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Minnesota National Guard On Alert Amid Tensions Over Police Shooting Of Daunte Wright, Looming Chauvin Trial Verdict; Family Attorney Calls Adam Toledo's Death "An Assassination"; Sources: Authorities Were Warned About FedEx Suspect's Potential For Violence In The Past; U.K.'s Prince Phillip Laid To Rest At Windsor Castle; CDC: 200 Million Vaccine Doses Administered In U.S.; Researchers Test Pfizer Vaccine On Kids As Young As 2. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired April 17, 2021 - 15:00   ET



JIM ACOSTA, CNN HOST: And you are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Jim Acosta in Washington.

And we begin with a country caught in a seemingly endless cycle of police violence, civil unrest, and mass shootings.

Here is just a snapshot of the last 24 hours:

In Minnesota, police forcefully clearing a crowd with pepper spray and rubber bullets. At least 100 people were arrested. The National Guard is now bracing for a likely seventh night of protests over the police shooting of Daunte Wright as well as final outcome in the Derek Chauvin trial.

In Portland, Oregon, police declared a riot after protesters smashed windows, looted businesses following a deadly officer-involved shooting there.

And in Oakland, a crowd of roughly 300 people moved through downtown, breaking windows, setting fires to protest police brutality.

In Chicago, the mayor urging calm after bodycam video showing the police shooting of a 13-year-old boy sparked a city wide look at use of force policies.

And add to all of that, yet another mass shooting in America. Yes, officials say the gunman that killed 8 people at a facility in Minneapolis was among a former employee. Among those killed, four members of the local Sikh community.

As CNN's counts, there have been 45 -- yes, 45 mass shootings in the United States in the last month, 147 mass shootings since start of the year.

Let's go live to Minneapolis now and CNN security correspondent Josh Campbell.

Josh, those are just extremely depressing numbers. Tell us what you're seeing and hearing as officials there brace where you are for possibly another night of unrest.

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Jim. Well, this Minneapolis area is dealing with these two tragedies at the same time. Obviously, the death of George Floyd, trial of former Officer Derek Chauvin is under way, but also the fallout from the death of Daunte Wright just ten miles away.

I'll show you what the city is doing now at all five of the police precincts. You see this barrier that's been set up, including razor wire that officials put up just this past week. Again, we're told this is going to take place around all police precincts. This building downtown is temporary home of the third precinct which, of course, was burned last year after the death of George Floyd. Those officers are relocated here, taking serious precautions.

You can see behind me, members of the National Guard, as well as the Minneapolis Police department. I'll show you something we are seeing outside of government facilities, around businesses. They're now being boarded up.

Again, people here in the city of Minneapolis are leaving nothing to chance ahead of the verdict in this case. Derek Chauvin and also the aftermath of death of another black man at the hands of police just 10 miles away here. The city is certainly on edge, Jim.

ACOSTA: You're certainly right about that. Our Josh Campbell, we'll check back in with you. Thank you so much.

Now to the city of Chicago, thousands taking to the streets to protest the police shooting death of 13-year-old Adam Toledo after a hard to watch body cam footage was released.

CNN's Ryan Young has more on that now.


RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Adam Toledo's family saying they know emotions are running high in Chicago after release of this video, the 13-year-old shot and killed by police.

Video released also showing the moments leading up to Toledo's death. An early morning report of shots fired, two seen running from the area. Toledo turns down an alley. And then --

POLICE OFFICER: Show me your hands! Stop!


YOUNG: A split second decision that left the seventh grader dead and Chicago police on defense.

JOHN CATANZARA, PRESIDENT, CHICAGO POLICE UNION: That officer had eight tenths of a second to determine if that weapon was still in his hand or not, period. An officer doesn't have to wait to be shot at or shot in order to respond and defend himself. There's no obligation whatsoever. YOUNG: This black pistol was found behind the fence where Toledo was

shot. In this compilation of the released video annotated by the department, Chicago police say Toledo was holding the gun here, and then drops it as he turns toward the officer. You can see Toledo up against the fence at the fatal moment from this wider angle.

CATANZARA: The officer had every reason to believe the offender was turning and pointing the gun at him. Whatever -- you can Monday morning quarterback it all you want, but according to Illinois statute, you only need to have reasonable belief in order to take deadly action.

