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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  August 23, 2021 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT

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crowd was breaking through a barricaded doorway, the entrance to the speaker's lobby that day. the office of professional responsibility has determined the officer's conduct was lawful and within department policy regarding use of force. he has not and will not be publicly identified because he and his family have received credible threats, according to the department. thanks for joining us this morning. "ac 360" starts now. good evening. today has been a day of truly good news in the fight against covid but it is tempered by what one of the leading figures in it just said about the timeline. today dr. anthony fauci told national public radio we could start to really get some good control of this as we get back into the fall of 2022. not this fall, next fall. it all depends, he said, on how successful the vaccination effort is. he joins us in a few moments. we begin with a milestone in that vital effort. the fda granting full approval to pfizer's covid vaccine for
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patients 16 and up. to borrow a phrase from the development effort, that happened at warp speed, the process taking only 40% of the usual time. >> well, this and other vaccines have met the fda's rigorous scientific standards for emergency use authorization as the first fda approved covid vaccine, the public can be confident that this meets the fda gold standards for safety, effectiveness and manufacturing quality that we require for an approved product. >> words that could not come a day too soon. that is because as of this weekend the country is back to averaging 1,000 plus deaths a day from covid. that grim figure hasn't been this high since march. in florida over the weekend, hospitalizations set a new record for the entire pandemic with more than 17,000 men, women and children in covid units, icus and ers across the state. nationally new cases are averaging close to 150,000 a day. that's nearly ten times what
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they were in june. experts on this program have predicted they'll hit 200,000 a day before this latest surge is over. even as cases soar, vaccine hesitancy or outright hostility remains. while today's announcement might not persuade the hardest core vaccine refusers, recent polling suggests one in three unvaccinated americans would be more likely to get the vaccine if it received full fda approval. that would mean tens of millions of americans. so there's that possible beneficial effect to think about. there's also this. full approval makes it easier for the u.s. military, other government agencies, school districts and businesses to make getting vaccinated mandatory, something president biden encouraged today. >> if you're a business leader, a nonprofit leader, a state or local leader who has been waiting for full fda approval to require vaccinations, i call on you now to do that, require it. >> this morning new york city
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mayor bill de blasio did just that making vaccination mandatory for all education department staff without testing as an alternative in the city's largest in the nation public school system. at the same time for all the proven benefits of vaccination, some people are choosing instead to risk their lives on quack remedies. mississippi's department of health repeated its warning not to invest the livestock drug ivermectin. this after they received reports of two individuals hospitalized with potential ivermectin toxicity. the agency suggested people get evacvaccinated and consult thei doctor if infected. we're joined by dr. anthony fauci, director of the national institutes for allergy and infectious diseases and the president's chief medical advisor. dr. fauci, i want to get to the fda approval in a moment. first i want to ask you about something that you said to npr today. you said if the majority of
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americans get vaccinated, we could start to get good control of this as we get back into the fall of 2022, a year from now. is that the best case scenario? what does control look like? >> no, anderson, i have to apologize. when i listened to the tape, i meant to say the spring of 2022, so i did misspeak. in the conversation with mary louise kelly, she was saying when do i think we can get some control. if we can get through this winter and get the overwhelming majority of the 90 million people who have not been vaccinated, vaccinated, i hope we could start to get some good control in the spring of 2022. i didn't mean the fall. i misspoke, my bad. >> okay. okay. what does control -- what does that mean? what does that look like to you? >> well, to me that means that you have either the overwhelming majority of the population vaccinated, those who have been
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infected will have -- and have cleared the virus will have a degree of protection and we are recommending that those people also get vaccinated because the degree -- and recovered and then vaccinated is an enormous increase in the degree of protection. if we can do that with the people who have been infected, get them revaccinated, the people who are unvaccinated now, that 90 million people, get them vaccinated, i think we can get a degree of overall blanket protection of the community that as we get into the early part of 2022, getting through the winter, which could be complicated by influenza, by respiratory virus, that as we get into the spring we could get back to a degree of normality, namely reassuming the things that we were hoping we could do. restaurants, theaters, that kind of thing. but again, there's a big caveat
