Return to Transcripts main page
Use of Force Instructor: "We Don't Train" Officers to Use Legs in Neck Restraint, Such a Method Would Involve Inner Thigh Not Knee; Biden Sets April 19 as Goal for All U.S. Adults to Be Vaccine Eligible; Fauci: Team Sports a Bigger Driver of Outbreaks Than Classrooms; Texas Executive Order Prevents State Agencies from Requiring Vaccine Passports; Update on Coronavirus Responses Around the World; MLB Moving All-Star Game to Denver; Texas Governor Refuses to Throw First Pitch at Rangers Game; McConnell Says Companies Need to Stay Out of Politics; Any Moment, Biden Visiting Vaccine Site in Alexandria, Virginia. Aired 1:30-2p ET
Aired April 6, 2021 - 13:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Although handcuffs maybe could maybe change the -- that situation in terms of getting a pulse from the wrist.
But there was opportunity there. Once that man is laying there for a period of time, he's motionless, check on his physical well-being. And that's all you have to do.
And if they had done that, we may not have a trial today. But they didn't do it. And that's why there's a trial today.
ERICA HILL, CNN HOST: Charles Ramsey, Laura Coates, always appreciate your insight and your perspective. Thank you.
Just ahead, President Biden moving up another COVID deadline, now saying every American adult should be eligible for a vaccine in two weeks. That's the new deadline for states.
Plus, Dr. Fauci talking about outbreaks in schools. How much could this be tied to what's happening outside the classroom?
Plus, the all-star game on its way to Denver? After the MLB pulled it from Atlanta in protest of a new Georgia voting law.
Well, now Senator Mitch McConnell is weighing in. His message? companies need to stay out of politics.
HILL: President Biden today set to announce a new goal, a new vaccine goal for states. Mark April 19th on your calendar. It's the new updated deadline for states to open eligibility to all adults. That's two weeks earlier than his original May 1st deadline.
Though, we should point out, nearly every state at this point has already announced plans to open up eligibility by mid-April.
The U.S. is now averaging more than three million shots a day. The race against the virus, and specifically these fast-spreading variants, is intensifying.
The variant first identified in the U.K. has now been reported in all 50 states.
I'm joined by public health specialist and primary care physician, Dr. Saju Mathew.
Dr. Mathew, good to have you with us today.
It's really -- I feel like it's this daily tug of war between how many shots are we getting in arms with that vaccine, and how quickly is the variant spreading. Which one is winning right now in your view?
DR. SAJU MATHEW, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Erica, that's really going to be the big $1 million question. Can we move fast enough? Yes. We've vaccinated a good amount of the U.S. population. The last count is 60 million people have been fully vaccinated.
But remember, that's only about 15 percent of the U.S. population. It leaves 85 percent, Erica, still vulnerable. So in my opinion, yes, we cannot really move fast enough.
If we could, the biggest goal should be to get 100 percent of the U.S. population vaccinated because this U.K. strain, as you mentioned, is more contagious, and more lethal. And that's really my biggest concern.
HILL: There's been a lot of focus on this strain, specifically in Michigan, where we know cases are spiking. And there have been more than 80 recent COVID clusters in schools.
Dr. Fauci is pointing out the transmission is not likely happening in the classroom. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, CHIEF MEDICAL ADVISER TO PRESIDENT BIDEN: The team sports where kids are getting together, you know, obviously, many without masks, that are driving it, rather than in the classroom spread.
When you go back and take a look and try and track where these clusters of cases are coming from in the school, it's just that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HILL: So he's saying it's youth sports. Full disclosure, I'm excited for my kids whose lacrosse and baseball
games start up this weekend.
Is this a sign we may need to scale back on youth sports?
MATHEW: Right. So, Erica, if you really look at the way this virus behaves we know the rules. It's the two "P's" that I worry about when people get together. Those are the people who are unmasked, proximity, and prolonged contact.
If you go to a soccer game, it's tough to convince 17- and 18-year- olds to mask up while they're playing. It's difficult to do that.
And, yes, all along, as public health specialists, we have been talking about outdoors is safe.
But let's not be mistaken by the fact that if you're in a large crowd, in close proximity and you're not wearing a mask, the virus, unfortunately, is going to do its damage.
HILL: You know, this is also, of course, bringing up the conversation about vaccines and kids.
So we know many states, as we pointed out, have expanded vaccine eligibility to 16- to 8-year-olds. Only Pfizer is authorized for 16- year-olds.
Michigan's governor joining her own daughter and several other teens to get shots today.
There's new polling that finds over half of parents, 52 percent, are likely to get their kids vaccinated when it's available for their age groups.
I'm curious, what's your message to parents who may have reservations at this point?
MATHEW: Right. I mean, my message would be, listen, it's OK to have reservations. But, remember, ask the right questions. Talk to your doctor. And don't feel like doctors are going to look at you as somebody who is vaccine hesitant.
