Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Funeral Underway for Daunte Wright in Minneapolis; Deadly Police Encounters Leave Communities on Edge; Use-of-force Under New Scrutiny Around the Nation; Capitol Police Dispute Accounts of Radio Traffic on January 6th; Infection Risks Extremely Low for Fully Vaccinated People; Man Dies Weeks After Second Vaccination; Kremlin Critic's Life in Serious Danger. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired April 22, 2021 - 15:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[15:30:00]

TOLUSE OLORUNNIPA, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It is leading us some Republicans to entertain the idea of passing some new regulations, new laws that may restrict the way police use force against citizens and other civilians.

There is an ongoing negotiation taking place, as you mentioned, Republican Senator Tim Scott who did put forward a bill last year to try to reform some of the policing tactics, and it ended up not getting passed and didn't make it through the process. But now there's a new momentum behind those ideas as well as ideas that already passed the House, and it does appear that there is enough momentum to push this potentially through and get it to Joe Biden's desk.

Joe Biden has already said he that would sign this bill. He said he would fly up members of George Floyd's family on Air Force One to bring them to the White House to witness the signing of the bill. So there's a lot of anticipation behind this and there is momentum. It's just a matter of finding out whether or not bipartisan support can actually happen in a very, very polarized Washington.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: But Toluse, is there evidence that there will be the requisite number of Democrats to support this bill, of course, we know it's a fifty-fifty split in the Senate. If there is not that element of ending qualified immunity, because we heard yesterday, Manu spoke with Georgia Senator Raphael Warnock who said that he wasn't committing to supporting any bill without taking that protection away?

OLORUNNIPA: Yes, that is a big sticking point, it's a big question because there are few opportunities to do bipartisan legislation these days and Democrats are going to try to hold out for the best kind of bill that they can possibly get. They know that this may be their only bite at the apple, and qualified immunity is huge part of this process.

It's something that George Floyd's family has asked for. It's something that activists have been asking for quite a while, and it's a major plank of the bill that passed the House and Democrats have been pushing for.

Republicans have been very resistant to this, so maybe they can come up with some kind of compromise to limit qualified immunity in a way that's amenable to both Republicans and Democrats, but at this point that is a big stumbling block for this effort.

And as far as we know it seems that Democrats are going to hold firm to that proposal and say that if that's not in the bill then it's not worth signing any bill at this moment, that's something that caused there to be a big hiccup last year when this proposal was being put forward and it could happen again.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: Joe, I want to go back to what can happen today. Because we know that things get, you know, bogged down in Congress. So today here's just one example, the Mayor of Berkeley, California -- and I know that Berkeley is a different community than, you know, Richmond or Columbus or Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis -- but the Mayor of Berkeley said that he is going to make sure that there are no more armed police pulling people over for minor traffic stops. They're not going to be tasked with that anymore.

You have a broken taillight an armed police officer is not going to pull you over. Do you like that idea? As a former police officer would you be comfortable with communities saying things like that?

JOES ESTED, FORMER RICHMOND, VIRGINIA POLICE OFFICER: Well, we can't -- what I mean by this, we can't not police. We got to have some measure of policing. We have to have police to deal with the criminal element that affects our community.

Maybe a small amount but we can't just take a no hands off approach. What we need to do is take -- we look at the problems that we have, like look, for New York for example. Take off the quotas. You know, when start targeting the poor black community for numbers. The mayors can take off the pressure from the chiefs and these commissioners to stop going and using the police department as a money generating for their locality. Your forcing officers to go out there and have these unnecessary contacts with people.

We sort of be out there protecting and serving, not being IRS agents generating money for that locality. So yes, each locality can actually have some measures to reduce their amount of negative contact the police have. We don't have to sit around and wait for the Senate to pass this bill. We can take those initial steps.

BLACKWELL: Yes, the State Attorney of Baltimore, Marilyn Mosby, Alisyn, she decided that her office would no longer prosecute small low level crimes like trespassing, like these traffic stops and over the year that it happened, she said that violent crime dropped 20 percent across the city, property crimes down 36 percent.

We'll see if this is something that is considered in Minneapolis or other jurisdictions. Joe Ested, Toluse Olorunnipa, thank you both. Still ahead, an alternate juror in the Derek Chauvin trial is speaking

out to talk about what she experienced in that courtroom. The testimony she says convinced her that Chauvin was guilty.

[15:35:00]

CAMEROTA: Plus, Capitol Police pushing back on accusations that their office, their offices were somehow -- or officers, I should say, were told to look out only for anti-Trump protesters on the day of the January 6th riots. What's the truth here?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CAMEROTA: Capitol police are now pushing back on reports that they were only on the lookout for anti-Trump protesters on the day of the January 6th riots.

