Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Miami Beach Police Use Pepper Balls In Spring Break Crackdown; Biden Says He'll Go To The Border At Some Point; Brazil's Health Care System On The Brink Of Collapse; Huge Rally Against Hate In New York; In Atlanta Today, Prayers, condolences For Eight Victims Of Tuesday's Shooting Spree From Suspected Killer's Church; Doctor Who Stayed In An RV For A Year Reunites With Her Family. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired March 21, 2021 - 18:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:00:00]

PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST: I am Pamela Brown in Washington. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. You are live in the CNN Newsroom on this Sunday.

And we begin with March Madness and Miami Beach, and it has nothing to do with basketball. Look, stunning images of police firing pepper balls to break up hundreds of revelers, most of them not wearing mask, and all defying an 8:00 P.M. curfews that will remain in effect until April 12th. At least one dozen people were arrested there.

The mayor says huge crowds of spring breakers flocked into the city are more than they can handle, prompting him to declared a state of emergency. His crackdown comes as Florida has thrown open its doors to tourists after a year of coronavirus restrictions.

And it's not just the Sunshine State. CNN's Paul Vercammen reports the increase in travel across the country and how it has officials concerned.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): At American airports, the motto seems to be pandemic, what pandemic? 1 million passengers passed through the TSA in the USA for the tenth straight day. This pair traveled to warm gulf coast beaches from the chilly land of 10,000 likes.

MARTHA ROBERTS, MINNESOTA RESIDENT: We were pretty cautious when we were flying and we are staying in a cute little Airbnb by ourselves and we've been really careful on the beaches and stuff.

HALLE RITTGERS, MINNESOTA RESIDENT: Yes. We ended up double masking on the plane and stuff and try not to like touch too much and brought our hand sanitizer and everything.

VERCAMMEN: Health officials worry about Americans getting complacent in the fight against COVID-19. The city of Miami Beach has declared a state of emergency as police try to control large spring break crowds.

CHIEF RICHARD CLEMENTS, MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA POLICE: Quite frankly, I am concerned that the behaviors are getting little bit more for us to be able to handle.

VERCAMMEN: The city imposed a curfew but it seems no rest for the sleepless and clueless.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Skip that curfew, we're all here. We're all here, no sleep, period (ph).

VERCAMMEN: Crowds have played a part in the spread of COVID-19 and subsequent deaths, and so did politics. That's from the former head of Operation Warp Speed.

MONCEF SLAOUI, FORMER CHIEF SCIENTIFIC ADVISER, OPERATION WARP SPEED: Many people probably have died or suffered because the whole situation became so political that, you know, emotions overtook rationality.

I do believe that it's a mistake to politicize a health issue. It's a big mistake.

VERCAMMEN: Throughout the country, campaigns continue to get shots in the arms of people in underserved communities of color.

DR. FAISAL KHAN, DIRECTOR, ST. LOUIS PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENT: That poses a special risk for the vulnerable groups, which is why it is absolutely vital that we'd get more vaccines so that we can take care of those groups.

VERCAMMEN: Los Angeles ramped up awareness and the number of doses given in poor black and Latino neighborhoods and the COVID-19 transmission numbers are looking better.

MAYOR ERIC GARCETTI (D), LOS ANGELES, CA: COVID makes you never confident, but hope really never hangs on the horizon. I haven't felt this optimism in 12 months, Margaret. Here in Los Angeles, we have a positive rate of 1.9 percent and we estimate that anywhere between half and two-thirds of our population has antibodies in it now either because of exposure to COVID-19 and vaccinations.

VERCAMMEN: The former commissioner of the FDA echoes that sentiment, saying it is unlikely the U.S. will suffer through a fourth wave of a pandemic.

DR. SCOTT GOTTLIEB, FORMER FDA COMMISSIONER: So there's enough of a backstop that I don't think you're going to see a fourth surge.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VERCAMMEN (on camera): And to amplify why the mayor of Los Angeles is so optimistic in the last 24-hour period, the L.A. County has recorded just 20 COVID-19 related deaths. Don't forget, Pam, for a moment that in January, we had some daily death tolls that exceeded 300. Back to you now.

