter has been handled by the county sheriff and the county attorney would lead one to really think that, hey, something is going on here because one thing about the video, the video is the video. it's not going to change unless they change it. so why not show the whole -- it would make anyone think, and i heard one of the attorneys say today that the county attorney said that he chose to show the 20 seconds because he believed that was, you know, what they were looking to see. but he can't speak for that family. so to answer your question, yes, it paints a very, very sad picture. >> do you think that there's anything in the video that we don't see before the 20 seconds that would exonerate the officers in this case, that
they're holding possibly for the investigation because in these cases, one has to be careful. we can't get too ahead of ourselves. the attorney did say from what she saw, he had his hands on the wheel, and it didn't feel like he was trying to harm anyone except for backing out away from the officers. but do you think there's anything before the 20 seconds that we saw that could lead up to the shooting or possibly cause it? >> well, definitely cause it, you know. from what i gained from the press conference today, that it seems as if this clip starts when the shooting starts. so, yes, there was something that happened beforehand. however, i do not believe, to answer your first question, there is anything in the beginning that would exonerate or clear these officers for any wrongdoing. there's been calls all across the length and breadth of this
nation for the county sheriff and attorney to release this video. so now they had a chance if there was something, that they could have put it out there to rest persons' minds and to just tell the truth about the situation. so i believe if there was something up there, they would have certainly released that today to help change the atmosphere, and they didn't do that. so it leads me to believe that whatever was not released is more incriminating than what was released on their behalf. >> yeah. councilman horton, i appreciate your time. we'll have you back as we continue on with this case. thank you so much. i appreciate it. >> thank you so much. have a wonderful night. >> thank you. you as well. i want to bring in now phillip atiba goff. he's the president and co-fco- co-founder of the center for policing. let's talk about transparency here. it's key. why do we not have a standard process for what to do with these body cams or videos when
there is a police-involved shooting? >> so there's two answers i think to that question, don. the first one is they've got 18,000 police departments across the united states, 75% of which are 25 or fewer officers. we just have so many, and all of them are making up their own rules. there's no federal lever to say you must all handle body-worn camera footage one way. so there's a bureaucratic answer to that question. but the other reason is because we have not had communities rise up and say, if you don't give us this footage of this stuff that we're paying for, or you're not going to have jobs no more. we have not insisted that this right to transparency has been there in every community. and i think we're starting to see something different. because while in elizabeth city, there's an ongoing investigation, we've had body-worn camera footage out immediately after several recent shootings because the chief said that they could, because the chief decided we're going to do this thing. if you want to sue me, go ahead and sue me, but transparency and
trust is more important, so it can be done. >> well, at the top of the show, chris and i were talking, and, you know, we were talking about whether it's happening more or if we're seeing more of it. and there's really no way -- there's no answer to that question, no good answer to that question because there isn't a standard reporting around the country. it seems like every day, though, we're hearing about another black person killed at the hands of police. it's hard to keep up sometimes. so is the problem getting worse, or are we just hearing about more of these shootings? >> yeah. so we don't have perfect data on this, but we're starting to get decent data on this. it's an embarrassment that we still don't have federal data collection of the granularity that could answer that question. but "the washington post" is on the case. what they can tell us is for the last five years, it's about 1,000 people killed by police every year, and the racial disparities are around the same. that's good news. it is almost certainly better now than it was 20, 30 years ago
based on all the estimates of all of the data scientists who have looked at this stuff. so that's better in the long course of things, but we're not anywhere near good enough. that said, the outrage that we're seeing over the past year, that's almost certainly because even if it's 1,000 a year, which means an average of around three a day every year, even in the midst of a pandemic, right? even given that, we are seeing more of it, and it is a lot less like what we read about in the paper, meaning the officer's account, and a lot more like what black communities have been screaming and hollering about for years. >> well, look, the facts in all of these cases are different, but many people, speaking to what you said, many people question why someone wouldn't comply with an officer, right? that's what they say. well, you should just comply. doesn't the sheer volume of police-involved killings of black people explain why many fear for their lives when confronted by police? >> sure. that's one way that you could explain it. you could also look at the video
of philando castile, who was saying very clearly, i am doing exactly what you tell me to do. i am afraid for my life. i'm not going to do anything sudden. he was given contradictory instructions, give me your hands, then reach in your pocket and give me your wallet, then was dead. it's not the case that when people comply, they can't be shot. it's just the case that when people are afraid for their lives and act on it, that some folks in this country want to blame them for that. i wish we could have the conversation -- this is the conversation that we were having and then we had to go last time. i wish we could have the conversation about all the ways we fail people before their lives are captured ending on body-worn cameras because that's got to be part of this conversation too. but on the question of just compliance, there are enough people who have complied and then been shot. i forget the name because there have been so many of the social worker, who was on the ground, and while he was prone and his hands were above his head, they shot him anyway wh.