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there, anderson. this is a very wily virus. we thought we were going to have that degree of freedom as we get into the fourth of july and the summer. and then along comes a soccer punch with the delta variant which is extraordinary in its ability to spread from person to person. so we hope we'll be there at the time frame i mentioned, correctly being the spring of 2022, but there's no guarantee because it's up to us. if we keep lingering without getting those people vaccinated that should be vaccinated, this thing could linger on, leading to the development of another variant which could complicate things. so it's within our power to get this under control. >> and what percentage -- >> and that is to get vaccinated. >> what percentage of the population would need to get vaccinated even if they have had it before, would need to get vaccinated in order to get that kind of control? >> anderson, in all transparency and honesty, we don't know that
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because we have not been to the point where we've gotten there, then fell below and then see the virus come back. we've been there with measles. we know with measles. you get 90 plus percent of the population vaccinated, you have herd immunity. you get to a community like we saw a couple of years ago, the jewish community in new york, they got down to 80 and lower and had an outbreak. what i say when people try to ask me and pin it down, you know how you're going to know? just get as many people vaccinated as you possibly can. when you get control, that will be the number. >> so today's decision by the fda most likely will lead to a wave of public and private employers mandating the vaccine. it already is. how much of a difference do you think this will make for vaccination rates? my understanding is in israel early on, it was really when
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companies started to insist that it was mandatory, then a lot more people got vaccinated and that's where we get a lot of data from. >> right. i think you're going to see two things, anderson. you're going to see -- and the estimate is and there was some poll that showed it, that about 30% of people who are not anti-vax, they were just waiting to get what they felt was the real final stamp of approval, which we just got today with the pfizer product. and those 30% are saying when that occurs, they will feel very, very comfortable about getting vaccinated. so right away you're talking about 30%. i hope. i hope they come through with what the survey said. but the other thing that you just mentioned now is they're going to give a lot of incentive and backing for a lot of institutions and organizations and places of employment to mandate, and that could be colleges, university, the
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military, organizations that employ a lot of people, some of the big corporations are going to say if you want to work for us in person, you've got to be there and get vaccinated. i think that's a good thing. i know i respect people's freedom. but when you're talking about a public health crisis that we've been going through for well over a year and a half, the time has come, enough is enough. we've just got to get people vaccinated. >> the fda's full approval is for the pfizer vaccine ages 16 and older. we heard dr. janet woodcock say this does not mean it can be used off label in teens and children under 16. what is the risk of a physician did do that, especially for children? >> well, there's two sets of children. there are children from 12 to 15 who are covered by the eua. and then you have the full approval of 16 and older. the question that people ask
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appropriately is what about 11 down to 5 and even lower, namely the elementary school kids who everyone really wants to get under the veil of protection of a vaccine. right now we at the nih, the companies are all doing studies to do what we all age de-escalation, looking at 11 to 9, 9 to 6, 6 to 2, and then 6 months to 2 years. we're collecting safety data and we're collecting immunogenicity data. we'll have enough data to present to the cdc by mid-fall or so, september, october, for pfizer. a little later for moderna. the fda has the task, which they did so bell now with the bla of looking at the data and making a risk benefit analysis. is the risk of the unusual and rare adverse event, is that
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worth it because of the benefit that children will get from the vaccine at their particular age group. and that's going to be a regulatory decision. >> how long would that be? >> well, that could be a couple of extra months. we don't know if we'll get the regulatory decision by the late fall, early winter, or it my go into the following year. i hope it's in this calendar year. >> would they give an emergency use authorization on something like that to speed it up as opposed to waiting to give the full approval for little kids? >> good question, anderson. that is a possibility. the emergency use authorization will be predicated on their feeling is it an emergent situation in the children to get them the vaccine until we get further amount of data to give it the full approval. and that's going to be an fda
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decision. it is entirely conceivable that they will judge, given the situation that we're seeing so many infections in children, and children going to the hospital, they may say that you can get it under an emergency or they may say given the safety concerns, not that there's any overly concerns, but given the safety precautions, they might want to wait a few more months. and again, we leave it up to them because that's a regulatory decision that when you're dealing with children, it's fundamentally based on safety. i don't think there's going to be any question that this is going to be effective in the children at that younger age. i have no doubt about that. it's going to be a safety issue. >> so you're talking really in the new year, you know, if it's october for the companies to get their data together, you said a little later for pfizer. >> no, a little later for moderna. >> for moderna, i'm sorry.
