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tv   New Day With John Berman and Brianna Keilar  CNN  October 20, 2021 4:00am-5:00am PDT

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opposing views on the holocaust. >> certainly jarring. ultimately, i think that from all accounts she's a very capable administrator. and she was put in a really difficult situation. i think the fact that, you know, the school district came out and said that there aren't two sides was obviously the right move. ist calls to attention in my opinion to the larger issue here that she was put in that situation. that the teachers were put in that situation and that i felt the need to sort of speak out that, you know, this is possible for students to endure today of not just, you know, anti-semitic bullying but obviously on race, religion, creed, gender identity. >> your issue is with the law. the idea that someone could interpret this law as meaning there could possibly be an opposing view to the holocaust worth teach something. >> yeah. that's exactly correct.
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you know, i think that she was trying to do her job. and she stepped in a huge pile of mud. and from all the other testimony that was there the night at the school board, again, she seems like an incredibly capable and even exemplary administrator. it was pretty compelling the number of people that backed her. for somebody that is apparently that good at their job to be put in that position and step in a pile of mud, you wonder what happens throughout the rest of the state with administrators that aren't that capable. and for situations trying to be whitewashed in the state. and i think i wanted to draw attention, if this can happen to somebody like me, what is happening to somebody whose history is trying to be overwritten in a revisionist way >> jake berman, appreciate this. sorry you had to hear this take place in texas. we appreciate you speaking out. . >> thank you so much.
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"new day" continues right now. welcome to our viewers in the united states and all around the world. it is wednesday, october 20th. i'm john berman with brianna keilar. so steve bannon was directed to comply with a lawful subpoena. instead, he chose to define lawmakers. and that is why the house committee investigating the january 6th en insurrection is recommending criminal contempt. >> based on the investigation, it appears mr. bannon had substantial advanced knowledge of the plans for january 6th and likely had an important role in formulating those plans. mr. bannon's and mr. trump's privilege arguments do, however, appear to reveal one thing. they suggest that president trump was personally involved in the planning and execution of
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january 6th and this committee will get to the bottom of that. >> this is just some of what bannon said on his radio show the day before the capitol riot. >> all hell is going to break loose tomorrow. just understand this. all hell is going to break lose tomorrow. it's not going to happen like you think it's going to happen, okay. it's going to be quite extraordinarily different. all i can say is strap in. the war room, a posse, you have made this happen. and tomorrow it's game day. so strap in. >> donald trump is determined to hamstring the committee by blocking the national archives from turning over documents next month. those documents may reveal trump's actions around the insurrection. and the former president's legal team is asking for an injunction in 21 days to keep them under wraps. joining me is peter strzok, deputy assistant director and
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former chief of the fbi's counter espionage section. let's talk first about the big headline here, that liz cheney said. tell us about these serious allegations. >> if you have nothing to hide, why are you fighting so hard? it's comments like what we heard from steve bannon that put him at the center of this. it was cited in their report to try to move forward on this citation for contempt of congress, this criminal citation. what the committee knows, or thinks they know at least, is that steve bannon has communications with president trump over a very critical time leading up to this riot. and they want to know exactly what the comments were. and, again, liz cheney making a point that if either has anything to hide, if the records are clean, why are they both fighting so hard to cough up this information that the committee thinks is critical >> what do you think, peter, about what she is alleging? . >> i think they are extraordinary lie serious
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allegations. they pint to some knowledge what happened january 6th. this was not some spontaneous event where people decide to storm the capital. when you see some of the other information that's coming out of the january 6th committee, it clear points to a higher level knowledge or indicating that there might be some knowledge of what actually occurred later. and that points to a much larger potential conspiracy and coordination in advance of what actually occurred. >> is there another way to read his comments. ? >> not in my opinion, no. he is talking about a protest with a point, with an intended goal of exactly what we saw january 6th. that is people storming congress to interrupt the certification of the presidential election. >> whitney, can you tell us about trump, the trump team's request for an injunction here? >> well, the trump team is basically trying to look at the calendar and figuring out how they can squeeze out hand handling of this.
