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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  July 16, 2021 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT

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hero. thanks for watching. our coverage continues. good evening. a federal judge just ruled that the daca program is illegal which means the future of hundreds of thousands of immigrants who were brought here as children may now be in doubt. we'll look at the decision and the enormous implications tonight. we begin, however, with the return of covid and the tragic fact that right now in this country virtually none of the illness, isolation, suffering, and dying should be happening at all, period. >> there is a clear message that is coming through. this is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated. >> unvaccinated americans are not protected against serious illness, hospitalization, and death. and we're seeing it in the data. unvaccinated americans account for virtually all recent covid-19 hospitalizations and deaths. >> a pandemic of the unvaccinated. right now new cases are rising for the week in all 50 states,
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up by 50% or more in 38 states, down in none, zero. where just two weeks ago new cases where averaging 13,500 a day, they're now topping 30,000. a top official in the university of arkansas medical system reports hospital there are, quote, full right now and cases are doubling every ten days. in florida average daily hospitalizations have more than quadrupled in the last two weeks. according to a cnn analysis of data from the johns hopkins university and the cdc, states' residents reported nearly three times fewer covid cases than states that have fewer vaccinations. right now thanks to the efforts of two presidents, one republican, one democrat, people now have easy access, often
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without an appointment, to three highly effective vaccines yet vaccinations, as you know, have been tapering off. the reasons are manyfold. a good deal of it is driven by online misinformation which the administration pledged to combat, even about things as innocuous and frankly helpful as the white house sending volunteers door to door, not to force vaccinations on anyone but simply to raise awareness. >> i feel like a vaccination in a weird way is just generally kind of going against nature. >> now they're starting to talk about going door to door to take vaccines to the people. they can go door to door to take your guns or they can go door to door to take your bible. >> this is the biggest scandal of my lifetime by far. >> it's an apartheid style. >> going door to door, this is
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creepy stuff. >> maybe it's an ebb and flow to life, something is supposed to wipe out a certain amount of people. >> i don't know who that guy is but consider the depravity of that last statement. more than 600,000 lives lost last year. does that guy believe they were all meant to die, supposed to be wiped out because of the ebb and flow of life? would he volunteer in the covid ward of his hospital, unvaccinated, to help ease the suffering of a single one of those people? do any of these people truly think with dangerous variants spreading across the country the effort to vaccinate as many people as possible is just an fig leaf for taking people's guns or bibles away? maybe it's not wanting to see americans die needlessly, maybe it's not wanting the unvaccinated to spread the virus to our children who are too young to be vaccinated.
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when president biden launched a campaign to get people vaccinated, more than 4,400 americans were dying every day. today the average is 389, obviously much, much less. that's a remarkable achievement. but it could be almost zero. it doesn't have to be 389 people dying a day. it could be almost zero. and that is a tragedy all its own. perspective now from two experts we've turned to throughout the pandemic, dr. craig spencer, director of global health and emergency medicine at columbia university, also proffer michael h osterholm. professor osterholm, former fda commissioner scott gottlieb says he's seen information showing the delta variant moving through the population over the next two months. is this the category 5 hurricane you warned about earlier this year? >> fortunately we've actually had a number of people in this country vaccinated over the course of the past four months.
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so that's going to help. but we still do have 100 million americans who have not yet been vaccinated. and among that group, we are going to see a substantial increase in cases such that i can't say that it's going to be a surge like we saw in january at all. so i think we have to understand the numbers could get large. they could be very significant in some regions. but i don't think we're going to see the same kind of large surge of cases we would have seen four months ago before vaccination has done what it has done. >> and dr. spencer, an official with the fda told cnn today a decision on full fda approval for pfizer's two-dose vaccine could come within two months. do you think that's an important step, that that would convince some of those who are undecided? >> i think it would be helpful in convincing some of the hesitant and the holdouts. at this point we've now delivered hundreds of millions of doses of this vaccine. we know it's safe. it's effective. it's saved a lot of lives and will continue to do so.