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so you're talking really it's unlikely we'll hear even if it's an emergency use authorization from the fda for kids under 12 and, you know, ages -- a variety of ages. we probably won't hear anything definitive until 2022, you're saying. >> well, it could be we see it before the end of this year, it could be, if the data is so strong. you could see it before the end of this year, yes. >> dr. fauci, i appreciate it as always. thanks so much. >> good to be with you, anderson, thanks. >> let's get perspective from two people who we have turned to throughout this pandemic, dr. sanjay gupta and former baltimore health commissioner, dr. leana wen. sanjay, i'm wondering what you made of what dr. fauci said? >> well, you know, it's better spring of 2022 versus fall, so that was the first thing because i had heard his comments earlier and obviously no one likes to
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think about an extended timeline like that. the winter, cooler, drier months are always worse in terms of transmitting these viruses, so i think that's probably what's informing his predictions as well and they are just that, predictions. when you have the benefit of both lower viral transmission and enough immunity, maybe we can sort of put this into a position where it's not causing the tremendous impact that we see now. we'll probably see waves, anderson. a few weeks from now if you look at what's happened in other countries around the world, they have had some rapid decelerations as well of viral transmission, which is good. maybe that will happen here as well, we're not sure. schools may add some fuel to this transmission. but it may sort of go up and down.
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i think people have to be prepared for that. you know, leana and i have talked about this. is this like just from a mindset standpoint thinking of this more like weather versus a linear sort of thing. the weather changes, you've got to be prepared. hopefully by next spring we'll be in a position where we won't have as many of these weather outbursts. >> and again, as dr. fauci said, it all depends on getting as many people possible vaccinated. dr. wen, you and i have talked a lot about for children what the prognosis is in terms of the time, how long it's going to be before they can get vaccinated. what do you make of what dr. fauci said on that? >> it's sobering. i mean the timeline keeps on getting pushed back. initially i thought that for the 6 to 11-year-old group that we would be able to have a vaccine potentially by september, october. now we're saying maybe in 2021, maybe 2022 possibly? i mean i think at this point we really need to have another conversation about risk/benefit analysis. as in there should be no
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question that the -- if the vaccine is found to be safe and effective, it should be available for children under emergency use authorization. we are in a global pandemic. we have the most number of children hospitalized yet during this pandemic. we have kids now going back to school, including in some cases in schools that are not requiring masks. it's been emergency for younger children to also be able to get the vaccine. i think that in the meantime, it really is so important for us to increase vaccinations for adults. i am very happy about the announcement today about full approval. i think that that is going to push a lot of people to getting vaccinated, not because they're going to line up tomorrow because of full approval but rather because their employers, their school, their restaurant, their concert venue they want to go to will start requiring vaccinations. that will also help to protect our children. >> sanjay, it is undeniably good news that the fda has given approval. i think it's important to try to take the moment -- the happy moments when one can.
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it's certainly a good development. >> yeah. and i think that when you start to try and figure out what is the impact of this going to be at all, as leana is mentioning, there have been these polling studies that have looked at how many people were simply not getting the vaccine because they said, look, it's not approved, it's just authorized. it feels not quite there yet. so maybe three out of ten will fall into that category. it's also going to allow these companies, pfizer, in this case, to market and advertise. you know, it's interesting because i think you'll start seeing advertisements where you're going to basically paint a picture of what vaccinated life looks like for people. obviously they're trying to get more people vaccinated, taking their vaccines, but that may be having an impact as well. but i think it is that final point where, you know, colleges, big institutions will start mandating these, having the cover now of the approval. that will probably maybe the
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biggest difference. later you'll meet supporters of the former president who will seemingly follow wherever he leads but not even to him when he says take the vaccine that he himself helped develop. next breaking news on the evacuation from afghanistan. whether the president will extend it beyond the end of the months. that plus a live report from kabul when we continue.