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if a court doesn't intervene, they are going to hand over the documents by november 12th. the trump team is trying to speed up the calendar, a recommendation basically that favors them not to have to give up the documents. right now this is, you know, another -- really another point in the calendar which is driving how much information actually comes out of the committee. so the key dates here, they basically want a ruling in the next 21 days, which would presumably be prior to that date. if the court doesn't tell us no, we're giving it over. >> is this referral for contempt charges for bannon moves to the doj, what do you think the doj is going to do? >> i think that's a great question. doj has a very difficult decision on its plate. the fact of the matter, there's a lot of new and complicated legal issues that come along with this referral assuming it's voted out on thursday. first and foremost is whether or not a former president can assert privilege. there's some similar former opinion out of the department of
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justice that he can. i expect this is going to be the beginning of a lot of litigation not only on the part of president trump but bannon. their goal is not necessarily to win. their goal is to delay this long enough so if congress does flip or otherwise change their focus, that they can run out the clock and not have to produce bannon as a witness or any documents from it >> can they run out the clock? >> unfortunately, i think so. there are a number of things they will -- even if doj decides to prosecute this, which is not a certainty, you will see a lot of hurdles that will slow down the process >> peter, whitney, thank you so much to both of you. efforts to pass a social spending plan ta could change the lives of workers, elderly, children in the country. we have learned that president biden is discussing a 1.75 to $1.9 trillion price tag. that's a big reduction from the $3.5 trillion originally
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proposed or most recently proposed, shy say. we also know where some of the proposed cuts could come from. two years of free community college. that's something president biden ran on. that could be out. a proposal for paid family leave could be cut from 12 weeks to 4 weeks. the child tax credit, which exists now, could now be means tested going forward and extended one year. and funding for home care reduced by 1$150 billion. joining me is david chalian. on community college, joe biden ran on that. that was a proposal that candidate biden pushed hard. what does this tell you?. >> and early on, john. two years ago he was all over the country touting this proposal. you'll remember some of the more liberal democrats that he was running against, were saying
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more robust education. he said, no, this is what you should do. i will deliver two free years of community college. that is going to be a promise unfulfilled. biden is conceding that. so this is a huge concession here. i think it shows you a couple things. one, campaigning is very different than governing. and i think we learned that again and again as do occupants of the oval office. that's first and foremost. but also it's deal making time. this is now a president who feels the urgency of getting this done now. and there have been months of conversation, months of spwrer pa -- inter party battling. this is how we're going to get to yes and get done with this and get money and investment out to the american people. >> the last point i find interesting, david. i woke up to the specifics this morning. i was surprised. they have been at this for a
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long time. we haven't heard this specify fistity about where it would come from. now the president and the white house is getting pretty specific about this. >> yeah. remember, we're getting this now after a series of meetings. i don't mean just yesterday's meetings. the last several weeks we have gotten lots of reports of biden meeting with senator manchin, senator sinema meeting with house progressives. he has done a few cycles of this. clearly the list was building where biden could see the potential for a deal. and i agree with you. i think some are enormous gives here in many ways. we don't yet know how the climate provisions are going to work out. the child tax credit. you see on the screen it says from 12 weeks down to 4 weeks. sorry. that's paid family leave. child tax credit getting extended only for a year, zone. here's the thing. if you have listened to the vice president, the president or the
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speaker over the last six months, they have touted the child care tax credit as the most successful thing they have done to slash childhood poverty in half. now, the program is only going to get extended as is for a year in this deal. that is taking what they think are their biggest accomplishments and not extending it very far into the life of the country. they are pretty significant. and it shows you in the evenly divided congress that joe biden is dealing with in a 50/50 senate, how much power joe manchin and kyrsten sinema have here. . >> i wonder if their political maneuvering is to force congress to take another vote a year from now and then accuse people of taking it away. that's curious in and of itself. who is the pressure now on, david? i was sitting here yesterday with cori bush and jamal bowman, two very practicingive members of the house of representatives, and they were warning the white house and more moderates don't
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leave us with, quote, crumbs, they say here. but then ro khanna and jayapal, are wondering where to apply more pressure >> i think when you step back and look at $1.9 trillion in the american rescue plan, $1.2 in the bipartisan infrastructure bill that will get through as a part of this. and let's say they end up at, i don't know, $1.9 trillion here at the end of the day in this build back better program. you're talking about $5 trillion of investment into the american economy this year. so the investment is unprecedented. and i think that's going to be the argument that the white house and congressional leaders make to the progressives who may not love that it had to get pared back here. but the reality is there are no votes for a more robust program. this is the moment.
