Return to Transcripts main page
CDC Vaccine Advisers Put Off Decision on J&J COVID Vaccine; Pfizer CEO Says 3rd Vaccine Dose Likely Needed Within 6 to 12 Months; GOP's Jordan Told to Shut His Mouth after Berating Dr. Fauci; Biden Slaps New Sanctions on Russia for Cyberattack, 2020 Election Meddling, "Abuses" in Crimea; Biden & Harris Meet with Asian-American Lawmakers; McCarthy Sidesteps CNN's Questions on Gaetz Who Is Under Investigation; Ex-Officer Charged with Killing Daunte Wright Appears in Court. Aired 2:30-3p ET
Aired April 15, 2021 - 14:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Johnson & Johnson's COVID vaccine is in limbo today after the CDC advisors declined to vote on its future use in the United States. Use of that vaccine will remain paused while researchers just gather more data.
Elizabeth Cohen is our CNN senior medical correspondent.
And, Elizabeth, for people who have taken J&J, what happens now?
DR. ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: If you've taken J&J in the past three weeks, Brooke, there are certain things that you can look for.
I want to emphasize how incredibly unlikely it would be that you would have a blood clot from this vaccine. The number of events has been so low.
But if you've had that vaccine in the past three weeks, and you develop a severe headache or if you develop other problems such as severe leg pain or severe abdominal pain, you should go and talk to your doctor.
Again, these numbers are very low. But doctors do want people to know that they should be on the lookout for these symptoms.
And as you said, the CDC advisory committee is going to be thinking, you know, once we get a little more data, can we make a recommendation?
Can we say, let's put a warning on this vaccine? Let people know that sometimes these blood clots happen, rarely, but they happen. Or do we want to say, you know what, we're finding, for example, young
women are the group that are mostly affected. Don't get this if you're female and under the age of 50.
They're going to need to sort this out. I think they were hoping for more time. But there's a lot of pressure for them to figure this out more quickly -- Brooke?
BALDWIN: And now we have news, breaking, literally minutes ago, the CEO of Pfizer is saying that people will likely need a third vaccine booster dose. They're saying maybe six to 12 months after the first round of shots.
Was this expected?
COHEN: Actually, this was expected. And actually, I think this is really good news, Brooke.
The issue with all of these vaccines is that, at the time that they were made, they didn't take into account the so-called South African variant. Because, well, it didn't exist.
And so while the vaccines protect against it, they don't do a great job of protecting against it. They don't protect against the South African variant as well as they do against the kind of corona that was there before.
So this vaccine is supposed -- this booster is supposed to help protect against the South African variant.
That's really important because, while it hasn't taken ahold very much in the United States, it's really taken ahold in South Africa.
The concerns are that it could take ahold in other parts of the world as well.
So, yes, does it sound like a pain to get another shot both physically and logistically? Yes.
On the other hand, if it's going to protect you from this terrible variant, that would be great.
BALDWIN: I'm in. Note to self, get the third booster.
I want to take everyone to Capitol Hill.
BALDWIN: Got a little testy a moment ago when Republican Congressman Jim Jordan essentially berated Dr. Anthony Fauci for not giving an exact date for when this pandemic will end.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): We had 15 days to slow the spread, turned into one year of lost liberty. What metrics, what measures, what has to happen before Americans get more freedoms?
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, CHIEF MEDICAL ADVISER TO PRESIDENT BIDEN: My message, Congressman Jordan, is to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as we possibly can to get the level of infection in this country low that it is no longer a threat.
That is when. And I believe when that happens, you will see --
JORDAN: What determines when?
FAUCI: I'm sorry?
JORDAN: What? What measure? I mean, are we just going to continue this forever?
When does -- when do we get to the point? What measure, what standard, what objective outcome do we have to reach before Americans get their liberty and freedoms back?
FAUCI: You know, you're indicating liberty and freedom. I look at it as a public health measure to prevent people from dying and going to the hospital.
JORDAN: You don't think Americans' liberties have been threatened the last year, Dr. Fauci? They've been assaulted. Their liberties have.
FAUCI: I don't look at this as a liberty thing, Congressman Jordan.
JORDAN: Well, that's obvious.
FAUCI: -- as a public health thing.
My recommendations are not a personal recommendation. It's based on the CDC guidance, which is -- which is --
JORDAN: And I'm asking a question.
FAUCI: -- underscored --
JORDAN: What measures have to be attained before Americans get their first amendment liberties back?
FAUCI: I just told you that. I told you --
JORDAN: No, you haven't given anything specific. You said, we hope when this -- tell me specifically --
FAUCI: Right now, right now, we have about 60,000 infections a day, which is a very large risk for a surge.
We're not talking about liberties. We're talking about a pandemic that has killed 560,000 Americans. That's what we're talking about.
JORDAN: And I get that, Doctor. And I don't disagree with that. And I understand how serious that is.
But I also understand it's pretty serious when businesses have been shut down, people can't go to church, people can't assemble in their own homes with friends and families.
People can't go to a loved one's funeral. People can't get to their government, petition their representative to redress their grievances.
