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Soon, CDC Advisers Discuss How to Move Forward with J&J Vaccine; Biden Reiterates Economic Argument for Reversing Climate Change; Communities of Color Struggle with Unequal Pandemic Recovery. Aired 10-10:30a ET

Aired April 23, 2021 - 10:00   ET


ELON MUSK, CEO, TESLA: Once or twice.


I think if it was an aircraft, coming out of an aircraft after you'd want the aircraft probably had gone on a test flight or two before you put passengers on.

So, I think that's probably -- a couple of flights is a good number to have for a crew booster.

RACHEL CRANE, CNN INNOVATION AND SPACE REPORTER: Poppy and Jim, also important to note that this is the third launch that has happened, a crewed launch from Kennedy Space Center in 11 months. So, really, the space coast, the pace is picking back up since, you know, over almost a decade now that the shuttle program was retired. Poppy? Jim?

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN NEWSROOM: Yes. And now the rover is making oxygen on Mars. Buy your real estate. Start doing house search.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN NEWSROOM: Jim is not excited. Rachel, Jim is not excited at all about this.

SCIUTTO: I'm kidding. Rachel crane, thanks so much.

Top of the hour. I'm Jim Sciutto this Friday.

HARLOW: And I'm Poppy Harlow. One hour from now, a critical CDC meeting begins and by the end of the day we should know if it looks like the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine will be allowed to head back to the market in the United States.

SCIUTTO: And that's really what it's looking like here. The nation's top doctors believe it will get the green light but with new restrictions in place, this to be conscious of the very small number of cases where they've had blood clot issues in women. We will see exactly what they recommend and what restrictions or guidance they give for people that take it.

The impacts of this meeting significant as America races, hopefully, towards herd immunity. We begin this hour with the CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen. So, you're hearing from everybody that they're going to give the green light for this.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely. That is what we're hearing from source after source that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is going to continue to be in distribution. But let's take a look at some of the caveats that there might be. Again, everyone is saying that this will continue to be a vaccine that gets used.

But there may be a warning issued to people who take it that there have been reports of a small number of people who have gotten blood clots after taking it. At this point, it looks like one in a million or perhaps it's a tiny bit more than a one in a million, and there could be a restriction on who can get the vaccine.

Mostly this is -- or completely, this is has been younger people under the age of 50, who've had these issues. And so it is possible that they will tell people under the age of 50 don't get this vaccine.

Let's take a look again at where these reports have been. There have already been seven cases of blood clots in the brain reported by the FDA and the CDC. We are told that there are likely to be more cases reported today at the CDC adviser's meeting. Texas and Oregon officials have already reported one case in each of those states. So we know that there are likely more cases out there than just the seven that have already been discussed. Jim? Poppy?

HARLOW: Elizabeth, thank you so much.

So let's bring in Dr. Amy Compton-Phillips, Chief Clinical Officer from Providence Health System, on this. Good morning.

That reporting from Elizabeth seems to be sort of all systems go, get J&J back on the market. But are people going to take it?

DR. AMY COMPTON-PHILLIPS, CHIEF CLINICAL OFFICER, PROVIDENCE HEALTH SYSTEM: I sure hope so. You know, the good news is the government has done the right thing. The CDC has done the right thing and take a pause and take a look at the data. And it turns out that the risk is very, very low and really limited to women under the age of 50, as far as everything we know so far. So that as we move this forward, we can have confidence in saying that for different populations, if you're not a woman under 50, this vaccine is incredibly safe and effective.

And, by the way, even for women under 50, the risk of the clots from the vaccine look to be significantly lower than the clots from COVID- 19 or the clots that come with other commonly prescribed medications like birth control pills. So, really, this was a good thing to do to take a pause, take a look at the data and then move forward.

SCIUTTO: But was it all worth it, right? I mean, if the challenge right now is that the third or so of the country remaining who hasn't been vaccinated says that they either don't want to or may not want to be vaccinated given hesitancy, fears, and how often fears about the data can be overblown, right? I just wonder if the health consequences to the overall vaccination effort in this country outweighed the caution that the FDA and CDC showed these last couple of weeks.

COMPTON-PHILLIPS: Jim, I think that no matter what they did, they would get criticism from one side or the other, that if they continue moving forward that there would be conversation about how they weren't paying attention to the data. And if they took a pause or the conversation from the other side about how they're being overly cautious and paying enough attention to the critical need for getting vaccines into arms right now.

So, I think doing what we should be doing all along, understanding the science, understanding the data and making decisions based on a cautious interpretation about the risks and benefits is the right path to go on.