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and every democrat from across the spectrum understands that their political success and their policy success rests on getting these bills through. >> got to let you go, david. we think movement this week? >> yeah. everyone is suggesting we will see some kind of framework by the end of this week. the president clearly has said he wants to go overseas touting success on the climate issue >> good news, we get to talk to you again later this week. thank you very much. >> sure. a new cnn exclusive. president joe biden taking questions from the american people. our anderson cooper will be moderating a cnn presidential townhall with joe biden. and that begins tomorrow night at 8:00. coronavirus boosters could be available for people as young as 40. what we are now learning from the fda. plus -- >> i just want to be straight with you. i think you're crazy.
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>> cnn's drew griffin telling off an anti-vax doctor who took an oath to do no harm. the eyerolling outrageous claims he is spreading about the vaccine. and cnn's john king sharing a secret with the world and a message for vaccine critics how they are endangering other people. he'll join us live. it's derm-tested. and now, it's cleanest f formua with hydration that beats the $400 cream. tried. tested. never bested. shop at olay.com >> tech: when you get a chip in your windshield... trust safelite. this couple was headed to the farmers market... when they got a chip. they drove to safelite for a me-day repair. and with their insurance, it was no cost to them. >> wan: really? >> tech: that's service e way you need it. >>ingers: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace. ♪
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new this morning, cnn learned booster shots could be recommended for people as young as 40 who received either the moderna or pfizer vaccine. joining us to talk about this is chief medical correspondent dr. sap jay gupta. what can you tell us about this likely recommendation? >> where things stand now, we have been talking about boosters
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for some time, they have been recommended for people in certain groups. people over the age of 65. people who are 18 and older, high risk, and people at risk for high exposures. high risk category is a large group of people as you know. it could be 150, 160 million that fall into the second group there. what they are seeing now. let me show you what's been going on with people developing severe illness who are -- based on their vaccination status. you see the blue line there. the unvaccinated. that is the biggest part of the story. the unvaccinated are far and away more likely to develop severe disease. but the green line at the bottom, who are are the people that are vaccinated and still developing severe disease. they are primarily over the age of 65.
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it could be they are, you know, increasingly further out from their first shots and this is evidence of the vaccine waning. this is much more the story of the unvaccinated. this is likely to come up, this idea of expanding the eligibility of boosters. it is a possibility. >> i almost said what green line because it tracks so closely along the bottom. we need to be clear here. even with the slight uptick it is so rare that vaccinated people die of covid. >> that is true. talking about boosters, providing more protection to people who already have good protection. let me show you, brianna. this comes up again and again. crunch the numbers here. 188 million people or so that are fully vaccinated.
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7,100 have died due to breakthrough infection -- breakthrough cases. and the vast majority over the age of 65. it is important. so many people say, look, what do the vaccines really do. what do they accomplish. you saw what they really accomplish. they dramatically reduce your risk of getting sick or dying >> do you want to be on the green line or the blue line? you want to be on the green one for sure looking at that. sanjay, thank you. >> thank you. >> coming up, a cnn exclusive interview with a top doctor spreading disinformation about covid-19. >> more people are dying from the covid vaccine from covid. >> that is not true. you are raising doubt about a vaccine -- >> i hope i am. because i hope more people take heed of the the need that is necessary >> if you are wrong and they
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die? >> his outrageous answer, next. and race playing a central role in the murder trial of the men accused of killing ahmaud arbery. his father on concerns of a fair trial. age-related macular degeneration may lead to severe vision loss, so the national eye institute did 20 years of clinical studies on a formula found in p preservision. if it were my vision, i'd ask my doctor abouout preservisio. it's the most studied eyeye vitamin brand. if it were my vision, i'd look into preservision preservision areds 2 contains the exact nutrient formula recommended by the nei to help reduce the risk of moderate to advanced amd progression. i have amd, it is my vision, so my plan includes preservision.