BROWN: All right. Paul Vercammen live for from Los Angeles, thanks, Paul.

Andy Slavitt joins me now. He is the White House senior adviser for COVID response. Andy, thanks for joining us.

When you see the images of these spring breakers, these crowds in South Florida, what is going through your mind?

[18:05:04]

ANDY SLAVITT, SENIOR ADVISER TO WHITE HOUSE COVID-19 RESPONSE TEAM: Well, look, thanks for having me on this evening and good evening to everybody. We are doing everything we can to vaccinate the country as quickly as possible. We vaccinated 3 million today, yet we are not there yet. And I know that people see the light at the end of the tunnel but they shouldn't confuse that with being done.

The president has talked about getting back to a more normal state by the 4th of July. And so to take that early and to be out there now in March, before we vaccinated everybody, before we have given people a chance to be vaccinated, we are risking, continuing to spread the cases.

So I would urge everybody to continue to be careful and cautious. I know people have been -- feel like they have been patient for a long time, but we need a few more months.

BROWN: So, the former commissioner of the FDA you just heard and impulse the piece there, he says he thinks that it is unlikely the U.S. will have a fourth COVID-19 wave. Dr. Fauci on the other hand said yesterday that after each plateau of coronavirus cases, we have seen a surge, and he is concerned that will happen again. Where do you stand on that?

SLAVITT: Well, look, our job is probably best not to vaccinate the future -- I mean, not to predict the future but to vaccinate everybody so that we can be prepared for the worst. And so the thing we can control is how quickly we vaccinate people.

The thing we can control is whether we continue to wear masks. If we continue to do those two things, then even if we do get more of the variants here in the U.S., it will be modest, as Dr. Gottlieb is saying, but that's assured.

We have this in our hands. We've got about 70 percent of seniors vaccinated now. We've got about a third of adults that have had their first shot. That still leaves a good bit to go though. So we're not there. As soon as we get higher percentages, we will be in much better shape.

BROWN: Okay. So, let's talk about that a little bit more because the administration has said that all adults will be eligible to receive the vaccine by May 1st. Give us a sense though what that means practically, when everyone who wants to get vaccinated in the U.S. can expect to be vaccinated? Will there be enough supply by May 1st to vaccinate anyone who wants to get vaccinated? SLAVITT: Well, so what the president has said is that May 1st, at the latest, states need to make everybody eligible for vaccinations. We've already seen the first handful of states begin to make everybody eligible and to prioritize that, we will have increasing supply vaccines over the next month.

By the time we get into May and by the time we get to the end of May, we will have enough vaccines for everybody. So everybody won't necessarily get an appointment May 1st, but within a few weeks of May 1st, everybody should be able to have an appointment for their first vaccine shot, and if it's a two-dose regime, that should mean that by sometime in early June, we should be in a position where everybody wants to be vaccinated is vaccinated.

Our challenge now, Pam, is actually going to be much more focused on how we talk to the people who are on the fence about whether they want to be vaccinated. How do we make sure that they have every opportunity?

BROWN: And that was my next question, right. I think that is so key.

SLAVITT: We think alike here.

BROWN: We do think alike. You need to come on the show more often then, Andy.

So let's talk about this, because there's this big question about herd immunity, right, how quickly can the U.S. reach herd immunity, and do you see the biggest challenge to getting there with vaccine hesitancy?

SLAVITT: Yes. So, look, I think one of the things that's promising, Pam, is that when we took office on January 20th, about half the people or so said that they were sure they wanted to get vaccinated. Two months later -- not quite two months later, we have got close to 70 percent of the public now saying that they want to get vaccinated.

In large part, that's because people are just looking around them. They are looking around at the public. They are looking around on people that had never been vaccinated. They're seeing that nobody they know has had a safety issue, that across over 100 million shots, there have only been a handful of even temporary side effects, and then, of course, it's highly, highly affective.

