tv Don Lemon Tonight CNN August 13, 2021 12:00am-1:00am PDT
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and how it is driving us apart. misinformation on the effectiveness of wearing masks, especially for protecting schoolchildren from the spread of covid-19 leading some americans to act out in angry rages, threatening other parents. in tennessee, a concerned father spoke at a school board meeting in favor of masks for elementary schoolchildren in his district. as he left the meeting, he was verbally assaulted and had to be escorted to his car by police. >> no more masks! no more masks! >> child abusers! you are child abusers. >> there's a bad place in hell, and everybody's taking notes, buddy. >> we know who you are. >> keep it calm. >> no more masks. >> we're on these guys' side. >> no, they're not.
they're not on a side. >> the police are on our side. let's calm down. calm down. >> we know who you are. we know who you are. >> we will find you, and we know who you are. >> get back. get back. >> [ bleep ] you! >> that man who was subjected to that abuse is michael miller, and i'm going to speak with him in just a few moments. but here's what he told my colleague, victor blackwell, this afternoon. >> i had to get out of there. all i want to do is go home to my family and my kids. i'm a parent. i'm not a doctor. i work as a data analyst in the health care profession. i'm just a parent who wanted to have his say why masks were important for children, all children under the age of 12.
board meetings are for parents and concerned community members to have peaceful discourse with one another. board members should not be sitting on a board being threatened with their lives. parents shouldn't feel threatened for their lives walk into a parking lot. that is not the america i know. >> but it is the america that we are becoming. too many parents ignoring the science about the importance of wearing masks. there was another meeting in another state, indiana. a doctor there spoke with conviction about covid and masks and vaccines. he sounded like he knew what he was talking about. the problem is the things he said, they weren't accurate. and the bigger problem is they've gone viral. more on that in a minute. but i want to go back to that meeting in tennessee. a pediatrician who also spoke at the meeting in favor of masks for schoolchildren was heckled when he told the truth. last night he told me about the spread of bad information.
>> i'm not surprised at it because i've seen disinformation, you know, all the way about vaccines to, you know, wearing helmets to car seats. but i've not seen the amount of what seems to be just willful, you know, disregard for people who really know just a whole lot. during this last year, i have not seen children come in with "i have an infection because of a face mask." and, you know, the people who were there seemed to be indicating that the masks were di dirty and they're going to make you sick. i can tell you when the children wear masks regularly, we do not see you because you're sick. >> the fight against covid isn't just against the virus. it's also the struggle between information and misinformation. joining me now is michael miller. he is the warnparent who we jusw being harassed after speaking in favor of masks at a school board meeting in tennessee.
michael, i'm so glad that you're here. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> listen, i know that you were terrified by this episode because we reached out to you last night, and i think it is fair to say you were too shaken at the moment to want to speak out. then you woke up this morning and this video had gone viral. have you been able to process this whole thing? >> 2 1/2 days ago i was a normal, quiet guy with a quiet existence. i've come to terms with the fact that for whatever reason, i was put in a position that was unfortunate, unnecessary, and dangerous. but i'm also in a position that i felt i had to come forth today to both set the record straight and to use the position i'm put in for good. >> look, there's a lot of anger in your community clearly. talk about what it was like when you left that meeting and you asked to be escorted. >> yes. i asked to be escorted.
i left the meeting at 8:45, and it's double doors to exit to the side of the building there. i asked the officer before i went through the first set, i said i would like a police escort to my vehicle because i could hear the chanting. we heard it for hours. he said there were officers waiting immediately outside the door. they will escort you. i said, thank you, walked out. they took me down the ramp there and led me to my car. unfortunately with where the protesters were, they were packed right by that door. and i truthfully the people were running between the cars, heckling me, calling me awful names like a child abuser and telling me i'm going to hell and things that you would should never, ever say to somebody. and then of course the two or three guys who decided that they should go after my window and, you know, threaten my very existence and my family.
at that point, all i wanted to do was get out of there. >> you have to be concerned about your safety and your churn'sch churn's safety, are you not? >> absolutely. terrified. and every time i see this video, i'm terrified. >> where does this rage come from? >> where does it come from? it comes from a -- some people just can't be reasoned with. i hate saying that. some of it is grandstanding. some of it is group mob mentality and you just get fired up. there were people -- you get 1,000 people all screaming the same thing, chanting for hours. they were getting worked up. it was 90 to 95 degrees when i walked out of that meeting at 8:45. it was hot. people had been outside all day. i had nod idea what was going through their minds.
