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CDC Releases Guidelines for Vaccinated People; Meghan Markle Interview Reveals Mental Health Struggles; Interview with Former Press Secretary to Queen Elizabeth Charles Anson. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired March 8, 2021 - 14:00   ET




BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: Hello, it is the top of the hour, I am Brianna Keilar.

And we begin with long-awaited advice today for Americans who have been fully vaccinated for the coronavirus and those who are about to get their shots.

The CDC is releasing recommendations giving people more freedom to socialize without worrying about getting others sick. This is an important first step in getting the nation back to normal, but as the head of the CDC says, it is certainly not the final destination.


ROCHELLE WALENSKY, CDC DIRECTOR: Our guidance must be -- must balance the risk to people who have been fully vaccinated, the risks to those who have not yet received the vaccine, and the impact on the larger community transmission of COVID-19, with, when we -- what we all recognize to be the overall benefits of resuming everyday activities and getting back to something -- to some of the things we love in life.


KEILAR: There are now more than 30 million people in the United States who are fully vaccinated, but America is still averaging more than 60,000 new cases per day. Let's talk more about this now with our senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen, as well as Dr. Adrian Burrowes, who is a family medicine physician.

Elizabeth, I'm excited about these recommendations. Walk us through these.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: It really is exciting, Brianna, because as more people are getting vaccinated, it's good to know that there are some benefits to it. So let's take a look at these.

First of all, these are for people who are fully vaccinated, and I want to define what that is. Fully vaccinated means that you are at least two weeks after your Johnson & Johnson shot, or at least two weeks after your second Moderna or Pfizer shot.

So what does this mean? This means that if you are fully vaccinated, you can visit indoors with others who are fully vaccinated, without masks, without social distancing. So if you're vaccinated, your grandma's vaccinated, you can go give her a hug without a mask on. That's pretty darn exciting, after the year we've had.

If you have been fully vaccinated and you are visiting someone who is unvaccinated indoors, you can also do that if it's just one household, you're not visiting like a whole bunch of people, it's people from one family, let's say, and if they are at a low risk of severe COVID-19.

So the unvaccinated people need to be from one household, and at a low risk of severe COVID-19. And you do not need masks, and you do not need social distancing.

So this is, you know, can you go back to 2019 and do whatever you want to do? No, of course you can't. But I think these two things are pretty big -- Brianna.

KEILAR: Dr. Burrowes, what is the biggest takeaway here for you?

ADRIAN BURROWES, FAMILY MEDICINE PHYSICIAN: Well, the biggest takeaway is that there's benefits to being vaccinated. And so I'm very excited, much as she just said, that, you know, we're moving to a point where vaccinated individuals can get together, as well as vaccinated individuals with low-risk individuals. So that's a wonderful thing.

The thing that we need to make sure of is that we need to make sure that the CDC's guidance corresponds with the president's guidance and Dr. Fauci, who is an entity all to himself, that they're all saying the same thing, moving forward. But it certainly is encouraging.

KEILAR: And then, Elizabeth, what about travel? Because there are so many people who just have not been able to see their relatives, they're so far away. What does the CDC recommend for that?

COHEN: You know, I think, Brianna, this is going to be disappointing to people who have been fully vaccinated. They are still saying, even if you've been vaccinated, you should not travel. So that's officially what the CDC is saying, that doesn't change.

So as more people get vaccinated and as we move forward in time, they may say, sure, if you've been vaccinated, you go ahead and travel. But right now, they're saying even with a vaccine, please try not to travel.

KEILAR: And, Dr. Burrowes, the CDC also says that people who are fully vaccinated, they don't have to get tested as long as they don't have symptoms. Testing numbers are dropping in the United States, what do you think about that? Should the U.S. be trying to get people tested more often, or is this part of people being vaccinated? BURROWES: Well, I think if you're talking about individuals that are

not vaccinated, certainly they should still be getting tested. The ones that are vaccinated, as long as they're not asymptomatic -- as long as they're not symptomatic, I should say, then yes, I agree that they probably don't need to be as tested as often.