HARLOW: This new study from Washington University and St. Louis that looked at 73,000 people who had COVID-19 and 60 percent of them had a higher risk of death post COVID-19 in the one to six months following COVID-19. That is terrifying. I mean, as if it were enough to go through COVID-19, now it shows they're at a greater risk for up to six months after? What do you make of what they found?

COMPTON-PHILLIPS: Poppy, I think that's exactly what we've been saying from the beginning. This is not the flu. This is a disease that is only been around now for a year and a half. And understanding the long-term consequences is essential. You don't want to be the first one to get a new disease and figure out what the long-term repercussions are.

And so if nothing else -- you know, it's not the incredibly small risk of clots from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine we should be worried about, it's getting COVID-19 and then having that impact your life over the long haul because this disease has a myriad of repercussions.

SCIUTTO: Okay, good news, L.A. County, right, they were in a bad way a few weeks ago. The positivity test rate in a number of people coming back with positive test was about 20 percent. Now, it's down to 1 percent. A couple theories about this, but one really struck me as interesting. That is the variant prominent in California may actually be crowding out the more contagious U.K. variant there, which would be interesting.

I mean, regardless, what is your best sense as to how they turn it around there?

COMPTON-PHILLIPS: My best sense is that they actually follow the science. They did the right things that they really focus on social distancing, focus mask wearing, focus hand washing, shut things down that they needed to shut down and then rapidly went with vaccines and got people vaccinated. And so it turns out that if you do those right things and do them consistently, can you get an outbreak under control. SCIUTTO: Yes, look at that, science works. That's the headline today. Dr. Compton-Phillips, not convincing some people but, anyway, it works, thanks so much.


SCIUTTO: Now to the growing demand for answers in North Carolina, this following the shooting death of Andrew Brown Jr., a 42-year-old black man in Elizabeth City. Officials say that an arrest warrant was being served when at least one deputy opened fired killing Brown. Witnesses say that Brown was trying to drive away at the time.

HARLOW: Our Brian Todd joins us now. Brian, there is video, right? There is body camera video but you haven't seen it, we haven't seen it and the family hasn't seen it because the D.A. says what?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He says that under North Carolina law, it takes a court order to release that video and they have to follow the law. So, therefore, at the moment, they're not releasing the video. But they are -- look, make no mistake about this, they're under immense pressure. The sheriff here, Tommy Wooten, under immense pressure to release that video, to get it out to the public. No matter what it shows, you know, they want the public here, the Brown family, they want this out in public so that at least we can see what transpired on Wednesday morning.

We're 48 hours now plus away from this incident. Still no body camera footage. So right now we're going on the accounts of witness who's our team has spoken to in the neighborhood who saw and heard the shots being fired at Andrew Brown one Wednesday morning. One of them was Demetria Williams who came up on the scene. She says right after she heard one shot being fired and here's what she says happens next.


DEMETRIA WILLIAMS, WITNESS: By the time I got here, they were standing behind his car. He was trying to get away.

TODD: Where was the car?

WILLIAMS: The car was right here at the time. It was about in this motion right here, you know? Because it is grass, so, of course, there's spinning mud and they start it. They stood behind him. I couldn't tell you who shot him. I couldn't do that. But one of the officers or maybe a couple shot him.


TODD: And we have since learned from Andrew Brown's family that at least three sheriff's deputies are under administrative leave following the shooting. And I spoke to the D.A. who gave them this information and they also say that there were multiple deputies involved in the shooting. (INAUDIBLE) body camera footage, this is the reason according to the local D.A.

This is (INAUDIBLE) district attorney (INAUDIBLE) Pasquotank County Attorney Michael Cox, quote, we know people want to see the body camera footage. It is reasonable for people to ask to see it because such video exists. It is key context about what happens in incidents like this. However, under North Carolina law, police body-worn camera footage is not a public record and cannot be released to the press or public without a court order.

So we're pressing them. Are they going to get that court order? When are we going to see this tape?


They do say that they are trying to arrange for the brown family to have a private viewing of the tape. We do not know yet if they've been able to do that. Poppy and Jim?

HARLOW: Okay. Brian Todd reporting on the ground there, thank you very much.

Let's go to Columbus, Ohio, now where police have, in a very different set of circumstances and much more transparent situation here. Police have released new dash camera video in the deadly police shooting of 16-year-old Ma'khia Bryant.

SCIUTTO: That's right. This after they quickly released the cop body cam video in the wake of this.

Athena Jones, she's been following this, joins us with new details. Where does the investigation stand today?

ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Jim. This is -- the investigation is in the hands of the Bureau of Criminal Investigations. That is part of the Ohio State Attorney General's Office, and this is an independent investigation.

Last July, July 2020, as part of a series of police reforms in the city of Columbus, they established a new system whereby any police -- a shooting like this is going to be investigated not by the police but by the Bureau of Criminal Investigations. They get first take, talking to witnesses, gathering evidence. So that investigation is ongoing.

