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Protests Across U.S. Call for end to Anti-Asian Violence; Family of Atlanta Shooting Victim Calls for Justice; DoorDash to Offer Same-Day Delivery of COVID Tests; E.U. Threatens to Block AstraZeneca Vaccine Exports to U.K.; French Push Back on New COVID Restrictions; Sen. Paul Strauss, (D), Washington, D.C. Shadow Senator, Discusses New Momentum in Push to Make Washington, DC, a State; U.K. Royal Family Considering A Diversity Consultant. Aired 1:30-2p ET

Aired March 22, 2021 - 13:30   ET

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


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[13:31:52]

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: There continues to be an outpouring of support for the Asian-American community after the deadly spa shooting spree in Georgia.

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KEILAR: In Atlanta, members of a Korean church gathered at the site of one of the spas to honor and remember the victims. Eight people were killed in the rampage. Six of the victims, women of Asian descent.

Over the weekend, several anti-hate rallies were hosted in cities across the country as protesters demand justice for the victims and push for an end to the discrimination and violence aimed at Asian- Americans.

CNN's Natasha Chen is with us now.

Natasha, you had the chance to talk to the family of one of the victims. Tell us about how they're doing as they're trying to cope with this tragedy.

NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, it's unimaginable grief. I talked to the family of Xiaojie Tan, the owner of Youngs Asian Message in Acworth, Georgia, Cherokee County.

And I spoke with her daughter, 29-year-old Jami Webb, and her ex- husband, Michael Webb.

What struck me is they said their hearts go out to all the families who lost someone, and the family of the suspect, whom they say is probably suffering, too.

Jami, the daughter, said she was supposed to meet her mom last Sunday and she overslept and missed the chance to see her one last time. She had no idea she that would be her last opportunity.

She thought she would see her mother to celebrate her mom's 50th birthday. Her mother was killed two days before her 50th birthday.

The ex-husband, Michael Webb, described Tan as a woman who was so hard working, sometimes working seven days a week, really saved all her money, was very careful with her money, planning to retire soon, wanting to travel. That never happened.

Here's what they told me.

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JAMI WEBB, DAUGHTER OF XIAOJIE TAN WHO WAS KILLED IN ATLANTA SPA SHOOTING: 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 could always meet like any Sunday. Any other day, just like before.

MICHAEL WEBB, EX-HUSBAND OF XIAOJIE TAN: I think what makes a difference to us -- and I think I speak for Jami -- is that justice is done. You know, this was a massacre. We have a -- we have a justice system, and he'll have to be held accountable.

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CHEN: I asked them, of course, about whether it makes a difference for them, whether a hate crime charge is added, and that was Michael's answer to that.

You know, it's interesting, Jami said to me that she understands this moment, this sentiment in the Asian-American community.

She feels so grateful for their support. And knows why they are upset and feeling anxious and fearful over the anti-Asian assaults and incidents over the past year.

However, this family is not ready at this moment to connect a racial motivation with these killings. They said they really want to let police finish their work worst -- Brianna?

[13:35:07]

KEILAR: They said that they're thinking of the family of the shooter. It's really extraordinary to hear that as well.

Natasha Chen, thank you so much for your reporting from Atlanta.

Tonight, join Anderson Cooper, Amara Walker, Victor Blackwell and Ana Cabrera for a look at the disturbing trend of violence against people of color in this country. It's called "AFRAID, FEAR IN AMERICA'S COMMUNITIES OF COLOR." And that will begin tonight at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. DoorDash, the food delivery service, won't just be able to bring you

dinner but will deliver at-home COVID tests straight to your door. We'll explain how that works.

And the European Union is threatening to halt exports of the COVID-19 vaccines to Britain if it doesn't get its fair share.

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[13:40:41]

KEILAR: This just into CNN. The Biden administration confirming the second round of coronavirus stimulus payments will be sent this week, many arriving in the form of a check or debit card.

And we're also following news that you may soon be able to get a COVID test delivered to you via DoorDash.

CNN's Alison Kosik is following this from New York.