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continue the airlift beyond august 31st. an administration official saying he could signal his decision during a g-7 meeting tomorrow. we've also learned military advisers have told him he needs to make the call by tomorrow to allow time for troops to pull out. several advisers have counseled against any extension, citing security gnconditions on the ground. approximately 10,900 people were evacuated over a 12-hour stretch today on 15 air force and 34 coalition flights. as for how many americans specifically, pentagon spokesman john kirby said that several thousand have been evacuated and the administration still cannot offer a precise number for how many remain. more on this from oren liebermann. >> reporter: at kabul international airport, the end of the month is coming too quickly. the u.s. is trying to hit its self-imposed august 31st deadline to complete the evacuation from afghanistan. >> in the days remaining, we believe we have the wherewithal
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to get out the american citizens who want to leave kabul. >> reporter: the taliban warning there will be consequences if it takes any longer. a firefight at the airport -- the military flew more than 10,000 people out of kabul in 24 hours and another 5,000 on charters and other flights. a new record and a pace that must continue. >> we are pushing the limits to do everything we can to get every single evacuee out of kabul. >> reporter: in order to speed up evacuations, they activated the civil reserve air fleet only the third time, using 18 aircraft from commercial carriers like united and american to move evacuees from the middle east onwards. the u.s. prioritizing getting measu american citizens out. helicopters have left the airport not once but twice to pick up evacuees.
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john kirby hinting at more. >> on occasion where there's a need and a capability to meet that need, our commanders on the ground are doing what they feel they need to do to help americans reach the airport. >> reporter: for now the u.s. embassy in kabul is telling afghan special visa applicants and evacuees not to come to the airport until they're told. with potentially little more than a week left of this evacuation effort, fear of a totalitarian taliban regime is growing. a brother received this letter and then a notification of his death sentence. these court decisions are final and you will not have the right to object, the third and final letter reads. you chose this path for yourself and your death is imminent, god willing. there are still some 13,000 people at the airport and more trying to get through every day. but a new terror threat from isis-k an offshoot of isis in the middle east, forcing the u.s. to develop alternate routes
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to the airport for safety, even when there is so little time left to evacuate. >> as we mentioned, the president is reportedly mulling extending that august 31st deadline, being told he'll have to make a decision by tomorrow. that's by the way according to a defense official. what are you hearing? >> reporter: well, the biden administration and the pentagon want to be done with this by august 31st. every day you extend past that is not only extending an environment where you have a security threat from isis-k as well as al qaeda and others, logistically, it's simply difficult to have more people on that base for longer in terms of food, water, sanitation, again, security. all of these are the seasons that the pentagon and the administration want out. the question is, of course, can they do it that quickly? that's very difficult to get a sense of without knowing how many u.s. citizens there are and how many afghan evacuees they're trying to get out. on top of that, this requires at least some coordination with the taliban. there has been constant communication with them that has
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helped deconflict an incredibly tense situation, but the taliban has said they want the u.s. out by august 31st or else there will be, in their words, consequences. >> oren liebermann, appreciate it. before leaving afghanistan, clarissa ward saw the worst of chaos in kabul but also the very best of the american effort there. having made it back to europe, she joins us now, as does sam kiley. sam, the biden administration must decide by tomorrow, based on what you know, what you have seen on the ground. what do you think is likely to happen? >> reporter: well, they have got a catch-22, anderson. if they don't extend their stay here, no matter what, the military risks, the human beings risk certainly in their view dying inside afghanistan at the hands of militants. but if they do extend, they risk being -- coming into confrontation with the taliban who have said absolutely august
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the 31st is the red line and there will be these unspecified consequences if the americans stay on. there might be some negotiated wiggle room there with the taliban. but right now i can hear what appears to be -- what sounds like quite a ferocious firefight here at first light off in the direction here on the edge of the airport. we don't know what is going on there, but there is a great deal of tension here indeed. not because of the threat posed by the taliban, but because of the persistent threat being perceived to come from isis-k, anderson. >> clarissa, based on what you saw, can you just explain the difficulties involved in getting all these people out, and are you optimistic they could get at least all of the americans out by the 31st. >> i have to say, anderson, that i'm not optimistic at all. i'm talking to people every day. u.s. servicemen, congressmen and women. so many who are working around
