tv CNN Newsroom With Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto CNN May 26, 2021 6:00am-7:00am PDT
a lot going on this morning. time to turn it over to poppy harlow and jim sciutto who has seen many, many important films, brianna. >> not enough. >> it's time for their show. you should all watch it now. now. good morning. i'm poppy harlow. >> i'm jim sciutto. back story there, no "fast and furious" for me. there's a big and serious question there. could former president trump be indicted on criminal charges? it's a serious question and there is movement. according to "the washington post," the manhattan district attorney who has been investigating trump organization for months, has convened a grand jury to hear evidence, and this is important, weigh potential charges against the former president. other executives at his company or the business itself. the move signifies the da's investigation has reached an advanced stage after more than two years of this probe.
>> remember, these prosecutors not only have a trove of tax documents and other records. they've also extensively interviewed trump's former personal attorney michael cohen over the past two years, as jim said, since he flipped. remember, cohen turned on trump after pleading guilty to making hush money payments on the former president's behalf and lying under oath. it comes as no surprise that former president trump blasted the investigation as a witch hunt. so how significant is this? where does it go from here? let's begin with our senior legal affairs correspondent paula reid. good morning. tell us what exactly convening this grand jury. it's going to last a long time. what does this mean? >> maybe even longer than six months. there are ways to actually extend it. this is not good news for the former president that after two years, this investigation is entering this advanced stage, but it does not mean that he or anyone else will definitely be charged. at the heart of this case are
questions about whether the trump organization lied about its assets. the question is whether, when they went to banks, were they saying they had more than they actually did to help them secure loans? when they talked to the government, were they devaluing their assets so they did not have to pay as much in taxes? the potential crime, of course, being fraud. but in order to bring fraud ch charges, you need a lot of evidence. specific documents, witnesses. as you noted, they do have the president's tax returns after a fight that went all the way to the supreme court. but the fact that they convened this grand jury does suggest that prosecutors believe they have evidence of a crime. and now they can use this grand jury to issue subpoenas, to bring in the evidence they have to get more evidence and to really just test their case. of course, the former president has weighed in on this investigation. in a statement, he said this is, quote, purely political and an affront to the almost 75 million voters who supported me in the
presidential election and it's being driven by highly partisan democrat prosecutors. jim and poppy? >> paula reid, thanks very much. former federal prosecutor laura coates joins us now. laura, there's that famous old saying that a grand jury could indict a ham sandwich if that's what prosecutors want here. but this is an advanced stage because cyrus vance has been investigating for two years and has an enormous amount of documents on hand, as well as potentially cooperative witnesses. michael cohen already shown that and targeting allen weisselberg, the longtime cfo, of trump organization. not clear if he will cooperate. but he's got a lot of things in his arsenal here. how serious does convening a grand jury, how serious is that in your view? >> it's very serious. you don't just call a grand jury or a special grand jury to spin your wheels. the documents are important here. it's not as if you have to just rely on statements of people
who, obviously, to err is human. you have documents that are going to speak for themselves. either you find something or didn't. either it was assessed equally and objectively or it was not. that's a very big deal here talking about a grand jury. they'll look at the documents and decide from there. >> what are your biggest questions, laura, on all of this, this morning because it does -- the timing is just interesting, if not more. the fact that it comes, what, less than two weeks after we learn the agletitia james' office is partnering with the da here. >> that's very specific. you don't want to reinvent the wheel. they both in their independent investigations, and the overlap of the two in this way is actually quite rare, but the underlying facts overlapped in such a way that they made best sense to actually come together. so where one may have had interviews or depositions, the other has documents. you combine the two and the underlying thread here, if it's