people clearly showed up during the meeting, and then the crowd that left halfway through the meeting in the outburst that was shown earlier, that crowd remained and further impassioned those people. there's just a general lack of respect. i don't know how else to describe it. >> it's -- before i go to that, talk to me about that. what do you mean a general lack of respect? but it's also, you know, i had the pediatrician on last night. he said it was willful, i think he said disregard. we didn't play it tonight, but last night i said, you can say willful ignorance because it's what it is. why aren't they listening to the science? why are they -- it seems to me that they are the ones who are influencing their kids about these masks because if they told their kids that it was good, that it would help them, that they could have mask competitions, they could -- you know, who has the cutest mask or the funniest mask or whatever, that they could actually help
the kids and save some kids from possibly becoming infected and gelling us back to normal. >> agreed. there is -- the blame has to be put on the parents 110%. they hide behind this label of liberty. liberty does not give you the right to violate the safety of someone else, to harass somebody, to violently attack people, be it in a parking lot or people sitting on a school board. it does not give you the right to infect other children in the school and not have any regard for anybody else in your community. that is a breakdown of the fabric of our soeciety. we have to care for one another. wearing a mask, we care for one another. these are children under the age of 12 who cannot be vaccinated. personally i'm floored by any parent that would send their child without a mask. we're beyond the point of it being a matter of choice. there is a dire health issue in this community. we all want to keep our children
in school as long as we can, and the only way that's going to happen is if they're masked. last year the kids were masked. there were other mitigation strategies in place. i believe student golden quoted a better than 90% rate of opening last year, which was stellar given the situation last year, and it's commendable. >> yeah. listen, it's not just what you experienced outside the meeting. this is what fellow parents were saying inside the meeting. here it is. >> i would never put them in a mask because their brain needs oxygen to grow, which the neurologists can confirm. anyway, the real part of the clown show is that you all think that you actually have the authority to mandate this. >> i swore an oath to protect this country against all enemies foreign and domestic. you harm my children, you become a domestic enemy. we will come for you plitically and financially. you have awakened the army and we will come for you, and the holy spirit is coming with us. >> it's really -- listen, as
adults, you and i know better. >> yes. >> the kids' brains need oxygen. you can -- >> we trust our doctors to wear masks every day around us. >> that's what i was just going to say. people wear masks every single day. guess what? when i see those kids not wearing masks for halloween, then i'll know they're serious about it. but every single one of those kids are going to walk around all day on halloween, and they're going to put on their masks and they're going to the store before, and they're gladly going to wear a mask all day. but now this one day, it deprives them of oxygen. >> yes. >> do most people in your area feel that way, or is it just the loudest voices? are they grandstanding? like help me. >> yeah, i'll help you, don. i'll quote one statistic from the school board that was mentioned. all of the school board mentioned this, that they've received hundreds if not thousands of emails the last several weeks about this issue.
better than 70% of them were in favor of a mask mandate. in the room the other night the parents are screaming, take a vote. we'll put it to a vote. we're the majority, screaming. yeah, they were the majority in that room because most of the parents are too scared or unable to go to a meeting like that which quite frankly was probably a superspreader event. you had hundreds of people without masks on, screaming, some of whom were likely infected just by statistics here in tennessee. so, parents, if you are living in a home with an immunocompromised person or young children, you're not going to take the risk to go into that environment. that is not williamson county. i'm going to say that right now. that is not. it's not a political issue. there are people on both sides of the political divide i've heard from today. this is not republican or democrat. this is, do you believe in the science, or do you not? >> yeah. >> all of us love our children.