when he asked the officer why, he said, i don't know. i got to say, there's no way to prevent it in a system that treats black lives so casually. so, yeah, better to comply. i would tell -- like, my godkids, my friends, i say, yeah, please do comply. it maybe reduces the risk. but isn't that a little beside the point? >> yeah. it's not a guarantee. well, we'll continue to highlight these issues and continue to have you on. phillip, thank you so much. i appreciate it. >> thanks, don. america is in the middle of a racial reckoning right now. are the issues we're facing the reason joe biden's supporters voted for him? >> the african-american community stood up again for me. you've always had my back, and i'll have yours. technology has the powerntum u to remove the toughest stains without pre-rinsing for dishes so clean they shine. join finish and skip the rinse to save our water.
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congressional seats that trump won in 2020 and a loss for states that biden won. texas is gaining two seats. colorado, florida, montana, north carolina, and oregon are gaining one. california and new york, illinois, michigan, ohio, pennsylvania, west virginia losing one. let's bring in now cnn's senior political writer and analyst mr. harry enten, and cnn political analyst astead herndon from the law offices offe enten and herndon. good evening. good to see both of you. overall red states are gaining while blue states are losing. what does the census mean not just for 2022 but for the presidential race come 2024? >> look, i think the best way you can sort of gauge this is by taking the 2020 results and then applying them to different censuses and essentially applying the reapportionment. what we generally see is exactly what you point out, is that the red states gain. so if you were to redo the 2020
election under the new lines, what you'd see is that biden's win of 306 would drop down to 303. but what i think is so interesting, don, is this a decades-long trend whereby populations are moving from the blue states to the red states. so if you applied the 2020 results back three censuses ago, biden's electoral vote margin would be 310. but we've continuously seen that dropping as the populations have been moving from the blue states in the northeast and in the rust belt down into the south. >> are you saying that democrats are moving to red states. won't that affect the way the red states vote in some way? >> it could. we'll get different ideas of how exactly people moved about. there's no doubt we've seen in some of those red states some movement towards the democratic states like texas you mentioned earlier on. that's a state even though donald trump won and he won it by a smaller margin than he did in 2016 and obviously a smaller margin than mitt romney did in 2012, but it's also the case
there are people living in blue states who are moving into red states who are republicans. there are plenty of people who have left california and moves into red stats like texas or montana. >> and moved from new york to florida. >> of course. >> astead, the census bureau saying that new york lost a seat by a margin of 89 people. can you believe that? it just shows you that every vote counts and it shows you really how important the census is. >> absolutely. i mean this is the kind of core of what we talk about when we think about democracy protection, when we think about redistricting. this is the kind of baseline these states are using. i think it's important for us not to use of just use the red state and blue state as harry lays out. we know also these state legislatures will be drawing these maps and that's also going to throw a wrench into this. take new york for example who is going to lose one congressional seat. they can very well draw the maps in a way that actually squeezes out a republican seat from that state and actually is a net gain for democrats.