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it's important we go through the right process. and i'm happy that now they're considering this. hopefully that will help get more people vaccinated because as you know, still the majority of americans are not fully vaccinated. we have just over 48% that are. we still have a lot of people who are vulnerable to infection as the delta variant circulates. >> professor osterholm, for those who are fully vaccinated, do we know enough about how the delta variant interacts with people who are vaccinated, whether -- you know, obviously people can still become positive if they're vaccinated. do we know about the transmissibility if people who are vaccinated transmitting it, also the possibility of long haul or long covid symptoms for those who have mild cases? >> first of all, we do know that the vaccine, particularly with the two-dose regimen, is very effective in preventing one from having even clinical illness
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with the delta variant. now, remember, we said 90 to 95% effective. that doesn't mean it's going to be perfect. but in fact, even among those that do have breakthrough infections, as we call them, typically they're also very mild when they do happen. the one exception to that are the very older population where there we can see more severe illness just like we do with influenza vaccine. where we're more challenged, as dr. spencer just pointed out, is the fact that if we're only partially vaccinated with in this case either the moderna or the pfizer vaccines, then we have less protection against the delta variant. but even then, it still really does reduce substantially serious illness and hospitalization. >> i guess i'm just wondering, maybe this is selfish on my part, as somebody who is vaccinated and has a child who can't be vaccinated because they're too little, if i became positive with the delta variant, is it a possibility that i would transfer that to my son? >> it in fact is possible.
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there have been several studies looking at this which suggest that anywhere from 45 to 55% of the time, you won't because of your vaccination. but there are those instances where transmission has occurred. again, it's at a much lower rate than we would see if you weren't vaccinated. >> dr. spencer, are you concerned that unvaccinated people could pass the virus back to vaccinated people which could theoretically cause the virus to mutate against a vaccinated immune system? >> i think -- and it's important, this is the most important message i think of all of this, is that right now, if you are fully vaccinated, like i have been lucky to be since december as a health care worker, any of the vaccines that are currently available in the u.s., if you are fully vaccinated, the likelihood that i will see you in the emergency room as a covid patient is near zero. now, if you are unvaccinated, the risk is incredibly high. it may be in some areas higher than it's ever been because there are not mask mandates. people are enjoying this wonderful return of summer and
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are a little more carefree, lackadaisical, making it more possible you could be exposed if you're unvaccinated to covid. if you're vaccinated, continue to be smart. the likelihood you're going to get sick, end up in the hospital, or die from covid is incredibly, incredibly small. just another plug for everyone to get vaccinated if you can. >> professor osterholm, masks will be required in los angeles. is that a good idea, should people who are vaccinated wear masks in a gym? >> over the course of the next 6 to 12 weeks we're going to see a very difficult period with regard to the number of cases. again, we're already seeing that in the southern states. we're seeing what's happening in health care systems there. each state will really be in a situation of deciding with all of the illnesses we're seeing, will we take additional measures. my fear is the public is pretty well done with this pandemic
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even though the pandemic isn't done with them. i think this will be an ongoing political debate as much as it is anything else. and all i can say is, is that, again, i can't emphasize enough, get vaccinated. there's 100 million of you out there not vaccinated that we need to get vaccinated. so i think at this point, that's going to be the primary message. and whatever else we can do to reduce transmission, whether it's distancing, whatever, we're not going to go back to those old days, the public won't accept it. look at england, in the throes of their world days since january and on monday they're going to open up completely, freedom day. >> professor osterholm, dr. spencer, i appreciate it, thank you. just ahead tonight, breaking news on the administration's assessment of whether covid escaped from a lab in wuhan, china. and what happens to daca now that a federal judge has ruled against it.