So I think the people who have been sitting on the fence saying, I want to see how this goes with the first set of people and maybe I have questions that I want to get straight answers to. Our job is to make sure that we can get answers to those questions as opposed to the misinformation they may find on social media, because there are people out there who are putting falsehoods out there.

If we can do that, if we can get information into peoples' trusted hands, the doctors, the pharmacists, others, we are quite confident that we will continue to gain on it. But that's going to be a bit of a ground game.

BROWN: That's going to be a ground game, and the question is are you concerned that vaccine hesitancy will just prolong when this pandemic ends or perhaps cause it to never end?

[18:10:01]

I know that that's a lot of fear right now on peoples' minds. What does this mean for the ending of the pandemic?

SLAVITT: Right. Well, you are exactly right, Pam. If you say there's a community out there, and let's say in that community, only half of the people in that local community decides to get vaccinated, that community is going to be more prone to outbreaks. It's just the reality. So there has to be, I think, some continued work and we're going to have to continue to do that.

And I want to make sure the people who are deciding whether to get the vaccine or not, that we are not demonizing those people that are standing in the way of progress. People have questions. They are not necessarily anti-vax just because they say, I'm not sure if I want to get the vaccine or not. They may want to make sure that they get their questions answered.

So our job is to get those questions answered. If we do that, if we do that effectively, if we allow them to get their questions answered honestly and truthfully, I'm very confident that the majority of people will end up getting vaccinated, but not everybody, but the lion's share of people, enough to really kind of slow this down to the place where it's no longer a real danger.

BROWN: Right. And I think you make such a good point there, that people who are hesitant is for different reasons. I've spoken to pregnant women who are hesitant. I've spoken to others who are concerned there was not long-term data on the vaccines. I imagine that is something the administration is focused on as well.

Tell me, though -- you have been leading the charge on fighting COVID. Given your role, what keeps you up at night? What is it that that's on your mind so much that keeps you up at night?

SLAVITT: You know, what has kept me up at night, this entire pandemic keeps me up night during the COVID-19 vaccine response, which is are we doing a good enough job, making sure that the who are people suffering the most are getting vaccinated.

Those people who work in congregate settings, who live in congregate settings, who live in multi-generational households who work on the frontlines, who are often of color people, those are the people who have suffered disproportionately, we all know this, from COVID.

And yet when we put vaccines into their communities, oftentimes it's people who live outside of their communities, maybe from the suburbs or outlying area that are coming in and actually getting the lion's share of the vaccines.

So we have deeply embedded structural issues not just in health care but in our society, which means that if you are lower income, you work by the hour, you don't have child care, you live in close quarters, it's more challenging for you. So what keeps me up at night is not whether or we will get enough vaccines out, we will, but it's whether or not we're going to make sure that the people who need it the most we can protect the quickest, because that's going to reduce the death rate.

We have done a nice job with people in long-term facilities, that's been a great success, but we've got to continue to do that into these other communities.

BROWN: All right. Andy Slavitt, thank you, that was really important information. I know our viewers needed to know. And there are so many more questions and I hope you will come back on the show and answer them.

SLAVITT: Anytime, Pam.

BROWN: Thanks so much.

And we have brand-new reporting from Brazil tonight where a leadership vacuum and a botched vaccine rollout are now creating a global threat. Our Matt Rivers has more astonishing reporting to share later in the hour.

And last night, we told you about a doctor's year-long sacrifice to keep her family safe during the pandemic, well, tonight, we speak with her and her family about their emotional reunion.

And as the British monarchy reels from Meghan and Harry's bombshell interview, a source tells CNN that the royal family is looking to make a major new hire.

But, first, President Biden has just told CNN that he plans to go to the border, quote, at some point. Hear what else he had to say in a moment.

Also, Kentucky Republican Congressman James Comer is live with us tonight. I will ask him the back of his claim that President Biden is doing more for migrants than school kids. And I'm going to ask him why members of his party voted against awarding medals to the Capitol officer who kept them safe. That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:15:00]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPORTER: Are you thinking of going to the border?

JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: At some point, I will, yes.

REPORTER: Do you want to see firsthand what's going on in those facilities?

BIDEN: I know what is going on in the facilities. REPORTER: Why do you think the message to the migrants telling them to stay home and don't come now, why do you think that has not resonated yet? What more can be done so?

BIDEN: A lot more. We're processing, doing it now, including making sure that we reestablish, just before with -- they can stay in place and make their case from their home country. Thank you.

REPORTER: And when will you allow the media into those facilities?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: And that was President Biden there speaking to CNN's Kaitlan Collins just a few minutes ago. It's a fact that the surge of migrants to the U.S. border and Mexico is growing even though President Biden has said, don't come. His administration still refuses to call the situation a crisis.

More than 5,000 children are Border Patrol custody and almost 600 have been there for more than ten days. Last night, buses were seen arriving at a Dallas convention center serving as a temporary shelter for some of the teens in custody. The situation is greatly complicated by coronavirus.

Earlier today on CNN, the homeland of security wouldn't disclose how many cases they're seeing but did said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALEJANDRO MAYORKAS, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: Dana, we will not abandon our values and our principles. We will not abandon the needs of vulnerable children.

One reason why it is as difficult and challenging as it is, not just because the Trump administration tore down our systems and we have to rebuild them from scratch, but also because of the fact that we are in the midst of a pandemic, and that makes the operations that much more difficult.

[18:20:01]

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Are you going to --

MAYORKAS: We are focused on this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: Well, although there is no shortage of partisan issues in Congress, immigration may be one of the most divisive.

I want you to listen to these words from Kentucky Congressman James Comer a couple of weeks ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JAMES COMER (R-KY): Just think about this, in just 47 days, Joe Biden has done more to open the border for illegal immigrants than he has to reopen our schools for our American public schoolchildren.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: Congressman Comer joins me now. Congressman, thank you so much for coming on.

You and your fellow House Republicans are pushing for a hearing on the Biden administration's handling of migrant children at the border. What questions do you want answered?

COMER: Well, first of all, we want to know what is the Biden plan to secure the border. I mean, whether intentional or not, he has opened up the border and he's sent a message loud and clear across the world --

BROWN: Well, he has not opened it up, but go ahead.

COMER: He has not opened it up, but people feel like they can cross the border illegally now without the same consequences they would have faced when Donald Trump was president. We want to know the same things that the Democrats asked Donald Trump, how are you handling the children at the border, and what is your plan to try to get those children back across the border?

I think that that's something that Joe Biden really needs to tell because the Democrat were very critical of Donald Trump. And what we are seeing is, regardless of who the president is, it's a humanitarian crisis when unaccompanied children cross the border and it's a hard situation to handle.

BROWN: So let me ask you this. The head of homeland security said they are working around the clock to get kids into longer term care. What more specifically do you think they should be doing? As you know, there's two parts of this, right? It's preventing people from coming but it's what to do with those that are here who have claimed asylum and so forth. So what do you think they should be doing with these unaccompanied kids?

COMER: Well, we have got to get a place established on the Mexico side of the border for the children. When you start bringing those children to Dallas Convention Center or to different places that are way inside the border, that sends a signal to people who are desperate to get to the United States illegally, that if I can just cross that border, maybe, just maybe, we'll be okay.

And you look at with the border crisis going on this week, Nancy Pelosi had a bill on the House floor that would give amnesty to people who got over here illegally. So it's just a bad crisis.

BROWN: Before we get to that, let me ask you -- I want to focus on this part first though, because we are seeing more kids in U.S. custody because the Biden administration is not automatically expelling them for public health reasons, like the Trump administration did for more of 2020.

So, do you think we should go back to the way the Trump administration did it and expel them back to the country they are trying to flee, or back to Mexico, as you said, where there have been major issues at the camps there where the migrants have been waiting and where Mexico has basically said they don't have any more capacity?

COMER: Well, first of all, with respect to the Biden administration, we really don't know what they are doing because they haven't let the press in to see exactly what is going on.

