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More Universities Requiring Proof Of Vaccination; Remembering Prince Philip; U.S. Federal Government Will Not Change Vaccine Allocations; Michigan's Spike In COVID-19 Cases; Germany Reports Almost 18,000 Cases over 24 Hours; Japanese Perform First Living Donor Lung Transplant To A COVID-19 Patient; Some U.S. Marines Refuse Vaccine; Over 80 Killed In Myanmar On Friday; Ash, Sulfur From La Soufriere Volcano Covers St. Vincent Island; Nitrogen, Phosphorus Dumps Pollute Florida's Water. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired April 11, 2021 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hi. Welcome to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. Live from CNN's World News Headquarters in Atlanta, I'm Robyn Curnow. Coming up --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fire.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fire.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fire.
CURNOW (voice-over): International tributes for the Duke of Edinburgh. See the stunning images from across the globe.
We're closely monitoring the situation in Michigan. Some doctors are canceling elective surgeries to make room for COVID-19 patients.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW (voice-over): Plus --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That is Florida's biggest dirty secret. No one talks about it. You bring it up with our elected officials, they never acknowledge it.
CURNOW (voice-over): It's the water crisis that no one is talking about. Our team at CNN Climate look at what they found and it's staggering.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Live from CNN Center, this is CNN NEWSROOM with Robyn Curnow.
CURNOW: Thanks for joining me.
We begin in the U.K., where there are ongoing tributes to Prince Philip this weekend. Images of the duke lit up the Piccadilly Circus as well as the BT Tower. Elsewhere there were gun salutes in his honor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fire.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fire.
CURNOW (voice-over): You can see Cardiff Castle there. Rounds were fired at the Tower of London, Edinburgh Castle and from ships at sea. Prince Charles said his father would be touched by the reaction to his death.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHARLES, PRINCE OF WALES: My dear papa was a very special person who, I think, above all else would have been amazed by the reaction and the touching things that have been said about him and from that point of view we are, my family, deeply grateful for all of that. It will sustain us in this particular loss and at this particularly sad time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: We're learning more about the duke's funeral. It will take place on Saturday, April 17th. It will be a low-key ceremony in line with the duke's wishes and in keeping with COVID guidelines, which allow up to 30 people to attend.
We know that Prince Harry will fly over from California but Meghan, who's pregnant with their second child, has been advised not to travel.
We're in Windsor for more.
Hi, did to see you.
What is it like there?
ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Very good morning to you. The mood is a somber one. We've seen more people the last two days coming here to Windsor Castle to pay their respect.
People are not hovering, not staying too long. The public's been requested not to come here, lay flowers; instead, to donate whatever they could to His Royal Highness' charities.
But still people feel they need to come here and show their respects to as man who obviously dedicated his life to queen as well as country. The focus now turns to celebrating his life and reflecting his life with his funeral, which will be a ceremonial royal funeral. It's a low-key funeral and I think that's it.
He was the sort of man, he didn't want much fuss over himself, didn't want attention on him. So it would be an understated ceremony that would reflect his legacy and work as the Duke of Edinburgh.
It will be pared down. They'll most likely have to wear face masks and practice social distancing. We know Prince Harry will come. He most likely will have to leave sometime today, because, of course, he has to stay in quarantine for some time.
And then we know that also prime minister Boris Johnson will not be attending; in terms of other members of the family and the eulogies, we'll find out on Thursday.
There is a nice touch, though, to some of the elements of the funeral taking place on the 17th of April and that is that his coffin will be covered, will be moved by a car that he designed, that he had an input in. And I think that's -- that's a small element of that.
SOARES: I think, will be incredibly touching as we see the procession that will be taking place behind me here in the castle.
CURNOW: Isa Soares, thanks for the update.
So there have been tributes not just in Britain but around the world. African nations have been paying their respects, the continent having special significance in the romance between the queen and the duke. Eleni Giokos has that.
ELENI GIOKOS, CNNMONEY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was on a trip to Kenya that the lives of then Princess Elizabeth and her husband, Philip, would be forever changed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They went up the tree as a couple and one came down as a queen, who was a princess. And that was then the current queen of England.
GIOKOS (voice-over): In 1952, while staying at Treetops hotel, Elizabeth became queen, after her father, King George VI, died in his sleep after a bout with lung cancer back in England. Philip was the one that broke the news to her, which would alter his part as well.