about the ideas of tax fraud, avoiding the payment of taxes, deflating or inflating assets accordingly or even things around the private estates, they'll combine efforts, not duplicate them with an eye towards indictment. again, as paula talked about, there is no guarantee, but the idea of a specialized grand jury convening with the benefit of tax documents, the benefit of documents related to allegations of fraud, any statements that are made, that is huge ammunition against the organization or anyone within it. >> trump famously said during the 2016 election in one of the debates, right, that he doesn't pay or reduces his taxes because he's smart, right? the question is, did he get on the wrong side of the law here and the potential allegation is that he played both sides of the game. deflating income when it came to taxes, to reduce his liability. inflating the value of assets to get loans. what laws would be broken here, potentially, if he went too far
in either of those things? >> well, they are all the fraud-based allegations here. the notion that nothing is certain but death and taxes. and taxes seems to be even more certain most days. the idea here that you're not able to -- you can navigate the tax code but you can't break the tax code. and his own statements in the past may be used against him, if he, in fact, is the target here in this particular instance. remember, one of the things he might have the benefit of here, jim, is the idea of counsel. the advice of his tax preparers, the advice of his attorneys. we know that president trump did not, you know, infamously did not keep a lot of the paper trail in terms of text messaging or email. and so he's got a little bit of removal there from the people who may have advised him. yet and still that's why someone like a weisselberg is so important. somebody who would be able to have these personal conversations with the former president. somebody who would be able to unpack the intent or what was really intended and whether it was the dog wagging the tail or
the tail wagging the dog. >> laura coates, thank you very much. let's talk about the political side of all of this. toulou, an enterprise reporter for "the washington post." the paper that broke the story. and olivia beavers for politico. let's talk about the work that your paper did. what do you see in terms of the politics of this? we heard the president's response. i would assume he's going to be pressuring, you know, maybe publicly if not behind the scenes, republicans to rally in his defense here. and it puts democrats in the position of having to talk about and address the past, not the future. >> yeah, this is a headline that includes the words trump and indictment. trump and grand jury, potentially trump and criminal charges. that's not a good set of headlines for the republican party. they want to be talking about, if they are talking about trump, they want to be talking about the tax cuts that he passed or the fact that he was able to win in 2016 when it was a difficult
year for republicans. but instoead, they're talking about all the corruption that's swirled around his administration. and many want to move on talking about trump because they lost the white house and the senate and it was in large part because of this scandal always swirling around him. so it's a tough position for republicans to be in. it does allow democrats to go on the attack and keeps biden out of the headlines and instead we're talking about the former president. >> olivia, there is a point of view that this will make the president more likely to run in 2024 or at least keep that option open because then he sees it as allowing him to portray this as -- if he's already portraying this, purely political but even more so because he'll be a candidate for office. one, is that likely, in your view? is that what you're hearing on the hill? and the other question is how does the republican party
receive that? do they want a candidate who might be indicted as the standard bearer for the party s going into 2024? >> you bring up a great point, jim. i have two sources close to the president who think that donald trump is at least expressing to allies that he plans to run again in 2024. and that's before this news came down about the grand jury. when i was talking to these sources they said, look. donald trump will say things and then doesn't follow through. this may not be the first time he's making the 2024 potential candidate field dance. he's making sure that people keep on kissing the ring so he can stay relevant. but certainly this would be a motivating factor if he thinks he would be protected from legal jeopardy if becoming a 2024 republican candidate helped him shield him from this case. but talking to republicans on the hill, i've been asking them this question. you get a mix of answers and a lot of them prefer to be private
in some of their points. but some are saying, yes, we want donald trump to run again. that's the jim jordans and some of the freedom caucus members. others are saying maybe we should give others a chance. ron desantis, mike pompeo, others who have been basically in the shadow of donald trump through his administration but not necessarily as plagued by scandal as he has been. and the points they make are donald trump is a distraction, even though we love his policies. and some are saying, no, please don't have donald trump run again. getting a mix, but some are also saying it's too early to tell. and i think that they will certainly be watching how this case plays out. >> can we switch gears here. i just want to talk about kevin mccarthy, gop house leadership now, five days later, coming out and condemning marjorie taylor greene, comparing mask rules on capitol hill to the holocaust and then you have other gop leadership condemning it as well. jamie gangel has interesting