YOUNG: But the attorney representing Adam Toledo's family says the teen has no gun in his hands at the time he was shot and no chance to surrender.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You saw that video. Do you see a gun in his hands? I don't see a gun in his hands. But let's assume for the moment the worst, that he had a gun in his hands. The officer gave him a directive. The officer told him, show me your hands. The child complied.


He surrendered. He lifted his hands. They were empty and the child was shot.

YOUNG: A police report filed after the incident lists several reasons justifying use of deadly force: defense of self, defense of department member, overcome resistance or aggression, and subject armed with a weapon.

The incident is now under investigation. The officer that's been identified as 35-year-old Eric Stillman feels horrible he had to use deadly force says his lawyer, adding he was well within justification of using deadly force, he just feels horrible.


ACOSTA: Ryan, thanks for that.

And turning now to Indianapolis, and a mass shooting at a facility that left eight people dead, and several others injured. CNN has learned that authorities were warned about the suspected shooter's potential for violence in the past. Police have now released names of the eight victims, ranging in age from 19 to 74, and four of them were members of the Sikh community.

CNN national correspondent Jason Carroll is in Indianapolis for us.

Jason, what more can you tell us about the red flags that were apparently raised prior to the shooting? Apparently authorities knew this gunman may have been trouble.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jim, you're right. The red flags were definitely there, without question. The suspect in

this case, the shooter, he last worked for FedEx back in 2020. That was the same year that his mother called police and said she was worried that her son might try to commit suicide by cop. The FBI got involved, the FBI interviewed him and at one point he was detained and placed on a temporary mental health hold.

One of his guns was seized back in 2020 and that was the last anyone had heard of it. And, of course, until the night he came here to this facility and ended up shooting and killing eight people.

As for those eight victims, a vigil will be held for the victims tonight. The oldest victim, 74 years old, two of the youngest victims just 19 years old. Four of the victims, members of the Sikh community.

And one of the leaders of that community spoke about the impact this tragedy has had on that community.


SATJEET KAUR, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SIKH COALITION: These individuals were the backbones of their families, and I want to underscore, honestly, they were America's backbone. They were working families.

So as I hear them cry and hold back tears, I just also want to share that this is a feeling that I personally have felt and many others in the community felt after Oak Creek. It is exactly what we feel every time someone is viciously attacked as we continue to fight for our existence and wondering if any place is safe. It's a real trauma.


CARROLL: Again, a lot of trauma, a lot of grief here in this community. Tonight, Jim, at 7:00, there's going to be a vigil once again for all of the victims. Again, that will be happening at 7:00 this evening -- Jim.

ACOSTA: And, Jason, if you can, tell us how quickly all of this unfolded. This was over in just a matter of minutes and here we have yet another community in the U.S. just shattered by an episode of mass gun violence.

CARROLL: I mean, when you think about what happened, when the shooter ended up at the facility, he started shooting the minute he got to the parking lot, continued shooting once inside. Investigators say the whole thing happening within a span of about two minutes. In fact, when investigators got to the scene just after 11:00 that night, they say it appeared as if the shooter had taken his life moments before.

Some of the eyewitnesses that were able to get out and get away say it was all very fast. One of the eyewitnesses I remember saying that he was out on a break, because this happened during shift change. There was some 100 people, employees at the facility, this particular eyewitness saying at first he thought he heard something, sounded like metal, wasn't sure it was gunfire.

He looked up, he saw a gunman, got down, was able to get out very quickly but it was all happening very, very fast.

ACOSTA: Absolutely, Jason. Just keeps happening over and over again. Jason Carroll in Indianapolis for us, thank you very much for that.

Up next, the royal family remembers their beloved patriarch, Prince Philip, husband to the queen for 73 years. More on the tributes at today's funeral. Plus, a reunion between Prince William and Prince Harry after a highly publicized royal rift.



ACOSTA: A striking image today at Saint George's Cathedral in Windsor Castle. Queen Elizabeth II sitting alone, her head bowed as her partner of 73 years was laid to rest. It was just one of the ways the coronavirus pandemic made a visible impact on the funeral for the duke of Edinburgh.