He gave up his much-loved career in the navy and embarked on a life as the queen's consort. In this role, he would become a familiar face to the Commonwealth countries of Africa, which were once under British rule.
He met some of the continent's most famous leaders, sometimes accompanied by the queen; other times, representing the crown on trips on his own. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth's husband, has
died at age 99.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tributes have continue to pour after the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, died.
GIOKOS (voice-over): His legacy in Africa for some is summed up by his passion for environmental conservation. The duke was once president of the World Wildlife Fund, though he loved to hunt and fish.
The president of Cameroon tweeted that he will continue to inspire generations who have been marked by his fight for the protection of the environment.
But for some, his impact across Africa can't be separated from the dark history of British colonial rule.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Basically, to me, as a Ugandan, I don't think it would mean that much to me. But to the monarchy, it's a big step, considering he was a consort to the queen. So meaning there is a gap for her.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's just held up by years and years of the legacy of colonialism, that's what holds it up. That's the only reason why we care about that news.
GIOKOS (voice-over): Many commonwealth leaders tweeted their condolences to the royal family and especially to the queen, saying, the man who brought her those difficult tidings decades ago won't soon be forgotten.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is sad, yes, because we've lost a life. But then looking at the age he was, I guess it's a celebratory thing, really celebrating the prince's life.
GIOKOS (voice-over): Eleni Giokos, CNN, Johannesburg.
CURNOW: An influential COVID model warns Americans not to put away their masks just yet, as cases surge in Michigan. I want you to look at that spike. Here it is here. The state reported nearly 7,000 new cases on Saturday.
The federal government is sending 160 extra vaccinators to Michigan to help. Some hospitals are delaying nonemergency procedures on a case by case basis. Officials are calling it a last resort. Medical experts say pandemic fatigue combined with the spread of the variants are behind the surge in Michigan. Here's more from Evan McMorris-Santoro.
EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Even as vaccination rates rise in places like New York, where I'm standing, there's still a concern that America is in the grip of this pandemic, especially in the state of Michigan, where the viral numbers are rising at a dangerous and scary rate.
GOV. GRETCHEN WHITMER (D-MI): The second we let our guard down, it comes roaring back
MCMORRIS-SANTORO (voice-over): As COVID-19 cases soar to alarming levels in Michigan, a warning:
DR. JONEIGH KHALDUN, MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: We are on track to potentially see a surge in cases that's even greater than the one we saw in the fall.
MCMORRIS-SANTORO (voice-over): The state's positivity rate is up to 18 percent and hospitalizations are climbing. Governor Gretchen Whitmer is asking high schools to go remote, youth sports to pause and encouraging citizens to skip indoor dining for the next two weeks.
WHITMER: To be very clear, these are not orders, mandates or requirements. A year in, we all know what works and this has to be a team effort. We have to do this together.
MCMORRIS-SANTORO (voice-over): Vaccinations in the state continue but not fast enough. The governor is pleading for more vaccines from the federal government, as the disruption of the supply of Johnson & Johnson vaccines continues to take a toll across the U.S.
WHITMER: We really should be surging vaccines to states that are experiencing serious outbreaks.
MCMORRIS-SANTORO (voice-over): The coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Response says the federal government will offer states with outbreaks additional testing and personnel. But as of now, will not increase the number of vaccines.
JEFF ZIENTS, WHITE HOUSE COVID-19 RESPONSE COORDINATOR: The virus is unpredictable. We don't know where the next increase in cases could occur. We're not even halfway through our vaccination program, so now is not the time to change course on vaccine allocation.
MCMORRIS-SANTORO (voice-over): This, as the CDC is aware of four states that have reported some adverse reactions to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Several states even halting distribution of that vaccine.
The CDC is not recommending health department's stop administering Johnson & Johnson shots at this time and at least one county in North Carolina, plans on resuming doses as soon as Monday.
SYRA MADAD, SPECIAL PATHOGENS PROGRAM, NYC HEALTH AND HOSPITALS: Right now, the benefits certainly outweigh the risk but more information hopefully will come out to the general public.
MCMORRIS-SANTORO (voice-over): And what could be promising news, drug maker Pfizer asking the FDA for emergency use authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine to expand to children ages 12 to 15 in the U.S. Currently, it's approved for people 16 and up only.
DR. LEANA WEN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: I'm very optimistic about this. We need them to get the benefit of the vaccine but also it will help us to reach herd immunity a lot faster.