[15:40:00]

In a House hearing on Wednesday Democratic Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren described an account of a radio call from that morning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ZOE LOFGREN (D-CA): This is quote, a radio broadcast was sent to all outside units, attention, all units on the field were not looking for any pro-Trump in the crowd, we're only looking for any anti-pro- Trump who wants to start a fight. You wouldn't have that information yet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At this time, no, ma'am, we would not.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAMEROTA: OK, joining us now CNN Congressional correspondent Ryan Nobles. Ryan, what is the truth here? What do the police say?

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Alisyn and Victor, Capitol Police are saying that the Congresswoman's Lofgren's take on this is just out of context, that it was one radio transmission that happened relatively early on in the day and it doesn't provide the proper context as to how Capitol Police responded to that mob on January 6th.

They released a statement this afternoon that said, quote, the radio call does not mean that USCP was only looking out for anti-Trump counter protesters. The next radio transmission requests that officers be on the lookout for a pro-Trump protester carrying a possible weapon, despite inaccurate reports that this radio traffic is under internal investigation, this radio traffic is not, and never has been under investigation by USCP.

But what this points to is kind of a broader concern here on Capitol Hill about finding factual information about what went wrong here on January 6th. And then furthermore an inability of Republicans and Democrats to come together in creating an independent commission to look into what happened on January 6th, something along the lines of the 9/11 Commission.

Now Speaker Pelosi has said that she's willing to concede on some of the points that Republicans have been concerned about, making it a 50/50 partisan split, and also allowing them subpoena power. But the big problem, Victor and Alisyn, is the scope of this probe.

Is it going to be just about January 6th, or is it going to look into political rhetoric from both the right and left, meaning are they going to talk things like Black Lives Matter and Antifa. Democrats say that should not be part of the conversation. Republicans are making that a big sticking point. It's one of the reasons there's a stalemate and why there's still a lot of questions as to what happened on January 6th.

BLACKWELL: All right, Ryan Nobles on Capitol Hill, thank you.

Well, next, daily COVID vaccinations have now dropped below the average of 3 million per day, so is this a sign that supply has outpaced demand? Also there's a new study about just how rare it is to catch COVID after you've been vaccinated.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:45:00]

CAMEROTA: A new study suggests that the risk of fully vaccinated people getting COVID-19 remains extremely low. Researchers at New York's Rockefeller University observed more than 400 employees who received both shots of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, only two of them became infected. Both were mild cases and both infections were believed to be caused by variant strains.

That said I recently spoke to a woman that has a cautionary tale of anyone wondering if they still need to wear a mask. You're about to meet Tanya Washington. Her dad died of COVID after being doubly vaccinated.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TANYA WASHINGTON, FATHER DIED OF COVID AFTER VACCINATION: Look at that face you're making towards papa.

CAMEROTA (voice over): Tanya Washington was so excited when her 80- year-old father got his second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and that meant she and her young daughter could spend Easter with him after being apart for months.

WASHINGTON: He called me and he said daddy rabbit is on his way to see you soon, we put the phone on speaker and my daughter was like jumping up and down, and I just felt like, OK, now we are going to be able to, you know, get back to some normalcy.

CAMEROTA (voice over): But four weeks after receiving his second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, Tanya's father, clinical psychologist, started exhibiting strange neurological symptoms, forgetting where he was and having trouble speaking in full sentences. At the emergency room he was tested for COVID and came back positive.

WASHINGTON: I was in absolute shock. This entire thing has been just heartbreaking, and this is a PhD super intelligent jovial man, and within days he barely knew who we were.

CAMEROTA (voice over): Kerry Washington, Tanya's dad died less than two weeks after testing positive. He did have underlying health conditions, pre-diabetes and atrial fibrillation. But according to the death certificate his cause of death was COVID-19.

DR. HELMUT ALBRECHT, INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPECIALIST, PRISMA HEALTH: This is extraordinary, rare.

CAMEROTA (voice over): Washington is one of an extremely small number of people to get infected with COVID-19 and die two weeks or more after being fully vaccinated.

According to the most recent CDC data, there have been just 74 confirmed deaths among these breakthrough cases out of more than 84 million Americans now fully vaccinated since December 14th. In that same time period the U.S. has reported more than 15 million new COVID cases, and more than 262,000 deaths.

CAMEROTA: You say that you found that he had a significant amount of virus in his body. Does that mean the vaccine really did not work on him?

ALBRECHT: We found a variant in the sequencing, so that -- that gave a little bit of a better explanation of why this was happening. Most people know it as the California variant, and not certainly a threat to the vaccine.

CAMEROTA (voice over): In a statement a Pfizer spokesman acknowledged rare breakthrough cases.