BROWN: That is true.

COMER: Whether you agree with Donald Trump or not, he was very transparent with the media, especially when it came to border security.

So, I think that you can look at the Donald Trump administration and you can say that the efforts to secure the border and his policy regarding the illegals who crossed over here was a pretty successful policy.

Now, the Biden administration would disagree with that. I know they are going to go on T.V. and disagree with that, but at the end of the day, they're going to have to revert back to the Trump policies to be successful.

BROWN: As you know, Congressman, it's a complicated issue, but these rise in migrant numbers are cyclical, and there was a high rise in numbers in the Trump administration in 2019 even after some of his deterrent policies. So that is also another part of this.

But I want to ask you a couple of more questions before we have to let you go. This week, we saw some Republicans vote against congressional gold medals for police who protected them on January 6th. Some also voted against condemning the military coup in Myanmar. Why are your fellow Republicans voting this way?

COMER: With respect to the police, I asked several of the colleagues why they voted against that bill and they didn't like a couple of words in the resolution, specifically insurrectionists and temple, those were not words I would choose. But when you are a body made up of 435 people and you are making bills, you're never going to get the perfect bill.

So I voted for the resolution. I think that everyone should have voted for the resolution, but everybody has their own opinion to do whatever. I don't think they did it out of disrespect for the Capitol Police officers or their families.

BROWN: Let me just quickly ask you, you have told CNN you have not been vaccinated yet. Do you plan to? And what is your message to those who are hesitant?

COMER: I do plan on getting vaccinated. I knew that in my rural district, there would be logistical challenges to getting the vaccine out. I didn't want to jump in front of anyone in the line that needed it more than I did.

[18:25:03]

So now in Kentucky, it's at a point where people 40 and over can get vaccinated, so I plan on getting vaccinated within the next week or so.

BROWN: And you encourage your constituents to as well?

COMER: Absolutely. I don't think that the government should mandate it, but I do think that everyone should get vaccinated.

BROWN: All right, Congressman Comer, from my home state of Kentucky, thank you so much for coming on the show. We hope to have you back.

COMER: Thanks for having me, Pam.

BROWN: Thanks so much.

And we have new and hard breaking reporting to bring you tonight from Brazil. Our Matt Rivers now tells us the situation is so bad that the virus is indiscriminately killing people of all ages. Matt joins us live with more standout journalism when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:30:16]

BROWN: The sharp rise in coronavirus infections and deaths have left Brazil's health care system on the brink of collapse. The pandemic killed more than 45,000 people this month alone. Intensive care units are nearly full and experts are now warning the crisis there could have global implications.

CNN's Matt Rivers is in Rio de Janeiro with more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There's a sense of desperation outside this Rio de Janeiro clinic.

She didn't get one, says Silvia Silvia Santos walking out. "My 77- year-old mom can't get a vaccine."

One of many that showed up that day waiting for vaccines that don't exist.

This woman says this is a disgrace, people waiting all day and night, who knows if there will be a vaccine tomorrow?

And Brazil's COVID-19 situation has never been worse. Daily case and death records are the norm. ICU's nationwide are full and health systems are failing.

And despite health officials saying the program has been a success, vaccine deliveries are well behind schedule, months away from making a big impact, experts say.

No supply means no shots today back at the clinic.

(On-camera): So all these 70-plus-year-olds behind me have been told there are no more vaccines left in this clinic. The weather out, this feels like it's about 100 degrees outside and yet they're not willing to leave because they're scared that if they do leave and some vaccine show up, they won't be here to get it.

(Voice-over): They wait because they're scared of the disease that preys on the elderly. But in Brazil lately, it's not just the old who are dying.

Maria de Penha da Silva Siquera says she wasn't just a daughter, she was a friend, she was everything to me. Her daughter, Graciani, was only 28 when she died last year of COVID. Her 4-year-old son lives with grandma now, their family forever missing a member.

She says they called me that morning and said she was dead, then I went into shock. The virus did not let us say good-bye.