MCMORRIS-SANTORO (voice-over): And vaccine requirements are becoming part of the new normal. Analysis by CNN finds 16 colleges and universities and counting -- the latest, Duke University -- will require students to show proof of full vaccination before returning to on-campus classes this fall.
MCMORRIS-SANTORO: Experts are telling Americans to keep the precautions going, to keep wearing masks and avoiding places where people aren't wearing them, even if they're vaccinated, because this virus, they say, this pandemic, is still very much with us -- Evan McMorris-Santoro, CNN, New York.
CURNOW: Dr. Robert Wachter is the chair of the department of medicine at the University of California San Francisco.
Doctor, thank you very much for joining us. Good to see you.
Pfizer is applying for permission.
How soon do you think it will be that U.S. children over the age of 12 will be eligible to be vaccinated?
DR. ROBERT WACHTER, CHAIR, DEPARTMENT OF MEDICINE, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN FRANCISCO: A few weeks, might be a month. But it looks like it's safe and effective. They're using the same dose as an adult. It was a matter of trying it in the kids, which they didn't do in the original trial.
It takes a few weeks to go through the process but I imagine within a month.
CURNOW: That's pretty significant, not just for parents but also for schools.
WACHTER: Yes. It's a big deal. It's significant for schools. I think it will make parents feel safer. All the -- we hear about the kids are so safe and the kids don't spread the virus; that's mostly kids under 12.
Kids 12 to 15, 12 to 16, actually do spread the virus pretty much like adults, so making sure the kids are safe not only for themselves but less capable of catching the virus and spreading it to others, I think, is going to make everybody feel a lot better.
CURNOW: This has been an extraordinary few weeks, reporting for a year on the dire state of the U.S. death rate, now we're seeing this extraordinary rollout of vaccines. It's almost mindboggling.
How much credit does the Biden administration take?
WACHTER: A lot. I give the Trump administration very little credit. But I have to say the Operation Warp Speed worked very well. They got the vaccine produced.
But the rollout was going quite poorly and when the Biden administration took over, it really picked up speed and it now -- it's humming on all cylinders, 3 million doses or so a day, probably the second in the world after England, after the U.K., in terms of large countries getting the vaccine out. It's quite impressive now.
CURNOW: It certainly is.
And what are the risks involved in what Dr. Fauci has called this high plateau?
What does that mean?
And how is the vaccine uptake and vaccine hesitancy canceling things out?
WACHTER: Yes. It's not so much vaccine hesitancy, because there are still more people who want them than don't want them. But we're beginning to see in the South that point where there's more vaccine available than people that want to take it.
In the rest of the country, the demand is still very high. The plateau isn't for hesitancy. It is from the downward pressure from vaccination. A lot of people are vaccinated and they are not getting COVID and they're not getting sick.
But on the other hand, for the unvaccinated, it may the most dangerous time of all, because the variants are here. They're more infectious, they're more serious and people are beginning to let their guard down. If you are unvaccinated and you hear things are doing better, unfortunately, states are letting things open a little too fast.
WACHTER: And people are hearing the message that it's safe. If you're unvaccinated, it's not any safer than it was for the last year and, if anything, a little bit less safe because of the variants. Vaccinated people are doing very well, unvaccinated people doing less well. So it looks flat.
CURNOW: The U.K. variant is more dominant, right?
WACHTER: The U.K. variant is now the dominant type of SARS-CoV-2 we have in the United States. It is 60 percent more infectious, 60 percent more serious. The vaccines work perfectly well on the U.K. variant. If you were vaccinated, you're in good shape. We're seeing cases plummet among the vaccinated.
The problem is in Michigan, to some extent, New York and New Jersey, we're seeing rising case rates in the unvaccinated. Those two things cancel each other out. The hope is, as more people get vaccinated, the downward pressure on the curve will continue.
But for now it's really two different populations. And the unvaccinated, I really hope they get vaccinated because life is better if you're vaccinated. You're not going to get sick, you're not going to get COVID and it is the right thing to do.
CURNOW: You mentioned Michigan.
Is that a real concern for you?
WACHTER: It's a real concern if you're in Michigan. It doesn't seem to be spreading that much. I'm in California, where the cases are plummeting. It's remarkable how little COVID we have here, where I am in San Francisco.