A lot of people, Eric, they just want their questions answered. Hey, listen, is the shot going to affect my kid?
But let's also remember that children, a lot of times, are asymptomatic. I know of quite a few families in my practice, Erica, where the 19-year-old son or daughter didn't have symptoms, but infected the parents. Two parents went to the ICU and the grandmother died.
So it's going to be really important to know that vaccines are safe. This has been studied.
I think that, until we vaccinate our kids, we're not going to be able to get to herd immunity. HILL: We've heard so much about herd immunity but the real political
football today are these vaccine passports that have been proposed.
As I'm sure you saw, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order stating organizations receiving public funding are prohibited from requiring proof of vaccinations for services or for entrance.
It got me to thinking whether, in your mind, as a physician, are you concerned this could impact other vaccine requirements? I immediately thought of public schools and public universities, which, of course, receive public funding.
Do you think this could start to impact other vaccine requirements?
MATHEW: Yes, of course. I think one of the biggest hurdles in the U.S., Erica, is that sort of sense of, hey, listen, this is my individual right. You can't force me to do something against my will.
And now you mention about public funding, and tying that to vaccine requirements. Really, at the end of the day, the virus doesn't care. Wherever there are two people closer than six feet, they're going to infect us.
We should really make sure that we are not only protecting ourselves but protecting everybody. And until everybody's safe, Erica, nobody is safe.
So obviously, I really think there should be requirements like in airlines. Maybe even college campuses, to require.
And let's give people an incentive to get vaccinated. If you get vaccinated, the world becomes a safer place for all of us.
HILL: Dr. Saju Mathew, great to have you with us today. Thank you.
MATHEW: Thank you.
HILL: North Korea reportedly decided to drop out of Tokyo's Olympic games. According to state media, the government wanted to, quote, "protect players from the world public health crisis caused by COVID- 19."
Let's get you caught up on some of the other coronavirus headlines from around the globe with our correspondents.
SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN LONDON REPORTER: I'm Salma Abdelaziz in London. "I hope, but I cannot guarantee it" -- those were Prime Minister Boris Johnson's words at a press conference yesterday on when and if international travel will resume.
The prime minister says, while he's hopeful that international travel can begin again on May 17th, it's simply too early to tell. He said officials have to be realistic. There are outbreaks happening
in European countries and there's concerns the virus could be reimported from abroad.
That's why a task force has been assigned to review the measures and provide an update to the government.
MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: I'm Melissa Bell in Paris. An investigation has been opened here in France into allegations that some restaurants have been opening their doors secretly and illegally to Parisian elites and, more specifically, to government ministers.
It comes after an undercover report was aired over the course of the weekend on French TV that appeared to show two restaurants with diners inside wearing no masks.
And the owner of one of them claiming the government ministers had dined in his establishment before.
This, of course, with restaurants closed now in France since the month of October.
The government has vowed to get to the bottom of it with the interior minister saying that any such breach of COVID-19 regulations would be totally unacceptable.
VEDIKA SUD, CNN NEW DELHI CORRESPONDENT: I'm Vedika Sud in New Delhi where they're reporting an all-time daily high of over 100,000 cases of COVID-19. The country has reported over 97,000 new infections Tuesday.
Two state chief ministers have requested the prime minister Narendra Modi to remove the age restriction for vaccines. Currently, those 45 and above are eligible for vaccinations. India has administered over 83 million vaccines to date.
It has the highest confirmed total cases of COVID-19 after the U.S. and Brazil, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University.
HILL: Thanks to all of our correspondents around the world.
Next here, the packed Texas Rangers game was missing one person, Governor Greg Abbott. Hear why he refused to throw out the first pitch.
Plus, Congressman Matt Gaetz refusing to resign amid allegations of a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old. So far, his Republican colleagues staying silent on the investigation.
[13:48:24] HILL: It's official, the all-star game has a new home. The MLB announcing this year's game will be played in Denver. It was pulled from Atlanta in response to Georgia's controversial and restrictive new voting law.
The move, though, isn't happening quietly. Texas Governor Greg Abbott refusing to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Texas Ranger's home opener yesterday in protest of that move as more Republicans cry foul over the decision to pull the game from Georgia.
CNN chief political correspondent, Dana Bash, joining me now to discuss.
Dana, Texas, interestingly, is currently advancing a pretty similar voting bill. So how closely do you think that's tied to the governor's actions?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Very much so. And you're exactly right. What Texas is doing is quite similar, not exact but quite similar to what we saw pass in Georgia.
And that is prohibiting drive-through voting, which was something that was specific, and Republicans screamed and yelled about it before the 2020 election. It would prohibit that.
It would make it illegal for election officials to preemptively send mail-in ballots to voters, among several other things.
