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Hunter Biden Opens Up About His Struggle With Addiction; Deadly Assault Raises Fresh Questions About Capitol Security; Thirteen-Year- Old Takes Part In Pfizer Vaccine Trial; Michigan Republicans Introduce 39 Election Reform Bills; Witness Gives Emotional Testimony In First Week Of Chauvin Trial; Pfizer Says Its Vaccine Is 100 Percent Effective In Adolescents; CNN And Amnesty International Investigates Shocking Video Of Ethiopian Soldiers Carrying Out Extrajudicial Executions Of Unarmed Men. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired April 3, 2021 - 19:00   ET



KATE BENNETT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He looked aghast at what he saw. I know you are fine, Hunter, he said, studying me, scanning the apartment. You need help. Dad saved me. When he knocked on my door, he jolted me out of whatever state I was in and saved me by making me want to save myself left on my own. I was certain I would not have survived. That was dad. He never let me forget that all was not lost.

Now, unfortunately, that period of sobriety did not last all that long. And certainly the struggles have been there for many, many years. But I think it just shows us that this is still a family. This is a President. That has been through a lot, a lot of tragedy. They show a lot of compassion to one another.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST: All right, Kate Bennett, thank you so much. I'm Pamela Brown in Washington. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. You're in the CNN NEWSROOM on this Saturday. Thank you for joining us.

And tonight, our nation's Capitol is shaken. The U.S. Capitol Police Force and morning again yesterday for the second time this year a violent attack has taken the life of Capitol Police Officer William Billy Evans he was an 18 year veteran of the force a father of two and has been hailed by top members of Congress as a hero and a martyr.

The Capitol flags right now are flying at half mast in his honor. Aside no one wish to see again after the January 6 insurrection. Let's get straight to Capitol Hill and CNNs Pete Muntean. So Pete, what are you learning about the suspect?

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Pamela we're learning more all the time as investigators are just now starting - to starting to dig into the past of 25 year old Noah green. And what may have inspired him to attack the Capitol here yesterday. What is so interesting are his social media posts. In fact, we have discovered an Instagram account, where he made a trio of posts leading up to yesterday's attack.

He describes having suffered multiple home break-ins, food poisonings, unauthorized operations and mind control. A second post a meme with the image showing the leader of the Nation of Islam the text around it says the U.S. government is the enemy of black people.

A third post where green describes terrible afflictions by the CIA and the FBI. Now, Green with the Christopher Newport University not far away from here in Newport News, Virginia and he was a 2019 graduate. He played on the football team and some of his fellow football players describe seeing posts like this a recent Facebook post they said only a couple weeks ago on March 17th.

One said "He was going through some stuff for sure". Now no chance is being taken here when it comes to security. You can see around the Capitol, the high perimeter fence that went up not long after the sixth of January. But this morning, more concrete barriers, one in behind it.

So this fortress, only getting more fortified here around the Capitol as this investigation is just beginning, Pamela.

BROWN: All right, Pete Muntean thank you for bringing us the latest. And for more on security surrounding the Capitol attack I'm joined by Former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis. He presided over the Boston Marathon bombing investigation and manhunt. And Asha Rangappa is a CNN Legal and National Security Analyst and Former FBI Special Agent.

Thank you both for coming on to discuss this. Unfortunately, we have to discuss this right. Asha first to you the barbed wire fencing that surrounded the Capitol for months after the insurrection it has come down. Many National Guard troops were sent home. What now? Well, the Capitol into increased security again after yesterday's attack.

ASHA RANGAPPA, CNN LEGAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Pamela, I think that the Capitol is potentially a target for a while now. Especially given what we just heard about the motivations of this particular person. It sounded like he had a lot of conspiracy theories about the government. And those while at one time, they used to be very fringe have been mainstreamed.

I mean, there's a good portion of the population who have grievances against the government and the Capitol is a symbol, you know, of our democracy. And when people feel that it's --delegitimize or that it is causing things, you know them harm.

I think that it could be a focal point for them. So I think that there is going to need to be some caution and precautions taken for the near future, at least what form that takes I defer to the people on the ground, but it is going to be vulnerable for a little while.

BROWN: And I remember covering the Boston bombing and the worry about law enforcement about copycat attacks, while others tried to do this to how big of a concern is that right now in the wake of two attacks at the Capitol?

