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Derek Chauvin Trial Begins Next Week; Arizona County Opens Vaccines to All; Mayors Shift Responses as Johnson & Johnson Comes on Market. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired March 5, 2021 - 10:30   ET




JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: There is now an active federal investigation to find out if any sitting lawmakers unwittingly or wittingly helped the Capitol insurrectionists. This, after officials discovered communications between lawmakers and some of the rioters who stormed the Capitol, and as Democratic Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren releases a nearly 2,000-page report highlighting Republican lawmakers' social media posts around the insurrection.

CNN security correspondent Josh Campbell joins us now. Josh, you know, simply the existence of these communications between sitting Republican members of Congress and folks who stormed the Capitol, that's notable by itself. But the next step is really what they're investigating now, right? The substance of those communications? What do we know so far, and what happens next?

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, exactly. And, Jim, there's no indication that I've seen from CNN reporting right now that there is any indication that lawmakers and rioters were in contact during the insurrection, for example giving direction and the like. We haven't learned that. That could be within the orbit of what exists.

But this is still notable, this indication that the FBI is looking at contacts around January 6th because there's this lingering question about whether this was planned, whether people knew about it, whether lawmakers perhaps provided tours and access and the like.

TEXT: Federal Communications Probe, What We Know: Data indicates contact between alleged rioters and lawmakers; Communication found between alleged rioters about associations with lawmakers; Data doesn't necessarily indicate wrongdoing by lawmakers

CAMPBELL: And, you know, the Department of Justice does not close a case until they are confident that they've identified anyone who might be culpable. And so as we sit right now, FBI agents are looking over those records that indicate this contact between lawmakers and some of these rioters. And if you are a lawmaker out there right now who was in contact with the people who stormed that building, you should be very worried.

SCIUTTO: Josh Campbell, good to have you on the story, thanks very much.

Well, George Floyd's brother is speaking out just days before the former Minneapolis officer charged in Floyd's death will go on trial. Hear what his brother is saying, that's next.



SCIUTTO: We have sound coming up of George Floyd's brother speaking out just days before the former Minneapolis officer, Derek Chauvin, goes on trial for his brother's murder. Floyd's brother spoke with CNN's Sara Sidner and here's his conversation with her.

SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Jim, the trial for Derek Chauvin, the police officer that the world saw on videotape, kneeling on George Floyd's neck before George Floyd died, that trial begins on Monday with jury selection.

Now, in the lead-up to that trial, I was able to speak with Benjamin Crump, the attorney for the family of George Floyd, and Philonise Floyd, who talked about what he thinks the jury should pay the most attention to in this trial.


PHILONISE FLOYD, GEORGE FLOYD'S BROTHER: The video is enough. There's nothing else to talk about, you can make a judgment off of that because Chauvin showed you he was the judge, the jury and executioner all at once, right being (ph) in there when he took my brother's soul from his body.


SIDNER: As the trial is set to begin and the emotions are high there in Minneapolis, the Floyd family says they do have something to celebrate: a bill in George Floyd's name has passed the House. That bill is to try to put some limits on policing, for example taking away no-knock warrants and trying to limit chokeholds.

But in the interim, they know that this is going to be a very heavy fight to get it through the Senate, but they are very proud to see that that bill did pass the House. Indeed, some of them were going to be here in Washington, to be able to listen to what happens with the House on Thursday. But it turned out that Congress was completely shut down and emptied out because of potential threats after the group QAnon, and the believers of QAnon, were expected to rally outside.

But they are still extremely, extremely happy to see that this bill has gone one step further. The bill was introduced by Congresswoman Karen Bass -- Jim.

SCIUTTO: All-party line vote though, no Republican votes for it. We'll see if that changes in the Senate.

Another story we're following this morning, we are now learning that Tiger Woods says he has no recollection of driving in the moments right before his car crashed last month, injuring him. Woods told police he had no idea how the crash happened, this according to new police documents obtained by CNN.

A search warrant was recently executed by the L.A. County Sheriff's Office for the car's so-called black box. Officials hope data from that box will help determine what caused the crash. The crash remains under investigation, but we should note that drugs and alcohol are not believed to be a factor. Woods is now recovering after suffering several fractures to his right leg.

Well, what will life be like when just about any adult can get vaccinated? One Arizona county is already there, showing us that glimpse into what we hope to be our future. We're going to take you there, next.


And a quick programming note, be sure to watch the CNN original series "Lincoln: Divided We Stand." On this week's episode, see President Lincoln's struggles with loss and find out what led to the Emancipation Proclamation. It airs this Sunday night at 10:00 only on CNN.