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as we mentioned, a judge in
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texas has ruled that daca, launched by the obama administration, is illegal. daca was intended to provide a temporary reprieve for undocumented immigrants brought here as children. for most of the so-called dreamers, this is the only country they've known. evan perez has more. >> reporter: anderson, this is the latest twist for hundreds of thousands of people who rely on this program. they are employed, they live here legally as a result of this program. it was started by the obama administration. and this judge has said that the program was illegal, that it was never authorized by congress, and therefore needs to go away. however he didn't immediately end the program. he said that essentially because there are these hundreds of thousands of people who rely on it, it is not fair essentially for them to be thrown out of it just like that. and so what he's doing is he's prohibiting the government from allowing any new people to enter
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the program. but what this really does is it puts another level of uncertainty for certainly the hundreds of thousands of people that rely on this program and this is a result of a lawsuit that was brought by texas and a number of other states. >> would this be appealed? >> reporter: we expect that the justice department will appeal. we've asked them, they have not yet responded. and look, the way this ruling was written by this judge who was appointed by george w. bush, he essentially is using the dissent from a previous court ruling from the supreme court which blocked the trump administration's efforts to end this program, he's essentially using that to try to bring this back to the supreme court. he almost seems to be saying, we need this to go back to the supreme court so they can address whether this program is legal or not. in the end, though, anderson, there needs to be a congressional solution to this. congress needs to pass a law to
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decide whether these people can stay here or not. >> evan perez, thank you so much. abby phillip and jeffrey toobin, let's start with the legal stuff first. the ruling, saying the program is illegal, the judge is saying current participants can remain in it; is that correct? >> that's true. but the legal situation of the dreamers now is more precarious, because this case certainly will be appealed to the fifth circuit. the fifth circuit is a very conservative court. and it is entirely possible that they will say, gentlemen, judge hannon was right but the program needs to go away tomorrow. and it's likely this will end up once again before the supreme court and this is a more conservative supreme court than the last time they heard a case for the dreamers. so this is a period of real uncertainty. it's not today that the dreamers are being thrown out of this country. but they are in trouble now.
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and more trouble than they were this morning. >> abby, for the biden administration, how big of a blow is this? it's basically upending something that president biden has worked on since the obama administration. >> yeah, that's true. i think for liberals in general this is a major, major blow. but one that actually i believe was largely expected. activists who have been working on this know that the daca program is imperilled in the courts. and that's why a lot of the attention has been placed on trying to get congress to create a pathway to citizenship. and that's something the democrats and the biden administration actually want to do as soon as this year, even potentially trying to do it through the budget reconciliation process. so there is actually a fire underneath democrats and there has been that fire for quite some time for them to do something legislatively, frank by any means necessary, because they've known for some time that the courts were likely to either
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constrain this program or kick it up to the supreme court, which as you've noted, is more conservative than it has been in decades, and seems, at least on its face, to be unlikely to uphold the daca program. >> jeff, the trump administration tried to bring this to the supreme court. they didn't go for it. why would they now? >> well, the issue was somewhat different before the supreme court then. what the supreme court ruled was that the trump administration didn't follow the proper procedures in revoking daca. one of the first things president trump did was try to get rid of this program but they said procedurally they didn't follow the right steps. the important point to make legally about all this is, there is no doubt that congress has the right to protect the dreamers. what all these legal fights have been about is whether and how the president can do it unilaterally. but, you know, it is entirely clear that congress has the
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right to protect the dreamers. they just haven't done it. what's especially maddening about that is that even a lot of republicans who oppose comprehensive immigration reform say at least that they want to protect the dreamers, they just wind up opposing any time a law comes before them to protect the dreamers. so we'll see if this case actually lights a fire under congress to actually do something about it. >> abby, reaction obviously from democrats has been pouring in, texas congress one joaquin castro called on congress to act this year. we've said this, only congress can provide a permanent solution for daca recipients through legislation. >> exactly. and that's been the case from the very beginning. what's been interesting politically is that as jeffrey was saying, even trump claimed that he wanted to find a way to allow dreamers to stay in the united states. the question is at what cost.
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republicans have repeatedly increased the bar for what they say they want in exchange for that. the border wall, you know, money for certain types of border security, perhaps certain kinds of enforcement that democrats are not willing to sign off on. so that's where the rubber meets the road in terms of negotiations. the republican party is perhaps more hard line on immigration now than they have been in decades. but at the same time, the dreamer program is something that is broadly popular among the american public. it's just that they want in exchange for a path to citizenship many things the democrats say absolutely no way. and i think that's why likely, if this is going to happen, it's probably not going to happen with a whole lot of republican support, either because it's going to go through a pathway that requires all democrats to be on board, or because republicans just are not going
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to be willing to do a pathway to citizenship without other kinds of immigration-related, enforcement-related legislation attached to it. >> abby phillip, jeff toobin, thank you. ahead, new information about the biden information's review of what intelligence says about possibly coronavirus leaking from a lab in wuhan. details next. age before beauty? why not both? visibly diminish wrinkled skin in...