[15:50:00]

And added to date, we are encouraged by both the real-world data and laboratory studies of the vaccine and see no evidence that the virus or circulating variants of concern, including the variant originating from California regularly escape protection.

Tanya believes her father caught the virus at his office. When he started feeling ill on March 7th he went to several doctors. But none tested him for coronavirus until he was hospitalized nearly a week later.

WASHINGTON: They just assumed that none of his symptoms has to do with COVID because he had -- maybe because he was fully vaccinated. We just want people to understand that COVID is not over

CAMEROTA (voice over): Despite increased vaccinations, COVID cases are still high in the U.S.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR ALLERGIES AND INFECTIOUS DISEASE: We're at precarious situation with many states having increases. Let's get as many people vaccinated as quickly as we possibly can. That is the solution.

CAMEROTA: This is the case that show why there's still a risk.

ALBRECHT: This is not the time to let your guard or your mask down. Or to hedge whether you want the vaccine. You still have to worry about unvaccinated people. If you feel you don't need it for yourself, get it for your parents or grandparents.

CAMEROTA: But what are you hoping for now?

WASHINGTON: I want people to learn from my dad's death. You still have to wear a mask. You still have to social distance, and you must, you must look after the elderly and the vulnerable.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CAMEROTA (on camera): And that's exactly it, Victor. This the case that reminded me of the risk that unvaccinated people do pose to even doubly vaccinated people, if you're older and if you're vulnerable. I didn't quite get it until I heard the story of the Washington family.

BLACKWELL: And that's concern and the conversation we're having right now. If you're vaccinated, can you start to back off some of these precautions? This is the case that says be careful about doing that.

CAMEROTA: Particularly if you're vulnerable and older.

BLACKWELL: Yes.

CAMEROTA: Our thoughts are with the Washington family. And we'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:55:00]

BLACKWELL: In Russia more than 1,800 supporters of opposition leader Putin critic Alexey Navalny were detained as nationwide demonstrations played out in support of Navalny.

Now this is coming as the United Nations and his own doctors are saying that Navalny's health is seriously in danger. He was transferred to a prison hospital on Monday in the midst of a hunger strike.

CNN senior international correspondent Sam Kiley is in Moscow. Sam, the story is changing rapidly, what's the latest that you're hearing?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, just in the last few hours, Victor, we've heard from a medical team that is the medical team assembled to support Alexey Navalny. Of course, you recall he was poisoned with the Novichok nerve agent back in August last year, treated in Germany, survived, came back to Russia and has been jailed where he was been on a hunger strike in his third week.

Now on just about a day and a half ago, we understand he was moved from a penal colony hospital to a civilian hospital. Where according to the statement a letter issued by his doctors he was treated by, quote, independent medical experts from that province.

Not quite the demand that he had been making to be seen by his personal physicians, but physicians outside of the prison system. And based on their findings, and this is the key part here, Victor. They are saying that he is in danger of heart failure, renal failure, dangerously low levels of sodium, possible brain damage as a result of his hunger strike. And his own doctors now are appealing to the Russian opposition figure to end his hunger strike because they fear there will be no patient to treat if he doesn't do that.

Now we haven't yet had a response from Mr. Navalny. Tends to be able to see his doctors -- sorry, his lawyers nearly every day. I've been in touch with his chief of staff who simply said I don't know how Mr. Navalny will react to that from his physicians. But his physicians clearly now see this as an emergency -- Victor.

BLACKWELL: Dire situation there. Sam Kiley for us in Moscow, thank you.

CAMEROTA: Well, that Derek Chauvin has been convicted, an alternate juror is speaking out about the case. Lisa Christiansen says it was testimony from the expert pulmonologist that led her to decide that Chauvin was guilty.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LISA CHRISTIANSEN, ALTERNATE JUROR IN DEREK CHAUVIN CASE: Dr. Tobin was like the turning point for me. Obviously, he's very intelligent, and I appreciate him explaining it in the way that all of us could understand it. I understood what he was saying.

I thought he was very powerful, probably the most important witness they had. And why he was powerful to me is because I feel like he could actually point out going through the video and saying, hey, at this instance right here, when Mr. Floyd lost his life.

It affected me, you know, more than I thought it would. So, yes, it will be with me for a while. I hope we did it right and we got it right. We really tried to put all of our effort into it, make the right decisions.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAMEROTA: Really interesting to hear from her. Chauvin is scheduled to be sentenced in about eight weeks.

BLACKWELL: Yes, how could you not be affected, sitting there in that courtroom for the weeks and listening to the testimony and, of course, watching the video?

CAMEROTA: As we all were.

BLACKWELL: Yes.

CAMEROTA: OK. "THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper starts right now.

END