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i didid't t kn whahatmy c caswa, so i called the barnes firm. i'm rich barnes. it's hard for people to k how much their accident case is worth.h barnes. t ouour juryry aorneneys hehelpou it's bad enough to hear politicians spread disinformation about covid and life-saving vaccines. but coming from doctors is both frightening and dangerous. you're about to hear from one doctor who makes outrageous statements about covid and vaccines that are just wrong. and while the vast majority realizes this, too many people believe the lies. cnn's drew griffin joins me now. this is just breathtaking. >> yeah. as you mentioned, these are the worst type of disinformers.
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they are using medical credentials to discredit science and facts all for politics or profits. dr. buttara is considered one of the top spreaders of disinformation about covid. >> more people are dying from the covid vaccine than from covid. >> that is not true. neither is his tweet that the red cross won't accept blood from people who have had the covid-19 vaccine. he posted most who took the vaccines will be dead by 2025. the biggest whopper is the over arching theory that covid was a planned operation which was politically motivated as part of a secret global plot to depopulate the earth >> you believe the pandemic was planned? >> i do. >> but you don't know by whom? >> i have no idea. . >> and you don't know why? >> well, i suspect there's the research coming now that would indicate it's probably something
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to minimize reproduction rates. >> it would be laughable if it wasn't so dangerous. he says it's like world war ii and fauci to hitler. >> you talk about hitler. okay. >> whoever dr. fauci is in your mind, he is a government bu bure bureaucrat. you're comparing him to hitler, nazis. >> i am. >> who killed 6 million jews. >> i think this number is going to be higher. >> i think dr. fauci is involved in some kind of plot to kill millions of people? i just want to make sure i understand this. >> drew, i'm a reasonably person. you're asking me what i think. i said it could be this. i can tell you dr. fauci is not an innocent by stander. he is very well aware of what he's doing. his extent and his involvement, i don't know. i'm not privy to that
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information. >> as atrocious as his fake conclusions and conspiracy theories are, he is just one of the doctors spreading dangerous covid disinformation to millions of people across social media. according to the center for countering digital hate >> let's be absolutely clear, lies cost lives in a pandemic. if you're encouraging people not to vaccinate, you will cause people to lose their lives. >> buttar is encouraging people to distrust life-saving vaccines. like other disinformers, he is using false, twisted information and unproven conspiracies to do it. >> do you think the covid vaccine works? >> i think it is very effective at what it was designed for perhaps but not preventing death. certainly not >> it's not preventing death? >> no. >> even when faced with undisputable facts, he doubles down that the vaccines are more
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dangerous than the virus itself. >> 6.34 billion doses of this vaccine have been given. if you're right, people would be dropping dead all around us. >> it's not orchestrated to do that. each vaccine has been geared up. so you can look at the ingredients of the vaccines themselves. it's all been published. >> each has been feared up for what? >> each vaccine is designed -- it appears to be different. i don't know the details because i'm not a vaccine developer. >> scientific corruption -- >> because of his disinformation, buttar has been removed from facebook and instagram but still going stram on twitter, telegram and his own website filled with falsehoods. >> you retweeted astrazeneca packaging that seems to indicate it was made in 2018. that picture that you retweeted was a doctored photo.