For the last two months, multiple doctors across Brazil have told us they've seen more young people dying of COVID than before. In Brazil's largest state of Sao Paulo, officials say 60 percent of ICU patients are now between 30 and 50, something Rio de Janeiro doctor Pedro Archer is seeing, too.

He says, "We have patients now in their 30s and their 20s, severe intubated patients. I think maybe the virus has mutated, become a new strain."

There new COVID variants here but experts say there's no proof yet they're more lethal for the young. To explain it, epidemiologists point more to scenes like this.

Social gatherings. This one a party from this pant ramped up during the New Year and Carnival holidays. Younger people simply exposed more. In another video given to CNN this weekend, dozens can be seen streaming out of a party broken up by police. And that's just the illegal stuff.

In Rio, bars and restaurants can be open until 9:00, and many taking full advantage.

(On-camera): It is crowded out here and it just doesn't feel like you might expect given that Brazil keeps setting new records for cases and deaths.

(Voice-over): Where it does feel like that is this cemetery in Rio de Janeiro. Both young and old end up here. Today it's a funeral for a 52-year-old COVID victim. There's a lot of services lined up this afternoon, so the family only gets 15 minutes to mourn.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

RIVERS: And Pamela, we're hear on Rio de Janeiro's famed Copa Cabana Beach. You can see I'm the only one here because it's close due to this recent surge of cases and deaths. And to put it in perspective, over the last two weeks or so, of all the coronavirus deaths recorded worldwide, through every country on earth, Brazil is responsible for about a quarter of those deaths. A really dire situation right now here in Brazil -- Pamela.

BROWN: Dire absolutely. Matt Rivers, thank you for your excellent reporting there of what is going on in Brazil.

And meantime a huge rally against hate in New York as we hear more from the families of the women murdered at two Atlanta spas. Our Natasha Chen has new reporting for us when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:38:49]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANGELA EUNSUNG KIM, PARTICIPANT IN RALLY AGAINST HATE CRIMES: And I want people to finally hear us for us, not only when we're trending. I want to see change in people around me, my friends, my, you know, work, everything all the way down from, you know, our neighbors, all the way up to lawmakers. That's the kind of change I want to see.

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: Well, New York City this afternoon, that's where hundreds of people rallied to demand lawmakers take a stronger stand against growing anti-Asian sentiment. And also to show support for the nation's Asian American communities after last week's horrific mass shooting in the Atlanta area. Six of the eight people who were killed were women of Asian descent.

And in Atlanta today, prayers and condolences for the eight victims of Tuesday's shooting spree from the suspected killer's church.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LUKE FOLSOM, ASSOCIATE PASTOR, CRABAPPLE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH: We are going to grieve. We are going to lament. We're going to weep with all of those affected by this heinous crime as they deal with unimaginable pain and sorrow. These were eight individuals created in the image of God, whose lives were taken by an inexcusable act of murder.

In just a moment we are going to say the names of the victims and have a moment of silence to honor them, to mourn for them, and to pray for their families and loved ones.

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

[18:40:08]

BROWN: Well, the man police say has confessed to killing eight people in three separate Asian businesses last week was a longtime member of that church in Georgia.

CNN's Natasha Chen spoke to heartbroken family of one of the victims. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Xiaojie Tan's family says she was living the American dream. After moving to the U.S., Xiaojie, whom friends and clients called Emily, started as a nail technician before working her way up to buy two spas outside of Atlanta. Beloved by her family, customers, and neighboring business owners, Tan was killed just two days before her 50th birthday.

JAMI WEBB, XIAOJIE TAN'S DAUGHTER: I was just planning to get a cake and have a big dinner after work.

CHEN: Her only child, Jami Webb, had plans to meet up with her mom last Sunday but she overslept. She would never have the opportunity to see her mother again.

WEBB: When I thought that I have all this time with her, I mean, just because I missed that Sunday meeting with my mom, I thought we can always meet, like any Sunday, any other day, just like before.

CHEN: Instead two days later Webb spent six hours in a hospital waiting room as news of a shooting at Young's Asian Massage, her mother's business, dominated the headlines.