I know a lot of people will want to know what this is about. How does this work?

ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Brianna. Now you can order a pizza and a PCR test and get it the same day you order it. DoorDash says, beginning today, you can order a COVID-19 PCR test, and literally get it delivered to your door.

You can take the test at home, and get it sent out overnight and you can have a result within 24 to 48 hours.

Here is how this is happening. DoorDash is teaming up with two digital health companies, one called Vault Health, another called Everlywell.

And they have been able to receive FDA emergency use authorization for these PCR tests that you do at home.

The Vault test, you go ahead and take as a saliva test. With this one, it has to be supervised with a staff member of Vault, meaning you can do it over video and audio.

They'll help with you -- they'll help walk you through how to take the saliva the right way to get an accurate result. And they also want to do this to confirm your identity.

Once again, this includes a postage-paid envelope that you send out overnight. And once again, you can get that result within 24 to 48 hours.

The second test, from Everlywell, is that nasal swab that we all know so well. Same thing, take it at home. This one doesn't need supervision. Send it out and get the result.

What's interesting about this is, you think back to the early part of the pandemic, where demand for tests over superseded the supply for tests. And now, Brianna, you can literally order one up on your app, and get

it in certain states. In certain states, in certain states across the country, you'll be able to -- the rollout is going to increase the number of states as time goes on.

KEILAR: That's very interesting. I know a lot of people will take advantage of that.

KOSIK: Yes.

KEILAR: Alison, Kosik in New York, thank you.

KOSIK: Sure.

KEILAR: Prime Minister Boris Johnson is warning the U.K. of a third coronavirus wave as cases explode across Europe. The U.K. has vaccinated half of its adult population but there are challenges ahead.

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SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Scott McClean in London, where a fresh vaccine dispute between the U.K. and Europe is heating up with the E.U. threatening to block exports of the AstraZeneca vaccine to the U.K.

Europe has complained that AstraZeneca has underdelivered on its promised number of doses.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said today that he is reassured by conversations with E.U. leaders in recent months that they do not want to see exports blocked.

But with many European countries facing a new wave of rising COVID cases, some could soon be changing their tune.

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Jim Bittermann in Paris where there's been considerable pushback from the French over the new COVID-19 restrictions that went into place over the weekend.

The most serious was at a carnival gathering near the city of Marseilles, which became, in part, a protest against the new rules.

Police had to move in to clear out a crowd of more than 6,000, mostly young, and mostly unmasked people. Dozens were fined, and nine people were arrested.

And there were less dramatic confrontations elsewhere with many people saying that the new rules are contradictory and confusing.

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KEILAR: I want to thank all of our correspondents for those reports.

Ahead, new momentum behind the push to make Washington, D.C., a state. I'll take to the shadow Senator from the district why this time it might be different.

[13:44:23]

Plus, after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle suggested there was racism within the royal family, now the palace may be adding a diversity chief.

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KEILAR: Happening right now on Capitol Hill, the House Oversight Committee is holding a hearing on whether Washington, D.C., should become the country's 51st state.

Among those testifying today is the mayor of D.C., Muriel Bowser.

House Democrats passed a bill last year to make the district a state but the bill never reached the then-Republican-controlled Senate.

Republicans strongly oppose statehood and will likely use the filibuster to try and block this.

D.C.'s shadow Senator Paul Strauss is joining us to talk about this.

Senator, this hearing is really just step one. Where does this stand?

SEN. PAUL STRAUSS, (D), WASHINGTON, D.C., SHADOW SENATOR: Well, it is step one, but it's an important step. We expect the House committee will report the bill favorably. And then the House will then pass it.

The battle will then shift to the United States Senate where its companion bill, S-51, has a record number of co-sponsors, including 41 Senators on record as co-sponsoring, not just voting or supporting but co-sponsoring the bill.

[13:49:58]

KEILAR: So, you know, look, I'm a D.C. resident. And I will tell you, it is strange, having lived in other states where there's representation, to live in a place where, you know, you do what Americans do, you pay taxes, and you don't have a Senator and you don't have a representative who has a vote in Congress.