But Michigan is skyrocketing, a high number of cases, a fair number of people coming into the hospitals. And it looks like the surge that they saw in the winter. We know that is possible. There are not enough people who are vaccinated to prevent a possible surge, particularly given the variants.
In Michigan, they have a lot of the B.1.1.7, the so-called U.K. variant. The worry is if too many people are unvaccinated or we let our guard down. It's still a little bit of a contest.
CURNOW: Thank you for joining us and sharing your expertise with us. Thank you.
WACHTER: My pleasure.
CURNOW: Coming up, hope for those with severe cases of COVID. Doctors in Japan say they have successfully transformed -- performed a transplant, the first of its kind, to help a patient with extensive lung damage. That story next.
CURNOW: Welcome back.
Germany is fighting a new COVID surge with nearly 18,000 cases reported over the last 24 hours. Johns Hopkins University says the country has recorded more than 3 million cases since the pandemic began and hospitals are showing the strain.
The doctor in charge of the Intensive Care Association says ICU beds are at a peak capacity now. He's calling for tougher measures to keep the virus from spreading.
Meanwhile, Paris police broke up a clandestine party at a restaurant. It happened in the eastern part of the city on Friday night. That's even though there is a 7:00 pm curfew and other restrictions in place to get COVID under control. Let's go to Jim Bittermann. He's outside Paris.
Tell us more about this incident.
JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SR. INTL. CORRESPONDENT: Well, that incident in particular has become something of an example of what's happening in a lot of different areas of the country. There have been other incidents as well, of police moving in and breaking up these gatherings after curfew.
And a lot of times they're circulating around restaurants and things like that. There's supposed to be stepped-up patrols today, looking for people violating the curfew or maybe violating the travel restrictions.
This is the beginning of school holiday in France, people moving around from one region to another and they're not supposed to be doing that. But the major kind of restrictions don't seem to be having any effect. The case loads keep going up. The ICU beds are full. More than 100 percent of the beds are COVID.
What that means is they have had to create more ICU beds in order to accommodate the overflow. So all of it is not looking very good. The government paying much more attention to accelerating the vaccination campaign. About one in every six French people have been vaccinated. Now they're going to try to step it even more.
They've offered it to people who are over 55 years old, even if they don't have underlying health conditions; they're also delaying the second shot. They're delaying the second shot by two weeks, from four to six weeks, in order to get more vaccine, more of the first shots out there.
And there's a publicity campaign that's going on -- and we saw some of that on -- on Emmanuel Macron's Instagram account. You had a look at a kind of jazzy approach they're taking.
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BITTERMANN (voice-over): You see, Robyn, that the vaccination is the next step for the government. They're hoping to get the numbers down. So far, not much has had much of an impact.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: Jazzy, indeed. Jim Bittermann, nice to see you. Thanks so much.
Now Japanese doctors say they have successfully performed the first- ever lung transplant from a living donor to a COVID patient. CNN's Will Ripley explains why this is a gamechanger. Take a look.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For patients with severe cases of COVID-19, the simple act of breathing is a battle, a losing battle for a Kyoto University Hospital patient, identified only as a woman from Kansai in Western Japan.
RIPLEY (voice-over): COVID-19 destroyed her lungs, leaving her trapped on life support after the virus was gone. Her only hope, a lung tissue transplant. Doctors say the procedure has worked for COVID-19 patients in the U.S., China and Europe, all using donors who were brain dead.
Those donors are so rare, in Japan, most will die waiting. Kyoto University doctors wondered, why not use living donors, a more realistic option in Japan.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Until now, lung transplants from living donors were not an option.
RIPLEY (voice-over): They did not have to look far. The woman's husband donated part of his left lung; her son, part of his right lung. A team of 30 took nearly 11 hours, successfully completing what doctors call the world's first transplant of lung tissue from living donors to a COVID patient.
Giving hope for others with severe lung damage, doctors say --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We think it is a hopeful treatment measure for patients in the sense that they now have this new option.
RIPLEY (voice-over): In about two months doctors expect their patient to be able to leave the hospital. Soon after that, back to normal life, husband and son by her side, each breath almost stolen by COVID- 19, a second chance at life -- Will Ripley, CNN, Hong Kong.
CURNOW: And coming up on CNN, some U.S. Marines are refusing to get vaccinated. The reasons why after the break.
CURNOW: Welcome back to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. You're watching CNN. It's 29 minutes past the hour.