there's no question. it's just a matter of what science do you want to believe? >> michael, you be safe out there, you and your family. thank you for appearing. i wish you the best of luck, and we wish you safety and good health. thank you so much. >> thank you. also tonight in misinformation nation, indiana's doctors convincing sounding but false and misleading claims about covid, well, they're going viral. the claims you're about to hear have been all over social media, even shared by sitting members of congress like jim jordan. but they're riddled with problems and bad information. here's dr. dan stock speaking before the mt. vernon community school board. pay close attention. >> so things you should know about coronavirus and all other respiratory viruses. they are spread by aerosol particles which are small enough to go through every mask. knowing people who came down with symptomatic disease had no
contact with -- where did they get the disease? and the answer was, from the vaccinated individuals. you can't prevent it with a vaccine because they don't do the very thing you're wanting them to do. and you will be chasing this the remainder of your life until you recognize that the center for disease control and the indiana state board of health are giving you very bad scientific guidance. >> okay. so joining me now is erica heron. she is an education reporter for "the indianapolis star," and dr. gabriel bosslet. i'm so glad both of you are here as well. this is a very important topic. dr. bosslet, the man is well spoken. he seems professional, but what he is saying is dangerous. he is claiming vaccines are causing people to get sick. it is absurd. please give us the facts, sir. >> i mean most of what he said was not factual. you're right, though, he sounded great, and he had a really crisp
shirt and some nice suspenders, and he looked like a doctor. i mean he is a doctor, and he used medical words, and he really sounded official. but the fact was most of what he said was just patently false. >> you have refuted stock's claims point by point on facebook but pointed out there are small nuggets of truth throughout his phony claims. tell me about that and why it makes it more pervasive to you. >> yeah. i mean, you know, he started the whole thing out by saying, you know, the virus is so small, that it will pass through any, you know, the fibers of a mask. and the truth of the matter is viruss are tiny. they're very small. and so if you're just going by the claim that the virus is tiny, that's a true statement. the fact of the matter is the way that the viruses travel, they are trapped by masks. i think you can argue at this point what masks are best, where they work best. i think there are reasonable
arguments to be made about masks and how we use them. but whether or not they work isn't really in the realm of reasonability to argue. >> erica, i want to bring you in because you have been reporting on dr. stock. what can you tell us about him, and why so many people are amplifying him and what he said? >> well, i think dr. stock is resonating with a lot of people because he is telling them what they want to hear. we have a lot of people who are tired of mask mandates and just have a lot of covid fatigue, want their schools to reopen like normal, and he's telling them that that's possible and they we don't need these things. and that's what they want to hear, and he's a doctor, so they're going to take his opinion. >> dr. bosslet, another question. you know, stock has been going to other local school board
meetings to speak out against covid protocols. do you believe people like him and the misinformation they are spreading are why we're seeing this surge in covid cases and hospitalizations, not just in your state but really all across the country? >> i mean i think it's a factor for sure. i mean this thing's so complex. you know, we've had such a hard time with figuring out what's going to happen next with this virus. but, you know, the fact is that people spreading misinformation and people who should know better, physicians spreading misinformation certainly aren't helping. you know, the message that we need now is people need to be vaccinated, and any physician who isn't sort of, you know, having that conversation with every patient they come in contact with is holding up us getting through this. >> arika, listen, i know that, again, you've been reporting on this. but we reached out to stock for comment and left a message on his voicemail, but we didn't
hear back. how are health officials in indiana pushing back on his video? >> local health officials are continuing to encourage everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated. the state health department and a lot of the local county health departments are encouraging schools to follow the cdc guidelines when it comes to masking and social distancing and just continuing to push out the message that everyone who can be vaccinated should be vaccinated. there are no mandates in place here as far as schools go, masking, that sort of thing, but just a lot of encouragement for people to go ahead and get the shot. >> well, arika, great job reporting. i hope that you'll continue and we'll have you back as this progresses. and thank you very much, dr. gabriel bosslet. thank you. i really appreciate both of you appearing on the program tonight. keep up the fight and the good work. thanks. joining me now, cnn political commentator amanda carpenter. hi, amanda. >> hey, don. >> what on earth is going on? i mean michael miller, like so many people, totally fed up with