WEBB: I was just hoping that it was not my mom, it was not my mom.

CHEN: But by the end of the night her mother was one of eight people killed at three different spas in the metro Atlanta area. Webb says the extended family is still in China and no one has had the heart to tell Webb's grandmother.

WEBB: They were celebrating the birthday and my grandmother was the only one who doesn't know that my mom -- she passed away.

MICHAEL WEBB, XIAOJIE TAN'S HUSBAND: Our lives are changed forever.

J. WEBB: Yes.

M. WEBB: And it's not fair.

CHEN: Tan's ex-husband, Michael Webb, said Tan was perpetually determined, saving money so carefully with the exception of splurging occasionally on an expensive handbag. A woman who rode on the back of a bicycle after her water broke to get to a hospital in the middle of the night to have her baby girl. Webb said Tan often worked seven days a week and talked about retiring and traveling the world.

M. WEBB: And she never got to enjoy that. She just worked to die.

CHEN: He said Tan was always vigilant about protecting her business and employees from certain kinds of customers.

M. WEBB: She used to tell me a lot of times, she would throw customers out because they would come in and think that they could -- could have sex, and she would -- she said get out of my business. And she would throw them out. She was a strong mother hen over that business and the people that worked there. She protected it.

CHEN: And now the community, especially Asian Americans, are holding a vigil at its front door.

The fact that six of the eight victims were Asian women, the fact that these businesses were owned by Asian people is hard to ignore. Jami Webb says she understands the Asian American communities' overall anxiety over the rise of anti-Asian assaults. But this family is not ready to connect that with Tuesday's killings right now.

M. WEBB: I don't think we're trying to say that there's not racial bias in this country. There certainly is. And it doesn't seem to be getting a lot better. That's not our issue right now. We don't know what motivated this at this point. Time will tell. We just know how we feel, and we know what we lost.

CHEN: Natasha Chen, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN: Well, as the British monarchy rails from Meghan and Harry's bombshell interview, a source tells CNN that they're now looking to make a major new hire. Details on that just ahead.

And then remember how we told you about a doctor's year-long sacrifice to keep her family safe? Well, Dr. Tiffany Osborn joins us next along with the rest of her family to share their incredible story. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:49:03]

BROWN: Well, last March in the early days of the pandemic an ER doctor in St. Louis took an extraordinary step to make sure that she didn't risk bringing COVID home to her family. She moved into an RV. What nobody could have predicted was that their isolation arrangement would last a year, but thanks to the vaccine Dr. Tiffany Osborn has just moved out of the camper and the Osborns have reunited.

Dr. Osborn joins me now along with her husband and two children. She's a professor of emergency medicine at Washington University and works in the ICU and ER at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

Wow, great to see all of you, Dr. Osborn. First off, thank you for all the sacrifices you have made this last year and thank you for being on the frontlines in this fight against the pandemic.

DR. TIFFANY OSBORN, ER AND ICU PHYSICIAN: Well, Pamela, thank you so much for having myself and my family. And we just want to say, that, you know, we're very appreciative and we feel very blessed that I am back home with my family and we would feel remiss if we did not recognize many people did not make it home to theirs. And we just want them to know that we are thinking about them.

[18:50:09] BROWN: We certainly are. And there's a lot of those families out there sadly. I want to talk about your journey a little bit to finally reuniting with your family as you have. When you moved into that RV, did you ever think you'd be living in it for an entire year? Like, what did you first think when you moved into it?

T. OSBORN: Well, I wasn't thinking I was going to be in it for a year. That's for sure. And I'll say that, you know, we spent the first six weeks exclusively in the camper, in the trailer, and then after that I bundled my clinical time in the ED and the intensive care unit in order to free up some time afterwards. So I would work, you know, straight through, take a few days, take a test, and then whatever was left the remainder of the month I would be back in the house.

BROWN: Oh, my gosh. So was there ever a moment where you just wanted to give up and move back into the house where you thought, you know what, maybe I can swing it?