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we continue our coverage on covid right now with breaking news on the origins of the coronavirus and a review of intelligence ordered by the biden administration about the possibility the original virus leaked from a lab in wuhan, china. pamela brown joins us now with more. what are you learning about this review? >> reporter: so anderson, we've learned several senior biden administration officials including biden's national security adviser jake sullivan, they believe the theory that the coronavirus accidentally escaped from a lab in wuhan is at least
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as credible as the possibility it emerged naturally from an animal directly into a human, according to multiple sources involved with the covid origin's review. to be clear, this does not mean they believe the virus was made in a lab and intentionally released but rather it was being studied in a lab and was accidentally released. a year ago democrats downplayed the so-called lab leak theory amid president trump politicizing the virus. it is important to note this is the view of some senior biden administration officials involved with the intelligence review. many scientists who study coronaviruses say the evidence strongly supports a natural origin for the virus and it's unlikely scientists were studying the virus in a lab and that it leaked out. but officials say they need more information from china, which has not been any more forthcoming during this review, according to these sources. on thursday, it's worth noting,
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the director general of the world health organization said it had been, quote, premature to dismiss the possibility that a lab leak had spawned the pandemic and urged china to provide more information. >> has china had a response to this theory? >> reporter: so china has strongly denied the lab leak theory. a chief virologist in china said the possibility didn't exist that that happened. the w.h.o. saying this also prompted another response from china, in fact china's foreign ministry spokesperson said in this statement that since the beginning of the epidemic, china has taken a scientific, professional, serious, and responsible attitude in tracing the origins of the virus and they've also said that researchers should look at other countries and whether covid originated from there. that has been china's view. >> most notably, they said the united states. pamela brown, thanks. josh rogan is a "washington
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post" columnist and is the author of "chaos under heaven: trump, xi, and the battle for the 21st century." josh, you broke a story about two diplomatic cables from the state department that warned of safety issues within wuhan lab a couple of years ago. it's certainly not a smoking gun, the cables. but they did warn of risky coronavirus research and bad safety procedures. and that, if it's not a smoking gun, it's certainly, you know, a whiff of smoke. >> right. it's just to say there have been concerns for a long time about the risky bat coronavirus research that was going on in a series of chinese labs including the wuhan institute of virology. that doesn't tell us about the outbreak because the cables were written two years prior. but it tells us we can't rule out that the lab was involved somehow so we need to investigate it, which is all that dr. tedros ghebreyesus is
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saying. the issue of the lab leak theory became highly politicized last year for a number of reasons, because trump was using racist terms, because some of the scientists called it a crazy theory to cover their own butts. but here we are, in 2021. it seems pretty clear now that no matter what you thought about the lab leak theory in 2020, it's possible, which means we have to check it out, full stop. now we have the biden administration saying that yeah, they agree with that too. >> what stands out to you as the best evidence that the virus could have leaked out from the lab? >> first of all, some of it they published, they have admitted they were using techniques to change viruses that came from bat coronaviruses in order to see how they played in human cells. so that's a piece of evidence right there. then there's the intelligence that was put out by the trump administration, confirmed by the biden administration, a secret
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part of the lab they didn't tell us about, risky coronavirus research they were doing with the military in a series of chinese labs. all of this is not proof. it's not a smoking gun. but what it tells us is there's enough there that we should check out the labs. then there's the coverup, of course, right? why did the take the virus database offline? why won't they let anybody into the labs? why did they censor all the scientists? why did they censor reporters who didn't toe the party line? that probably tells us there's something to find in the lab. we don't know, we have to do the investigation. but the whole idea that we shouldn't looked into it is i think rightfully being put aside. >> the origins of the actual virus itself, i mean, it's pretty clear it came from a bat, according to -- i mean, that's still believed to be correct, it's just the idea is that they were using or working with the coronavirus in this lab, doing experiments with it and that's how it would have leaked out?