Yet, the ceremony was still fit for a prince, included personal touches like the Land Rover that carried his coffin, music he chose himself, and we even caught a glimpse of how his death could begin the healing process in the midst of a family rift involving two of his grandsons Prince William and Prince Harry.

Let's go to Windsor Castle where CNN royal correspondent Max Foster has been watching today's events.

Max, you covered the royal family for so long. What stood out to you today?

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think it was a very poignant tribute to Prince Philip who wanted something just like this. And you mention COVID restrictions there, it really did add an added poignancy to a lot of the imagery today, with the queen sitting alone, with the choir completely on their own, just four people allowed in the choir.

You talk about reconciliation, so much has been said about the breakdown and rift in Harry and William's generation of the family. And we're starting to see healing there as well.


I think if Prince Philip was looking do you know how events unfolded today, he would be quite pleased.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His kindness, humor and humanity, by his service to the nation, and commonwealth which thy well-beloved son shall then pronounce --


FOSTER: So we were seeing the casket lowered into the royal vault under the chapel. Prince Philip's body will lie there until the queen dies, and then they'll be buried together in a side chapel. So, the love story isn't over.

Very poignant as well, for (ph) using that word, but poignancy struck me today to see William and Harry leaving the chapel talking to each other. Imagery that we're used to seeing in the past but because of the breakdown and rift between them, we haven't seen in such a long time. And it's really important for those two to come together, if not professionally than personally for the family with the problems they've had in recent times.

So, that was a big moment. A lot of focus here in the U.K. on Harry and William reconciling.

ACOSTA: Absolutely, and a very moving scene there.

Thank you so much, Max Foster, for bringing that to us. We appreciate it.

And joining me now with very unique royal perspective on all of this is Patrick Jephson, who served as Princess Diana's chief of staff and personal secretary. He's also a consultant for Netflix show, "The Crown", and author of the book, "The Meghan Factor".

Patrick, you had a unique perspective on all of this. You worked with the royal family for many years. You met Prince Philip.

What are your thoughts on today's service? We saw Max Foster's report there just a few minutes ago. You do get the sense that perhaps this funeral, this very somber occasion, is bringing this family together.

PATRICK JEPHSON, EQUERRY AND CHIEF OF STAFF TO PRINCESS DIANA, 1988- 96: Jim, yes. And happy birthday, by the way.

ACOSTA: Thank you.

JEPHSON: It was very good to see. He apologized for using the word poignant too often. I don't think you could use it enough today. Any of us who had the chance to watch the funeral, even part of it, there was a real sense of it being a historic day, just the dignity. What I heard described as the powerful intimacy of the service.

And in a sense, we have to thank COVID for making it so powerful. You're used to seeing big pomp and circumstance royal set piece occasions, things -- Princess Diana's funeral, for example. This couldn't have been more different. And yet in its own way, it was extremely powerful, very effective.

And very appropriate for the man who in everything I discovered when I was working with him and his office, he was practical. He was you might call today, he was results-oriented. He didn't stand for unnecessary words. He believed in getting down to it. He believed in finding quick solutions to difficult problems.

And that in a sense made him something of a relic I suppose because whether we like it or not, his passing means that not only his widow, Queen Elizabeth, remains of that greatest generation, in anything like that position of national importance, and long may she reign. She does appear to be in good health and certainly in charge.

Just yesterday was sending messages of condolence to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines who suffered a catastrophic volcano. So, the message from her is quite clear, business as usual. But not even she can stop passage of time, inevitably now, once today, which is Prince Philip's day is over, attention will start to turn to the future.

ACOSTA: And, Patrick, almost 24 years ago, the world watched Prince William and Prince Harry walk behind their mother's coffin. And now, all eyes are turning to them again during the funeral for their grandfather. After the service we saw them walking shoulder to shoulder and chatting.


There's the image of them so many years ago. And you, you know, put that up against what we saw earlier today, just they had a remarkable life together as brothers. What do you make of what we saw earlier today, seeing William and Harry together?

JEPHSON: Well, it certainly reminds us that although the world's cameras were there today, this was essentially a family occasion. As most of us know, funerals can be an opportunity for healing family divisions. They can also be a source of deepening the divisions.

ACOSTA: Right.