ED DAVIS, FORMER BOSTON POLICE COMMISSIONER: Well, it's a huge concern Pam, and I agree with the comments that my colleagues mentioned. I'll tell you that my fellow police chiefs always look at the possibility of a copycat crime occurring.

When there's a high profile crime a crime that gets a lot of media attention. We get prepared for a similar thing that may happen around the country.


DAVIS: This isn't exactly a copycat crime. But it certainly is the Capitol is a lightning rod right now. And anybody with grievances against the government can easily use this as a platform to become famous.

And I think, even though we have people that have serious mental health problems, part of that, of that psychosis is to become known go out in a blaze of glory, things like that. And that's the thing that the Capitol people have to worry about right now.

BROWN: And to expand on that Asha, Retired Army Lieutenant General Russell Honore was tasked to lead a review of the U.S. Capitol security families in the wake of January 6th, just three weeks ago.

He wrote this op-ed for "The Washington Post" saying that fences around the Capitol are just a temporary fix. And without understanding the anti government ideologies that view the Capitol as a target, no amount of fencing will make the buildings safe. So how should security confront this without viewing barriers as sort of the be all end all?

RANGAPPA: Well, I think what he's suggesting is that we have to - we have to look at the reasons why people are doing this? If they overwhelm, I mean, they're - you can take as many security precautions as you want. But at some level, there's going to be vulnerabilities unless you make it into, you know, a fortress dome or something that can be overwhelmed, or penetrated.

So, you know, one thing I would say is what is driving these people? They there - there are narratives out there, that the people who work in the Capitol are not legitimate, that they shouldn't be there that they are governing illegally. These have been mainstream these have been mainstream by other members of Congress.

So one step that can be taken would be to defuse the situation to stop, you know, these narratives from you know, promulgating, but I think --

BROWN: But how do you stop those narratives? When you have misinformation going rampant online?

RANGAPPA: Well, people who have a lot of visibility, people who have power, people who understand and know better need to be the ones to state that we can disagree about policy about how to get from A to B.

But you know, everyone is there to, you know, to have that debate in a democratic way. Unfortunately, that's not what's being promoted right now, I think by some, you know, people in government, some officials, so that's where I think it should start. BROWN: And to that point, and to expand on that so much of this has also become political, right? I mean, when the razor wire fencing was up - was still up, many lawmakers were going frustrated with the continued security measures on March 10th.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said, "I think we've overdone it". After yesterday's attack, what would be your message to lawmakers who are anxious to get back to a sense of normalcy?

DAVES: Well, I think everybody wants to do that, Pam, but the issue here is when is it safe? When is the information and intelligence such that we believe there's been a lessening of tension? That hasn't been the case.

There have been people that have been, you know, pushing false narratives. And we need an adult in the room at the Capitol. We need to have someone calm things down. I think that that's changed dramatically, recently, but there's still there's still this ongoing mentality that the enemy is within.

As long as people push that fringe players, people with sight problems, people with grievances are going to be a threat. And unfortunately, Officer Billy Evans paid the ultimate price this week because of that dynamic.

And I think that officials have to look at their conduct and examine how much of a role their statements have played in motivating someone like this, to come in and do what he did. This is exactly what ISIS promulgated, when they were attempting to increase terrorism here in the United States, activating fringe people to attack the government. Tragically, this is coming from within our own our own system.

BROWN: And our thoughts and our prayers are with that fallen officer. Asha Rangappa, Ed Davis, thank you so much.

DAVIS: Thank you Pam.

BROWN: And almost every state lawmaker are pushing bills that could restrict voting. Coming up, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson joins me. She is dealing with several bills in her state right now. Plus, why would a 13 year old girl want to be one of the first to test a Coronavirus vaccine, I'll after the break.



BROWN: Well, the Governor of Georgia today is saying his new election law is not to blame for his state losing the 2021 All-Star game. Governor Brian Kemp is calling Major League Baseball "scared of the White House and democratic activists and so-called cancel culture".


GOV. BRIAN KEMP (D-GA): Major League Baseball put the wishes of Stacey Abrams and Joe Biden ahead of the economic well-being of hard work and Georgians who were counting on the All-Star game for a paycheck.


BROWN: Well, several large corporations and civil rights groups are pushing back against the State of Georgia, saying the new law intentionally makes it harder for minorities to vote.

And Texas is also part of a nationwide effort by Republicans to place tougher restrictions on voting. The GOP led state Senate advanced a bill that would bad drop boxes, eliminate drive through voting limit early voting powers and give more power to pull watchers to videotape voters they deem suspicious.