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>> there's a lot of different possibilities, right? some of the scientists went through an intermediate host that went through the market. maybe that's true, that's a possibility, we should check that out too, although i would say the scientists have checked out the market theory a lot, searched, they never found any evidence that it came from a market, not any hard evidence. but the bottom line is it could have come to the lab and then leaked, it could have been worked on in the lab. it could have been manipulated and we may not have been able to tell by looking at it. scientists including top virologists disagree on this point. there is no scientific consensus. dr. gupta is a virologist, he said it looks like testifies manipulated in the lab, came from gain of function research in the lab. "the new york times" called him a conspiracy theorist. we're dealing with a lot of unknowns which naturally causes a lot of confusion. that's why i say we just have to investigate all the possible
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theories. that's now what tedros is saying. i don't think the w.h.o. has any leverage to get to the chinese labs, i don't think the biden administration is using its leverage, even though it has it. there's more work that needs to be done to investigate both theories, which shouldn't be a controversial thing to say anymore. >> unless china cooperates far more than they certainly have been, unless there is, you know, intelligence, human intelligence or some sort of electronic intelligence from that lab, there's no way to know without china's cooperation? >> right. i think sethting a standard of smoking gun is setting an expectation that's too high. we're not likely to find a smoking gun either way. but there's a lot of investigative work we need to do. china won't let us into the labs if we say pretty please. we have to bring international pressure to bear. and of course we have to investigate our own labs and the work we were doing.
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you see democrats and republicans now calling for more disclosure of how our government agencies were involved with those labs. it's an urgent matter of national security and public health. >> josh rogan, appreciate all the reporting. thank you. up next, what president biden said late today about platforms like facebook and vaccine misinformation and the immediate pushback from the social media giant, that's coming up when we come back. can trust? h bu with subaru, you get kelley blue book's most trusted brand winner, seven years in a row. in fact, subaru has won most trusted brand for more consecutive years than any other brand. no wonder kelley blue book also picked subaru as their best overall brand. once again. it's easy to love a brand you can trust. it's easy to love a subaru.
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president biden weighed in today on vaccine misinformation, ramping up the administration's attitude toward social media misinformation. >> reporter: what's your message to platforms like facebook? >> they're killing people. i mean, look. the only pandemic we have is among unvaccinated. and they're killing people. >> it didn't take long for facebook to push back. in a statement the company said, quote, we will not be distracted by accusations which aren't supported by the facts. the fact is more than 2 million people have viewed authoritative
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information on vaccines on facebook which is more than any other place on the internet. more than 3.3 million americans have also used our vaccine finder tool to find out where and how to get a vaccine. the facts show that facebook is helping save lives, period. the back and forth came after jen psaki said the administration wasn't satisfied with the company's actions to date on the problem. republican congressman thomas macy sweet out this. this is ministry of truth level malfeasance, they're literally admitting to colluding with media to control the narrative, this is censorship. mary catherine hamm and paul begala, welcome. we saw house majority leader kevin mccarthy tweeting yesterday, big tech and big government want the same thing, to control you. but when it comes to actual scientific data and facts, why shouldn't there be an effort to help people find the truth?
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>> facebook has said they've already attempted to do that. i feel like the biden administration is biting the hand that feeds them in this case. i have talked about these vaccines being a miracle, the way they were developed so quickly, back when even kamala harris was saying she was skeptical because it came out during the trump administration. this is a problem on both sides of the aisle and it's not good. this goes beyond that, this is a speech issue. we would be really clear eyed about that if it were a republican administration. there's that thing when people say it's not a speech issue, mary catherine, because the government is not actually censoring, they're not doing the job, they're asking facebook to do the job. this comes pretty close, a strategic partnership with a communications platform that the president of the united states says is killing people with speech. that's pretty chilling of speech. facebook has clapped down pretty hard on stuff that's not just misinformation. we just did a segment on a story about the lab leak theory which
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was a credible theory a year ago but was called misinformation because it was inconvenient information that people didn't want to discuss and that was actively censored on social media platforms when it shouldn't have been. so i worry a little bit about what will be actively censored now from apparently marching orders from the executive of the united states. >> paul, is this censorship? >> no. not even close. it's just nonsense, i'm sorry, but i actually took the time to read dr. vivek murthy's report today, the surgeon general, and i think it will stand up the way the surgeon general's report in 1962 did about pollution being bad for our health. in 1964, the surgeon general issued a report about how smoking is bad for our health. well, facebook is bad for our health. they're polluting the information environment. and i'm glad that the white house is -- by the way, a great many conservatives agree with this. they're always complaining about big tech. but this is critically
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important. we've covered this every night. something on the order of 99% of the people who are dying from covid now are dying because they didn't get a vaccine. and the vaccine is available. and we need to reach those folks. the way the algorithm works, according both to dr. murthy's report and other research i've done, it promotes the familiar. it promotes something you've seen before. it promotes something that's popular. it doesn't promote something that's true. they could change their algorithm. that's not the government. it's a company. they could change their algorithm to promote things that are true from trusted sources. they don't do that. why? because the negative holds you on their platform longer. they make more money from hate and that's what they're in the business of, is making money. just the way government regulates pollution and cigarettes, the government ought to make sure facebook is doing their job. >> it's a free speech issue. what you deem to be pollution of information as dictated, your wishes dictated by the executive of the united states with the force of the government behind