One of the things, though, that I want everyone to remember is that there's not really clear evidence on how long we have immunity post- vaccination. So certainly if you're having symptoms, you need to be tested.

KEILAR: In some of these cases, Dr. Burrowes, the -- anyone who is vaccinated or you know, who isn't vaccinated but is looking forward to that, may look at these CDC guidelines, and they might have a very specific idea of something they might want to do, and they want to know if they can do it. Should the CDC be giving specific examples of what people can and can't do, especially since now there are sporting events that are resuming, there are movie theaters that are reopening?

BURROWES: Absolutely. Especially when you're looking at states like Texas, which has opened up everything, pretty much, and you know, you have universities like the University of Alabama is saying that they're going to be having 100,000-plus expecting for their -- when their stadiums reopen, when college football starts in the fall.

The CDC should be giving very specific and clear guidance to not only Americans, but to some of our political leaders as well in terms of when it's safe to do certain events. And so, you know, I look forward to those recommendations, going forward.

KEILAR: I sure do, I think a lot of people do. Dr. Burrowes, thank you; Elizabeth, thank you.

There are more than 17 million people who watched Oprah Winfrey's sit- down interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. This was an interview that really has turned into a cultural earthquake that actually outdid the hype around it.

For the first time together, the duke and duchess of Sussex explained why they left the royal life in the U.K. They blame a failure by the palace to support them. As Markle says, she was barraged with vicious and racist media coverage.

The couple also describe a conversation with an unnamed insider about their son's skin color prior to his birth. And just as jaw-dropping? Meghan opened up about having suicidal thoughts.


MEGHAN MARKLE, DUCHESS OF SUSSEX: But I knew that if I didn't say it, that I would do it. And I just didn't -- I just didn't want to be alive any more. And that was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought.


KEILAR: Joining me now is CNN's Richard Quest. You've covered the royals for a long time, and I don't know, Richard, even hearing that the second time, it doesn't get easier to hear. Put this in perspective for us, how damaging, how much of a bombshell is this interview for the royal family?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS EDITOR AT LARGE: The damaging part is huge, both in the public domain and also to the credibility of the senior members of the royal family, who will be involved. And no question about it, the damage is real, it is deep. But how does it manifest itself, is the key question.

Give you what I mean. This is not -- it's a bad parallel, but it makes the point. This is not like Governor Cuomo, where you have accusations that are constantly put, and eventually the result is either he stays or he goes, he resigns or he doesn't.

This is case where Charles is not about to resign, the queen is not going to abdicate. The royal family will continue, and that's why you have to look and say, well, what does this actually do to the British people? Where does this place them, how do they view their royal family, particularly since -- from what Meghan said, what the duchess said last night, it's Diana repeated.

People were warning and no one was listening. And in the case of one person in particular, the prince of Wales, Price Charles, Harry's father, that of course is exceptionally damaging. But he's not going to resign, he's not going to go away.

KEILAR: What -- this issue of mental health, which is something that the royal family has spoken about. They have advocated for people, for getting resources, for it not being stigmatized. And then you hear Meghan Markle talking about having these --


KEILAR: -- intense struggles. I mean, she was clearly, as she describes it, in crisis, right? She was in --

QUEST: Yes, and --

KEILAR: -- crisis, and they don't respond appropriately. What did you think about that?

QUEST: The stench of hypocrisy is overwhelming. I can hear Kate and William, the duke and duchess of Cambridge, next time they try and do something on mental health, all it will take is one person to say, oy, what about your sister-in-law? What were you doing when she was having mental health issues, why did she have to go on Oprah to try and to have the cathartic necessary?


So, yes, I mean, this is the point, I'm saying. But, Brianna, where do you go with it? I mean, what do you do once you've said this? It's not a -- I mean, they call it The Firm but it's not a company that you just fire somebody from, so there has to be -- and this is the bit I think people will find (ph) difficult, because people are going to want to expect a cause-and-effect from they said this, therefore this must happen?