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the clock to try to help facilitate these extractions. i spoke to one u.s. soldier earlier today who said that he had desperately trying to get 30 people in. but you just can't get them through these gates. because the situation is so kinetic, as you just heard sam say there, and because there are non-state actors who are now involved in further complicating an already very complex, dangerous situation, it becomes next to impossible to try to find people in the crowd, find an entrance for them to come to where there isn't a sort of crush already of other people waiting, and bring them in and then safely evacuate them. so i think we have to be realistic at what we're looking at now, which is a best case scenario, the u.s. succeeds in evacuating all the americans who want to be evacuated, but at the same time you're looking at tens of thousands of people who have fought with americans, who have died with americans or had
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family members who have died with americans, who have sacrificed and risked everything for two decades of service who increasingly it becomes clear are likely to be left behind. >> clarissa, a taliban spokesperson has given an ultimatum that sam was mentioning. they said our leadership will take proper and necessary decisions. that's if the u.s. isn't out by august 31st. what do you take that to mean? >> i take that to mean the taliban is not granting any extension to this deadline. they don't want what they call an extended occupation. and they have been pretty clear about that from the beginning. there's several reasons why they don't want this. number one, they don't feel that they can really begin the business of fully running afghanistan as an autonomous political force as long as these scenes are playing out at the airport. number two, they're fully aware of how the optics of what's happening at the airport are terrible for the taliban, because as long as you continue to see all these people who are
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literally willing to risk life and limb and crush themselves and throw their babies over razor wire in order to escape the talibans are that's not a good look for the taliban, that's not something that they can abide. thirdly, i think they're feeling they're victorious, they have a big war chest filled with american weapons and ammunition. they're not -- they feel that they have -- it doesn't seem that the u.s. has -- >> clarissa, we're having a problem with your feed. sam, i want to play something from the white house press secretary, jen psaki, in the briefing today when she was pressed about americans being, quote, stranded. let's listen. >> first of all, i think it's irresponsible to say americans are stranded. they are not. we are committed to bringing
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americans who want to come home, home. we are in touch with them via phone, via text, via email, via any way that we can possibly reach americans to get them home if they want to return home. >> there are no americans stranded is the white house's official position on what's happening in afghanistan right now. >> i'm just calling you out for saying that we are stranding americans in afghanistan when we have been very clear that we are not leaving americans who want to return home. >> sam, i mean based on what you're seeing and hearing, are there americans who are currently stranded? is that an appropriate way to characterize it? >> reporter: anderson, there's a lot of political spin involved there. what there is, is an estimate of some thousands of americans, some of whom -- many of whom want to get back to the united states or get out of kabul. the authorities here at the moment are struggling to get them safely into this location. all of the gates are officially
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closed to afghans, even those carrying the special immigrant visas in order to try to facilitate this. they're prioritizing here the bringing in of people with permanent residence in the united states or united states passports. but to do so, they have had to use what they're calling alternative routes, which are essentially special forces operations to try and grab them and find safe routes for them in through taliban lines and into the headquarters here. this is not necessarily because of the taliban. you have some record of abusing people on their way in but really have negotiated good behavior with the americans in order to facilitate this process. but because of this persistent threat coming from isis-k, and i mentioned that firefight that was going on over to my right here. i would guess it's probably about a kilometer away. you can clearly hear single shots and then a spray of rapid fire. it's clearly a firefight of some
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kind and it's precisely that kind of event that is making it so difficult to get americans stranded or not into this base. of course the longer this insecurity persists or the greater -- the more it grows, anderson, the harder it's going to be to get them in and the harder it is for the united states to meet that deadline and the harder the taliban will negotiate for any concession out of the americans should they agree to move that red line a little bit to the right, anderson. >> so, sam, just to be clear, you said right now and for how long i'm wondering that the doors are shut for afghans right now. right now the focus is purely on getting americans permanent residents through the wire, through the wall? >> reporter: yes, it is, yeah. that's been the case now for at least 48 hours, i'd say. the gates are closed. and also clearing the backlog. there was about nearly 20,000 mostly afghan evacuees but not
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just afghans. obviously foreigners too, to move through. they are now being moved through pretty efficiently. you can hear in the background another aircraft taking off. they have been taking off and landing all day long. they are being moved through very, very efficiently now. there is a pretty slick operation that has been stood up in four or five days only. it had a disastrous start with a lot of log jams. they tried to clear it now. the hope from the afghan perspective and indeed from the foreign perspective is the gates might open soon. every time the gates open, more people flock to them, the crowds get bigger and then they become a bigger terrorist target for a group like isis-k. the one thing that the islamic state would love to do is humiliate and cause destruction for the taliban in the early days of their nacent administration and humiliate the withdrawing forces led by the united states. anderson? >> clarissa is back with us. clarissa, the last time we spoke you were at the airport about to
