tv ABC7 News Getting Answers ABC September 17, 2021 3:00pm-3:31pm PDT
sir announcer: building a better bay area. this is abc 7 eyewitness news. >> you are watching "getting answers." we ask experts your questions everyday at 3:00 to get answers in real-time. today, we will talk to the award-winning journalist who produced the segment airing on "20/20" tonight on the stamford murders in the early 1970's. dna technology enabled the conviction this week. also, the husband and wife go making team that analyze their own family history as chinese-americans in the deep south. first, we have huge covid-19 booster news and the footage of
the san francisco mayor maskless in a club. joining us is the infectious disease specialist. thanks for joining us. a federal advisory panel this afternoon overwhelmingly rejected a plan to give pfizer booster shots to most americans, but it did endorse the extra shot for those who are 65 or older or run severe risk of disease. give us details. >> exactly right. president biden announced booster for all, but it was premature. it needed to go for fda review. this was a great meeting. it was impressive how the fda put all the data together about how vaccines are holding up. they are doing great. 76 studies, and they are retaining their effectiveness against severe disease, hospitalizations, and death.
there are some confounders to the israeli studies. it is important to go over the biases. they said not for the general population. on the second vote, they said if you are over 65 or at high risk for severe disease, that is where boosters will be indicated. the reason that is important is that is the population we give higher doses of vaccines to anyway. that is always the population we are worried about. that was very reasonable. now it next goes to the cdc and they will make the final recommendation. kristen: if the cdc recommends no boosters, does that mean the white house is bound by it? >> yes, they are. you cannot have the white have e and cdc saying different things. this is a way to get consensus. that way, there is a population
getting boosters but it is not everyone. kristen: what about those in high-risk jobs such as health care or teachers? >> great question. many of us thought that would be on this list, but it was not. that is because mild breakthrough infections will go down as transmission rates go down. that may be something the cdc will add to the list, but they did not believe it was important or needed for these populations. the fda said no. kristen: this is the recommendation for those who are supposed to get the booster. it is six month after the second shot? >> yes. usually, a three-dose vaccine series is 0, 1, and six months or in zero, and eight months.
this will be six-month after the second shot. kristen: i know today they were only debating pfizer. what about the moderna vaccines? >> the cdc released some information today. a really great study that looked at vaccine effectiveness with three different vaccines. moderna is holding up extremely well. 95% effectiveness against all severe disease. a little bit less for pfizer around 88%. a little bit less for johnson & johnson, around 77%. the next question on the table is going to be about boosting johnson and johnston -- johnson & johnson. moderna is looking really good probably because of the longer time between doses and a higher dose than pfizer. kristen: what did they say about
mixing? greg is wondering if his parents got the moderna originally can get a pfizer booster. >> there should be no problem mixing. unfortunately, the way things are working, this is only for pfizer recipients. moderna is looking into a booster with 50 micrograms instead of 100. we have all seen it. there will be what is approved and what people do. it is possible in moderna recipient can get pfizer. but they have to be by the book for recommendations and it is that it is for pfizer recipients. there should be no worry about mixing in the future. kristen: should be look at today's decision as almost a vote for vaccine effectiveness, as in messaging that says two shots are enough? >> that is how i see it.
if you go through the meeting, and i would encourage people to look at the slides, it was a resounding success story for the vaccines to look at 76 studies across the planet and show how high a level of protection against severe disease the two-dose was keeping us. only in israel was there deviation. there was a lot of reasons for that. there was not a lot of infection there before. having natural infection matters. it gives you immunity. it was very well done. i thought it was it was applause for the to-do's vaccines. i hope it gives people confidence. how mahow mahow mahow mahow maha
was hoping this would be a vote of confidence. kristen: there's also the argument of, why not give a booster to all even if the benefit is incremental? even if we can keep cases, why not do it if there is no supply shortage? we have wasted 15 million doses in the u.s. due to people not wanting them. is it a false dichotomy to say it is supplied to the world or give us boosters? >> there is likely false dichotomy in the sense that anytime the conversation would try to go global, they would cut it off because that is separate. it is the government decision to give doses to the rest of the world. they were deciding about americans. to be fair, that was not part of the conversation. there are some -- giving an
extra dose when not needed, they brought up safety concerns. when there is a randomized study essay it was as effective as two and there can be safety concerns, but is there argument. we don't give medications for no reason. we don't give vaccines for no reason. we want to incur trust. you want to do things in the right way. this is the main regulatory agency in the united states. kristen: i want to turn your attention to this. you have probably seen the footage of the san francisco mayor at a club with her mask off indoors at a jazz club. the city health order dese masks need to be on an indoor public spaces even for vaccinated people. what is your reaction? >> i did not know you were going to ask me this. i will say that we are getting
to the point where the cdc has recommended we can lift our mask mandate. the cdc put out a gave us four categories of transmission. they said in substantial and high transmission, vaccinated people should mask because you are more at risk when there is a lot of vaccine running around to get a mild breakthrough. they did not say you are as likely to spread it if you feel well. they never said that. and then, we are getting into areas of low or moderate transmission. there is no reason for vaccinated people to mask indoors. we are luckily at a 2.2 test positivity rate, less than the 5% required by the cdc. we are getting into the category of 10 cases over 100,000.