That's not -- if you remember after Diana, there was the way forward group. The queen put forward a group to modernize. It was done in a much more slow way.

I would expect, as a result of this, something similar but very nuanced. They will be very careful, the way the -- for the simple reason that you don't just pull the whole lot down. The allegations were serious, but their response will be measured.

KEILAR: Yes. Careful indeed, maybe to a fault, right? Is what we learned, I think, from this interview. Richard Quest, thank you so much.

Much more on that shocking interview, just ahead, We're going to dig into the claims of racism from Meghan Markle.

Plus, in a new clip revealed today, Prince Harry explains how he was uninvited for a visit to his grandmother's home. The queen's former press secretary is going to join me, live, with his perspective on this.

Plus, we're live in Minneapolis on day one of the trial for the former officer accused in George Floyd's death. Hear why the judge already dismissed the jury.



KEILAR: Oprah's bombshell interview with the duke and duchess of Sussex won't air in the U.K. for a few more hours yet, but the stunning revelations from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle already are causing shockwaves in the U.K., and really all across the globe.

In this interview, Price Harry discussed how his relationship with his father, Prince Charles, began to fall apart following the couple's move to Canada in early 2020.


HARRY CHARLES ALBERT DAVID, DUKE OF SUSSEX: I -- when we were in Canada, I had three conversations with my grandmother and two conversations with my father -- before he stopped taking my calls. And then said, can you put this all in writing, what your plan is?


KEILAR: Harry says he did put his plans in writing, but after the announcement came out, he still had a visit with his grandmother abruptly cancelled.


H. SUSSEX: Please pass on to the duke and duchess of Sussex that he cannot come to Norfolk. The queen is busy, she's busy all week.

OPRAH WINFREY, CBS HOST: After she just invited you?


H. SUSSEX: Just invited me. The queen's busy, she's busy all week, do not come up here.

OK, so I rang her from Frogmore that night, and said, I was thinking about coming anyway, but I hear you're now busy. And she said yes, there's something in my diary that I didn't know that I had. And I said, well, what about the rest of the week? And she goes, oh, that's busy now as well.

OK. I didn't want to push, because I kind of knew what was going on. And then they -- later that night --

WINFREY: But doesn't the queen get to do -- I mean, doesn't the queen get to do what the queen wants to do?

H. SUSSEX: No, when you're head of The Firm, there is people around you that give you advice.


H. SUSSEX: And what has also made me really sad is some of that advice has been really bad.


KEILAR: Charles Anson is with us now. He was the press secretary to Queen Elizabeth. Charles, you have a very unique perspective to share with us, and I thank you for coming on to talk with us. In this specific case about the queen clearly communicating to Prince Harry that she was busy, after inviting him, what do you make about this? Because she does have control over her schedule, right? Was this her call, you think?

CHARLES ANSON, FORMER PRESS SECRETARY TO QUEEN ELIZABETH: Absolutely, she -- the queen has control over her schedule and her team obviously consult her about what she wishes to do.

But I think the much more important point is that the queen is very family-minded. And in my experience of seven years as her press secretary, her door was always open to members of her family, and to see them. And obviously if they were in London at Buckingham Palace, and obviously further afield when they were in Norfolk or Scotland.

So I don't really recognize, I'm afraid, that trait that's described. I've always felt that the queen is very family-minded, she's also very fair-minded and she's closer to her grandchildren, and particularly to William and Harry who were amongst the first. KEILAR: Meghan and Harry leveled serious charges of racism at their

family members and the institution of the monarchy. How do you think the palace is going to respond to this?

ANSON: Well, I think, you know, the important general point to make immediately is that is what is being the head of state and queen of the United Kingdom? The queen is also head of the Commonwealth, a grouping of 55 nations in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and all around the world, a sort of massive 2 billion people that are represented in the Commonwealth.

And it's been a project which the queen has encouraged from the moment she came to the throne, and it's a very successful grouping in economic, professional and political terms. And she leads it in a mutual, constitutional way. And I think, really, has been something of a flag-carrier when it comes to multiracialism, cooperation between nations. And the way Britain has changed during the course of her reign, has become much more multiracial.