reporting that republican dono s and house members put the pressure on them to do that. but it's done. they've done it. you have got republicans in the house like adam kinzinger saying, look, we can't stop marjorie taylor greene from being a republican but we can stop her from caucusing with the gop. is he on an island, and are there any next moves by republican house leadership, whether it's a censure vote, what have you? >> representative kinzinger is definitely on an island, and he's going to be there until such time that president trump, former president, decides to speak out against representative marjorie taylor greene. it's clear that trump likes her. and as long as trump likes her, it's going to be hard for kevin mccarthy to do anything to cross her or kick her out of the party. former president trump has talked about how republicans need to be tough and smart and stick together. he says democrats stick together while republicans are always fighting amongst themselves. so it's going to be very hard for mccarthy to do anything more aggressive in terms of kicking her out of the party or out of the caucus in part because she
has the support of president trump and the support of a lot of his fans and a lot of his supporters if you look at her fundraising. she's raising tons of money in part because she's following the trump playbook of creating outrage, getting backlash and playing the victim and saying, look at all these liberals triggered by me and out to get me. can you donate $5 to my campaign? as long as she's continuing to have that playbook and president trump continues to support her, it's going to be hard for leadership to kick her out of the party. >> yeah. listen, he may support her until she supplants him as a bigger social media voice. she's following the playbook and his impact there declining. thanks so much to both of you. >> thank you. gop senators want some big changes to the january 6th commission. a bipartisan proposal for it by the way. will democratic senators make those changes or is it all but over? and chinese state-run media has a new target. dr. anthony fauci.
why they are going after him and why the controversy over the origins of this virus is far from over, just ahead. plus, tonight the first $1 million winner will be drawn for the ohio covid-19 vaccine lottery. some people really state lawmakers from both parties aren't happy about it and want to stop the lottery. stay with us. ♪ ♪ we made usaa insurance for veterans like martin. when a hailstorm hit, he needed his insurance to get it done right, right away. usaa. what you're made of, we're made for. usaa hi sabrina! >>hi jen! so this aveeno® moisturizer goes beyond just soothing sensitive skin? exactly jen! calm + restore oat gel is formulated with prebiotic oat. and strengthens skin's moisture barrier. uh! i love it! aveeno® healthy. it's our nature.™ to unlock the world's greatest potential. tomorrow's potential. we have to look...
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from 1979 to 2009. warner, well respected on both sides of the aisle, poppy. >> for his bipartisan spirit, his service to the country. he served in both world war ii and the korean war. he eventually became secretary of the navy for the nixon administration in the '70s. he died at the age of 94 surrounded by his family. well, the future of the january 6th commission and a bipartisan proposal for it hangs in the balance this week. tomorrow, senators will hold a key vote to determine whether the bill can advance to a final vote. it's remarkable that the filibuster -- republicans might filibuster this bipartisan plan. >> that's exactly right. as it stands, it does not appear there's enough support to move this thing forward. lauren fox is on capitol hill for us. good morning. will any concessions be made to bring over more gop senators, or is this thing doa? >> essentially right now what you have, poppy, is one republican senator, susan
collins of maine, making their public the changes that she wants to see to the bill that would establish the january 6th commission. however, you have not seen any interest from democratic leaders in making those changes. chuck schumer argued yesterday at his press conference that he viewed some of the suggested changes she wanted to make, especially on the staffing issue as potentially problematic for the commission. collins is arguing that she wants a guarantee in the way that this legislation is written that republicans and democrats have an equal ability to get staff on the commission. right now the way the bill is written it would require the chairman of the commission would select staff in consultation with the vice chair. her argument is that there needs to be more of an actual agreement on staffing. and if that agreement could not be made, what she hopes would happen is each side would get to pick their own staff. schumer's concern is you could have warring staff on a