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leave kabul. you said you were one of the lucky ones. we had a picture of you that you took on the plane. what was that journey home like? >> i mean it's just surreal, anderson. you're walking in the sort of dead of night through the airfield. there's hot jet engine air being blasted into your face and you walk onto this huge c-17. everybody has to stand facing the same direction because there's so many people packed in so tightly. and then at a certain point you're giving the word and you sit down simultaneously. and what really stood out to me is that because i'm a westerner, all these people were like, excuse me, please, can you tell me where we are going? excuse me, please, can you tell me what happens when we get there? how can i call my loved ones? i left my family outside the airport, we got separated. can i charge my phone? just this overwhelming sense of even though they're the lucky
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ones, this absolute fear of the fact that everything they know and which is familiar has been left behind. they're walking into a completely uncertain reality. they have no information about what's waiting for them on the other end. they're desperately afraid of what could happen to them along the journey. the translator who cnn had been working with who was traveling with us, he was so worried that something was going to get stolen from him. he wouldn't let himself sleep for a couple of days. i mean people are going through a form of trauma even in this process of extraction, even in the process of getting out to safety. this is not where their troubles end. in many ways, this is where so many challenges begin. and i really felt that sitting on this c-17 for three hours like sardines, sitting cross legged with everybody full of questions. and i of course was not able to answer those questions,
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anderson. >> clarissa ward, i appreciate t the reporting. sam kiley as well. coming up a live report from capitol hill, plus an analysis of an investigation into the capitol riot. we'll be right back.
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there's more breaking news to report, this time involving a major next step in the investigation of the capitol riot with potential repercussions for some members of congress. i'm joined by ryan nobles and cnn legal analyst norm eisen who served d as former counsel to
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house democrats during the former president's first impeachment. the house committee is planning to seek phone records, including those of some members of congress. do we know which members' phone records they are planning on going after? >> we don't yet, anderson. the committee wasn't specific about that. but the chairman of the committee, bennie thompson, telling us they're going to seek the records of some hundreds of people as a result of this investigation. another member of the committee, jamie raskin, told me today that obviously they want to find information about people that were involved in the planning, the execution, both inside and outside on that day. when it comes to members of congress we know will be a part of this tranche of information they're looking for, there is a certain number of republican members of congress that were on the phone that day with the white house, specifically the house minority leader kevin mccarthy and jim jordan of ohio both have said they spoke to the former president, donald trump, on that day. so while the committee is not tipping its hand right now, that's a logical first place to look in terms of the information
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that they'll be in search of. >> norm, do you see any legal issues when it comes to obtaining phone records of sitting members of congress and can telecommunications companies deny the request from the committee? >> anderson, thanks for having me back. there are always legal rules that apply, but here you have a well founded basis for seeking the phone records. in any investigation, whether it's congressional, civil, criminal, you need evidence in order to make the case, so i think there's an adequate basis to ask for them and i think they're going to get them. >> ryan, could members -- >> the committee has told us repeatedly that they are going to go wherever this investigation takes them. if that means to call in front of the committee members of
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congress who had knowledge as to what could have happened that day, they are not afraid to do that. it's not just necessarily active members of congress. it could be members of the trump administration who could be called in front of this committee to testify. but that's part what this records request is about. it's about building that evidence, starting a paper trail that would be part of that investigative process. they need to form these telecommunications companies and tell them that those records cannot be destroyed because they could be potentially part of an investigation. >> norm, there's plenty of ways, though, that this could just get bogged down in litigation. there's, you know, they could issue subpoenas and people could refuse to show up and cite executive privilege, couldn't they? >> cnn's reporting is that the committee is starting with reputable actors, the
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telecommunications companies, social media companies, they're not going to play those games. congress has just re-established its right to enforce subpoenas in the trump litigation in the supreme court, in the mcgahn litigation that we worked on in the first impeachment in the d.c. circuit. and the courts are going to -- if it goes to court, i think it could move more quickly. the courts are not going to tolerate the kind of game playing that we saw from donald trump. >> norm eisen, ryan nobles, appreciate it. thank you. just ahead, that never-ending so-called audit in arizona. it was finally supposed to end today. instead, the preventible happened. details when we continue.