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it was fake. >> perhaps it was tpaebg. >> why would you do that? >> are you saying it's not reasonable to question the same agencies that have resulted in numerous deaths? >> it's reasonable to ask questions. what i don't understand is how you get from your asking questions to your belief. you had 1.2 million followers at one point. >> yes. >> they got false information from you. not correct or challenging medical information. they got a doctored photo. >> if i sent a tweet out of a picture that was doctored and i didn't know about it, i'm not perfect. maybe i did make that mistake. but i'm not making mistakes on the numbers. >> the very latest vaccine studies show they remain 9 0% effective in preventing hospitalization and death. buttar tells his followers, it is the vaccine that is the danger. >> we see thousands of people dying. the cdc's own data is showing that now >> that's just not true. >> i don't want to be part of this mass genocide that i see
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happening. and i think that what is going on right now will be remembered as the worst time in history compared to what world war ii happened. >> i just want to be straight with you. i think you're crazy. >> before covid, north carolina's board of medicine reprimanded buttar twice for the way he was treating autism and cancer patients. the board accused him of charging exorbitant fees for his therapies, which included injecting a patient with hydrogen peroxide. and a warning letter was sent over things from treating chronic pain, improving sex drive >> and yet i have had a license to practice for 30 years. >> he lies and disinforms on matters of public health, yet that doesn't have an impact on
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his medical license in north carolina. across the country, covid-19 has created a sub culture of disinformation on medical outcasts. state medical boards don't know what to do. >> those kinds of comments are very trouble to go doctors on the front lines in managing covid. they are particularly frustrated. in fact, some of my colleagues are livid. >> cnn contacted medical boards in all 50 states. half of them responded. only two, rhode island and oregon, said they had actually disciplined doctors for coronavirus misinformation or related violations. that is despite hundreds of complaints. the federation of state medical boards issued a warning to physicians who generate and spread covid-19 vaccine misinformation or disinformation that they are risking disciplinary action, including the suspension or revocation of their medical license. . >> especially in a pandemic, your actions could lead to the
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deaths of thousands of individuals because people trust what doctors say >> buttar doesn't seem to care. >> you had an outsized influence over somebody who is just living down the street in terms of people getting their medical advice. you have to admit that. >> absolutely. >> and you are raising doubt about a vaccine -- >> i hope i am. i hope more people take heed of the warning that is necessary. >> and if you are wrong and they die because of that? >> i am confident, more than confident in my ability to look at the data and observe what's going on and that if i'm wrong, so be it. because i have to look at myself in the mirror every night when i go to bed and every morning when i get up. and i don't lose any sleep, drew. >> john, medical boards across the country are trying to tackle this, come up with new rules, new ways to punish these disinformers. right now their systems, their by-laws are not geared up for
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this type of behavior. john. >> drew, you just went through the looking glass. this is "alice in wonderland" level madness here. and people's lives are at stake. >> yeah. it is -- it is unbelievable. it reminded me very much of an interview i did a while ago with the pillow guy about how we vote in america and just looking at the data, looking at the facts. and this person comes up with a conclusion that is just outside the realm of possibility or imagination. it's goofy land. >> drew griffin, welcome back to reality. and thank you so much for your reporting. >> thanks. inside the homes of afghan citizens, after 20 years of progress, crumbles under taliban rule. cnn's clarissa ward with dramatic new reporting. and a story of survival. what happened after a plane carrying 21 people crashed near a texas airport. >> they just told us to get out,
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call today. on the new podcast tug-of-war, chief international correspondent clarissa ward are going to some of the darkest corners of the world. democracy is in its dying days. in this clip, clarissa speaks to an afghan woman watching helplessly as 20 years of progress crumbles under taliban rule. >> i never thought i would do this, but i have been encouraging people to leave. no woman's life is going to be better. yes, hopefully the blood shed will stop.