BROWN: Meanwhile, Texas is one of a handful of states that doesn't universally use - universally, rather use ballots that leave a literal paper trail that can be audited, one of the simplest lines of defense against voter fraud.

According to "The New York Times", if this form of the bill passes, it'll make sure that they don't use such ballots for another five years, likely making Texas the last state to adopt this change. If this was really about election security, you would think that would be the first improvement they would make.

Republicans like Texas State Senator Bryan Hughes, keeps using a seemingly harmless refrain to justify these measures.


SEN. BRYAN HUGHES (R-TX): We want to have trust in the ballot box. We want to make sure that people know that when they vote, their vote will be counted and counted accurately. Every vote should count and every voter should know that their vote will be counted.


BROWN: So the implication here is that before this legislation, some votes weren't counted or didn't count. That's just not true. Votes were counted, counted accurately and in record numbers in the 2020 election, no major fraud was found not by federal officials, not by state officials, not by recounts hand counts or audits and Republican led states, like Arizona or Georgia.

Governors of both parties touted the integrity of their 2020 elections. And according to the Conservative Heritage Foundation site on voter fraud, it is occurred at a rate of less than point .001 percent since 1980.

The false premise of rampant voter fraud is simply a Republican marketing campaign centered on fear, and the campaign is only gaining steam. The liberal leaning Brennan Center for Justice finds the 361 bills with provisions that restrict voting had been introduced and 47 states. A 43 percent rise compared to a month prior. Now Democrats in Congress argue that for the people act is a necessary counterweight to this state level of measures. And they're using fair too. President Biden has used a specific line of attack on the new Georgia law.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Is sick, deciding in some states that you cannot bring water to people standing in line waiting to vote, deciding that you're going to end voting at five o'clock when working people are just getting off work. You're going to close the polling place at five o'clock when working people just get off. This is all about keeping working folks and ordinary folks though I grew up with from being able to vote.


BROWN: Now for the record, it's still a crime in Georgia to hand water to someone in line to vote. But it's more than fair to raise concerns about measures in the new law. But the timing isn't one of them in terms of when you can vote?

On Election Day in Georgia polls are open until 7 pm same as before on early voting days polls are open until 5 pm same as before. The new law even lets counties extend early voting to 7 pm if they want to.

Well, another state facing a push by Republicans to increase voting restrictions is Michigan. The GOP controlled legislature recently introduced 39 bills saying it was all about election integrity. Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer is likely to veto any measure that passes but state law allows Republicans to gather petition signatures to override a veto.

Joining me now is Michigan's Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. Thank you for coming on the show. First off the basic question here to lay the groundwork was the 2020 election in Michigan safe and secure?

JOCELYN BENSON, (D) MICHIGAN SECRETARY OF STATE: Yes, it was it wasn't only safe, secure and accessible. It was one of the safest and secure elections that we've had in our state's history, marked by among other things, the fact that a record number of citizens on both sides of the aisle voted and had great confidence that their votes counted.

So it's particularly ironic that instead of celebrating that, and codifying what worked so well in 2020, or, or lawmakers in Michigan are doing the opposite and actually dismantling the very policies that were so successful in 2020.

BROWN: And be more specific on that, what are they dismantling that was so successful and 2020? What measures were you the most?

BENSON: Well, one of the success stories of 2020 was that voters had options. They had options on how to cast their ballots, get their ballots and return their ballots. And those options were all safe and secure and successful. For example, voters can vote absentee without having to state a reason they actually have a right to do so in our state constitution.

And some of these new proposals would make it virtually impossible for voters to get an absentee ballot and also return it through, for example, a secure drop box. But not only that and one of the most pernicious aspects of these policies to me is that they wouldn't only dismantle a lot of the ways that citizens can get and return their ballots.


BENSON: It would also consolidate precincts leading to potentially long lines from voters who would now have to vote in person and it would ban efforts by my office and clerks around the state to educate voters about any of these changes only which is again, a key part of making sure voters know that there are options to vote and how to make sure their votes count.

So it's a number of policies that all stack up to make it harder to vote in Michigan, and to confuse voters about how to get their ballots and return them securely and successfully.

BROWN: So given your role in elections in the 2020 election, in particular, have Republican lawmakers reached out to you for recommendations on election administration, or to discuss what worked and last year's election to formalize those measures?