I also understand the First Amendment is pretty darn important. And it's been a year. And I want to know when Americans will get those First Amendment liberties back.
FAUCI: You just said people cannot assemble in their own homes. They can. That's a CDC recommendation for --
JORDAN: Not last fall, they couldn't.
FAUCI: I didn't hear that.
JORDAN: Not last fall they couldn't.
What number do we get our liberties back? Tell me the number.
REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D-SC): When 90 percent of the members of Congress get vaccinated.
JORDAN: But you're not a doctor, Mr. Clyburn. He is.
What is the number?
FAUCI: I can't give --
UNIDENTIFIED CONGRESSWOMAN: Thank you for recognizing me, Mr. Clyburn. Thank you.
CLYBURN: The chair now recognizes for five minutes.
JORDAN: I want my question answered.
UNIDENTIFIED CONGRESSWOMAN: Reclaiming my time. Reclaiming my time.
REP. MAXINE WATERS (D-CA): Regular order. Regular order.
CLYBURN: Just a moment.
JORDAN: Mr. Chairman, Mr. Chairman, I don't want you to answer my question. The American people want Dr. Fauci to answer the question.
CLYBURN: Well --
JORDAN: What does it have to be?
WATERS: Your time expired, sir. You need to respect the chair and shut your mouth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Ew! Congresswoman Maxine Waters. Of course, this is Congressman Jim Jordan.
But, Elizabeth, do you think Americans are growing increasingly just impatient with the lack of clarity of when this whole thing is going to end?
COHEN: Of course. But, Brooke, the reason why there's a lack of clarity is because nobody has a crystal ball. Nobody knows when it's going to end.
And the more people who think like Congressman Jordan and think, you know, basically, I want to be able to do whatever I want, it's just going to get worse.
If people could be disciplined and do things, like wear masks and practice social distancing, then we would get the freedom that Congressman Jordan is describing.
When there's a blizzard outside and police say, you know what, please don't go on the roads, it's too icy, it's too dangerous, are we taking away their liberties? No. There's a dangerous situation.
There have been various measures that have been put in place. And to some extent, because people have not listened, we have had to continue with this.
If people would listen and if we could buckle down and get this under control, then everything could go back to normal much more quickly and that includes, of course, getting a vaccine.
BALDWIN: Right. Right.
Elizabeth, thank you for all of that.
BALDWIN: Coming up here on CNN, President Biden responds to Russia's attacks on the U.S., expelling diplomats and imposing new, hard- hitting sanctions. Let's talk about that next.
BALDWIN: The Biden administration has imposed sweeping economic sanctions against Russia in response to the country's massive Solar Wind cyberattack, its attempt at 2020 election interference, and its continued occupation of the Crimea region of Ukraine.
The administration is also expelling 10 Russian diplomats from the United States.
CNN national security correspondent, Kylie Atwood, is live at the State Department.
And, Kylie, this -- this isn't the first round of sanctions this administration has applied on Russia. But explain for us what this latest round will actually mean for both countries.
KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: This round of sanctions is really widespread, right, Brooke?
It goes after Russia's malign activity in not just one area but multiple areas where they have undermined the United States: Election interference efforts. Their Solar Wind hack efforts. They impacted U.S. government agencies and private companies here in the United States.
So this is a broad spectrum of sanctions and actions that the U.S. government is taking here.
And I think it's important to note that the Biden administration has said that their effort here is not to escalate things.
Of course, they are seeking, they say, to have a stable and predictable relationship with Russia.
Now, of course, President Biden spoke with President Putin earlier this week. And an interesting part of that conversation, is that he told President Putin what was coming this week.
He said, you know, maybe not in a detailed fashion, but he said that there were going to be actions that were taken later in the week. And he also proposed a summit between the two leaders.
Now, of course, what happens next is sort of in the hands of Russia, quite frankly, because Russia is the one who is now saying that the United States will pay a price. And they said that a response is inevitable here.
So the ultimate reality about what happens next is how Russia responds here.
And one of the things that the United States did -- I want to point out -- is expel 10 Russian officials, essentially people that the U.S. deems to be spies. And they are going to be -- have to go back to Russia.
That's an area where Russia is highly likely to retaliate. We've seen this happen before.
But we should also note the Biden administration says they don't want to escalate, but they also are preparing to do more if they need to, and particularly when it comes to this area of economic efforts to go after Russia.
There's more that the Biden administration can do with this economic -- with this executive order that President Biden signed today.
And the administration has made that very clear, if Russia continues with more efforts against the United States and its allies.
BALDWIN: To your point, though, we will watch for the Russian response to all of this.
Kylie Atwood. Kylie, thank you.
An anxious community in Chicago this afternoon as they prepare for the release of another police shooting video. This one involves the death of this 13-year-old boy.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Before we get started, I want to make it clear that there's good news today.
And that is that retail sales this last month has surged by 9.8 percent as American families receive that $1,400 check because the people in this room are getting it done for me.
And auto sales were up 15 percent. Things are moving.
These checks are providing a heck of a lot of need and relief for families. And in turn, a needed support for our economic recovery.
And the news comes on top of the recent news that we created 900,000 jobs in the month of March.