commission that was supposed to be bipartisan. supposed to be sort of at a different level than what lawmakers would be able to do up here on capitol hill. it is not likely that those changes would be made at this point, and you should keep in mind that even if you got senator susan collins to support a bill that romney and murkowski have said they will support with democrats, that is still just a handful of republicans. that is not ten republicans, which is what would be needed to get this bill across the finish line. it should be noted that in the house you had 35 house republicans willing to vote with democrats to establish this commission. jim and poppy? >> lauren, thank you very much. we are just days away from the white house's memorial day deadline that they set for an infrastructure deal. republican senators say president biden has informed them or indicated to them that he'd accept a much lower price tag on the package, about a trillion dollars. that is much less than the,
obviously, original 2.3 and then $1.7 trillion proposal. >> cnn's arlette saenz joins us. gop senators are expected to make a counter offer to the counter offer to the counter offer. but in that same price range of about a trillion dollars. beyond the dollar figure, is there a meeting in the middle on the other key issues of disagreement, like what you define infrastructure has? does broad band come in there? >> the devil will be in the details. and the white house has expressed that they are keeping an open mind as they are expecting the republican senators to present this counterproposal when it comes to infrastructure. now what we know so far is that this proposal will total somewhere around $1 trillion which republican senators are saying president biden has suggested he would accept as a top line number. that is far less than the $2.25 trillion and then the $1.7 trillion that the president had
previously proposed. but so much of whether there will be an agreement will come to the actual details of these proposals. we are still waiting to hear a bit more of the contours of the gop plan. but so far, the republican senators working on this have offered some clues about what they would be including. they have suggested that they might be paying for it by using unused covid relief funding and that they would structure those payments to take course over the course of eight years. additionally, bottom line, they insist that they do not want to see changes made to the 2017 trump tax cuts. that may not fly with this white house as they've proposed making slashes to the corporate tax rate in order to pay for this. now while these -- this gop proposal is still forthcoming, it's expected to come tomorrow, there is also a group of bipartisan senators working on a parallel track, putting together their own counter proposal that includes senator joe manchin who has insisted he wants to see
real meaningful bipartisan negotiation when it comes to infrastructure. you also have senator susan collins and senator mitt romney that are part of that working group. but really right now the clock is ticking. the president has set this soft deadline of having some contours of a deal by memorial day. that is very quickly approaching. and right now, there is this wait and see period, whether both sides will be able to come to some type of agreement or if the president will decide to go it alone with just democrats, which some of his colleagues on capitol hill are already suggesting he take that route. >> yeah, listen, one of the pay-fors coming out of the bipartisan talks, charging electric vehicle owners per mile driving. hard to see how that gets democratic votes. a long way to go. arlette saenz, thank you. new calls for a probe into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic after cnn learns that president biden shut down an investigation started by the trump administration. did the president make a mistake
there? we're also moments from the opening bell on wall street. futures are pointing higher this morning as investor fears over inflation have eased slightly. san francisco federal reserve officials say while the economy is strong, it's not the time to change policy. stocks closed the day lower yesterday. we'll keep an eye on the markets as they open today. this is how you become the best! [wrestling bell rings] [music: “you're the best” by joe esposito] ♪ try to be best 'cause you're only a man ♪ ♪ and a man's gotta learn to take it ♪ ♪ try to believe though the going gets rough ♪ ♪ that you gotta hang tough to make it ♪ ♪ you're the best! around! ♪ ♪ nothing's gonna ever keep you down ♪ [triumphantly yells] ♪ you're the best! around! ♪ [ding]
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well, there is really important new information this morning so parents of teens, listen up. this will probably put you at ease when it comes to vaccinating your children. >> no question. listen to this. the cdc says it investigated reports of a heart ailment among mostly teens and young adults who had received the covid-19 vaccine, and it found no link between the vaccine and that heart condition. still there is concern among doctors that people will misinterpret the findings, might get scared off anyway. so to clear it up, give you the information you need for you and your children, elizabeth cohen joins us now. so in clearest terms possible, tell us what the cdc found here. >> there is no link between the covid-19 vaccine and heart problems in teens and young adults. that is the easiest way to say it. jim, you said it. i just said it. let's give a few more details here.