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be handed over to the state senate today after a long drawn-out process that even a local republican called incompetent and conspiracy theory driven. joining us to explain the delay is cnn's kyung lah. so this group, the cyber ninjas, were supposed to share their findings with the arizona senate today. what happened? >> reporter: well, covid happened. increasingly you hear about it in the news.
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covid hit the cyber ninjas. the arizona senate president, karen fan, announced that the head of cyber ninjas, doug logan, the subcontractor that you were mentioning, he had tested positive for covid in addition to two other members of the so-called audit team. we understand at least one of them may be quite ill. what we don't know is their vaccination status. we don't know the health status of the other two. but we can tell you that they were photographed by multiple agencies, including cnn, working inside the warehouse without masks on. that members of the so-called audit team did testify in public not wearing masks. that masks were not a part of this effort toward the end when the machine ballot count happened. so what did happen today is that the arizona senate did receive a partial report that they'lk thr wednesday. the full report obviously at this point is going to be tbd. important to note, anderson, that this was not going to be
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released publicly anyway. when it was released, there certainly was going to be a lot of dispute about any sort of factual basis of this report. anderson. >> just to be clear, though, the only evidence -- we don't know for a fact that they have covid. this is what the state gop leader has said, right? this is the reason they're giving? >> in a statement that is all we got. >> okay. so i know you -- i mean you've been -- for better or worse, you have been on this story now for quite some time. i don't know how you've done it and kept your composure, but you've been looking at the cyber ninjas. you even tracked down their alleged offices in florida which there was no one there. what did you learn about them over the last few months? >> reporter: well, we had to travel to florida no one was calling us back. the cyber ninjas were hired with very little experience. in fact zero experience when it comes to election auditing.
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so we went to sarasota, florida, and we didn't find much. take a listen. cyber ninjas is headquartered in sarasota. so we flew the 2,000 miles to florida. our first stop, cyber ninjas legal department. >> suite number 421. >> the office listed as the fourth floor suite is a rented mailbox. inside a u.p.s. store. >> thank you for calling cyber ninjas. >> reporter: no one ever answers the official business phone number. and every extension you press gets you to only one ninja. >> please leave a message for doug logan. doug logan. doug logan. >> reporter: i'm still waiting for doug logan to call me back. he never returned any of our inquiries. what we can tellr that the cybero conduct this
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so-called audit. anderson. >> they're ninjas. you can't see them they're amazing. kyung lah, thank you so much. appreciate it. continue to follow it. up next, the pfizer vaccine getting full approval. cnn's donie o'sullivan went to a rally hosted by the former president over the weekend. there were plenty of vaccine hesitant people there. did the former president change their minds with his message to get vaccinated? we'll show you next.
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told you at the top of the program about the fda's decision to fully approve the pfizer covid vaccine and how it might change the landscape for those people, at least many of them who have been on the fence about getting one. the former president spoke at an alabama rally over the weekend. while he received his usual full-throated welcome, when it came to the vaccine, many who came to hear him had no support for either the vaccine or him telling them they should get the vaccine, which he did. donie o'sullivan was there and
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he talked to the supporters about the vaccines at the time pending approval. here's his report. >> no. not getting that vaccine. no, no, no, no, no. them vaccines are not good, hon. >> are you vaccinated? >> no. but i have a lot of hydro enclosure quinn at my house. >> have you got your vaccine? >> no. don't want it. >> no? >> they ain't tested it enough in my opinion. >> the pfizer shot is about to get full fda approval. would that change your opinion on it at all? >> not until they do a whole lot more investigating in on it. >> yeah. >> nothing is going in me until then. >> right. do you think that would take a long time? >> about ten years or so. >> i don't trust the government, i don't trust cdc, i don't trust none of them. >> what is it about the vaccine -- >> because i've watched dr. 10penny and she's done a lot of research on it. >> reporter: she is a discredited conspiracy theorist who pushes dangerous misinformation about vaccines.