BENSON: Well, there's a lot of data that shows exactly what worked. And we've released a plan called the advanced the vote protect democracy plan that's basically looks at the data and finds ways to codify what worked and even find areas of improvement to make our elections even more accessible and secure.

And we're focused on just that increasing security, increasing the support and resources we provide our election administrators, and also ensuring we continue to increase access to the vote. So that's the other irony here that all this chatter, all this work to dismantle what worked so well in 2020 is coming at the expense of an opportunity we have right now to actually improve democracy to learn from our successes of the past, and build on them for the future.

So the solutions are there, all the data backs up, that these solutions are good for voters on both sides of the aisle. And one of the many disappointing things about this moment is that we're not having that conversation instead, we're talking about how to protect against the dismantling of what works and protect against voter suppression.

BROWN: So if this legislation passes, do you think Michigan Republicans will be able to get enough support 340,000 signatures to override a Whitmer veto?

BENSON: It's possible and you know, certainly that's part of the process in our state. But there's other aspects as well, for example, voters enacted in our state constitution in 2018, a right to vote absentee, and any policies that would dismantle that right or infringe upon that right, maybe unconstitutional under our state constitution. So this battle is far from and the work is going to continue and bottom line is we'll use every tool we have at our disposal protective access to the vote in Michigan.

BROWN: OK, before we go, as you know, the Chairman of the Michigan GOP recently referred to you and your two female colleagues at the top of the state government as three witches who need to be ready for burning at the stake. You have already reacted. But this isn't just some online troll. This is one of the top Republican Party officials in the country. What does that say to you about the state of the political discourse of the state of the GOP?

BENSON: It just says a number of things. Importantly, this isn't a one off. This wasn't just an off handed statement. These are the types of - this is the type of rhetoric we've heard now for over a year in our state. And it's inevitably going to lead as it has potentially in the past to violent acts that all the research shows that violent words and violent rhetoric from leaders can lead to violent acts for followers.

And that's no coincidence that we've seen a kidnapping attempt against our Governor. People lining outside of my home in the middle of the night and just the late at night and December to, to call on me to come out and face them to you know, potentially who knows what end?

So we are at a state of in a moment in Michigan and across the country where every leader needs to do away with this violent rhetoric recognize the potential for it to lead to violent acts and instead, tamp down the rhetoric, be civil in our discourse and come up with solutions that we can embrace together across the aisle to improve not just democracy, but all the other problems we need to solve together as a country.

BROWN: OK, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, thank you for coming on the show.

BENSON: Thanks for having me.

BROWN: Well, we've heard a lot of incredible testimony this week about the minutes leading up to George Floyd's death. Coming up I'll talk to Floyd Family Attorney Justin Miller. How are they doing as the murder trial of the fire police officer interest its second week?



BROWN: Turning now to Minnesota where the murder trial of Derek Chauvin began this week. Video of the former police officer kneeling on George Floyd's neck sparked worldwide protests last summer. Yesterday we heard from the top Homicide Detective at the Minneapolis Police Department. He called the neck restraint placed on George Floyd by Officer Chauvin been uncalled for.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is you're, you know your view of that use of force during that time period?

LT. RICHARD ZIMMERMAN, MINNEAPOLIS POLICE: Totally unnecessary, pulling him down to the ground face down and putting your knee on the neck for that amount of time. It's just uncalled for.


BROWN: Joining me now is Justin Miller. He's an Attorney for George Floyd's family. It has been an extremely emotional week and this trial. How was the Floyd family holding up so far?

JUSTIN MILLER, ATTORNEY FOR GEORGE FLOYD'S FAMILY: Thank you for having me. I think that the Floyd family is holding up pretty well given the circumstances. This is a very important and a very impactful trial. And so they're understandably up and down at different times. But they're holding up very well given the circumstances.


BROWN: We've seen several bystanders who were really emotional on the stand. They said that they felt guilt for not doing more, for not being able to help George Floyd. What did you think about that? And what is your message to them?

MILLER: Yes, I've thought about that myself several times. I mean, in a situation like that, you don't know that if you help, you don't know whether you're helping a person who's dying or helping a person who is just going to go to jail, and you, yourself could end up going to jail or dying.

So it's a very, very difficult thing to think about, and I understand how they could feel the way they feel.

I would just say that they all need to understand that it wasn't their fault. It was Derek Chauvin's fault, and they shouldn't live or internalize that kind of pain.