what happens, and this is a good thing. doctors and patients are encouraged to report to this national reporting system when something goes wrong after a vaccine. notice i didn't say because of a vaccine but after a vaccine. for example if you get a vaccine of any kind and you get a terrible case of dandruff, you can report that. the fda and cdc will report to see if it was linked to the vaccine or if you just have dandruff. let's take a look at what happened in this case. something much more serious. myocarditis, that's inflammation of the heart muscle. there were reports, they didn't see how many, but said it was rare and relatively few reports of myocarditis after vaccination mostly among teens and young adults. but the cdc looked into it and they concluded the rate of myocarditis was the same among vaccinated people as among nonvaccinated people. myocarditis happens. it even happens to young people. it especially happens this time of year. that's because myocarditis is often caused by an infection and
the virus is sometimes the culprit. the spring and early summer is the hot season for the virus. so they looked at this and said there is no link here. parents, vaccinate your teens, young adults, get vaccinated. >> it's hard to be clearer than that, right? and it's not just you saying it. it's what the data indicates here. elizabeth cohen, thanks so much. well, more than 15 months into this pandemic, new questions this morning over the origins of the coronavirus itself. cnn learned the biden administration shut down a previously secret effort at the state department to prove that coronavirus originated in a lab in wuhan, china. sources tell us they had concerns over the quality of the work. >> but this comes as several of the nation's top health experts, like dr. anthony fauci and others, are pushing for an investigation into the origins
of covid-19. health and human services secretary javier becerra says a more health-based probe is needed. let's talk about this with dr. celine gounder, an epidemiologist and the cnn medical analyst. good to have you. let's start there. was it a mistake in your mind knowing what we know now and have learned in the last few days of the science here for the biden administration to shut down what was a closely held state department effort under the trump administration to at least investigate, look seriously at the theory that this could have originated in the lab in wuhan? >> poppy, i think it's really important to distinguish here between two different lab hypotheses. one is that this was an engineered virus in the lab through gain of function, research, something that's been talked about in various different congressional hearings. that is one theory. that really is a conspiracy
theory. the latter theory that involves a lab accident is a plausible theory. we've had our own lab accidents at the cdc involving anthrax and avian flu and ebola. and so these are very plausible scenarios where the accidents do happen and you could have a leak in that way. >> well, what's changed, and we should be clear, is that no one is saying they've concluded it was a lab leak but what has changed is that folks who had, if not eliminated that possibility, you know, dismissed it are now saying, well, it needs more work here. now i wonder, just given your expertise, where does the science and the medicine, as we know it today, lead you? is it an open question? are you leaning one way or another? >> i think we just need to do a lot more investigating. so the two dominant theories here are the spillover from wildlife into humans and then possibly a lab accident. and so each of those -- for the
lab accident, you would want to get the hospital records of the lab workers who ended up sick. we don't know if that was covid. we would want to see where their specimens were retained to test them if they had sars-cov-2. what scans were done and with respect to the spillover theory, there are other things recommended that have yet to be done. so some of that would include, you know, there's this bat cave where this virus may have emerged from. have they done widespread testing of the local community to see what the exposures may have been. when we donate blood and people in china also donate blood, you have a blood bank. specimens going back years. have they tested to see when the virus emerges in those specimens? so there's a lot of things that can be done to really investigate both theories that have yet to be done. >> dr. gounder, you were part of the biden team in terms of advising them on covid. that's correct, right?
