Return to Transcripts main page
CDC and FDA Call for Pause on Use of Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Over Blood Clot Concerns; Second Night of Protests Continues After the Killing of a 20-Year-Old Black Man in Minneapolis; Defense to Begin its Case Today in the Killing of George Floyd; Futures Slide After FDA Pauses Use of J&J Vaccine. Aired 9-9:30a ET
Aired April 13, 2021 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: A very good Tuesday morning to you. I'm Jim Sciutto. And we begin this morning with major breaking news.
The CDC and FDA are recommending that all use of the Johnson & Johnsons COVID-19 vaccine be temporarily paused. Why? Six reported cases here in the U.S. of a rare and severe type of blood clot. We should note that is six cases of 6.8 million doses of the vaccine that have now been administered so far in the U.S. A CDC advisory board will meet tomorrow. The FDA is investigating as well. They will answer questions about this decision live in the next hour. We're going to be following that and bring you all the information they bring us.
Joining me now is CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen.
This is a significant announcement. How impactful?
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, as far as the supply goes, Jim, my sources are telling me and the government has already said they don't think it will really be an impact. We have enough, at least, you know, for quite some time, with Moderna and Pfizer. But, of course, it might be very shocking to wake up this morning and think, wow, I took the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. I'm one of those millions of people. Does this mean I'm going to get a blood clot?
You just went through the numbers and I want to go through them again, Jim, to talk about how extremely rare these blood clots are. Let's go over those numbers. Nearly seven million people in the United States have received Johnson & Johnson's vaccine and there have been six cases reported of this rare but very serious brain blood clot. They've all been in women ages 18 to 48 and the symptoms tend to appear six to eight days after vaccination. So if you got the J&J vaccine, you know, it in early March, this is not something that you need to worry about, for example. Now let's talk about under what condition you would want to contact
your health care provider. If you develop these symptoms within three weeks of receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, call your health care provider. Severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain and shortness of breath. The reason for some of these is not because of a potential brain clot but you could also possibly, it is possible, that this vaccine could be associated with other kinds of clots, too, such as clots in the abdomen.
Now this is an example of the system really working the way that it should. They were vigilant about looking for these things. They found them. They paused it. There's going to be an emergency meeting tomorrow of an advisory committee to the CDC to see what the next steps might be. But, yes, it's certainly -- you know, this is not great news. This is a vaccine that a lot of people liked because it was only one shot. A lot of vaccine hesitant people liked it because it was only one shot.
It didn't need to be kept at these super cold temperatures like Moderna and Pfizer need to be kept at. And so this is definitely a -- this is not a great thing that happened, but certainly there is still enough vaccine and this is not a concern with either the Moderna or the Pfizer vaccine -- Jim.
SCIUTTO: The very important point there. Elizabeth Cohen, thanks very much.
Let's bring in now CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta as well as Dr. Carlos del Rio, he's the executive associate dean at Emory University School of Medicine.
Thanks to both of you.
Sanjay, if I could begin with you. Just looking at the data here. Six cases out of 6.8 million Johnson & Johnson doses. That is extremely rare. Literally, one in a million, and I wonder, is that data that typically would lead to a pause like this?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we're dealing with, you know, everything here is sort of unprecedented in terms of looking at this information real time, making these sorts of decisions. I mean, I don't know, you know, if there's an absolute threshold here, but I will say, Jim, this is rare. But there is a signal here that we're seeing. And that warrants an investigation.
I mean, as Elizabeth was just talking about, it's primarily women between the ages of 18 and 48. Why women of that age? We saw similar sort of thing with the AstraZeneca vaccine in Europe, you'll remember, and that's also a similar type of vaccine. This adenovirus vaccine. It's different than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. So this is why you -- this is why you pause it to basically investigate what's going on here.
You know, you remember quickly, Jim, in Europe they basically came to the conclusion, look, there were clots that seem to be associated, but the benefits of the vaccine still outweigh the risks. That's what the European Medicine Association said. The U.K. regulator said sort of the same thing except let's not use Johnson -- I'm sorry, let's not use AstraZeneca vaccine over there for people under the age of 30, for example.
So we'll see how we sort of come down on this. But given that we have so much of the other Moderna and Pfizer vaccine, you know, we'll see how the regulators sort of proceed forward. But the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, obviously this concern is going to fuel vaccine hesitancy towards this particular vaccine.