SCIUTTO: With high-risk groups still a priority for COVID vaccines, millions of Americans are still waiting to become eligible to receive doses, but one Arizona county has already opened vaccinations to anyone 18 and older who wants one. CNN's Kyung Lah has more on how and why they did this.

I'm a bit envious, Kyung, I must say, but how did they get to this point?


KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that makes two of us. Essentially, it's because they got through everybody who is older, who is at risk who wanted it. So they've run through the first dose generally, through the general population, they're offering it to everybody. They're now on to second doses, aided in part by the small size of this county and efficiency.


LAH (voice-over): Gila County, Arizona, population 54,000, just 90 minutes east of Phoenix, is a glimpse into America's vaccine future.


LAH (voice-over): Kevin Kane, age 24, a new father --


LAH (voice-over): -- like everyone 18 and older in Gila County can get the Moderna vaccine.

KANE: Feels great, you know? Feels like I can actually move on with my life when this thing's over.

LAH (voice-over): It's been tough worrying about COVID-19 while working as a pizza chef. His boss is John Wong.

JOHN WONG, BUSINESS OWNER: Without the vaccine, you know, I noticed we were down 30, 40 percent on the business.

LAH (voice-over): Today, 37 percent of eligible residents here have been vaccinated with their first dose, a number climbing by the day.

WONG: My second shot was last Friday.

LAH: Do you notice that people look different and feel different?

WONG: They're dining out more. Knowing that there's a vaccine out there, there is a lot of hope.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Gila County Health Department.

LAH (voice-over): How did they do it?

MICHAEL O'DRISCOLL, DIRECTOR, GILA COUNTY HEALTH AND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT: We set up the pandemic exactly like what we would do during our fire season.

LAH (voice-over): This is that incident command, run to handle a disaster.

TODD WHITNEY, INCIDENT COMMANDER, GIL ACOUNTY COVID RESPONSE: My background is not in health, it's in emergency management. And before that, it was in law enforcement.

LAH: So you're a former cop?


LAH (voice-over): Rapidly communicating with the entire county just as they would during an emergency, to relay news about mass vaccination sites.

O'DRISCOLL: Today we have only two positive cases where, about a month ago, we were up to 60 a day. It's a load off our shoulders. It's a tremendous amount of stress just going away all at once, and it feels good.

PAULA HORN, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, GILA COUNTY HEALTH AND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT: This is our vaccine freezer, and these are our two vaccine refrigerators.

LAH: You can take care of 10 people with this vial?

HORN: Yes. So right now we have 20 doses in this box, so.

LAH: Twenty lives.

HORN: Twenty.

LAH (voice-over): The county says having enough vaccine supply and getting doses into arms is easier when your population is as small as Gila County, but progress isn't without problems.

RHONDA MASON, CHIEF NURSING OFFICER, COBRE REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER: We are seeing a hesitancy, especially with the younger population.

LAH: Is that one of the biggest challenges, going forward, is hesitancy?

MASON: I really do believe it is.

LAH (voice-over): But Gila County forges on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is this your first one?



LAH (voice-over): Reaching so many that Paul Miller, who works in the county but lives in Tucson, can get the vaccine and picture hugging his parents again.

MILLER: We haven't seen them in a year and I've got -- you know, I've got a 2-year-old at home, and they haven't seen their granddaughter in a year. And so, you know, it's one step closer to going and seeing them.


LAH: Now, as a reminder, the vaccines are sent to the states and the states then send it to the county to be distributed. And so if you live in a more complex and a much larger, more populated county, it is going to take longer. A lot of this, Jim, does come down to your location when it comes to timing and access -- Jim.

SCIUTTO: Yes. So even with this availability -- and all the science shows about the effectiveness of these vaccines, you're finding that some people there are still reluctant? How many? How often?

LAH: Yes. I mean, it's -- what we did was basically we just walked around John Wong's restaurant and talked to people. And you'd be astonished. While one person says they are fully vaccinated, they got their second shot already, he's sitting next to somebody who is absolutely terrified of getting it, saying that, oh, maybe I'll wait.

The biggest issue for this county is trying to get the information out that these vaccines, they will keep you safe, they will keep you alive. And especially if you're younger, you want to take it so you can protect older people in the community.

SCIUTTO: No question. Right, because it's about protecting yourself and others. Kyung Lah, good to have you there.

Well new this morning, nearly 70 percent of Americans questioned by Pew Research Center say they have either been vaccinated or are planning to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Joining me now to talk about this and all we're learning about the pandemic, Dr. William Schaffner, professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Good morning, Dr. Schaffner. You know, it's good to see those broader polling numbers there, and they've pretty consistently been ticking upwards. But as you heard from Kyung Lah in Arizona, you still have vaccine hesitancy. And I wonder, is that hesitancy small enough now that it does not endanger the push towards broader herd immunity?