JEPHSON: So, yes, let's be optimistic, that the exchanges we saw between the brothers as they left the chapel, let's hope that that's a sign of thaw in relations. But there's a long way to go and unfortunately, the world's attention is on their relationship, even though neither of them is going to be the next king.

William will be the next king but one, that's some distance in the future, most likely. And Harry, by his own choice, is now pursuing his own path on the other side of the world, and it is very hard to see how --

ACOSTA: Yeah, Patrick, I was going to ask you. What does -- what does the future of the royal family look like to you? I mean, this - this is a big question moving forward now.

JEPHSON: Yes, because as things go, the next succession of monarchs are going to be old bald men. The queen when she came to the throne was a glamorous, young 25-year-old.

There's a whole generation can't remember World War II, can't even remember the Cold War, and they are looking for a different kind of monarchy, not one that lost touch with past traditions but which is more responsive, more in tune with their view of the world, and in a sense one they feel a similar degree of loyalty that Prince Philip's generation has to this queen and her husband.

ACOSTA: Well, it certainly is the most famous family in the world, one that always has the public's attention, no matter where you are in the world.

And, Patrick Jephson, thanks so much for talking to us about all of this. And, of course, our condolences to the family of Prince Philip and looking forward to seeing what happens next with this family.

Patrick, thanks so much. We appreciate it.

Tragedy in the United States has led to at least 45 mass shootings in just one month. That is America today. And will this ever stop? That's our conversation next.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.



ACOSTA: President Biden voicing frustration at what seems to be an endless cycle of gun violence in America.


JOSEPH R. BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This has to end. It is a national embarrassment. It is a national embarrassment what's going on. And it is not only these mass shootings that are occurring every single day, every single day there's a mass shooting in the United States if you count all those who were killed out on the streets of our cities and our rural areas. It's a national embarrassment and must come to an end.


ACOSTA: Joining me now, CNN political analyst and White House correspondent for "TheGrio", April Ryan, and Isaiah McKinnon, a former Detroit police chief.

April, you saw what President Biden had to say, he rejected the idea his administration has prioritized infrastructure over dealing with guns, arguing he can do more than one thing at a time, but should he be using more of his political capital getting gun reform done? What do you think?

APRIL RYAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, there are efforts now. People are looking to the White House but there are efforts on the hill as well as in the White House to quietly work. This president does not want to put everything out in the press. That is one thing we know for sure.

But at issue, you have every day, you see mass shootings or where it happened in the last couple of weeks. This is something that this president has to deal with as well as deal with what's happening in Chicago, what's happening in Minnesota, as well as in Oakland, and what's happening with the trial in the next few days, the verdict in the trial. This president has crises that are colliding. What he doesn't want to do is put information in the press until the I's are dotted and T's are crossed?

ACOSTA: And, Isaiah, since the start of the year, as you know, there have been 147 mass shootings in the United States, and we can put this graphic on screen. This is just stunning to me. I can't get over this graphic, just looking at it, 45 of them in the last month alone.

As a former police chief, what would you tell lawmakers about the change we need to see in this country?

ISAIAH MCKINNON, FORMER DETROIT POLICE CHIEF: Well, there's no one thing to talk about this. I'm a person who was born in the Second World War, was there through the Korean War, served in Vietnam, and of course, we had so many other young people who went through this, and there is no one answer because we have so many weapons, we have so many people that are angry, and people are watching this.

I mean, we look at the number of people that have been killed, regardless of what their circumstances (ph) are, they've been killed. And young people were seeing this, too. And so, I think we have to look at those circumstances that put in places where they were (ph) take someone's life, I can't understand that.

ACOSTA: And I want to turn to unrest in cities over police shootings and excessive force. And as a matter of fact, we can show you some live pictures that we're seeing right now in Denver. This is a protest occurring in Denver after the police shooting of Daunte Wright.



ACOSTA: I want to turn to unrest in cities over police shootings and excessive force.

And as a matter of fact, we can show you some live pictures we're seeing right now in Denver. This is a protest occurring in Denver after the police shooting of Daunte Wright.

April, we're seeing protests like this crop up all over the country.

This week, the family of Daunte Wright questioned how the officer could possibly mix-up guns that were being used by the officer, mixing up a gun and taser.