So I don't --


KEILAR: But nonetheless, her granddaughter-in-law is saying that she was barraged in a racist way -- which is verifiable -- by the British tabloid press, and she does not feel like she was protected by the royal family, she doesn't feel like she was protected by the palace.

And she's also describing conversations that someone had with Harry about what color of skin tone Archie-to-be would have, and what the possible ramifications of that would be. These are serious charges. Doesn't the palace need to respond to these?

ANSON: I think they certainly need to consider them, but I'd be very surprised if there were any consistent or even a volume of racism amongst the British media. My impression, right from the start -- and I was a commentator at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan in 2018, for 48 hours at Windsor, and I've never seen a more positive and welcoming press for a member of the royal family, and for a great event like that.

So I don't think there is an ingrained racism in the British media, nor do I think in the British monarchy. I think, you know, the element of racism, such as there is, is not very different from what you have in the United States. There are groups of individuals, very active on the social media, tweeting and retweeting all the time to give the sense of a volume of anti-racial feeling. I don't believe that it is a major problem of the kind described. But I think that's all I can say on that.

KEILAR: Prince Harry seemed to take a different view on that. He said -- I thought this was one of the very -- the most interesting parts of this interview. He said essentially he didn't believe that there was racism until he had to see the institution through the eyes of a black woman who he loved.

And it's clear, listening to what he said, that he truly felt that there was racism, is racism, and you know, in that regard, perhaps I wonder if we should take his word at it, word for it. And I wonder how -- you know, how is the royal family going to perhaps look at what effect clearly Prince Harry and Meghan believe that they had, and see if there's something they need to be thinking about in this regard.

ANSON: Well, I think there were quite a lot of issues raised by the interview, across a range of different aspects of behavior, and I think some of those need to be looked at, you know, by the royal household perhaps, and others I think are really questions of personal relationships, and require that sort of conversation and time to heal that takes place in most families, and needs to be done privately.

I mean, the irony of the monarchy and marring into the monarchy is that, you know, it's -- it's an intensely public institution, known all around the world. And therefore, you know, those that marry into the royal family find themselves, you know, constantly in the limelight, and in the glare of publicity. And sometimes it's friendly and sometimes it's unfriendly.

But I don't -- I don't believe that it's fundamentally hostile, but I think, you know, if there are misconceptions and if there are problems, then they need to be discussed.

And of course this would all be a lot easier to -- sort it out and perhaps not reach this point of crisis if there hadn't been COVID. There's been a year where people have not been able to see each other and meet. And in the case of Prince Harry and Meghan, it's been, you know, unfortunate for them, that it's been difficult for them to come back and spend a lot of time in Britain.

Of course they remain members of the queen's family, she made that absolutely clear. She wished them well, and so did the royal family, if that was their decision to go and live in California.

It was made very clear in that first announcement, if you look at it from Buckingham Palace, that they were welcome to come home at any time and they would always be welcome as members of the queen's family, whether it was in London or Sandringham or Balmoral or family occasions. And you know, it was done on a positive basis, it wasn't in any way done on a -- it was done in a very generous way, to try and give them the best possible chance.


So I think it's upsetting, especially at this time when, you know, the queen is 95, she's been on the throne for 69 years, she's probably the most experienced head of state, she's deeply respected, loved around the world and she's now dealing with a family problem, which really it would be much better sorted out privately than all over the media.

KEILAR: Well, it is definitely being sorted out very publicly, definitely, Charles. And look, I really appreciate you coming on Charles Anson, thank you so much for being with us. ANSON: Totally (ph) enjoyed talking to you.

KEILAR: Up next, we're going to dig deeper on Harry and Meghan's claims of racism as Oprah clarifies which members of the royal family at least did not talk about Archie's skin color, and what it might be when he was born.

Plus, police in Colorado attack as they try to break up a huge street party that was violating COVID protocol.