And just like in Georgia and in states across the country that are trying to roll back the ability for people to more freely go and vote, Republicans are saying that this is about voter fraud, with not a lot of, if any, evidence that it was at all widespread.
Democrats, of course, saying, Erica, that this is just about being -- trying to change the dynamic.
And think about Texas. Texas is not where Georgia is. Georgia went for two Democrats in the Senate, for the Democrat for president.
But the Texas demographics are changing fast. And there was a lot of thought that maybe Texas would go the way Georgia would. It didn't. But that is why there's so much focus on this law.
And a lot of criticism, just like other places, that Republicans are doing this in order to suppress the votes of those who might be going for Democrats.
HILL: Yes. Absolutely.
Speaking of criticism, we're also hearing criticism from Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, of a different sort though. Take a listen to this one.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): Republicans buy stock and fly on planes and drink Coca-Cola, too. So what I'm saying here is I think this is quite stupid to jump in the middle of a highly controversial issue, particularly when they have their facts wrong.
I'm not talking about political contributions. Most of them contribute to both sides. They have political action committees. That's fine. It's legal. It's appropriate. I support that.
I'm talking about taking a position on a highly incendiary issue like this and punishing a community or a state because you don't like a particular law that passed? I just think it's stupid.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HILL: It is incendiary. That is certainly true.
Look, politicians tend to shift sometimes when it comes to positions and where they stand perhaps on businesses getting involved in politics.
But how much weight do you think those comments are going to carry for Mitch McConnell?
BASH: Well, they carry a lot because they are widespread. That's the same thing you hear from Greg Abbott, which is why he's saying that he's not going to throw out the first pitch at the Texas Rangers game. And Republicans across the board who are -- it is a political issue.
The question is -- well, first of all, let's just stay on Mitch McConnell for one second, Erica.
What he was doing there was answering a question about whether or not it was hypocritical for him to be saying corporations shouldn't get involved here, where he fought tooth and nail all of the way to the Supreme Court to allow corporations to have the right to the First Amendment as part of their ability to give political donations.
So that's what he was answering there, questions about his hypocrisy.
But separate from that, look, the question is whether or not what the MLB is doing is going to be trying to usher in a modern day quite different, but same kind of idea, Jackie Robinson moment, where they are taking a stand that might make a lot of their fan base mad.
But they are arguing that this is the right thing to do in order for voting not to be suppressed in these key states.
HILL: Dana Bash, always good to see you. Thank you.
BASH: You, too.
HILL: President Biden is getting ready to move up his deadline for all adult Americans to be eligible for the vaccine. About to tell states he wants the date moved up to April 19th. That is sooner than May 1st. So he's right now heading across the Potomac to visit a vaccine site
in Alexandria, Virginia. Vice President Kamala Harris is set to visit a site in Chicago.
CNN's Phil Mattingly is with us now.
What more do we know about this push for an earlier deadline?
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: It's a sign of progress. When you talk to White House officials they acknowledge it's a convergence of several factors.
Obviously, the president set the May 1st deadline. And since he's done that, governors from all 50 states have set their new deadlines, their new requirements for all adults to be eligible for the vaccine.
They believe there's, A, enough supply. Because that's obviously the most important element here. You've seen a flood of supply over the course of the last several weeks from the three approved vaccines. That's a key piece of this.
Obviously, you've seen, on a state-by-state basis, states start to open up earlier as well.
And I think the administration also wants to continue to show that there is progress. Kind of an understand that they need to keep talking about vaccines.
They need to kind of keep hammering home the point that, even though something like 75 percent of Americans 65 and older, the most vulnerable population, have received at least one shot, 40 percent of the overall popular has received at least one shot.
But they need to keep pushing. And as they keep pushing, they need to show progress. So you're going to see the president talk about that today.
That underscores why they're making up the decision to move up the deadline in terms of the opening the vaccine eligibility for everyone.
But I think you're also going to see them taut the progress they are making on the actual shots-in-arms front.
Just yesterday, the administration had its 150th million shot in arms since President Biden took over on January 20th.
In total, 165 million shots for Americans up to this point. That's leading the world by far. China is second, around 140 million.
They want to keep the drumbeat going. They know they have a good thing going when it comes to the vaccination program. They know that the mechanisms they put in place, in their view, are working.
And they want to talk about that not just to talk about progress they've made but also to try to keep hammering home the point that Americans need to get vaccinated. This is the way you end the pandemic in the United States of America -- Erica?
HILL: Phil Mattingly, appreciate it as always. Thank you.
We are just about 30 minutes away from court resuming in the Derek Chauvin trial. We heard critical testimony this morning from police experts about whether Chauvin's use of force against George Floyd was justified. Also, whether it was part of his training.
Stay with us as CNN's special live coverage continues on the other side of this break.