T. OSBORN: Yes. When were there not those moments, would probably be the better question. It was definitely challenging.

BROWN: Yes.

T. OSBORN: And luckily I had --

(LAUGHTER)

T. OSBORN: My husband who kept me on the straight and narrow with that as well.

BROWN: And your husband Jeff, right?

JEFF OSBORN, DR. TIFFANY OSBORN'S HUSBAND: Yes.

BROWN: So what did you think, Jeff, when your wife first floated this idea last March?

J. OSBORN: I thought it was the right idea for our family. We're fortunate that we were able to do it. Basically having deployed with the military, I sort of saw this as her deployment to be on the front lines to fight COVID. And I'm really proud of what she's been able to do. And I felt my job was to make sure that she was fully successful to help as many people as she could. And that's what it's all about in our community.

BROWN: That gave me chills. You are such a family of service. That's incredible.

Ashley and David, as their kids tell us what this was like for you? What was the hardest adjustment for you with your mother isolated like that?

ASHLEY OSBORN, DR. TIFFANY OSBORN'S DAUGHTER: Well, I know for me, it was really hard because my mom was gone, and I had to sort of step up, and I took on her roles around the house. And I have to honest I did not realize how much she did until she left. Taking all of that and having to do my own stuff as well, it was really challenging.

T. OSBORN: But you stepped up so well.

BROWN: That's -- so what kind of things did you step up to do that you sort of realize, wow, mom really does a lot around the house?

A. OSBORN: Yes. It was a lot of, like, cooking and dishes, and then, you know, my brother, he wanted to talk, you know, he couldn't just like go talk to my mom anymore, like it had to be me. And, you know, I would talk to my dad. And I was sort of, like, I took on the role of, you know, everything that, you know, like everybody wants to sort of have somebody to talk to. And mom's normally that person who sits you down and talks to you.

BROWN: That's incredible that you step right up to the plate.

David, how about you for you? What was it like?

DAVID OSBORN, DR. TIFFANY OSBORN'S SON: For me it was mainly the uncertainty with the -- with everything going on, just because we knew so little about, you know, how it's going to end. I mean, at first I remember it being, you know, two weeks of school canceled and then suddenly it was a month and then the rest of the school year. And then, you know, she's in the trailer and there was just a lot of uncertainty.

BROWN: Were you nervous knowing your mom is going into the ICU every day in this pandemic?

D. OSBORN: Yes, I was nervous, but -- although I did feel confident because, you know, of all the PPE and the people she surrounded herself with.

BROWN: Yes. So, Doctor, what is the first big thing you want to do as a family now? I imagine a road trip in the RV is not on that list.

T. OSBORN: We actually -- I have to say we were blessed to have the RV. I mean, it was a fantastic option to have. And we were very happy to sell it because of everything that it represented to us. So our pastor actually has the RV now.

BROWN: Your pastor has your RV now, OK.

T. OSBORN: We sold the RV to our pastor, yes. She has --

BROWN: Oh, my goodness, what a story that RV has.

T. OSBORN: She has the RV and they are very happy. Yes.

BROWN: Well, that is wonderful. There have been so many sad stories through COVID, and this is one of the uplifting ones. And it's just so nice to talk to you and your lovely family.

Dr. Osborn and the rest of the Osborns, thank you so much for coming on the show. T. OSBORN: Thank you. Thank you so much for having us and for

everything that you do bringing this to everybody's attention every day. So thank you so much.

BROWN: Of course. Thank you.

Well, up next on this Sunday, dust off your resume because the royal family could be hiring soon.

[18:55:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BROWN: Well, Buckingham Palace may be about to put up the "now hiring" sign. A source telling CNN tonight that the royal family is looking at appointing someone to spearhead a diversity drive. The royals have been embroiled in controversy, and ever since Harry and Meghan revealed someone raised how dark their unborn son's skin would be. One source says the palace is eager to make diversity and inclusion a crown jewel in the modern royal family.

And your next hour of CNN NEWSROOM starts now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: The city of Miami Beach has declared a state of emergency.