BROWN: Well, we heard the sound of other officers. You heard the sound there of the Minneapolis homicide officer describing that neck restraint is totally unnecessary.

Earlier in the week, Chauvin's former supervisor also said it seemed excessive. This is potentially pretty damning testimony for the defense. Are you and the Floyd family feeling optimistic about the way the trial is going so far?

MILLER: Yes, I think that optimistic is not the best word; cautious -- cautiously optimistic, maybe a little bit better.

We've all seen and especially as a black American in this country, we've seen things that were supposed to go a certain way that did not go that way.

So I think the family is cautiously optimistic and for good reason. The trial is going well in the direction that it should, but that doesn't mean that it's going to end up the way that we think it should.

BROWN: As an attorney, what have resonated with you as you've been watching this trial?

MILLER: I think the most the most poignant and the most emotional things that have resonated with me are the witnesses and the bystanders in the way that this affected them emotionally.

I mean, you can see and if you contrast the way that Derek Chauvin looked as he was smugly kneeling on George Floyd's neck versus the bystanders who were all in tears and in shock that this was even going on in front of them.

You can see that one person was in a state of mind of a criminal and a murderer and the other people in the state of mind of people seeing something that they know they should not have seen. So yes, I think that is the most shocking thing to me so far in this trial.

BROWN: And of course, Derek Chauvin's defense will be putting its case forward in the next week. So we will continue to be covering this trial.

Justin Miller, thank you very much.

MILLER: Thank you for having me.

BROWN: Well, Pfizer says its COVID-19 vaccine has 100 percent efficacy and youths aged 12 to 15, and then will be asking for emergency use approval from the F.D.A. Coming up, I'll speak with a teenager who participated in the vaccine trials.



BROWN: It may seem like there is conflicting information out there. Yes, you can travel if you're vaccinated, but you still need to wear a mask. Earlier tonight, Dr. Anthony Fauci said, hang on, normality is coming.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: I can't give you a day or a week. But I can tell you, as we get more data showing that it is going to be extremely unlikely that people are going to transmit it, you're going to be seeing recommendations that people are not going to have to wear a mask.

They are not there yet, but they are getting there.

Same way with the travel saying now you can travel. When you travel, you don't have to get tested before and after, except if your destination demands that. You don't have to get quarantined when you come back from a situation. So more and more, you're going to start seeing the advantages of

getting vaccinated, whereas before you're right, people ask a question, if there's nothing different, you know, why do we need to get vaccinated? Well, there's a good reason. One, you're protecting yourself. And you very, very unlikely will get sick if you get vaccinated, but also, it will give you a freedom of getting back to some degree of normality.

And that's coming, Jim. Trust me, it's coming.


BROWN: It's coming. We're going to hold you to that, Dr. Fauci. And there is promising news this week on the COVID-19 vaccine front. Pfizer says new clinical test results show that its vaccine is 100 percent effective in children 12 to 15 years old.

The results have yet to be peer reviewed, but experts hope this could mean a safer return to in-person learning this fall. So what is it like for the kids enrolled in these trials?

Let's ask one of them. Emma Kate Stibler is 13 years old. She joins me along with her mom, Betsy.

Also joining me is former Baltimore Health Commissioner, Dr. Leana Wen, and she has been participating in the Johnson & Johnson vaccine trials.

Thank you both for coming. I'm really looking forward to this conversation. So Emma-Kate, to you first, what made you decide to participate in the trials? Were you nervous at all?

EMMA-KATE STIBLER, PARTICIPANT IN JOHNSON & JOHNSON COVID-19 VACCINE TRIAL: I wanted to help kids get vaccinated and I wasn't nervous because I studied mRNA at school and I'm used to getting vaccinated for flu.

BROWN: You studied mRNA in school. That is -- that's impressive. We're going to talk more about your experience in just a moment.

But Dr. Wen, you just found out that you got the placebo. Tell us what it was like for you and finding out you got the placebo and then you just got vaccinated, right?

DR. LEANA WEN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Right. So I am in the Johnson & Johnson two-dose version of the trial. So the Johnson & Johnson version that's been approved is one dose, but they're also looking to see whether two doses will give you better protection in the windows, and so I had previously received two doses of something. I had a 50 percent chance of getting the placebo or the vaccine.