those who just won't listen to science, won't follow the rules, and are pushing us all back into this covid mess. i thought, you know, hey, we're almost there. we can go around certain places without masks. you know, we can be outside. and here we are. why do we all need to sacrifice because of their willful ignorance? >> we don't have a choice right now, right? we've all been backed into this situation. we had the bit of freedom for a couple weeks in july, and now we're right back in it. and it's just -- it's very hard because this is the nightmare scenario. for those of us who do politics for a living, i think we're pretty good at compartmentalizing things, but now for everyone, you can't escape it. it's going into the schools. i mean it was my biggest fear watching this shape up that our
schools would become protest zones, and that's what's happening. it's very difficult. but i've just got to say there is light coming at the end of the tunnel. people going forward, they're going to encounter covid. there's a choice, right? you can encounter covid with the vaccine or without. very soon, i hope, if parents and families can hang on, the kids will be eligible for that vaccine, and you can choose to fight covid with a vaccine, and we're going to get through this one way or another. i wish it were the easy way, right? we had the chance to do it the easy way. but now we're going to grit our teeth and do it the hard way. so protect yourselves. protect your family. talk to the people who are reluctant, hesitant, whatever. and if they won't do it for themselves, just ask them, do you know a nurse? do you know a doctor? do you know a teacher? do you know that you are putting them through this for another
year? i have such compassion for the nurses who have been sacrificing for the last 18 months, the doctors who should never have to do this again. and god bless you, don, for going down there to that hospital and walking in that place. i mean that's a scary thing, and thank you for talking to them because i feel like they've been left behind throughout all this. >> i'm glad you said that. amanda, they were so grateful just to have someone there paying attention to them and just -- more than that, just appreciating them and telling the story because we don't get to see the inside of the hospitals, and we don't usually get that close to the patients. usually it's through glass, right, or, you know, for me, from a reporter on this show. but just going and speaking to the people, the folks who were there working, some of them say they were there for nine days, amanda. and i was standing around, you know, the nurses station in the icu, and they said that, we've
been here -- some of us have been here for nine hours. we go. we sleep in a hotel, and we come back. and some of them can't be with their family because they are, you know -- they come in contact with covid patients every single day. i mean it's the people who are not getting vaccinated who are saying, it's my freedom, or i just don't want to do it, or i want to wait. they are the ones who are taxing the system. >> absolutely, and they're putting the doctors, the nurses, all the support staff through that. but then also anyone else that might have an accident and might need to get into a hospital in a time of emergency. and so it is extremely unfortunate. the only thing right now we can do is be clear eyed about what happened, why it happened, how to protect yourself going forward. let's get through this, and there will be a very clear contrast between the states, localities that did masking, that did vaccines, and those who didn't. and it's a tragedy. like it really is a tragedy.
i wish it didn't have to come to this. i wish we didn't have to think about like political triage and think in these terms. but at some point the compassion runs out, and you have to reserve it for the people who truly, truly deserve it. >> well, amanda, i can tell -- i can sense your frustration. last night was one of the moments that resonated on the show was when you were speaking as a parent. i can tell you're speaking as a parent tonight. you're not speaking as a political commentator, and i can sense your frustration. be well and be safe. thank you. i'll see you soon. more than 75,000 people in the hospital fighting coronavirus here in the u.s. right now, and i've just been talking to amanda about this. the very hospital i was born in inundated with patients. the surge so bad in louisiana, i needed to go home to see it for myself. >> it's not. it's very deadly, and it's very contagious. and our numbers are continuing to rise. again we started off a few weeks ago with four covid patients here, with only one acute care
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more than 90% of counties in the u.s. are at substantial or high levels of community transmission. louisiana, my home state, has the second highest rate of covid-19 hospitalizations per capita. we saw that firsthand today. joining me now is william haseltine, the former professor at harvard medical school, and the author of "my lifelong fight against disease and variants." doctor, thank you so much for joining. most of the people i saw today, their hospitalizations could have been avoided. i want you to listen to some of those patients. >> why didn't you get vaccinated? >> just hadn't got time. i guess just didn't do it. >> so you're not anti-vaccine? >> no, sir. no, sir. >> why didn't you get
vaccinated? >> just apprehensive, you know? >> the reason i didn't get vaccinated, my choice was i wanted to wait, let this first batch go through, you know, see how it worked. >> so these particular people i spoke to, they weren't anti-vaccine. they were a little apprehensive. they were scared or didn't feel the urgency for whatever reason. some worried that the vaccine was rushed. now, i'm sure they're not alone, and plenty of other people out there feel the same way. what do you say to those folks? >> well, don, i watched your program, and it was one of the most moving programs i've ever seen on this topic, of all the things we've seen. because what you saw was just ordinary people suffering, understanding that they'd made a mistake, and trying to communicate with you to do their best to help others. i think we have to look at this as we're in this for the long term.