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it, strongly suggesting that a private company deal with the pollution of information, becomes a speech issue very quickly. i think you would see that very clearly if this were the trump administration. >> i see it very clearly, mary catherine, but i don't have the right to use free speech to say anderson cooper shot a man in reno just to watch him die. there are limits to speech. when people are dying because they can't get this vaccine and companies are making profit -- >> people are getting the vaccine and you object to their conversations that you think are problematic. that is different from killing people. >> no. no. >> speech doesn't kill the people, it just doesn't. >> paul, just because people have access to information which may be inaccurate or, you know, shades of gray and a matter of opinion, it doesn't mean that they -- i mean, they have free will. shouldn't people have information? don't we live in a society where
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we believe people should have a lot of information and they can make up their own minds about things? people who are not getting vaccines, it's not that they've never heard that vaccines are incredibly beneficial. they've seen the facts. they're just choosing to make a different decision. >> some have seen the facts and some haven't. people should have a right, obviously, to say anything they want, mary catherine is -- perhaps i'm not explaining my position clearly enough for mary catherine. i'm not saying speech should be regulated. i am saying facebook should look in the mirror and tell the truth, which is they make more money from hate, they make more money from misinformation. they're not the government. they're a for-profit corporation. they deliver money for their shareholders. that's their job. but they are making more money by spreading more lies. and if you read the report, the surgeon general doesn't suggest any kind of censorship whatsoever at all. he's simply saying -- he goes through what we can do as individuals, as communities, as educators. >> but paul, i've had several
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arguments or interviews with some facebook people over the years. their argument is, we are a platform for people to have conversations and meeting and communities and stuff. we are not the arbiter of, you know, in some cases we have standards that people violate, i get there's all sorts of problems with their standards, but that's their position. i don't know that their position is -- your argument that they're profiting because they want lies on their site, i'm not sure that's accurate. is it? >> their algorithm promotes anything that keeps you on the website longer. and that is usually the negative, the misinformation. in the report today, the surgeon general says untrue stories are 70% more likely to be promoted by us, but also by facebook. it's -- i guess if i were james carville i would say, it's the algorithms, stupid.
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when facebook promotes it and accelerates it, that's a problem. >> it's walking a real sly and i think problematic lie when the actual executive is saying that speech is killing people which is -- that's not a position i agree with and i don't think it's one that paul would agree with under any other administration. and the thing is this counteracts this actual goal because are skeptics convinced by the idea that the government is saying to facebook, we would really like you to shut up all these people we disagree with on this contentious subject? anything the government takes under its wing, they're going to expand their reach and it's going to be bad news. >> i appreciate it, mary catherine hamm, paul begala, out of time, sorry. ahead, breaking news on new details about what could be the next step for manhattan prosecutors as they continue to put pressure on a trump organization executive named matthew calamari, next. 7
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now, that's making a difference. and there you have it - wireless on the fastest, most reliable network. wow! big deal! we get unlimited for just $30 bucks. i get that too and mine has 5g included. impressive. impressive is saving four hundred bucks a year. four bucks? that's tough to beat. relax people, my wireless is crushing it. okay, that's because you all have xfinity mobile. it's wireless so good, it keeps one upping itself. it's breaking news tonight in that continuing investigation of the trump organization in the wake of the indictment on a range of tax charges. cording to a source, the focus now is on someone named matthew calamari, a top executive within the company. cnn's paula reid joins us now
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with details. so, what about the -- what are you learning about these attempts by prosecutors to get matthew calamari to cooperate? >> well, anderson, calamari is the chief-operating officer of the trump organization. and since prosecutors filed those charges against the company and its cfo, two weeks ago, they've been focused on trying to get calamari to cooperate. here's the problem. we are two years into this investigation, anderson, and at this point, a source familiar tells me that they still don't have a cooperating witness inside the organization. and that's a huge problem for their case. we know the former president. he doesn't e-mail. he doesn't leave much of a paper trail. so, they really need someone on the inside of the organization who could reveal details about any, alleged-criminal activity. now, you may remember, when the charges were filed against the company, there was an unindicted co-conspirator. in our reporting, we have identified that person as the company's controller. he testified before the grand jury but they, still, don't have
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that key-cooperating witness and that's why mr. calamari is such a focus right now. >> and who is this calamari? >> look, he is a fascinating character out of trump world. this is a guy, who has risen from being a security guard at a tennis tournament, all the way up to the chief-operating officer of this organization. he's been with the former president for decades. he's repeatedly declared his loyalty. and, anderson, it's not clear that he would ever flip, even if he's criminally charged. now, could he, potentially, be criminally charged? it's, certainly, possible. we have learned, in our reporting, that calamari and his son, who also works for the company, they're both under scrutiny for, possibly, not properly paying taxes on some benefits they received, in addition to their compensation. apartments and cars. based on my reporting, anderson, it's just not clear that prosecutors will actually charge him and when i asked the calamari's attorney if they would cooperate, his response is, cooperate about what?