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>> i'm sure you've seen the pictures of people who have these shots and now they're magnetized. they can put spoons and forks all over them and they stick. >> reporter: those claims landed her on a list known as the disinformation dozen, superspreaders of covid misinformation. >> these 12 people are out there giving misinformation. anyone listening to it is getting hurt by it. it's killing people. it's bad information. >> reporter: but tenpenny and others in the disinformation dozen are finding appeal among some trump supporters. >> my own doctor tried to get me to get the shot and i told him to go watch dr. tenpenny. >> so you trust this woman on the internet more than your own doctor? >> uh-huh, i do. >> to listen to the internet or listen to -- rather than the professionals, the scientists, the cdc, the fda, if you look at the history of vaccine, it's been, again, the greatest gift we've ever been given. people today wouldn't be at any
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of these events, they would either have polio, they would have smallpox, they would have many other diseases. vaccines have saved us. >> reporter: trump came here to alabama saturday. it's the state with the lowest vaccination rate in the nation and at the time of this rally, every icu bed here was full. his timid suggestion his supporters should get the shot was matched with jeers. >> and you know what, i believe totally in your freedoms, i do. you've got to do what you have to do. but i recommend, take the vaccines. i did it, it's good. take the vaccines. but you've got -- no, that's okay. that's all right. you've got your freedoms. but i happen to take the vaccine. if it doesn't work, you'll be the first to know, okay? >> trump got the vaccine, though. >> they keep saying that. i don't know that. i mean i'm not fully convinced of that. >> you don't think trump got it? >> i don't think he did. i really don't. >> reporter: in so many people's minds, so many people who don't want to get the shot, this is a republican/democrat thing. >> oh, absolutely. you know, but i will tell you i
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don't personally see that that virus came over here on a duon key or elephant and it's affecting everybody. >> i watch prophets of god and newsmax and maybe a little fox, that's about it. that's about it. i've kind of turned away from news. i don't want to listen to it. i want to listen to what god is saying, what he's fixing to do. that's all i'm concerned about. i think it is time where god is separating the sheeps from the goats. >> reporter: what are you? >> i'm a goat because i ain't a sheep. i'm not doing what they tell me to do. i'm fighting against it. >> donie o'sullivan joins us now. do you think that the former president saying that he got the shot, although you said it was timid, nevertheless he did say it. do you think it convinced anyone? >> reporter: no, it didn't seem like that, anderson. i think that is something that trump knows. we know trump likes to take
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credit for things and he can in many respects take credit for the development of this vaccine, but he knows that so many in his base do not want to take this shot. it is a red line for them. and it's really remarkable to hear, you know, so many folks we've spoken to do not want to be as that woman described it a sheep. they don't want to take this vaccine. they view it as a political statement almost. and some folks are so intent on not becoming part of this herd of sheep, they're going as far as taking medicine for horses. so it is a very troubling situation here. as you heard from that public health official in our piece, some folks are only willing to take the shot once they see a family member or loved one really, really sick in the hospital. >> yeah. donie o'sullivan, appreciate it. thanks. we'll be right back.
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[ring] [ring ring] [ring] oh no... i thought i just ordered tacos. nope! sushi... ramen... burgers... tandoori chicken... some milk from the store, and... ...and, let me guess. cookies? wha, me hungry! yeah. here, i'll call some friends to help us eat. yeah, that good idea. yeah. get more from your neighborhood. doordash. hey yo, grover! you like ramen? the news continues. let's hand things over for chris for "cuomo prime time." >> thanks, anderson. welcome to the prime time covid command center. we do have breaking developments in afghanistan and one of the key players in the trump taliban deal is here with a twist. we will test it. but first, full approval at long last for the pfizer vaccine from the