i look at this virus every day as closely as i can, and it seems to me that we may not be out of this in my lifetime. i think we will do much better than we are today. we have good vaccines. we'll get better vaccines. we have some drugs that work. we'll get better drugs that work. we need time. we need to support the people, our doctors. but we need something else that you touched on in this program, which was a culture of caring, caring for ourselves, caring four each other. and what you see with these people is they're calling out, help your family, help yourself, help others. we should begin to change now, and i think your program more than any politician or scientist or talking head saying what you need to do, is the kind of thing that can help change this situation, move us toward a culture of care.
>> i'm looking at my notes on the computer here because it's just coming in, dr. haseltine, it's breaking news. the fda has approved a booster dose of pfizer or moderna for some immunocompromised people. is this our reporting, producers? yes, okay. this is cnn's reporting. i wanted to make sure i didn't have to attribute it to anyone. so is this booster eventually going to expand to a broader population? >> it has to. you have to think of this like the flu. it comes back every year. this one is coming back every winter and now every summer for two in a row. so we're beginning to understand its pattern. so, yes, we're going to need boosters, and we're going to need better vaccines, and we're going to have to keep our vaccines current with the kind of virus that's out there. this virus changes just like the flu. i think we know how to confront this because we do it with the flu. if you think of this as a more
serious kind of flu that is going to require continual vigilance, you don't go once and get your flu shot. you go every year. >> mm-hmm. >> that's what we're going to have, and we're going to have better drugs. we're going to get better vaccines even though these are great. we'll get better ones, and we'll get better drugs so if you're exposed, you can take a pill and not get sick. we will have those. it's going to take time. it's going to take a lot of hard work. and in the meantime, we have to -- >> and we rejigger the flu vaccine every year for certain strains and certain variants. they update it. thank you, dr. haseltine, i really appreciate it. >> and i appreciate your work. great work. >> thank you very much. thank you very much, sir. i just want to give our viewers the breaking news again. the fda is authorizing a covid-19 vaccine dose, a booster shot for the pfizer vaccine and the moderna vaccine for certain
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led by the u.s. i want to bring in cnn global affairs analyst susan glasser. always a pleasure to see you, but this is tough stuff that we have to talk about. good evening to you. so afghanistan's third largest city, herat, fell to the taliban today. more than a third of the country's provincial capitals have already fallen, and afghanistan's largest city, kandahar, is on the brink. how did the situation in afghanistan unravel so rapidly and so dramatically? what happened to the afghan military? >> you know, don, this was always the scenario, of course, that the u.s. military was worried about. in fact, it's really one of the reasons in some ways that previous presidents were so reluctant to make this because this is, you know, a worst-case possibility. the taliban when they first came to power back in the 1990s was a very similar, almost lightning sweep across the country, almost the cratering of it. i think part of it also was that
the narrative of inevitable victory, right? for such a long time there's been the expectation that if the united states pulled out, that this would happen. i think that, you know, the fact that there was no one coming to the rescue anymore may have factored into it. but the speed with which it's happened this week, i find myself feeling like there's nothing surprising about it, but it's still like a gut punch to watch this sort of grim, inevitable march across the country. >> amen. but here's the thing, though. he has support. 62% of americans support the president's decision to withdraw all u.s. troops. that's according to a quinnipiac poll in may, and that's been the case for some time now. but it has left leaders with a bad choice. stay seemingly indefinitely or leave and risk it falling apart. am i right? >> i think the problem -- and where you hear the second guessing among people who have focused on this in the national security world, if it's framed
as a choice between war, no war, the american people across the political spectrum, they've made that very clear. no war. they don't want to have any more endless entanglements. if you focus on it on a more limited counterterrorism, which leaders have said was the goal as opposed to winning some massive conflict, there were about 3,500 troops on the ground when biden made the decision to pull out. there are some people looking at the situation today saying, you know, for 3,500 troops, rather than have the taliban now taking over the country in this terrible irony, they're sending in about 3,000 troops, don, today to secure the evacuation of embassy officials that's made necessary by the previous decision to remove 3,000 troops. it's really -- it's just a painful moment, i think, of the u.s., a humbling moment really. >> mm-hmm. susan glasser, again, it's always a pleasure, and i always feel smarter after you having
appeared on this program. thank you very much. i'll see you soon. >> thank you, don. a 40-year-old california man allegedly confessing to murdering his 2-year-old son and 10-month-old daughter, saying he was, quote, enlightened by qanon. stay with us. talker. a fast walker. thanks, gary. and for unexpected heartburn... frank is a fan of pepcid. it works in minutes. nexium 24 hour and prilosec otc can take one to four days to fully work. pepcid. strong relief for fans of fast.