And on Wednesday, I found out that I was actually in the placebo arm. I was actually surprised because I thought that, you know, I had side effects in the past and maybe that is the placebo effect. But I was able to get the vaccine on Wednesday. I feel fine, really minimum arm soreness, and I feel really grateful to be part of the study. I'm still part of the study. Now, I'm in the windows arm of the trial

being compared to those who got the two doses and so we will be in the trial for the next two years.


BROWN: All right, so Betsy, back to you on enrolling your daughter. What conversations did you have with Emma-Kate about participating in the trials? Was it an easy decision to make? Did you agonize over -- bring us into what that was like for you guys?

BETSY STIBLER, MOTHER OF JOHNSON & JOHNSON COVID-19 VACCINE TRIAL PARTICIPANT: It was a really easy decision to make. She expressed interest in wanting to get vaccinated through the clinical trials when it was first announced that they were going to start the children's trials.

And then I got sick with COVID and she got really very, very persuasive about entering the trial to the point that I called Study Designs and got her enrolled. But it was -- it was a no brainer for us. We absolutely wanted to support her in getting vaccinated because we want our younger child to be vaccinated as well as all of their friends.

BROWN: So Emma-Kate, it is so interesting. You were the one really advocating going to your parents saying, hey, I want to enroll in this trial. So what was it like for you, once you enrolled? What was the experience like? Was it like what you thought it would be?

E. STIBLER: I wasn't sure what it would be like, but I went and got my first shot, and then three weeks later, I got the second one.

BROWN: And you had to get blood drawn, too, right?


BROWN: Okay. That's the part that I'd have a hard time with that. Dr. Wen, you're a new mother. How did that weigh on the decision to participate in these trials?

WEN: Yes, actually, as I'm sitting here watching and listening to Emma-Kate and Betsy, I think you're both wonderful. And Emma-Kate, thank you so much for being a part of this.

You know, so often we think about the people who are helping to end this pandemic as the scientists who -- and they absolutely have to take a bow and they have done incredible work in helping us to get these vaccines that are going to help us to end the pandemic.

But we're not going to be able to end it unless we have tens of thousands of volunteers for each of these clinical trials. And so, you know, for me, that's what was weighing on my mind. I was thinking about, I really wanted to do everything that I could to end this pandemic. And I'm sure for Emma-Kate, that's what you're trying to do, too. So kudos to you for choosing to participate. BROWN: Yes, we need all of these participants, and especially kids,

because kids are important, too, Dr. Wen in terms of ending this pandemic. How important is it to vaccinate kids and to reach herd immunity?

WEN: Yes, so there are two reasons why kids should get the vaccine. One is that we want our children to be protected, too. We now have these fantastic vaccines, it will not be right for children to be denied the benefit of the vaccines and that's why we need participants in the clinical trials like Emma-Kate so that we are able to also make sure that the vaccines are safe and effective in our children.

But the other reason is that kids and young people constitute a large percentage of our population. So it's going to be really difficult for us to reach herd immunity, unless children are not also vaccinated.

Again, making sure that the vaccines that we give, of course, are safe and effective. But if we cannot do that, it will be very difficult for us to get to the end of this COVID nightmare.

BROWN: So hearing that Emma-Kate, how does that make you feel to know that you're playing such a big role -- such an important role in helping to end this pandemic?

E. STIBLER: It makes me feel like I could help make a difference and help get closer to the end of this pandemic because everyone has been struggling with the pandemic and having to do stuff like wearing masks, but the fact that I could be helping get closer to the end of that makes me feel like I can make a difference.

BROWN: And you are making a difference. Betsy, finally to you. What would you tell parents who might be nervous about getting their children vaccinated?

B. STIBLER: Well, I certainly recognize that it's everyone's personal choice whether or not to take a vaccine or vaccinate their children. If this vaccine represents some really amazing and cool solid science, and from our experience in the clinical trial, the benefits outweigh the risks.

BROWN: Well, Betsy, Emma-Kate, Dr. Leana Wen, you are all an inspiration. Thanks for sharing your stories being part of these clinical trials for vaccines to end this pandemic. We appreciate it.

And make sure you check out Dr. Leana Wen's new book "Lifelines: A Doctor's Journey in the Fight for Public Health." So we'll be reading that.

A year ago, Peter Woullard was beginning the fight of his life, a frontline medical worker in New Orleans. Peter tested positive for COVID on March 31, 2020. First came the fevers, then his kidneys failed, then he was intubated.