probably what happened yesterday was more in line with the cdc guidance. kristen: it sounds like you are suggesting that public policy has not caught up with the numbers having come down. >> if we follow cdc. this is how the cdc qualifies us, yes. kristen: do you think masks should even be mandated anymore in restaurants? most people go inside and take it off. they are there for about an hour. you feel ok about that in the bay area? >> we are very lucky. our transmission rates went up and now they are on their way down just as models predicted. we are at 2.2% test positivity rate. we are getting back in the low transmission category. we have vaccine passports in restaurants and all of that. all of that is making our city very safe.
we have the lowest rates of transmission in the country in california, and san francisco is even lower. we are getting into good times. kristen: more vaccinations. thank you so much. have a good weekend. >> thank you. kristen: next, we will talk to the investigative reporter who produced the special airing tonight about the stanford murders, the cold case that took nearly 50 years to solve.
1970's. all of the victims were young women. >> the brutality of the crimes was stunning. in each case, no arrests were made. >> this is an unbelievable story. kristen: tonight, they will feature an in-depth documentary on the stanford murders with never before seen interviews and new information. the award-winning investigative journalist who produced the segment joins us now. thanks for coming on the show to share how the mystery was finally solved and what we will see tonight. this past tuesday, a jury took one hour to convict a 77-year-old man of a crime that went unsolved for nearly 50 years. most of us no longer remember because it had been so long. what was happening to young women at the campus that people viewed as not only prestigious but very safe? >> thanks for having me.
what was happening on campus at stanford with a microcosm of what was happening in the 1970's to young college coeds in particular. this was pre-cell phones, women's rights. young, independent women, if you were graduating from high school or if you are wanting to see the world, a lot of them were drawn to northern california where it was acceptable to be more independent. a lot of those women who were hitchhiking, and everyone was hitchhiking at the time, they were being targeted for murder. it was an epidemic here. i talked to a santa cruz former homicide detective who said i went to my captain and said there were 22 young college coeds murdered this month, and he said, what are you talking about?
last month, it was 23. that is how bad it was. kristen: who were these three young women: campus that you focus on? >> a local palo and standout student. she graduated stanford in three years and was engaged to be married. she was heading to you penn law school. the second one was janet taylor a beloved independent young woman who was the daughter of legendary hall of famer stanford football coach and player and athletic director chuck taylor. the last victim was this lovely, and i have a special place in my heart for her because i grew up near her in north dakota, she was married to a track standout from north dakota, had moved here and was married to him, and was killed in the stanford church on october 13, 1974.
kristen: this frightened the campus community. the cases went cold for many decades. i know you go into detail tonight. what brought investigators back on track? >> what happened was, fortunately for the state of california and these families, california 1996 elected their first female sheriff. that was sheriff laurie smith of santa clara county. she was arliss' age when she was murdered in the church and just starting her career in law enforcement. when she became sheriff, she said it is my jurisdiction, i'm going to double down and ensure my homicide detectives and cold case unit makes an effort over these years to solve these mysteries. it was not just dna. she made it a priority.
year after year, detectives would work on that case, urged on by leslie's sister, until finally sergeant cortez another sergeant who is now a lieutenant, they spent their extra time and figured out that a critical piece of the genes of arliss perry had never been tested and they got a positive dna hit. it was the former stanford security guard who found her. it was his dna. after they confronted him, he ended up committing suicide in a shootout. they realize, let's see, did he kill these other girls? they got another dna hit.