We have seen this over and over again played throughout the week but let's listen one more time.


NAISHA WRIGHT, DAUNTE WRIGHT'S AUNT: You all see the difference. This is a taser. This is a taser. But, no, my nephew was killed with this, a Glock.


ACOSTA: April, you spoke to Vice President Kamala Harris. She hasn't done a whole lot of press since coming into office. But you talked to her about this very issue.

What did she tell you?

RYAN: She said there needs to be more training. She even -- I mean, the world is talking about the texture, the feel, the weight of a Glock versus a taser.

She chimed in on that. But she said there needs to be more police training.

But you also had not just the vice president of the United States, you also had Pat Robertson, who is very pro-police, saying the same thing, questioning.

So there is a move --

ACOSTA: Right.

RYAN: People are very surprised. But There's a move now to see that there's a problem here.

This has been going on for 402 years, not just the last couple years. Policing in the black community has been an issue. Now there's a powder-cake moment yet again.

This moment, just miles from a verdict that's going to happen in a couple of days.

And this is bringing a lot of attention, this senseless shooting of children or of black people or killing of black people at stops.

There is a hypocrisy in the justice, justice on the street for black people versus courtroom justice for white people.

And that's the issue, the way this happened. They should not be dying. They should be going to court to try the cases versus their dying on the street.

ACOSTA: Right.

And in the case, Isaiah, of Adam Toledo, in Chicago, the 13-year-old who was shot there by police, the police say less than a second passed between when Toledo had a gun in his hand and when he was shot by officers. That is just remarkable.

We're looking at the video again right now.

You look at that video of the foot chase, what goes through an officer's head in a situation like this? And what do you make of the officer's actions in this case?

MCKINNON: You know, Jim, it is a worst-case scenario for any officer. And when you have a split second to make that decision as to whether

you fire or don't fire, I flashback to a similar situation, which there's a young kid who had a gun and he pointed it at me and I didn't shoot him.

Thank god I didn't because it was a toy gun.

I will equate that to this young child who was shot and killed by the officer.

We have to look at the kind of people that we are hiring into law enforcement.

This is very important that the kind of people, their mindset, the kind of training that they have. And it has to be over and over again.

Number two would be the psychological evaluations officers go through.

We are taught -- I started in 1965. Twice a year, we would go to the range and learn how to shoot. There was no psychological evaluations after those kinds of situations.

I started that in Detroit when I was chief.

These are the kinds of things that every officer or person who wants to be a law enforcement officer has to go through, give twice-a-year in basics, to make sure that he or she does not have any of that bias that one might have.

I am not saying this officer that shot and killed this young man was biased.

I think there has to be this on a regular basis for every officer in the United States. There is no national standard for that.

ACOSTA: That's right.

RYAN: But, Jim --

ACOSTA: And, April -- yes, go ahead.

RYAN: I talked to Lee Merritt, the co-counsel, support counsel in the George Floyd trial, or the Chauvin trial, for the George Floyd family.

He said, if you put criminal liability on these police officers, the question is, will they do this again. Will they reach for the gun as fast if criminal liability is in their face?

One of the tools that they want to use against these types of heinous actions that are happening with police officers versus the black community.

ACOSTA: Right. I mean, there's no question something has to be done to professionalize what is going on in some of the police departments around the country.


There are just too many cases like this going. Police officers mixing guns and tasers. Incidents that I think are just really right on the edge when it comes to the case of Adam Toledo in Chicago and so on.

A lot more to discuss. We'll talk about it again.

April Ryan, Isaiah McKinnon, thanks so much. We appreciate those insights.

RYAN: Happy birthday.

ACOSTA: Thank you, April. I appreciate it. Good to see you.

Coming up, the controversies keep piling up for GOP Congressman Marjorie Taylor Greene. Why the Q-Anon favorite is now backing down from launching a new America First caucus, next.


ACOSTA: Some GOP leaders are discovering that, apparently, trying to launch a caucus around racist rhetoric wasn't such a good idea after all.

Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene says she's slamming the brakes on the launch of the America First caucus. The caucus was going to bring together a group of far-right lawmakers known for controversial rhetoric.


"Punch Bowl News" obtained a flyer that said the new caucus would also have a call for a, quote, "common respect for uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions," whatever that is, while also pedaling a series of debunked conspiracy theories about election integrity.