the same can be true in other states. we don't know how this is going to fall in terms of red to blue. what we do know is that the kind of baseline for political power, the baseline is really in that census and that even some of the states that were expecting bigger gains like texas and florida, this is an impact and maybe undercounting some of those latino voters, maybe not seeing some of those residents actually get into this as we saw republican efforts to kind of demean that over the last year and a half. it could have cost them a congressional seat when they were expecting to gain even more. >> harry, we're at such a pivotal moment in this country when it comes to race. you point out that these issues are exactly why biden's supporters voted for him. >> yeah. i mean, look, if we talk about race relations at this moment in time. we talk about uniting the country. look at the general election, right? look at those voters who said that race relations was very important to their vote. what do you see amongst those
voters in those voters voted overwhelmingly for joe biden. what about uniting the country, right? that was something that joe biden spoke a lot about, healing the wounds of this country. what do you see there? you see that the voters who said that race relations -- excuse me -- uniting the country was the most important candidate quality, look at this margin that joe biden got over donald trump according to the exit polls. 51 points. so joe biden's voters elected him for this exact moment in time to see if he can bring this country together, especially on the issue of race relations. >> yeah, and he's just doing it, you know, as best as he can and not paying attention to the noise, especially the noise from cable news. listen, it wasn't just the general election, harry. you found that democratic voters in the primary also put biden ahead of his opponents on these issues. >> remember it was about a year and maybe two months ago we were coming out of new hampshire and nevada and joe biden hadn't won a single contest yet? and then all of a sudden --
>> i remember. >> you remember that. we went down to south carolina, right? and that's the first -- that was the first primary in which african-americans really had a heavy say in what was going on. and if you look across the primaries and you look at the folks who said that race relations was the number one issue for them, look at this. joe biden had a 34-point margin over his nearest primary opponent in all those states. and look at this. uniting the country, again in the primary, what do you see? amongst those voters who said that that was the most important quality, look at this. a 46-point margin over his nearest primary opponent for joe biden. so it's not just the general election. the reason that joe biden won that primary last year was because of black voters, and it was because of voters who really wanted him to address the issues of race relations and uniting the country. >> i went down there and went to a polling place and spoke to him and interviewed him, and we saw -- >> i remember that. >> and we saw the difference.
i said, look, people there loved him, right? that he had this connection, especially with black voters. then you saw what transpired after that. astead, biden said that his inauguration speech, that we can deliver racial justice. he said we can't stop here after the verdict of derek chauvin, the murder trial. he's clearly not shying away from confronting racial injustice head-on. does he see this as his best opportunity to get real change? >> i think so. i think you see an agenda laid out by president biden that tries to address these in a lot of areas, not just criminal justice where we often talk about race but also when you talk about infrastructure. the focus on black women and maternal care as part of that bill. they see that as part of racial equity. when they talk about the covid relief packages and the kind of targeted impacts that we know disproportionately affect the black communities. they see that as part of raushl equity. what we see is a democratic party that has shifted from a rhetoric about lifting all boats
and that would include communities of color, to really looking at targeted ways to combat systemic racism. i think that's going to be a clear driver for president biden and the white house. the question here, as looms over all of his agenda, is are they going to run into that senate filibuster? are they going to run into the kind of congressional holds that have stymied big change for years and years and years because i think come five, six months from now, there certainly will have accomplishments to point to, but that will the question that folks are thinking of. in they want to do voting rights, they have to deal with that question. their rhetoric about racial equity comes up against those kinds of senate barriers that have stymied his predecessors in barack obama, and he is going to be a core part of whether his agenda gets passed or not. >> we'll be watching. thank you. so he said he was assaulted, his constitutional rights violated all during a traffic stop, and he sued.
with serious and reliable internet. powered by the largest gig speed network in america. but is it secure? sure it's secure. and even if the power goes down, your connection doesn't. so how do i do this? you don't do this. we do this, together. bounce forward, with comcast business. so i'm sure you remember the story. it was reported. we did a lot of reporting on it. it was a virginia state trooper and now he's reportedly out of a job months after a video went viral showing him harassing, violently removing a black man from his car. this was back in 2019. here it is. >> you can't do that, sir. >> this officer is trying to unlock my car. this officer is unlocking my car. they just illegally entered my car, and i'm being forcefully
removed. >> take a look at me. you have gotten on my last nerve, all right? you're going to get your ass whooped in front of lord and all creation. i'm going to give you one more chance. >> i'm being threatened. >> you can bring that with you. i'll let you film the whole thing. >> i'm being threatened right now and i am not doing anything. >> i'm giving ah a chance. >> my hands are up. my hand on this camera. >> as long as your hands are up, that's fine. >> i'm not resisting. i was unlawfully -- sir, please do not touch me, sir. >> see, that's where we're coming to a disagreement. i'm giving you to the count of three. >> sir -- >> don't do it, man. >> it's on camera. my hand is by my head. >> step out of the car right now. >> i'm being threatened. >> now you're under arrest. now you're under arrest, sir. i'm giving to you count of three. >> this officer has threatened me. >> one -- >> i am no threat --
>> two -- >> i've been threatened. my life is in danger. my life is in danger. >> how do you like that, huh? put your hands -- >> i'm not resisting. >> yes, you are. >> no, i'm not! get off me. my hands are behind my back, sir. my hands are behind my back. i am not resisting. sir, please get off my neck. i'm not resisting. get off my neck, sir. you are harming me. you are harming me. you are harming me, sir. you are harming me. >> i'm joined now by the man that you see in that video, derek thompson, and his attorney, joshua ehrlich. thank you both for joining. i appreciate it. derek, i need to tell our viewers, full transparency, you've settled for the federal lawsuit, $20,000, no admission of wrongdoing by the state. but you started recording before that trooper opened the car door. why did you decide to record this traffic stop?