Now some U.S. Marines are declining the coronavirus vaccine, according to documents provided to CNN by the Marine Corps. Nearly 40 percent of them are refusing it. Officials say reasons range from the concerns about the speed at which vaccines were developed to fears over long- term effects. That is this week, almost 76,000, little more than 60 percent, have gotten it.
CNN military analyst Cedric Leighton joins me.
Lovely to see you; 40 percent of U.S. Marines have refused to take the vaccine, we understand. Some think that number is higher across the force, too.
Why is there this hesitancy within the U.S. military?
COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Robyn, I think the main reason for it is there is no direct order you will take this vaccine. That's one thing.
Then the other part of it, I think, is there's a lot of misinformation out there that the military rank and file are also susceptible to.
And that becomes a real problem, because there is information from regular authorities, from health authorities but there's also misinformation out there that talks about some of the dangers of the -- the purported danger of the vaccine and that's a real problem.
Because the benefits far outweigh any possible dangers to most of the vaccines that are out there.
CURNOW: Do you think they should have a choice here or should it be mandatory?
LEIGHTON: I believe it should be mandatory and here's why. I understand, because we operate under an emergency use authorization for the vaccines, there is a mechanism right now where soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines can actually refuse to take the vaccine, because it's not a -- a fully approved vaccine under the federal regulations.
However, in this particular case, because there's a readiness issue involved for the military, I think it becomes really essential that the President of the United States and the Secretary of Defense mandate the use of the approved vaccine, such as the Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine, in order to actually make sure that the vaccines get out there to the troops and that they are fully vaccinated, in case there is a need for a deployment or for some other national emergency for them to actually participate in.
CURNOW: So what do you mean there is a readiness issue?
Does this impact military preparedness, the fact that 40 percent of Marines, for example, perhaps more across the force, are saying we don't want this, this COVID vaccine?
LEIGHTON: Forty percent or more are going to be vulnerable to the virus then. Even if they've had the virus, they are still susceptible to catching it again. The problem is, if they do catch it, they're completely out of commission during that period -- or there's a high likelihood that they would be.
The military population is generally younger and healthier than most of the at-risk populations for COVID-19 but if they're not fully vaccinated, the risk is high, especially because of the variants out there, that there might actually be a much more serious impact on their permanent health.
So that's why it's a readiness issue. If you're not fully vaccinated, the risk is so high that you could actually become nondeployable as a result of contracting the COVID-19 virus. And that would be a disaster from a military standpoint.
CURNOW: And this issue of hesitancy, it's a concern across the U.S., across the globe, of course. But we've seen statistically there's a high level of hesitancy among Republicans, evangelicals, red states.
Is this statistic about the Marines also another example of perhaps growing politicization in the U.S. Army -- in the U.S. military?
LEIGHTON: I think it's very possible that it is. The military draws a lot of its people from the red states. A lot of people in the military tend to skew conservative politically, at least initially, when they enter the military. There's also a bit of a divide politically between the officer corps and the enlisted cadre, which makes up 80 percent.
LEIGHTON: That then puts them a bit more in a place where they're a bit more susceptible to these kinds of efforts of vaccine hesitancy and they're a bit more likely to be concerned about these things.
Everybody should be concerned about this but the science is pretty clear that it is, in fact, these vaccines are, in fact, quite good and probably much more effective than many of the mandatory vaccines, the vaccines that are currently mandatory, that the military uses at this point.
CURNOW: Col. Cedric Leighton, always good to speak to you. Thanks so much for joining us here on CNN. Thank you.
LEIGHTON: You bet, Robyn. Always a pleasure.
CURNOW: As you heard it seems political party lines often play a role in who gets a shot and who does not. That's not the only issue. The hesitancy has health officials worried. Here's Jason Carroll with more on that.
JEFF EDGECOMB, MAINE RESIDENT: I've always stayed healthy, so, I mean, I don't get sick. I eat right, try to stick -- you know, take care of myself.
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Health officials in Maine are desperately trying to reach people like Jeff Edgecomb, a 60-year-old truck driver who has been eligible to get the COVID vaccine for more than a month, but has no intention of getting one.
CARROLL (on camera): Do you have any concerns about COVID being out there and not being vaccinated?
EDGECOMB: No, not really.
CARROLL (voice-over): Edgecomb is a supporter of former President Donald Trump. He is not alone in rejecting a COVID vaccination.