WILLIAM SCHAFFNER, INFECTIOUS DISEASE EXPERT: Well, Jim, it's very good news that the needle is moving in a positive direction, but we have to keep working. Because, after all, we're trying to vaccinate 80 percent or more of the population in order to get that community immunity, that herd immunity, we call it, so that the virus' transmission is really very substantially reduced.


So we're going to have to keep persuading some of our hesitant friends and neighbors to come on in and get the vaccine, the water's fine, just roll up your sleeve when it's your turn. The vaccines are effective and they are safe.

SCIUTTO: So tell us the effect of something like this, and this is the mayor of Detroit, saying, you know what, I'm going to wait until my town has the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines rather than the Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine because the efficacy rate for the J&J shot is shown to be lower.

First, I want to get your reaction to him saying that, and particularly what it might mean, how it might endanger -- if you think so -- the people of Detroit.

SCHAFFNER: Well, I would suggest that the mayor speak with his health commissioner there because I think that person might be able to persuade him that all of these vaccines, in preventing the most serious aspects of COVID -- hospitalization, intensive care unit admission and death -- they're all in the same ballpark.

You know what the best vaccine is? The one that's available to you right now. Get it, roll up your sleeve.

SCIUTTO: It's somewhat misleading, is it not, these comparison of the efficacy rates? Because the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, they did their trials when they got these 95 percent numbers earlier on, when there were fewer variants prevalent, right? And also it was a different time of year. I mean, could that account for the difference in efficacy rates as shown in trials?

SCHAFFNER: Sure. The trials were done, just as you say, Jim, at different times in different places. And the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was done later, and it encountered some of the variants. So obviously, the numbers are going to be a little bit different.

But when it comes -- once again, I'll say it -- to the prevention of the most serious disease, keeping you out of the hospital, the intensive care unit and keeping you alive, these vaccines are all comparable, they're all in the same ballpark. Get the one that's available to you.

SCIUTTO: So the good news is the vaccination rate in this country is accelerating, we just passed the 2 million mark per day. And we're seeing the percentage of people getting vaccinated going up, and there's more supply. That's all good news.

At the same time though, you have governors of Texas, Mississippi saying, hey, you know, forget the mask mandates, you know, we're all good, in effect, at this point. Tell us what the danger of that is? Do you think it's too soon?

SCHAFFNER: It is too soon. We're going to have to keep using our behavioral interventions, so-called -- the masking, good hand hygiene, social distancing -- for a while yet while we keep vaccinating. We don't want to do this experiment twice or three times. We've done it before. We opened up too early, and the cases go up. And after the cases go up, the hospitalizations go up. It's too early to do that yet. Let's all hang in together.

SCIUTTO: Yes. I mean, you look at the history of the 1919 pandemic, the data's there, right? Cities opened up too quickly, anyway (ph), they saw the stuff come back. Dr. William Schaffner, great to have you on.

SCHAFFNER: My pleasure, Jim.


SCIUTTO: Meghan, the duchess of Sussex, says that she is speaking out now because simply she can. A preview of what's expected to be just an explosive interview, out this weekend, next.


SCIUTTO: This morning, there are new details about what Meghan, duchess of Sussex, will say about the royal family and her time with what she called the Firm. Meghan tells Oprah Winfrey why she turned down her first request for an interview.


MEGHAN MARKLE, DUCHESS OF SUSSEX: I remember that conversation very well, I wasn't even allowed to have that conversation with you personally, right? There had to be people from the comm (ph) siting there, rather (ph), everything, it was --

OPRAH WINFREY, CBS HOST: Yes, there were other people in the room when I was having that conversation.

MARKLE: Yes. Even on the call. WINFREY: You turned me down nicely and said perhaps there will be

another time, when there's the right time. What is right about this time?

MARKLE: The ability to make our own choices in a way that I couldn't have said yes to you then, that wasn't my choice to make. So as an adult who lived a really independent life, to then go into this construct that is different than I think what people imagine it to be, it's really liberating to be able to have the right the privilege, in some ways, to be able to say yes.


SCIUTTO: Meghan Markle, that's going to be this weekend.

Thanks so much to you for joining us today, this Friday. We hope you have a great weekend. I'm Jim Sciutto. NEWSROOM with Kate Bolduan starts right now.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: Hello everyone, I'm Kate Bolduan, thank you so much for joining us.


At this hour, we're standing by to hear from President Biden's COVID Response Team. It's set to begin its latest briefing, really any moment now.