>> that's right. that's right. >> did discussions of this come up with you and the team, given that -- before this reporting from our kylie atwood today, we didn't know of the existence of this state department program under the trump administration and then the subsequent canceling of it in the spring by the biden team. i wonder what the thought process was there. >> yeah, we certainly have been very concerned about a lack of transparency on the part of the chinese throughout this entire process. and that really does feed into conspiracy theories, whenever you have a lack of transparency. now that is not a smoking gun. that doesn't prove anything. and there are other reasons the chinese may not be transparent. the fact is, they want to be a dominant superpower, and being dominant in science and technology is very much a part of that. so they may not want to share the insides of their laboratory work. >> dr. gounder, thank you. well, ahead, backlash over the upcoming summit between president biden and russian
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joining me, jill dougherty, adjunct professor at georgetown's walsh school of foreign service and also former cnn moscow bureau chief. great to have you on, as always. >> thank you. >> we saw this same debate in the trump administration with the summits with kim, kim jong-un. is a summit without preconditions, given that these countries like to be, you know, on a vaulted pedestal next to the u.s., is that a reward or is it an opportunity for the current president to signal a change in how the u.s. is going to approach russia from the way trump did? >> you know, jim, i think, yes, of course people, and i'm watching it on twitter, et cetera, that people would say, this is a gift to putin. and certainly president putin likes to be on the world stage. and this will be, you know, an indication of his status in the world, et cetera. that said, there is very little communication going on between
the two countries. diplomatically or almost any other way, you look at diplomatically, just recently, you know, within the past month or so, diplomats have been kicked out on both sides, and, granted there's a bit of discussion going on at the top levels. secretary of state, foreign minister, but there is a dangerous lack of communication, in my view. and sitting down -- neither of these leaders is particularly naive. you know, they know the issues. so there's not going to be any star-struck atmosphere between them. so i do think it's worth it. >> you have seen a very celebrity effort from president biden, both during the campaign and since his inauguration to mark -- to just describe russia and putin in markedly different terms. in march, he called putin a killer. trump, of course, infamously had his helsinki moment described so by democrats and republicans in almost equally outraged terms
when he stood next to putin and straight up took putin's word over that of the u.s. intelligence community that it interfered in the 2016 election. what does biden need to do to mark a reversal of that moment for the u.s.? >> i think there needs to be some hard talk on some very serious issues. you know, you have, of course, always with russia, the strategic stability issue. they just -- both countries just extended the new s.t.a.r.t. arms control agreement. what happened after that? it's going to run out in five week years again, and then what? do you bring china in and then you have other issues. there's a pandemic. there are regional conflicts, as we know. ukraine, et cetera. look at what just happened to belarus, in belarus with the plane being forced down. interference in elections. cybercrime, hacking, you name it. there's a lot to discuss.
>> and none of that activity has changed, markedly, since biden took over, right? russia still in the ukraine. the massive build-up on the border. it's still attacking in terms of cyberattacks. i wonder, in terms of areas of potential agreement, is resurrecting the iran nuclear deal, to which both the u.s. and russia, along with china, iran and others were a party to, a potentially likely area of cooperation going forward? >> yes. it's one of the only areas that they can really cooperate, it would appear, on some of these issues right now. and that's a very important thing. and so there are these issues that russia and the united states ultimately have to work together. they don't agree on these issues but they have to work together and i would add climate change. i think that that's -- putin is beginning to take it seriously. >> understood. jill dougherty, always good to talk to you about this. few people know it as well as
you. appreciate you coming on. >> thank you. ahead -- a million dollars for getting a covid vaccine. the prize set to be awarded tonight in ohio. but there's bipartisan criticism of the vax-a-million lottery. we'll speak to one of the democratic lawmakers criticizing it, ahead. and you need it here. and here. and here. which is why the scientific expertise that helps operating rooms stay clean is now helping the places you go every day too. seek a commitment to clean. look for the ecolab science certified seal.
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emergency planning for kids. we can't predict when an emergency will happen. so that's why it's important to make a plan with your parents. here are a few tips to stay safe. know how to get in touch with your family. write down phone numbers for your parents, siblings and neighbors. pick a place to meet your family if you are not together and can't go home. remind your parents to pack an emergency supply kit. making a plan might feel like homework, but it will help you and your family stay safe during an emergency. tonight the first of five lucky vaccinated ohioans will learn if they're a millionaire, an effort launched by governor
mark dewine to get vaccine rates up. the vaccine rates did jump after this got announced. right now 2.75 million of them are in this drawing. many more rolling up their sleeves for a literal shot at a million bucks. but there is pushback coming from both sides of the aisle. there's a bill calling for an emergency move to cancel it altogether. my next guest says the lottery is a grave misuse of money. malia sykes joins me this morning. you don't like this. your words, ohioans deserve better than this. but 19,709 of your fellow ohioans have died from covid so far. what's wrong with getting as many people vaccinated as possible? >> it's of up most importance to get people vaccinated. ohioans do deserve better than a
lottery. but what we have seen is republicans have put politics over public health during this pandemic, and it has gravely impacted and harmed our ability to respond to this covid crisis. so now the governor, as he fights republicans in his own party in attempting to get good, straightforward, honest health information to them is combating all types of disinformation, conspiracy theories, and now we're in a lottery. had we been following public health from the beginning, we would have been able to have much higher rates of vaccinations as we've seen in other states who did follow the public health guidelines much better, but that's not where we are in ohio. we do deserve better, better than the politics that has taken over our pandemic response. and we likely would have had much better response rates and higher vaccinations. >> just to be clear, governor dewine has not been a part of the lies about a vaccine, right?