>> i mean my first instinct recording that encounter was worst-case scenario, i don't want to be that one story that's untold. you know, you just hear about it, and that's it. we don't actually get to see or get to dig a little bit deeper into what actually happened that day. i know aside from my case, there's hundreds of cases like these that happen where, you know, unfortunately that victim didn't have the thought, especially given the panic they had or what they're going through to decide let me document this. let me get some type of proof that something is happening. you know, i feel like by the grace of god, i got pretty lucky, but i knew what i had to do at that point, you know, whether it went smoothly or that didn't happen, i needed some type of accountability. >> i wonder if you knew why they were stopping you because according to the lawsuit, they said that charles hewett, the officer involved, arrived ten minutes into the stop. you were stopped for having an
expired tag and police believe that they smelled marijuana and they wanted to search your car. but there were no drugs found in the vehicle. >> no. not on my person or in the vehicle. there were no drugs, period. >> yeah. you were very calm in that video. many people are not as calm. what was going through your mind when you hear the officer saying things like, you know, you're going to get whooped and plays to the camera saying, watch the show, folks. what were you thinking? >> there really wasn't too much thinking going on at that point. adrenaline kicks in of course. when you feel like it's a life and death situation, it's really kind of hard to have a steady train of thought. i can't really say i had a steady train of thought as far as just knowing this is a situation where i can potentially lose my life after this. and that's a scary position for anybody to be put in. >> so during this traffic
stop -- and this is what people are going to -- why? >> right. >> you asked for a lawyer. why didn't you get out? why did you pass ively resist ad not consent to a vehicle search? >> well, i mean give the day that it was, 4/20. i know what they're looking for on a day like that, and it's a little cranked up, we're going to go searching for this on 4/20. i can understand that. but for that to be that number one go-to thing like, all right, he's not showing any signs of -- any other signs that there might be any criminal activity going on, but let's roll the dice with the 4/20 thing, like there's marijuana in the car. i know that's a pretty common tactic, especially for fairfax county police to use. but on a day like that, i felt like it was not only just incredibly blatant to just put that out there as kind of a slap in the face, like are you going to pull over everybody on 4/20
and assume there's marijuana in the car? and once that happened, i just -- i knew it wasn't a safe situation for me. like there was no smell, nothing. like where did that come from? >> it's just an easy go-to to say the reason we did what we did is because we smelled marijuana in the car. the attorney, i see you shaking your head with that. do you believe that's so? >> i do. i do. and, you know, it's worth noting that since this, virginia has outlawed the sorts of pretextual stops. but in april of 2019, they were still legal. >> yeah. so we reached out to the virginia state police, and they said that they had no additional comments beyond what they already provided publicly and to the media. we've attempted to reach the trooper for comment, but we haven't heard back. but it is your understanding that hewett was fired for cause in february? what do you know? >> sure. our understanding is that
trooper hewett was fired in february. our understanding is that it was for cause, and our understanding is that -- well, let me put it this way. trooper hewett was not terminated as part of -- as part of our settlement. the termination was done months before -- or at least a month before our settlement talks even really began. but derek wouldn't have settled this case if trooper hewett was still on the roads. derek had two goals. one was to get some just compensation, and the other was to make the streets a bit safer by getting this guy off the road. and the case was a lot easier to settle once we found out that he wasn't on the road anymore. >> attorney ehrlich, derek did plead guilty to a misdemeanor obstruction of justice last year. why is that?
>> my understanding -- and i can let derek confirm this -- is the obstruction of justice charge was a -- he took a guilty plea on the obstruction of justice charge in exchange for the other charges being dropped. i wasn't involved at that point, but, you know, people take guilty pleas for, you know, lots of reasons, not least of which being how onerous the court process can be even if you don't think you've done anything wrong. >> i understand that. i just wanted to -- it was a legal question. i just wanted to understand why. do you want to respond to that, derek? >> i feel joshua said it just well enough. >> okay. good enough. gentlemen, thank you very much. i appreciate you both appearing here, and be well and safe. thanks so much. >> god bless. thank you, don. >> thanks for having us. it all started with a 14-year-old cheerleader ranting on snapchat and now it's going to the supreme court. the free speech case that will affect tens of millions of
cheer, f everything. she wrote that to her friends on snapchat. this was all the way back in 2017. levy was suspended from the sk squad for her post, and the supreme court's decision could have ramifications for millions of students. joining me is harry litman. what a case. let's talk about this. brandi is a cheerleader. she represents the school, but she wasn't in school at the time. she wasn't using school property or naming any specific students or employees. so where is the line? >> it's a saturday. she's in a mini-mart. she does it on snapchat which, as you know, disappears and is designed to disappear. and she does, you know, language that "rant" might be an exaggeration.