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children possessed serpent dna. cnn's josh campbell has more on this tragic story. i want to warn you, the details are disturbing. >> reporter: two small children stabbed in the heart with a spearfishing gun. their own father allegedly leaving their bodies in a ditch in mexico. mexican authorities describing difficult details. >> translator: under the bushes, they found the lifeless bodies of two children, one female, one male. >> reporter: authorities say 40-year-old surf instructor matthew taylor coleman from santa barbara, california, confessed to murdering his 2-year-old son and 10-month-old daughter this week in mexico, telling the fbi he was driven to the killings after being enlightened by qanon and illuminati conspiracy theories. police and federal agents were called in after the children were reported missing by their mother. authorities tracking coleman's cell phone to mexico. surveillance video images released by authorities show coleman checking into a hotel with his children august 7th.
just before 3:00 a.m. on august 9th, he packs them up and leaves the hotel, returning hours later alone. he was stopped by border officials while returning to the united states. u.s. customs and border protection officers finding what appeared to be blood on the vehicle's registration paperwork but no children. the fbi soon learned from mexican authorities that the bodies of two children were found overnight along with the murder weapon, bloody clothes, and a baby's blanket. according to the criminal complaint, coleman allegedly told authorities he was receiving visions and signs revealing that his wife possessed serpent dna and had passed it on to his children. coleman also allegedly telling the fbi he was saving the world from monsters. he was arrested and charged with the foreign murder of u.s. nationals. >> just a horrific, tragic loss. >> reporter: coleman's neighbors back in santa barbara shocked. >> just shocked.
immensely tragic. having known the two kids and the family, it's -- it's just awful. >> josh, wow, what a tragic story. but this isn't the first time we've seen a suspected qanon follower go violent. what are authorities saying about the ongoing threat posed by conspiracy theorists. >> reporter: authorities and experts remain concerned about this movement. there's a lot we don't know about this specific suspect. we've reached out to his attorney for comment. we have not yet heard back. of course there is a concern that maybe mental health may be at play here. but this case illustrating what is concerning for law enforcement officials, and that is you could have adherents to these fringe movements like qanon that are predisposed to violence. it's worth noting, don, that the basis of this entire movement is this notion that somehow democrats and hollywood celebrities are preying on children, yet we see the hypocrisy here in this case where you have an alleged qanon adherent, someone who said he
was enlightened by qanon, standing charged for the murder of his own two children. don. >> just awful. josh campbell, thank you so much. we'll be right back. use a lifto could new neutrogena® rapid firming. a triple-lift serum with pure collagen. 92% saw visibly firmer skin in just 4 weeks. neutrogena® for people with skin. look, this isn't my first rodeo and let me tell you something, i wouldn't be here if i thought reverse mortgages took advantage of any american senior, or worse, that it was some way to take your home. it's just a loan designed for older homeowners, and, it's helped over a million americans. a reverse mortgage loan isn't some kind of trick to take your home. it's a loan, like any other. big difference is how you pay it back. find out how reverse mortgages really work with aag's free,
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the taliban are gaining new ground in afghanistan as the u.s. prepares to send more troops there to safely bring americans home. approval for a third coronavirus vaccine shot in the u.s. but it is not for everyone. and experts examine what the high pillow ceo says is proof of a presidential election conspiracy. live from cnn world headquarters in atlanta, welcome to all of you watching us here, in the united states and canada and around the