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but afghan women deserve more. they deserve to live, not just survive. and in an scenario that i can imagine, it's going to be survival, at least for a while. >> clarissa, i have been anxiously awaiting this. please tell us a little bit more about what we can expect here. >> reporter: so, thank you, brianna. i really hope you'll enjoy it. basically, what i just found on my travels over the past years is that i was so inspired and fascinated by extraordinary acts of courage from ordinary people. in the most devastating and dangerous of circumstances. and particularly when we talk about the rise of autocacies in the world. there are more than democracies around the globe. but you are also seeing this
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mushrooming of pro democracy freedom fighting. so i really wanted to explore that further, which is what we have really done in this forecast and whether it's looking at women in afghanistan who are fearful of losing everything in this moment, or whether it's looking at pro-democracy protesters in myanmar who did lose everything when the 00 ta took power or in russia where vladimir putin created a state whereby dissent and opposition are no longer tolerated. we basically have gone around the world exploring what these movements look like and what the people capable of these extraordinary acts of great courage in the face of really intimidating force, what they're all about, what inspires them, what gives them the sustenance to keep doing this work. >> you take us behind the closed doors. i think that's what i appreciate
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so much about your reporting. it is so clarifying on the situations you're covering. you were recently in afghanistan reporting on the crisis there. can you give us an update? >> reporter: well, the situation is very bleak. there's no two ways about it. in addition to all we are seeing in terms of decline and women's rights, you are looking at a real decline in the security situation. isis-k waging insurgency on mosques and cakandahar and kandahar. it is ravaged by another insurgency. more broadly than that, brianna, you have this crippling economic crisis. don't forget all the international aid to afghanistan has been completely frozen at the moment. salaries are not being paid. medical workers are not getting paid. medical facilities, particularly primary health care, are being
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forced to shut down. now you have the wfp talking about a real potential hunger crisis in afghanistan as it's getting colder, as we move go into the winter months. the taliban not only dealing with desperate security situation but also economic crisis, humanitarian crisis, social crisis. so it's a bleak picture on many fronts. and that's why i'm hopeful that we will continue to keep traveling there and telling those stories and ensuring it stays prominently in the world's consciousness, free anna. >> clarissa, thank you so much for joining us. please, everyone check out the "tug-of-war" podcast. up next, john king is sharing a personal experience in stressing the importance of being vaccinated. how the shot protected him and his message to anti-vaxers. breaking news out of the white house. we're getting details of how the vaccine rollout will happen for
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we do have breaking news. the white house is getting ready to unveil plans to roll out vaccines for children ages 5 to 11 just minutes from now. jeremy diamond is at the white house this morning. tell us about this. >> reporter: that's right, brianna. the white house is announcing ahead of the fda actually authorizing this vaccine for children 5 to 11, they want to show they're prepared for the rollout of this vaccine. so what they're going to be doing is they have assured they have enough supply for the 28 million children who would become eligible for the vaccine. they will help equip tens of thousands of pharmacies, more than 25,000 pediatric and primary care offices, as well as hundreds of community health centers to be able to administer this vaccine. a big part is access. they want to ensure that children and parents have access
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to this vaccine in places that are close to them and in places they already consider to be safe and effective plates to receive their medical care. this effort is going to unveil over the coming weeks. but of course we are waiting for the fda authorization. the fda is expected to meet on this on october 26th. there there will be a meeting of the cdc advisory board november 2nd to 3rd. we will see if it is authorized. brianna. >> jeremy diamond at the white house. thank you. so important news about a friend and colleague, cnn chief national correspondent and anchor of ""inside politics"" john king. >> i'm going to share a secret. i'm immunocompromised. i have multiple sclerosis. i'm grateful that cnn said all these people are vaccinated. i worry about bringing it home to my 10-year-old son who can't get a vaccine. i don't like my boss telling me
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what to do. i don't like the government telling me what to do. in this case it's important. >> joining me now is chief national correspondent and anchor of "inside politics", john king. a million americans are living with m.s. and me. and i, like most of the world yesterday, found out for the first time that you are among them. why did you share? >> i wasn't planning on it, john. we were having a conversation about the death of secretary of state powell. dr. nguyen was talking about how we shouldn't be lying about vaccines because the data is overwhelming. this is not a debate anymore. the data is overwhelming, the vaccines work. we should not lie and be reckless and dangerous. she talked about a sense of community. the issue has been front and center in my mind throughout the crisis. it came out yesterday in the sense that i go not understand people who get up in the morning and have the vaccine and they
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intentionally lie to get click bait or whatever. we should do them based on facts. the vaccines work. it's not just a million people with m.s. like me. there are millions more like general powell. we just don't know. one of the things i have learned in the last so you don't know. is the person next to you immunocompromised, the person in the grocery store, a person you know and love or a perfect stranger. what is the harm of getting a vaccine that we now know is safe. the questions in january or february were legitimate. tens and millions of people here and around the world received these vaccines. they work. they're remarkably effective at driving down covid. what is the harm of putting on this when you go to the grocery store or in close proximity to your uber driver, to your doctor, to anybody in your life who may not know needs your help? what is the harm? >> i can hear it in your voice.