i've got teenage kids. it's something you hear every day. but where is the line is the question, don. she's now in college. this isn't about her anymore although she's doing it for principle. the question is what will it mean going forward? the court below said she was okay, she was protected. and the supreme court's now taken the case. they are not going to say that school districts, you know, can always discipline students, but they're going to use some words. we don't know what those words are, but those words are going to influence the lives of high school students for the next 20 years as lower courts try to apply them because what they're going to say is, look, there are some times -- and they're right -- that words can matter. you don't want kids bullying or maybe making certain threats or disrupting the school. but we know that she didn't disrupt at all. the school admitted that. but the court will say some things, and then probably return it to the court below. and then if they draw a clear
line, well, the courts below will know what to do. if they draw a not so clear line or it sounds like kind of a strict line, high school students, people who are being born today are going to have to suffer with it. it's a real illustration of the role that the u.s. supreme court plays in american life. >> okay. harry, so, look -- >> yeah. >> i don't think anybody would recommend that a student use that kind of language, but is it different that it was posted online because this is back-talk, right? just imagine if she had found out she had gone and they said, you know, what brandi, you didn't make the thing. and she goes f, you guys. f the school. i'm so mad, and she stomps off. what's the difference? >> she goes running through the hall and doing it. now we're on a different line. now we're on the line where school authorities have to worry about discipline in school or what it says. >> okay. >> you know, that's not really what it was, and she was saying
it -- remember snapchat is designed to disappear, and you have your little coterie of friends, 250. what happened here is one of them turned out to be the daughter of a cheerleading coach, brought it to her mom, the other cheerleader. it was a little bit of a "mean girls" subplot. but i don't think it was that serious what she did. i don't think they'll think it's so serious. but they'll define the ability of a school to go to a certain length. and how they define it is going to apply to all kinds of cases we can't imagine now. >> i gotcha, yeah. i can't believe that they narced her out like that. with friends like that, who needs enemies? >> right, right. >> got to be careful what you post. thanks, harry. i appreciate it. if you're planning a summer vacation, you might have a lot more options soon. there's new guidance coming out about who can do what, where. stay with us.
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president joe biden set to make a big announcement tomorrow about what vaccinated people can do this summer. cnn's nick watt has more. >> reporter: tomorrow the president expected to announce major tweaks to the covid-19 guidance on who can do what and where. >> certainly what one can do outdoors vis-a-vis masks is going to be one of those recommendations. >> reporter: allowing the vaccinated to go maskless
outside might be an incentive to get the vaccine. >> because people who have been vaccinated have wanted some reward from this. >> reporter: closing in on one-third of the u.s. population is now fully vaccinated. still far from herd immunity, but apparently normality is nearer than that. >> you will reach a point even before then where you'll start to see the number of cases going down dramatically. it's going to be a gradual getting with regard you can do outdoor, travel, outdoor sports, stadiums, theaters, restaurants. >> reporter: even european vacations could be okay this summer for the vaccinated. >> they're saying those americans are safe to come to our country without risk of spreading covid-19. think about that. that's incredible. >> reporter: but the pace of vaccination here is now slowing. >> they might not be as fast as the first 50%. i think it's going to be slower, but i think we're going to continue to get there. >> reporter: average daily new
covid-19 cases in the u.s. just dropped below 60,000 for the first time in about a month. >> right now the declines that we're seeing, we can take to the bank. i think we can feel more assured because they're being driven by vaccinations and greater levels of population-wide immunity. >> reporter: but in india, crisis mode. the u.s. now sending equipment, drugs, advisers, and pending safety review, will release doses from its stockpile of astrazeneca vaccine, unauthorized in this country and apparently not needed. still unknown which countries they would go to. >> we really do have a responsibility to try and help vaccinate the rest of the world, and that includes india and other places that need it right now. >> reporter: nick watt, cnn, los angeles. >> until we hear from the president, continue to wear these, a mask, until we hear otherwise. thanks for watching. our coverage continues.
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