At the same time, if this were to be added, you are also talking about shifting control, or certainly tilting the balance of power, depending on, you know, whatever it is at a given moment in favor of Democrats. And so you have a lot of Republican opposition.

How do you make that case for representation while also acknowledging that this has serious ramifications for the entire country if it succeeds?

STRAUSS: The most important thing we have to remember isn't that D.C. may elect a Republican or Democrat Senators. We're going to elect two Senators who can vote in the Senate on behalf of the residents of Washington, D.C.

Right now, this country has so many problems that the idea of two more officials working to solve them is in the national interests.

The most important thing though for statehood has nothing to do with necessarily shifting one party's control or another.

For those in D.C., the lack of statehood has become a threat to our health and safety. We didn't get the aid we needed under the coronavirus relief bill because they treated us like a territory not a state.

Our mayor couldn't call out the National Guard the way a governor could, to protect the capitol and community at times of civil unrest like we saw in the last insurrection.

So, D.C. statehood has become one of public health, national security, our own security. It's as much about our self-determination as it is a vote one way or another for a political party.

And let's just say this. You know, for years, they thought Alaska shouldn't be a state because it would be too overwhelmingly Democratic. Hawaii statehood was opposed because it was Republican. And nobody looks at either of those two states now.

D.C. residents will elect Americans to represent them in the Congress. And they will get to work, working for all Americans. It doesn't matter which party they --

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KEILAR: I understand. I understand what you are saying. But the reality is it would be very bizarre if the elected officials from Washington, D.C., did not turn out to be Democrats.

If you look at the state of politics in this city, that is what it would be. So you can't just dismiss that. Because that is a reality.

That is something that is going to have ramifications besides the local interests that you mention and are incredibly important. But the other ramifications here go beyond that. I mean, this would change the balance of power.

So how do you deal with that?

STRAUSS: Well, first of all, right now, the United States Senate disproportionately doesn't represent most Americans. Only 18 percent of Americans are represented by 52 United States Senators.

Most Americans don't have the kind of representation that matters in the Senate, because it disproportionately favors rural and other interests. And urban interests are chronically underrepresented.

Now I don't see that as distorting or swaying anything. I see that as a correction of a much-needed imbalance, so that the voices of American citizens who have issues not getting addressed by the Senate might get addressed.

It's not about partisan politics but it's about correcting an underrepresentation that has denied fundamental equality and a fair hearing on important issues that Americans who live in cities in all 50 states are counting on finally getting addressed.

KEILAR: Senator Paul Strauss, we really appreciate you coming on to talk about this issue. It obviously continues to be one in the news.

Thank you.

STRAUSS: Thank you.

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KEILAR: Ahead, how former President Trump is plotting his return to social media when he is still banned from Twitter and still banned from Facebook.

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[13:58:43]

KEILAR: The royals are still reeling after Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's interview with Oprah and their allegations of racism within the royal family. Now the palace is considering appointing a diversity consultant.

CNN's royal correspondent, Max Foster, joins me to discuss this.

How do we read this? Is this a P.R. move? Is this an olive branch? What is it?

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, they have been working on their diversity policies, as we understand, for some time. They have policies in place.

But obviously, these accusations of racism from the duchess of Sussex have really shone a light on what a white institution the palace is. You can't do anything about the family. It is what it is.

But you can do something around the people around the family, the aides, the officials. There isn't proper representation there.

And say diversity is an issue, which is being taken very seriously, according to a royal source. "We have the policies, the procedures and the programs in place but we haven't seen the progress we would like in terms of representation and more needs to be done."

That's an acceptance on their side, no doubt, accelerated by what the duchess said.

And then they said they are looking at the idea of appointing someone to look at diversity or at least to give that role to someone within the organization, the palace.

[14:00:00]

Many people are surprised they haven't got that already. But they are looking to make that move currently.

It's not confirmed. And none of it is an official statement. But they want to show they are doing something.

As a source told us, they are listening and learning, and want to get this right.