CNN's Suzanne Malveaux joins me now.

Suzanne, I guess we should all be grateful there won't be a Klan caucus in the United States Congress. What can you tell us?

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Jim, this language was so offensive and the concept behind it that, normally, Greene's own allies, who CNN reached out to, who would normally come to her defense and join this caucus, were noncommittal. There was a wait-and-see approach.

The only person that expressed any interest or enthusiasm around this was Representative Matt Gaetz. He is in his own bit of trouble with the federal investigation himself.

Instead, what happened was that you have the Republican leadership, and not only the Republican leadership and moderate Republicans, but Trump supporters who essentially slammed this and dismiss this outright.

The criticism was furious. Most notable from the House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy.

He says in this, tweeting that "The Republican Party is the party of Lincoln, the party of more opportunity for all Americans, not nativist dog whistles."

The number-three Republican, Liz Cheney, saying, "Republicans believe in equal opportunity, freedom, justice for all. We teach our children's the values of tolerance, decency, moral courage."

"Racism, nativism and anti-Semitism are evil. History teaches us we all have an obligation to confront and reject such malicious hate."

Representative Adam Kinzinger, who is an outspoken Republican critic at times, says he hoped to take a long weekend away from the crazy, then sees this.

He called it completely disgusting, Jim. Also saying that anybody that signs up for this caucus should be removed from their committee assignments.

So how did they respond? It was interesting. There was a lot of enthusiasm around her office, Greene's office, yesterday from her spokesman about this launch. Some dismay it had been leaked.

Today, a statement from the spokesman saying something very different: "The Congressman wants to make clear she is not launching anything. This was an early planning proposal. And nothing was agreed to or approved."

Greene herself tweeted - and seems as if she's pushing this on the media, as well as her staffers. Saying, "They released a staff-level draft proposal from an outside group that I hadn't read."

So there you have it. Greene saying she will release something about America First. But we're not really sure, Jim, what it will be or who actually is going to sign off on it.

And it is really indicative here of the test that the Republican Party is facing, who they are, what they are, moving into the future, what is their messaging.

We should note that Greene raised some $3.2 million in the first three months of her term. That's an extraordinary amount of money for a freshman congresswoman.

So she does see some benefit in some of these outrageous and controversial statements that she's made in the past and continues to make -- Jim?

ACOSTA: I suspect she will raise some more money based on all this controversy that she whipped up. And it sounds like, Suzanne, that she pulled the plug on this after Republican leaders were crying foul over it.

All right, Suzanne Malveaux, thanks so much for laying that out for us. We appreciate it. A quick programming note. Talk about a segue. The new CNN original

series "THE PEOPLE VERSUS THE KLAN," tells the true story of Beulah Mae Donald, a black mother that took down the Ku Klux Klan after the lynching of her son, Michael.

Don't miss the powerful conclusion of "THE PEOPLE VERSUS THE KLAN," with back-to-back episodes tomorrow at 9:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

Coming up, many of you have gotten one or two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. Let's hope so. Down the road, could you need a third booster shot? That's next.

You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM.



ACOSTA: Today, the world surpassed three million deaths from COVID-19. The U.S. still leads the world in reported deaths with more than 560,000.

However, there's some promising news on the vaccine front in the U.S. The nation has officially administered more than 200 million COVID-19 vaccine doses.

Almost a quarter of the U.S. population is now fully vaccinated. The very first COVID dose administered in this country was given four months ago.

Now researchers at Stanford Medicine and Cincinnati Children's Hospital are testing the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in children as young as the age of two years old.

Meaning, the U.S. is on the way to having kids vaccinated against the coronavirus. That's great news.

With me now to discuss this is infectious disease specialist and epidemiologist, Dr. Celine Gounder, who is a CNN medical analyst.

Dr. Gounder, I want to ask about the vaccine trials in young children. This is promising stuff.

How do those differ to vaccine trials for older children or adults? Does more care need to be taken?

DR. CELINE GOUNDER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Jim, when you're talking about studying vaccines or drugs or anything like that in younger children, there's a bit of a complication.