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i can hear it. i've known you since you were the ap reporter and strictly the news. this is different. i can tell this is getting to you. it was specifically, i think, the coverage of the death of colin powell over at fox that ticked you off. >> it is a cumulative thing. colin powell is a treasure, we lost a hero. for people to say this is proof that vaccines don't work, because colin powell was vaccinated, when just the opposite is true. just the opposite is true. colin powell was vaccinated but he had a condition that compromised his immune system, as i do, because of the medications i take. the medications that help me remarkably. i'm grateful to the doctors working on ms, working on parkinson's, working on anything, to help people through crisis. i've been doing this for a long time. we've known each other a long time. i don't like injecting myself into this. it is not my place.
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when dr. wen took something that was here and brought it here because of this sense of community, i get politics, i get the polarization. but this -- we're getting to the point where by thanksgiving dinner, the population of denver will have been wiped out by covid. is that not big enough to startle us to say let's put the politics aside and debate the big questions but debate them on facts. the world is round. trump lost. vaccines work. these are the debates. have debates within the context of that. these things are not in dispute. some people want to put them in dispute for reasons i do not understand. what crossed the line for me was lying about an american hero when those 728,000 people who we have already lost, they're heros to somebody too. and to lie about vaccines and make it worse today and tomorrow based on all we new know is reckless and pushed me across the line. >> with your permission, i have a lot of questions, john, as a
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friend and colleague. >> fire away. >> you said 13 years. >> yeah. >> diagnosed 13 years ago? >> yeah, i had problems going back to when i was covering the clinton white house. i have not been able to feel my legs since the late 1990s. and it took a while to figure out what it was. and after i had some issues covering the 2008 republican convention, for cnn, when i had problems, problems moved from my legs up to my upper body and my hands and that's when i got the diagnosis, the mris and the scans and they diagnosed me with ms. and back in those days it was frightening, very frightening. i decided to keep it a secret and kind of got caught in that. and very few people, a few people, dozen people know, my siblings, my family, those close to me and my family have known about it and more recently i told some people i work with. mistake to keep it a secret because if i can do anything to help, i should have done that. i was scared early on. it is a challenge. it sucks. every day it is with me in some nagging way. other days it is with me in more profound challenging ways. you fall down, can't pick things
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up. but i'm so lucky, john. that's the point. that's one of the reasons i've been reluctant to talk about it. there are people who get this disease and other diseases who are not so lucky. mine has progressed very, very slowly thanks to medications, thanks to great doctors, thanks to a great healthcare plan here at cnn that has not made this break my bank account, if you will. there are a lot of people out there for who this struggle is much more dramatic than mine. i don't want to draw attention to myself except to say there are -- what it has -- i hope it made me a better person. it made me a stronger person. but what it made me aware of is that whether it is somebody you love or a perfect stranger, there might be somebody out there that you should help. forget about politics. what did our mothers tell us? what did our priests and rabbis and ministers tell us? love they neighbor. if you can do a simple thing like this or like getting a shot th that we all now know is safe, why not? if you don't want to do that, fine, that's your right. don't lie about it. >> you care about the magic
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wall. get the vaccine. if you want to make sure that john can be there, john, how does it -- >> i'm fine. i just -- i appreciate the humor there. i'm fine. i'm fine and i'm lucky and blessed and so i want to make that clear. some days are harder than other days, but that's okay. that does make you stronger. >> how does it manifest itself day to day for you? >> sometimes you drag your toe or trip. i fall down the stairs a few times a year. today i'm having a bad day with my hands, for example. you reach over, you pick up your cup. i have to look, i have to make sure i have a grip on that cup, i might drop t it. i've done that on occasion. som some days your brain gets blurry. some days you have ms brain, things are foggy. >> i don't believe that. it is hard for me to believe that your brain is ever foggy for those of us who are glued to every word you say for hours on end. it does affect sometimes -- >> it is different. it is different for everybody, which is why it is such a frustrating disease. many diseases are for people.