A recent poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows fewer than half of Republicans say they've gotten the vaccine or intend to do so as soon as possible. Compared with about eight in 10 Democrats and almost six in 10 Independents.
That vaccine hesitancy is happening despite many GOP leaders including former President Trump encouraging people to get vaccinated.
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And so, everybody, go get your shot.
EDGECOMB: I'm not going to do it. I don't --
CARROLL (on camera): You still not going to do it.
EDGECOMB: No. I am the way I am, you know, that's how it is.
CARROLL (voice-over): Joy Gillespie, a part-time hospitality and medical worker, also says her mind is made up she will not roll up her sleeve for a shot.
JOY GILLESPIE, RESIDENT, MAINE: I think it's a medical and a political. I'm not -- I'm kind of like up and down with the government as it is and I think that there's certain things that they put out. I don't think they even know.
CARROLL: Even though the vaccine has shown to be safe and effective, Gillespie thinks it was rushed and is concerned about possible long- term side effects.
GILLESPIE: I just have to watch, I guess, and pray that I don't get it.
CARROLL: Health officials in Maine are encouraged by a census survey in early March, showing four out of five unvaccinated adults in the state say they do plan to get the vaccine, one of the highest rates nationwide but, at the same time, acknowledge vaccine hesitancy could jeopardize their progress.
The state's CDC director cautions it's not just politics keeping shots out of arms.
DR. NIRAV D. SHAH, DIRECTOR, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION, MAINE: It's not a monolith. There's a diversity of views, some folks have questions because they are skeptical of the government.
Other folks have questions because they are skeptical of pharmaceutical companies. Other folks have questions because they're skeptical of vaccines in general. And I think the trick that we as a public health community have to do is meet those folks where they are.
Androscoggin County has one of the highest percentages of positive COVID cases in the state. On this day, volunteers from a local health advocacy group are going door to door, urging Lewiston residents to sign up for the vaccination. They're targeting members of the immigrant community but they will engage with anyone.
ABDIKHADAR SHIRE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, A.K. HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES: Did you get vaccinated?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
SHIRE: You don't want to?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
SHIRE: What if I tell you that it's medically proven, it's approved by the doctors. I got my shots, he got his shots.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
SHIRE: All my team got their shots and I think it's safe.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I understand but I don't believe in it.
CARROLL: Health volunteers say conversations like this are not unusual.
CARROLL (on camera): Why the hesitancy you think?
SHIRE: Basically, it's something to do with conspiracy theories that's going around.
CARROLL (voice-over): The state is planning more outreach by mobilizing local doctors to address the concerns of those across the anti-COVID vaccine spectrum.
SHAH: They may not listen to me, they may not listen to someone in D.C., they may not listen to pharmaceutical company, but they will listen to their doctor.
CARROLL: Still, for some, there may be little convincing.
CARROLL (on camera): Is there anyone that could influence you perhaps to get the vaccine?
CARROLL (voice-over): Jason Carroll, CNN, Portland, Maine. (END VIDEOTAPE)
CURNOW: Thanks to Jason for that. Coming up on CNN, we're seeing more deadly crackdowns in Myanmar. We'll have the latest details just ahead.
CURNOW: We're seeing these very tense scenes in Myanmar, as the military slaughters its own citizens at a brutal rate. More than 80 were killed on Friday alone. This latest bloodshed happened 100 kilometers east of Yangon.
Security forces used assault rifles, rocket propelled grenades on people's homes. That brings the civilian death toll since the coup to more than 700. Paula Hancocks is following this.
Paula, hi. Images are devastating on top of this increasing death toll.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And the monitoring group, AAPP, when they get these death toll updates, they say more than 80 died on Friday, they still say that the real death toll is likely to be far higher. It's difficult to have a fair assessment of what's happening on the ground.
In a city 60 kilometers from Yangon, we know that the shooting by the security forces started early in the morning and went throughout the day. An eyewitness said that they had to hide in one of the neighboring villages. This is something they know many people have done.
They say that security forces are still searching neighborhood by neighborhood to try and find protesters and they said that, at one point, they heard that their bodies were piled up at the mortuary.
Now other local reports, which we cannot independently confirm, say that the military took many of those bodies, put them on the back of a military truck and drove them away. This is consistent with what we have been hearing many times from within the country, from eyewitnesses as well, the military taking bodies away.
Now from their point of view, they give a very conflicting story of what happened on Friday, saying that it was actually rioters that attacked the military, pointing out that they had handmade guns, fire bottles, arrows, handmade shields. In fact, only one protester died, so a very different account that from the military.