Which is that they have smaller bodies. They metabolize differently. They're not just young, tiny adults. So you have to adjust the dosing of the vaccines and figure out what's the best dose for that population. ACOSTA: What sort of timeline could we be looking at for potential

authorized COVID vaccine for children? That would be a game changer for schools and teachers, parents who want these kids back to in- classroom learning.

What do you think about that?

GOUNDER: Pfizer has submitted its vaccine to the FDA for emergency use authorization for children 12 and up. We anticipate that they'll likely get that authorization in the next couple of weeks.


So for adolescents, we anticipate vaccination will begin very soon.

With respect to younger children, those kids from a couple of months old, up until age 11, we're probably looking at some time in the fall before we get results of the current trials.

And then getting emergency use authorization in the winter of this year.

ACOSTA: Vaccine advisers for the CDC will meet April 23rd to discuss whether the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine cases these rare blood clots we've all been concerned about and, if so, what to do about it.

Is that soon enough, do you think?

GOUNDER: I will confess, I was a bit disappointed that they didn't review the data and make a decision this past week. They decided to wait a bit longer before coming to a decision.

I do think it would be very likely they will lift the pause, whether it's for all people, or perhaps they might restrict it to people over age 50, or to men, or some combination thereof, as has done with the AstraZeneca vaccine in Europe.

They both have similar technology on which they're based. We've seen similar associated blood clots, which are very, very rare, to be clear, and really seem to be most likely to happen in younger women.

ACOSTA: Dr. Gounder, Pfizer's CEO said that a third booster shot of their vaccine is likely needed within six to 12 months.

This is a lot of what people have been focused on after getting the vaccine, we have to do this all over again.

Will a COVID vaccine essentially mimic what we go through with the flu shot that we have to get every year? Is that what we're looking forward to now with the COVID-19 shot?

GOUNDER: There are two different reasons you might need a booster shot. One is if your immune system memory of the vaccine starts to fade.

If you think about those tetanus booster shots you get every ten years, that's essentially what's happening there.

With the flu, the flu mutates so quickly that you need to re-vaccinate because it's really a new strain.

Coronavirus is a bit different from either. So far, we think the immune system response will last for a while. We just don't know exactly how long yet.

ACOSTA: Right.

GOUNDER: We are seeing the virus mutate. And so we do need to get ahead of that. We may well need a booster vaccine.

But I don't think it will be like the flu in the long term where you need a booster every year.

ACOSTA: OK, that's great news. It sounds like we just need to get it under control in the near term and perhaps put it behind us. Let's all hope for that.

All right, Dr. Celine Gounder, thanks so much. We appreciate it.

Eight years ago this week, the world watched the deadly bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring more than 260.

This week's "CNN Hero" is one of the survivors of that blast. Heath Abbott's life was forever changed by the injury she suffered. Yet, she found a way to turn that tragedy into triumph.


HEATHER ABBOTT, CNN HERO: I heard the first explosion ahead in front of me. The next thing I knew, a second explosion occurred to my right. That's the last thing I knew before I -- (INAUDIBLE).

I was in the hospital for several days while doctors were deciding whether or not to amputate.

It was a hard to come to terms with the fact that I am an amputee at first.

And had my injury not happened in such a public way, where there was so much assistance available, I never would have been ability to afford multiple prostheses.

Some of recent beneficiaries.

So I decided to do what I could to help people get those devices that simply couldn't get them because they were out of the reach.

It has been life-changing for them. And a lot of them remind me of that.

Yes, it's a crazy man.

It feels very rewarding to be able to do that.





ACOSTA: And to see Heather's full story and how she's helping people get custom protheses, go to And while you're there, nominate someone you think should be a "CNN Hero."


ACOSTA: A government agency has issued a stark warning to users of Peloton's treadmill. If you have small kids or pets, stop using it at once. That's right, you heard me correctly.

The urgent message comes from the Consumer Product Safety Commission. It says it was made away or multiple reports of children becoming trapped in or pulled under the treadmill. And one child has died.

Peloton hit back at the commission earlier today, calling it both an inaccurate and misleading. The company behind the nearly $4,300 tread mill argues there is no reason to stop using the machine if its safety instructions are followed properly.


And you're live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Jim Acosta in Washington.

It's hard to put into words what is happening in America today.