SCIUTTO: Sanjay, to that point, though, you make a very important point that the essential science of the J&J vaccine as opposed to the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine is different. They're different. Fundamentally different.
To folks at home who are listening right now, might already have an appointment, they're prepared to sign up for an appointment for any of these vaccines, explain to them that difference and why they should not associate this problem with J&J with Pfizer and Moderna.
GUPTA: Yes, I'm glad you're asking that. I think there's two important points here. One is that they are different vaccines. Even though these vaccines ultimately are all sort of trying to do the same thing, which is stimulate the body to have these antibodies, they can do it in very different ways. So the MRNA vaccines which are Pfizer and Moderna are different than the adenovirus vaccines which are AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.
But I think more to the point, you know, you look at the number on the screen, 189 million doses have been administered. The vast majority of those have been these MRNA vaccines and we haven't seen the safety signals. I mean, it's good in one way. You pick up a one in a million thing, it kind of shows you that the safety signals sort of evaluation is working. They're finding these one in a million sort of occurrences. They don't see those with the MRNA vaccines. I really hope that people continue to get vaccinated.
SCIUTTO: No question. You make a point given that figure there, close to 200 million doses administered. That's six million. That's about 3 percent, just over 3 percent of the total number of doses. So a small minority.
Dr. Del Rio, let's speak, though, if we can to those six million people right now. If you have received this, I mean, what's key about these symptoms is that the data shows they appear within six to eight days. And I want to put up on the screen again the symptoms that doctors are saying you should look for just so folks can kind of process it as you speak. Severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, shortness of breath.
Speak to folks right now who may have had J&J. What should they do now?
DR. CARLOS DEL RIO, EXECUTIVE ASSOCIATE DEAN, EMORY UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: I mean, I think the great majority of people need not to worry because it's a very rare side effect. But if I was a young person, in particular, if I was a young woman under the age of 50 and I got the J&J vaccine in the last two weeks, I'd probably be paying attention to those kinds of symptoms. You know, headache, abdominal pain, leg pain.
And if I were to get those symptoms, I would rapidly contact my doctor or my health care provider and be seen right away.
SCIUTTO: Yes. Now when I look at those symptoms, and I imagine some folks at home might think the same thing. Headaches are pretty common, right? Leg pain can be common and can be caused by a lot of things. I mean, I suppose your advice there, Dr. Del Rio, is OK, to be cautious, if you have those go to your doctor and let your doctor make the judgment in effect.
DEL RIO: And that is correct. I mean, I think if you have a headache, you know, don't worry initially, but if that headache persists, if that headache continues, if it's an unusual headache. The headache you would see here is not the headache you get from, you know, maybe, you know, being tired or something like that. It's a more intense type of headache. Abdominal pain. I mean, I would think that you need to pay attention to your body. And if you see something that just doesn't seem right, don't ignore it. Just go be evaluated.
SCIUTTO: Abundance of caution.
Sanjay, you heard Elizabeth Cohen make the point that given the far greater percentage of vaccine doses that are coming from Pfizer and Moderna and given their supplies and ramping up production, that it is not expected that this J&J pause slows down the overall vaccination rate in this country. J&J, by the way, as we've reported, had another issue with production a couple of weeks ago. Do you agree with that assessment? Do you agree that this won't slow things down?
GUPTA: Yes, I think it won't prevent us from getting to this ultimate goal. There's plenty of Moderna and Pfizer vaccine. We have enough to vaccinate 300 million people with those vaccines alone. So that's, you know, pretty significant. Also, as you point out, because of the manufacturing concerns completely unrelated to the conversation about clotting, they were going to decrease allocation by 84 percent this week, Johnson & Johnson was already, as they addressed these manufacturing concerns.
So I don't want to minimize this problem, and this needs to be investigated. The United States was not as dependent on Johnson & Johnson vaccine as other countries around the world are dependent on J&J and AstraZeneca. So it's probably going to be a bigger problem globally than here in this country but, you know, we've got to pay attention globally as well.
SCIUTTO: Yes. And it speaks to the wisdom that we have more than one option in this country.
Dr. Del Rio, I don't want to prejudge any final conclusions here. This is a pause. FDA is going to investigate. CDC is going to look at the data.
But given what we saw with AstraZeneca, where they had a blood clot issue, they looked at it and then, as Sanjay said, they said, well, actually health benefits far outweigh the very rare instances of problems here. Is that an outcome that is possible with J&J here as well? Possible. We don't know but is it possible?