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many conditions are for people. it is different for everybody. for me, heat and stress tend to be my triggers, which is why i'm grateful the washington summer has passed. i hope nobody noticed it, but election week in america was probably one of my worst weeks last year. i was having a lot of trouble functioning. but you learn -- you -- one of the gifts of the challenge, that might sound weird, but one of the gifts of the challenge is you learn how to focus and learn to rewire how you do things and learn to become much more aware of what you're going through. and i hope that gives me a lot more empathy for other people out there who, again, you know, you do not know that the person you're standing behind at the grocery store at the coffee shop might be going through this too. and they're looking around a little nervous, and in the current environment, in this pandemic environment, which has brought it front and center, they're looking around a little bit nervous. this helps them. it helps save them. that's somebody's mother or brother or teacher. that person is a treasure to somebody, like colin powell was to america. what is the harm? i don't get it.
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>> i have a couple more, i know this is not something you enjoy doing. so, again, forgive me for this, but election nights, you talked about that election week was bad for you, the magic wall. is this something you deal with when you're talking for hours and hours and hours on end? >> i notice it when it happens. da dana texted me on one of the nights. dana bash, we have a beautiful son together, she texted me once and said are you all right because she noticed. i'm okay. there are times you're up for a strong stretch and where you just -- sometimes the combination of stress and hard surfaces, standing on hard surfaces for a long time can exacerbate my symptoms sometimes. you get fatigued sometimes. it is okay. i was actually -- i was proud of myself. i don't like to talk about myself. at the end of that week i was proud of myself because i knew how hard some of those days
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were, but it was foreign for me to do it. one of the challenges of getting through this and, again, millions of people out there dealing with ms and other issues who do this every day. and so i'm not special. it is just what you do. it is what you do. you have something that challenges you, you have to find a way around it. and you need the love and support of your friends and you need good doctors and when the conversations come up about medical things, as you just went through drew griffin and that remarkable piece, we need the truth. let's debate things, but do things based on the truth. and do it when you know. the people at the network you mentioned doing this, they're all vaccinated. they know. they know these vaccines are safe. they are effective debate mandates all you want. debate them on facts and truth. not lies. >> talk to me about the fact that you say you're immunocompromised. how has this affected you over the pandemic for yourself? you mentioned your 10-year-old son and your concerns about your still unvaccinated son.
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>> well, i decided to come to work every day because i love my job. i think it is important. the pandemic as horrific as it is is one of the reasons we do this, right? it is our job to help people through dark times. it is our job to help them with facts and information and not lies. i made a decision and consultation with my doctors to try to keep coming to work. my bosses did not know about this at the time. but i talked to my doctors because cnn did an amazing job. wolf and i were the only two coming into the building in the early days of the pandemic. we were worried about touching surfaces. we knew so little about covid. but it was important for me to do my job and once i understood there were so few people in the building and we could keep safe and everything, there were a couple of days i lost my temper about people wandering around and getting in my way and i apologize for that. it was scary, but i thought it was important to do my job. to the point about my son, my older children are heroes and they're out, successful in life, doing incredibly well and keeping themselves safe. even though they're different politically, they respect science and respect facts.
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my younger son, it is my job to protect him. you worry am i the weak link, am i the weak link that will bring covid into the house because i'm im im im im immunosuppressed or immunocompromised. my son has been awesome in protecting himself and protecting his dad and i'm grateful to him. and i just -- i wake up every day making sure i do my part. >> we're so glad, john, you are doing your part. we're so glad that we now know. i'm vaccinated, which means the next time i see you, i hope you'll let me give you a hug. >> amen, brother. amen. >> thank you very much, john. i appreciate you speaking up. >> after we win game five. >> on to important things, let's win game five. john, thank you so much. >> no problem. thank you. >> i'm so moved by what he said. i hope other people are as well. i want to continue now with our breaking news overnight. president biden is prepared to ma

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