he's been very straight -- on the science here. let me finish the question. you're alleging this is about politics on his part. this is his idea. here is what he says about why he thinks it's so important. >> i know people are going to say, hey, dewine has lost his mind, this is a waste. but what i think is a waste is now to have the vaccine that can save people's lives, and to have someone die of covid because they did not get vaccinated. that is a horrible, horrible waste. >> is he wrong? >> no, he's not wrong about doing what he needs to do as governor to get vaccinations. just as i said, i've not been a strong supporter of this, but i also have been supporting vaccinations from the very beginning and have pleaded with the governor many times not to concede to the far right extremists in his party and move forward the way that he had in the beginning to make sure
everyone was safe. ultimately, i think we all agree. if people are getting vaccinations, we're moving in the right direction. and if this turns out to be a positive thing and more people vaccinated, which we have seen so far, that's great. people getting more money in their pockets for vaccines in arms, that's a good place to go. >> okay. you're right on the numbers. the ohio department of health laid it out really clearly and said before the announcement, the week before the announcement you had a 25% drop in people 16 and older getting vaccinated. the weekend after they announced it, you had a 28% spike. you have folks like this in ohio saying hey, let's get a vaccine. if i get a million bucks out of it, i can take care of my family or, i feel good knowing i'm going to be vaccinated but it's also a good feeling knowing i could win a million. my colleague brianna keilar did
the math. it's about a dime a person, the $5 million. do you totally oppose it? if this vbill came out to vote, would you vote to block it? >> no, i would not vote for the bill. i would encourage my cleerks as well as the gaf nor, to look at the vaccination rates at our medicaid public, 22%. talk about the disparity and why the same groups have not had the same access. it's startling that our lower-income ohioans aren't getting the vaccines. it's almost double than that of the whole population. understanding there was hesitancy and moving beyond that is an important part of this discussion. it's easy to pick and choose what you want to talk about. this is a collective decision, and there are many decisions that could have been made much earlier in the process to ensure we were not here. unfortunately that did not happen, despite the calls of
many people, myself included, to say, hey, we know there's going to be hesitancy. let's combat that. we know there's going to be access issues, let's make sure we're getting there. we're right now in the middle of this vaccination lottery, it has increased and helped. but we ultimately did not need to be here, and we could have save many more ohioans had we taken the steps earlier in the process. >> it's a really fair point and a nuanced argument that you're making. you wouldn't vote to block it but we didn't need to get here. maybe there's a lesson for the future. not for nothing, the fact that it takes a lottery to get people vaccinated is astonishing in a world where many people are dying
in line waiting for the vaccine. we appreciate it. thank you ohio state representative emilia strong sykes. manhattan's top prosecutor has convened a special grand jury to decide whether to indict former president donald trump or
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very good wednesday morning to you. i'm jim sciutto. >> i'm poppy harlow. a significant development overnight that could mean serious legal jeopardy for former president trump. "the washington post" reports that manhattan's top prosecutor has convened a grand jury to hear evidence and weigh possibility charges against former president trump and those surrounding him at the trump organization over his business dealings possibly. the panel could ultimately decide to indict. executives at the trump organization or the business itself if criminal charges are presented. after more than two years of