kristen: i know you get into more of the dna mystery tonight. tell us about john. he is a 77-year-old man. when he was employed at stanford, there were things in his history that were so dark that could have been red flags but were somehow not noticed? >> it is easy 50 years ly 50 judge law enforcement. the bottom line is that he, like most serial killers, they are sociopaths who hide in plain sight. he had a family, he was a boy scout leader. he was well respected. he did commit rape in 1975. he raped a lovely 17-year-old palo alto student in her own home. back then, for statuto f he served four weekends at a work camp.
you have to remember society is also to blame back then because he went on to commit many more murders which are not in the documentary but i will be breaking soon. kristen: i know he was convicted of killing taylor. he still has to stand trial for prerlov's murder. are there more to come? >> there are more to come. i have been working with investigators across the united states. he killed leslie, he kill janet. he raped the 17-year-old. those are the ones that we know about. he also killed somebody in 1963 early age. his full-time job was killing. there are many more to come in neighboring counties and across the united states. kristen: thank you so much for sharing with us.
know the history of chinese-americans in this state. this was often the first stop for the early immigrants. landmarks around the golden state remind us of that legacy. but chinese people in the american deep south may surprise a lot of people, but it is the family history brought to life in a new documentary streaming now on pbs. >> everything was very segregated. it was black, white. we were in the middle. >> i had to attend a segregated one-room schoolhouse. >> growing up, i read about segregation. i thought it only affected the black community. >> i did not think it would happen to the chinese, too.
kristen: joining us is the director and her husband, the producer, whose family history is the subject of the film. thank you so much for joining us. >> thanks for having us. kristen: the film was shown in san francisco and at many festivals earning awards and great reviews. you live in l.a., but you were born and raised in san francisco? >> i was born in san francisco and lived there for eight years. kristen: growing up, your father was reluctant to discuss how your grandfather wound up in mississippi. was that mystery what prompted this journey? >> yeah, we did not really know anything about my grandfather growing up. when my daughter was born, he brought it up again. i said if our lineage is in mississippi, we should find our grandfather, great-grandfather, who was buried in mississippi.
kristen: during the journey, what did you see about the chinese extremes in mississippi? in the short clip, we saw that when you have black and white, where does chinese fit in? kristen: i think that was a shock to my system. i grew up in southern california. having been in california all my life, i went to mississippi thinking i would find two chinese men, his family members. we find this history of so many more chinese that lived and died there. we all took american history and learned about the segregated south. nowhere did we learn about how it impacted the asian community. i felt it was an important story to tell because there is so much of our history we don't know this country. the fact that there was a strong asian presence in the south, i felt it was important for people to know. kristen: how did the discrimination manifest differently from california? >> certainly, there were
stronger jim crow laws in the south that were targeted at the black community but also impacted the chinese community. they could not live in the white neighborhoods. there are some similarities to restrictive laws in california during that time. there were added things like the school. i know there was some segregation in california. in mississippi, the chinese could not go to white or black schools. they had to establish separate mission schools. they could not be buried in any cemetery except for their own. they had to be buried in a chinese cemetery. kristen: if people watch the documentary, they will see some chinese found allyship with black people in the south. what is your goal, especially during this time of increasing hostility against asian americans? >> i hope both the asian and black community understands we
have shared history. those are things that should unite us, even though they may be places of struggle. there is a lot of lost history and understanding between all communities. when we don't see we have a place and we don't know our history, there is this concept of being a perpetual foreigner and that we do not belong and cannot fully understand each other. the truth is we can understand each other and should understand each other because we did go through a lot of the same things together. kristen: you
we will be back with more at 4:00 today. world news is next. tonight, breaking news as we come on the air involving boosters, likely mofor millionsf americans. a fda advisory panel approving a plan to offer pfizer booster shots for americans 65 and older first, and to those who are at high risk. the fda leaving the door open for the potential to add other groups incrementally. but up first, 65 and older, suggesting you get the booster six months after that second dose. and on the larger question of boosters for everyone 16 and older, they voted no, saying more data is still needed. of course all of this goes to the cdc next. dr. jha standing by tonight. what likely happens from here, and where to get that booster.o.