He suffered a brain bleed. Then a stroke.

Remarkably, he survived all of it and was able to return home last September. Just a few days ago, he took his first steps in a year. Be sure to join me tomorrow from CNN NEWSROOM, you're going to get to meet Peter and his wife, Patricia to hear more about his COVID ordeal and his long journey back.

What an inspiring story this is. We'll be right back.



BROWN: Well, last month after -- last week, I should say, after months of denial, Ethiopia's Prime Minister admitted that soldiers from neighboring Eritrea have been fighting with his Federal forces in the Tigray region. Their target, members of Tigray People's Liberation Front.

The Prime Minister admitted what eyewitnesses and victims have been saying for so long that Eritrean soldiers were responsible for atrocities in Tigray despite Eritrea's denials.

And now CNN, in collaboration with Amnesty International has investigated a gruesome video circulated on social media that shows Ethiopian soldiers carrying out extrajudicial executions of unarmed men.

We must warn you the video you're about to watch is very disturbing.

CNN's Nima Elbagir has the story.


NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): You are watching footage filmed by a soldier turned whistleblower, now in hiding. This video was obtained by a pro-Tigray media organization based in the U.S.

The video you're watching will show these Ethiopian soldiers execute these men. A war crime.

The Ethiopian government has waged war against Tigray's ousted regional leaders for the last five months with the help of neighboring Eritrea.

Ethiopia has implied the atrocities in Tigray are mainly Eritrea's doing. That's not true, and here's why.

We know these are Ethiopian soldiers because of the Ethiopian flag on their shoulders here and here. Examining details of the stitching, color, and camouflage patterns, military experts confirmed to us that the uniforms match those of the Ethiopian Army.

In addition, the soldiers are speaking Amharic, the official language of the Ethiopian Federal Army, distinct from the local language.

We also know the location by analyzing the video and geo locating the footage. We know it's in central Tigray by the mountain range and terrain just south of the City of Aksum.

This model, developed by Amnesty International then verifies that location through spatial analysis. You can see the mountain range matches the footage.

The captives were moved from where you see them sitting to here, 1.7 kilometers away. We know that because the video is tracked and mapped, and key geographical features were matched on the basis of a high- resolution satellite image of the site.

By pinpointing the location, CNN was able to speak to local villagers who confirmed their family members were dragged away by Ethiopian soldiers and have not been seen since. Some believe their loved ones are in this video.

You can hear soldiers asking the whistleblower to come closer.


GRAPHIC: Why don't you get close and film the execution of these?

ELBAGIR (voice over): The wording here is important. Execution. This is premeditated. They've rounded up these men to kill them.

We must warn you. What you are about to see is horrifying.


GRAPHIC: Walk them down there. Shoot him in the back of his head.

ELBAGIR: "Shoot them in the head," he says. And they do.

Look at the left of your screen. The man shoots. We paused the video just before his victim falls to the ground. And, again, another soldier raises his weapon towards the man in the white scarf. The video cuts out. But the next scene tells you what happened to him. To all of them. The soldiers continue to shoot, making sure that there are no survivors.

What you are witnessing is an extrajudicial execution.

We counted at least 34 young men at the beginning of this video. All are now presumed dead, their bodies casually flung over the ridge. No attempt to hide what has been done here. No apparent fear of consequences.

Their actions are so appalling, we could only show individual frames from the video.

But it doesn't stop here. You can hear someone saying, "Check that one. That one is not dead. Kill him or I will come."

The same soldier moves further along the ridge and shoots from close range as other soldiers watch on.

ELBAGIR (on camera): Much of the region remains under a Ethiopian government blackout, but CNN and Amnesty International were able to speak to local villages and family members who told us that at least 39 men remain missing from the village.

One man was able to watch the video and confirmed to us that his brother is among the dead depictured here.

ELBAGIR (voice over): Family members continue to search for their loved ones, but have been unable to reach this remote area. Their wish to respectfully bury their dead will go unheeded.

Nima Elbagir, CNN, London.



BROWN: Ethiopian officials provided the following statement to CNN: "The Ethiopian government has indicated its open will for independent investigations to be undertaken in the Tigray region. Social media posts and claims cannot be taken as evidence regardless of whether Western media reports it or not."

And coming up, this Saturday in CNN NEWSROOM, one officer dead, another wounded after yet another attack on the U.S. Capitol. What online posts reveal about the mind of the suspect, up next.