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the crux of their defense is this isn't a financial guy. they said looks, this is the guy he is dealing with building security, with cameras. he doesn't know about financial dealings. look, as a recovering attorney, anderson, i will say, most ceos should have some working knowledge of the financial interwoinner workings of a company. but at this point, it's not clear they'll be charged and certainly, doesn't appear there is any incentive to cooperate against his longtime boss if he is not charged. still to come. breaking news in haiti and the fbi's role in the investigation into the assassination of the president. details next.
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there is more breaking news about the u.s. involvement in the investigation of the assassination of haiti's president last week. matt rivers joins us from the country's capital with the latest. so what have you learned, matt? >> yeah, anderson. we know that there are fbi agents on the ground here, that have actually had the chance to at least preliminarily question some of the key suspects, in this case. but they're not just here to assist haitian authorities in
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their investigation. we're reporting, tonight, that these fbi agents are actually looking into whether u.s. law was broken here. because remember, not only do you have three american citizens that are, officially, on this suspect list. but it appears that at least part, if not a majority, of this plot to assassinate haiti's president was, actually, hatched in south florida. that means that the department of justice, the fbi, they are going to look into whether u.s. law was broken. and because so much of this happened in south florida, there's american citizens involved. obviously, that increases the likelihood that the department of justice could bring charges against people involved in this assassination. meanwhile, we did get some new reporting today, after a press conference held by the chief of police of haiti's national police force. he told us that nearly 30 police officers, here, on the island, are actually being investigated as a part of the investigation into this assassination. including some police officers who were at the presidential residence, the night of this assassination. but all of that information, anderson, what doesn't it have?
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a motive. we, still, do not know what the motive behind this assassination is. we know a lot more about the suspects, but why they did it? we're, still, not being given those answers. >> and you are learning more, i understand, about plans for a presidential funeral? >> yeah. this has been a big-open question for a while. we did learn, today, that the official funeral for president jovenel moise will take place in the northern part of the country. a week from now. that'll be next friday. we also know the first lady who, remember, was injured in this assassination of her husband. and she's been recovering in a hospital in miami. she is going to be coming back for that funeral. one, quick thing, anderson. it will be interesting to see, there haven't been very many protests, yet. perhaps, in part, because of the fact that this funeral hasn't taken place. we have been talking to some people on the island who think maybe that's out of respect for the fact the funeral hasn't taken place, yet. but there is sill a political vacuum. there could be protests.
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that's what we are going to be looking out for when once this presidential funeral wraps up going into next weekend. >>inate yous continues. want to hand it to chris for "cuomo prime time." >> i am chris cuomo. welcome to prime time. deep denial. how we made ourselves sick. that is the story of america and the pandemic. and we are writing another, dark chapter right now. all 50 states, and washington, d.c., all of us, are reporting rises in new-covid cases, from a week ago. it's the first time that's happened since january. all 50 of us. 38 of them are seeing at least a 50% increase. hospitalizations? way up. deaths? up. why? two reasons. one, the obvious. we're out. we're in contact. we knew this would happen. it's the second one that we have to focus on. it's the real problem. the hope was that the vaccine would even the stakes. but once