First two months of our administration, we've created more jobs than the first two months of any other administration in American history.
Again, I'm not being solicitous. It's because of you all. I really mean it. The way you fought like the devil to get -- you really did to get that package passed. You really did. And I want to thank the members for supporting the American Rescue
And still have a long way to go. We are eight million jobs down from what it was more than before the pandemic began, but America's coming back.
And with regard to -- I want to express my gratitude to a group we had here today from the House, representing this caucus, which represents vital communities and very diverse communities within the Asian- American and Hawaiian -- excuse me -- and native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders' communities.
What I think most people don't realize is just how diverse it is, how broad it is, how many different dialects and languages and the like are spoken, which is part of what we have to deal with and solve.
And we -- we need to stand with the AAPI community and the whole government response with what we have to get done.
When I came into office, the first bill I signed related to racial equity throughout the government. And that's still the plan. That's my objective.
And Kamala Harris and I are heartened by the Senate's overwhelming bipartisan effort yesterday. The Senators for the passage of the Hate Crimes Act.
That's a big deal. I mean, it was really close. Walked away with 98 votes.
KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: (INAUDIBLE).
BIDEN: I thought it was going to pass, but, my lord, I will tell you.
And we took a vote here at the administration.
And you are doing a hell of a job, Bill.
BIDEN: So anyway, I am looking forward to a discussion with the caucus.
And I just want to thank you all for being here.
And thank you for coming, members of the press.
(CROSSTALK) BIDEN: Folks, I will be speaking to Russia and my conversation with President Putin shortly after this meeting is over. And you will be notified of that. And I will be happy to talk to you then, OK?
BALDWIN: I was just talking to Kylie about the latest rounds of sanctions now against Russia.
And, of course, the president there and the vice president sitting with Asian-Americans members of Congress.
Of course, just because of the just disgusting attacks on the Asian community in this country for too long, for the better part of this pandemic. We'll watch that.
Also, we're watching this. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy sidestepped a number of questions from CNN on whether he had been warned about Congressman Matt Gaetz's conduct before taking over the Republican caucus.
And Gaetz, reminder, is under investigation by the Department of Justice for allegations, including sex trafficking and prostitution.
And CNN's chief congressional correspondent, Manu Raju, was the one asking McCarthy those questions earlier. And he's joining me now from the Hill.
Manu, what happened when you tried to press him?
MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He said he was not aware of the allegations that have come out in the recent weeks, those sex trafficking allegations potentially with a 17-year-old girl.
That's something, of course, that Gaetz, of course, has denied that. But he said he wasn't aware of that.
But I tried to ask him whether he was aware of other concerns about Gaetz's conduct, his behavior, things that may have arisen back after Gaetz first came into office, starting the year of 2017.
Around that time, we learned -- CNN did -- that Matt Gaetz was showing nude photos of women he allegedly slept to other members of Congress on the floor of the United States House of Representatives.
Now we had also learned that Speaker Paul Ryan, at the time, the speaker, his staff had actually spoken to Gaetz about his professional conduct. Not about a specific incident but just about his conduct.
So I tried to ask McCarthy whether he was aware about any concerns raised about Gaetz' conduct beginning from the time he came into office.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): When I was in the majority, I was not part of the discussion. I didn't know about that.
Lots of times, as speaker or leader, if you had discussions with members, I guess, for the privacy, they have that.
I did not know about that until the - until I read it in the article.
RAJU: There's no flags that is caused by red flags at all for your staff?
MCCARTHY: I did not -- I did not know that conversation or -- I didn't know what that conversation was even about. Just what I read in the paper.
MCCARTHY: You have to see Matt Gaetz. If you wonder if I knew anything about what is being alleged now, no.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RAJU: His denying not knowing whether there was a conversation with Paul Ryan's staff and Matt Gaetz about his conduct.
And he also says he says he doesn't know about the allegations that now are out there, not about other concerns that had happened maybe at the time.
So his denial raises other questions as well here.
But also, at that same press conference, he made clear that he did speak to Matt Gaetz in recent days about the recent allegations. Gaetz maintained his innocence.
Remember, McCarthy said you're innocent until proven guilty.
And he indicated he would not take steps to remove Matt Gaetz from the House Judiciary Committee, saying not until any charges might be filed.
At that point, they would move ahead with -- potentially would remove him from his committee assignments. But until then, he can stay on his committees.
He's battling these allegations. And Kevin McCarthy said he did not know about the allegations that are out there right now -- Brooke?
BALDWIN: Right now.
Manu, thank you. Good to have you on. Thank you for asking the tough questions.
Our breaking news coverage continues this afternoon. The former police officer charged with shooting Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, is set to make her very first court appearance. So stand by for that.
BALDWIN: We roll on hour two. You are watching CNN. I am Brooke Baldwin. Thank you for being with me.
The former police officer accused of killing Daunte Wright just made her first court appearance via Zoom, as, of course, we are still in a pandemic.
Kimberly Potter served 26 years with the Brooklyn Center, Minnesota police.
And on Sunday, according to police, Potter grabbed her gun instead of her taser and shot Wright, a 20-year-old father, during a traffic stop, shot and killed him.