DEL RIO: I think it's going to be possible. I think it could be very likely that the FDA and the CDC Advisory Committee say don't use this vaccine in young people. Use it in people over the age of 50 or the age of 40. I mean, they'll come up with an age saying below this age, you shouldn't use it. But, you know, the ironic thing is that a lot of young people wanted to use this because this is a one-shot vaccine. So in a way, it just changes dramatically how we have to think about this.
But again, you know, often problems disrupt plans. And I think what you need to do is pivot rapidly and adjust. And again, I want to emphasize the benefit of vaccination far outweigh right now, you know, the risk of dying of COVID. If you are 50 years old -- or, you know, if you are 18 or 20 years old, your chance of having this side effect with the J&J vaccine is one in a million. If you were to get COVID, the possibility of you dying from COVID at that age is about 55 in a million.
SCIUTTO: Yes. That's a big difference. 55 times, right, the danger.
Dr. Del Rio, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thanks so much to both of you for helping get steer through the fog on this.
GUPTA: Yes, thank you.
SCIUTTO: Still to come this hour, a second night of protests over the shooting of Daunte Wright. The police department says that the officer made a fatal mistake pulling a gun instead of a taser. How does that happen?
And we're just about an hour away from today's start of the murder trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin. The prosecution is expected to rest its case today, a bit earlier than expected at the beginning of this. What will we then hear from the defense?
And a bipartisan meeting at the White House on infrastructure. But will there be an agreement? I'll speak with a Republican senator who took part in that meeting.
SCIUTTO: For the second straight night, tensions boiling over on the streets of a Minneapolis suburb just hours after Brooklyn Center police released body cam video of the police shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright. There's a look there at the protests. Police say the officer involved intended to use her taser, not her gun, in fact, you can hear that on the tape. We're going to show you the video. We do want to warn you, it's a disturbing moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Or I'll tase you. I'll tase you. Taser! Oh, I shot him. I just shot him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: Lord, what a moment to see. CNN's Shimon Prokupecz is in Brooklyn Center in Minnesota. Tell us more, Shimon, what we're learning about the investigation morning.
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so the authorities here have identified the officer involved in this as a 26-year veteran. Her name is Kim Potter. She's on administrative leave. Family members, community members here are calling for her to be fired. The big question, obviously, is how does something like this happen?
The police chief calling it an accident. Community leaders here, members all taking issue with the way the police chief has characterized this shooting. The investigation still very much under way. So we still have a lot more to learn. But certainly, you know, as we saw last night, I was out here last night, many of the people here very unhappy with how things have been going here for quite some time.
This isn't just one incident. This is just about the relationship with the police and what many people here feel has been just a really tough time for them. As at 3:00 out here today this morning, a much different scene from what we saw last night when several thousand protesters clashed with police here last night, Jim.
SCIUTTO: Shimon, and just -- I'm seeing behind your head there, the National Guard deployed there as a sign of how seriously they're taking this. Shimon Prokupecz in Brooklyn Center, thanks very much. Joining me now is Charles Ramsey, he's a former Philadelphia police commissioner and former D.C. police chief. Charles, great to have you on --
CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Thank you --
SCIUTTO: On this topic. I want to start by looking at the police explanation for this, saying that the officer intended to tase, and you can hear that on the tape. The officer, a woman, saying, I'm going to tase you. But then mistaking the firearm, her firearm for the taser. We have some images from the body cam footage here that shows -- well, there's the firearm on the left. This is the officer who fired on the suspect here. On the right is what a taser looks like. Now, to be clear, that picture on the right is not of the officer involved. It's of a fellow officer who was at the scene, but gives an idea at least of what these tasers look like. Given what you know about the differences between these two, is that an easy mistake to make in the heat of a moment?
RAMSEY: No, it's not. There's a couple of things. And first of all, there were several tactical errors that were made that led up to this shooting which I'm certainly able to discuss if you'd like. But --
SCIUTTO: Sure --
RAMSEY: The taser is carried on the weak side, in other words the side opposite where you keep your firearm in a cross-draw fashion. That is to avoid mistakes. If you remember in '09 when Mr. Grant was killed by a B.A.R.T police officer in Oakland, California, you know, training changed drastically after that to avoid any confusion. Also --
SCIUTTO: But just to be clear, Charles, say you're right-handed, your firearm would therefore be on the left-hand side?