[02:45:00] HANCOCKS: Clearly handmade shields don't defend against a rocket propelled grenade. What we have heard from AAPP, the NGO, is they were trying to create a battlefield when what they actually created was a killing field.
Also on Friday at the same time this was happening, 19 people were sentenced to death by the military. The military saying that they had caused the deaths of two members of the junta.
So clearly, the security forces can act with impunity. There are no repercussions for what we see on the streets but in this particularly occasion -- and we don't know the exact details of what happened -- the military saying that 19 people will be sentenced to death and have been sentenced to death for killing two members of the junta -- Robyn.
CURNOW: Paula Hancocks, thanks so much.
Coming up on CNN, ash from an actively erupting volcano covers this Caribbean island. We'll give you the latest. That's next.
CURNOW: La Soufriere volcano is covering St. Vincent island in ash, spewing huge plumes of ash and smoke into the sky, which have also reached neighboring islands, especially Barbados. Authorities say the volcano could keep erupting for weeks. Some 7,000 people were ordered to evacuate before the first eruption.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wow, look at that. Look at that.
CURNOW (voice-over): Indeed. Look at that. That is a waterspout just offshore Panama City Beach Saturday and then coming onshore, where it's considered a tornado. Once on land, it caused extensive damage in the area, knocked out power to hundreds of homes and businesses. That is certainly something to see.
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CURNOW: Now scientists in Florida are tracking wastewater that's dumping into Tampa Bay. They're concerned it could cause a toxic algae bloom and that's caused by red tide. The scientists at University of South Florida's College of Marine Science say it's sending all its resources to address the problem, as Bill Weir now tells us.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): While evacuees are back in their homes, it is way too early for any signs of relief in Florida because by pumping hundreds of millions of gallons of wastewater into Tampa Bay, officials may have lowered the risk of a sudden manmade flood but they greatly increased the risk of another red tide.
WEIR: Wow, you can really feel it in your nostrils and sinuses. It's like a mild pepper spray when this algae gets up in the air. So if we can feel that discomfort, you've got to wonder what it's like to be a dolphin in red tide like this.
WEIR (voice-over): These are the toxic algae blooms that feed on the nutrient pollution coming from Piney Point. In recent years, they filled Florida beaches with dead wildlife. The sight of more vultures than seagulls was devastating to tourism and it revealed the hidden cost of Florida's multibillion-dollar fertilizer industry.
COLLEEN GILL, COLLIER COUNTY WATERKEEPER: That is Florida's biggest dirty secret. No one talks about it. You bring it up with our elected officials, they never acknowledge it as being a polluter. Everyone will go into ag or Big Sugar. That's the two everyone goes into.
But no one ever talks about Mosaic and the (INAUDIBLE) mining industry here --
WEIR: Right --
GILL: -- and that is literally destroying our state.
WEIR: These are the manmade wonders few people who come to Florida ever get to see.
WEIR: It is a stadium-sized pile of radioactive waste, material that's so radioactive the EPA won't allow it to be used in drywall or to build roads.
WEIR (voice-over): Every ton of phosphorus mined for fertilizer creates five tons of this waste. This one is owned by Mosaic, the biggest phosphorus mining company in the nation.
And when a 2016 sinkhole sent 200 million gallons of wastewater into the Florida aquifer, Mosaic was forced to apologize for keeping the disaster quiet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I deeply regret and apologize for not providing that information sooner.
WEIR (voice-over): It took two years and $84 million to fix that problem. But when the abandoned Piney Point stacks first leaked a decade ago, its owner, HRK Holdings, filed for bankruptcy. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's very frustrating, for 20 plus years in our
state of Florida, that deregulation and taking our eyes off this ball has given us this problem today.
GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): Our administration is dedicated to full enforcement of any damages to our state's resources and holding the company accountable for this event. It's not acceptable and not something we'll allow to persist.
WEIR (voice-over): Manatee County just approved a controversial plan to pump treated wastewater from Piney Point deep underground but the permitting process to build it could take years and those worried about what it could do to the drinking water and the Everglades could sue to stop it.
So for now, a crisis averted is just a crisis delayed -- Bill Weir, CNN, Bradenton, Florida.
CURNOW: I'm Robyn Curnow. Stay with us. I'll be back with more CNN in just a moment.