RAMSEY: On the left side and pertaining to be on the right --
SCIUTTO: And the taser on the opposite side, OK.
RAMSEY: It would be on the right, it would be on the opposite side, OK? The other thing is that the taser -- and when you look at the video that actually took place in Brooklyn, you'll get a flash at one point of one of the other officers, and you'll see this yellow handle on the duty belt.
That's the taser, OK? And so even by color, you can tell, let alone the weight, the shape and so forth. It looks to me like when he started to struggle, got back in the car, you know, she -- I don't know if she panicked or whatever, but she reached for her firearm as opposed to her taser. And it's just negligent. There's no excuse for it.
There is another occupant in the car, if you look at where she fired, she fired at his side. They are just lucky that, that bullet didn't penetrate and then strike the other person in the passenger seat of the car. So tactically, there were a lot of errors, they pulled him out of the car, they got him right by the driver's door when they start to try to handcuff him. The reason cops walk you to the back of the car is so you can't easily access the car and then get away, either reach for something or drive off. They didn't do that.
SCIUTTO: There're points --
RAMSEY: So there's a series of things that were wrong, yes.
SCIUTTO: It's a great point about the other person in the car because depending of course, on the caliber and the kind of weapon, I mean, some are designed, right, to cause maximum damage and that then presents dangers --
RAMSEY: Yes --
SCIUTTO: To others nearby. I do want to ask you this, though, because you see in the video, you see Wright, you know, he's being handcuffed and then an attempt it seems to get away to jump back in the car. What is the training to do in that situation? Is -- does that reach or come close to escalation steps for using deadly force?
RAMSEY: Well, I mean, first of all, he did break away and get in the car and attempt to drive off, but you have to also remember, they ran his name, they got a warrant. You know who he is --
SCIUTTO: Yes --
RAMSEY: You know where he lives, you know everything about him. So the need to immediately apprehend is something that, you know, is really not necessary. Trying to pull him out of the car, understandable, but you have to be careful because how many times have you seen cops get drug down the street after they try to, you know, reach into a car that is accelerating and moving. And so, a taser could have been appropriate to use in a situation like that. But she did not have her taser, she had her firearm --
SCIUTTO: Yes --
RAMSEY: Which was obviously not a justifiable use of force by any stretch of the imagination.
SCIUTTO: Understood. Well, Charles Ramsey, it's always good to draw on your experience and knowledge. Thanks very much.
SCIUTTO: And still ahead this hour, prosecutors in the Derek Chauvin murder trial are expected to wrap up their case today. Then, of course, we'll hear from the defense. We're going to take you to that trial the moment it begins.
And we're moments away from the opening bell on Wall Street, futures fell slightly lower on the news that the U.S. will immediately pause using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as we reported earlier. We are watching how the news shakes out in the overall market for investors. Anything that could slow vaccine progress in the country might rattle markets, although as you heard from our doctors, they believe supply from the other vaccine makers will make up for this.
One reason we aren't seeing a bigger sell-off is because, of course, those two other vaccines widely available. We'll have more as it comes.
SCIUTTO: The prosecution is expected to rest its case today in the murder trial of ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, meaning he could -- we could begin hearing the defense's case in just a matter of hours this morning. I'm joined now by former federal prosecutor and CNN senior legal analyst Laura Coates. Laura, good to have you on. I wonder, as we look ahead to the defense presenting its case as soon as later today, what is their best case, in your view? How do you expect them to approach this? LAURA COATES, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, remember what the
strategy of a defense counsel is, is to really preview and see what the prosecution has done and then try to chip away at it. You do it through cross-examination, but you also in your actual case-in-chief as the defense, remember, they're not required to put on a case, but I think they'll be compelled to do so given the wave of all that at least the expert testimony.
They can't do a lot of damage on the bystanders' vantage points, but where they'll try to go is on the use of force, looking at whether it's more of a subjective interpretation than the use of force experts and the law enforcement training officers have led the American people to believe.
That it's about the interpretation by the officer who needs to be flexible. The second area is going to be about the substantial causal factor of death. They're going to need to have a really huge roster of people or a great roster of people to undermine that pulmonologist, that forensic pathologist --
SCIUTTO: Yes --
COATES: The medical examiner who did the autopsy, and of course, the cardiologist. That's a very steep hill to climb and they may not be able to overcome it.
SCIUTTO: Let me ask you this because you had a parade of expert.