But as you mentioned, very much in contrast to what we're seeing in North Carolina, here the approach has been entirely different. Yes, the police are continuing to release new footage. I got to tell you, with each passing day, the footage adds less to our understanding of the story. The latest police dash cam footage is really just kind of a static shot of the back of a police cruiser. you don't really see what happened with the incident.

The most important footage is the footage that was released on Tuesday night, again, within 5.5 hours after the incident, the fastest the police department has ever been able to release such footage. And that is because of their commitment, which they're demonstrating with the continued release of this additional video. But they want to share as much information with the public as possible, as quickly as possible. Everyone here is aware of not only the tragic circumstances of this shooting, but also of the larger picture we're dealing with. The communities across America demanding answers, transparency and accountability quickly. And this, in this case, was especially important, because video had begun circulating on social media if the aftermath of the shooting. It didn't show what actually happened. Police wanted to make sure they got that out.

I should also mention that my colleague, Jason Carroll, was able to speak with Paula Bryant, the mother of Ma'khia Bryant, yesterday. Here is part of what Paula Bryant had to say.


PAULA BRYANT, MA'KHIA BRYANT'S MOTHER: My heart is broken. My heart is really broken right now.

I had a beautiful baby. She was taken from me. She was taken from me.


JONES: So, clearly, a mother in a lot of pain. This shooting took place a few days ago. But we also know that Paula Bryant said that she has had a chance to watch the video but has not been able to watch it all the way through to the end. But either way, it doesn't change the fact that she's lost her child. Jim? Poppy?

SCIUTTO: Indeed. Athena Jones, thanks so much.

Well, a sweeping bill to overhaul policing in this country still faces an uncertain future in the Senate. There are bipartisan negotiations going on. We'll have the latest on those negotiations, what the key sticking points are and can they be overcome.

HARLOW: Also, President Biden preparing to outline the next step of his already ambitious agenda on climate and much, much more on the economy during a joint session of Congress next week. We'll have the details.

And so much of the nation talks about recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, there is growing concern about communities most in need that are once again being left behind.


GEOFFREY CANADA, PRESIDENT, HARLEM CHILDREN'S ZONE: The crack epidemics, the crime bill, the super predators, this is worse than anything I've ever faced.

HARLOW: This is worse than that?

CANADA: Ever, ever.


HARLOW: We'll hear much more on that, ahead.


SCIUTTO: Just moments ago on the second day of his virtual climate summit, President Biden applauded other world leaders for their efforts to invest in clean energy and reiterated the U.S.'s commitment to innovation, to tackle the climate crisis.

HARLOW: Let's go to our colleague, John Harwood, at the White House. Good morning to you, John.

How is the president -- I mean, this is what he wanted to do for a long time now. He has a lot more power to do it. How is he embracing a leadership role on this?

JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Poppy, in a couple ways. One is by sending his climate envoy, John Kerry, around the world in advance of this summit, in advance of a later summit in November in Glasgow, to try to get other countries to raise their level of commitment to reducing carbon emissions to try to stay away ahead of the warming of global temperatures, which has catastrophic effects all around the world. So he is getting other nations to do that.

The president himself laid down a higher goal, almost double what President Obama put on the table in 2016, the Paris Accord saying -- Joe Biden saying at least 52 percent reduction in carbon emissions by the year 2030.

And the third thing is laying down a set of policies and pushing them in Congress that would try to achieve that reduction in carbon emissions. He's done it with a different strategy than it has been used in the past. He's not embracing the pain of carbon caps or carbon taxes. Instead, he is framing it as a matter of opportunity, big spending to create jobs as part of an energy transformation.


Here is the president just a few minutes ago.


JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: As we transition to a clean energy future, we must ensure that workers who have thrived in yesterday's and today's industries have as bright a tomorrow in the new industries, as well as in the places where they live and the communities they have built.

When we invest in climate resilience and infrastructure, we create opportunities for everyone. That's the heart of my job's plan that I proposed here in the United States.


HARWOOD: And that political message is also at the heart of what you need to try to overcome resistance in Congress from all the fossil fuel industries and people representing those states that resist the clean energy transformation. This is very difficult work to do. We -- the world has lagged behind even the promises that it made in 2016 in that Paris climate agreement.

But, Jim, I think the relevant point is the one that John Kerry mentioned to you in your interview last week, which is you've got to have a little optimism in this business or you can't get up every day. That's what John Kerry is doing and that's what President Biden is trying to do to push the world along.

SCIUTTO: You know, it's interesting, because one point Kerry made on this broadcast as well is he went to, for instance, visit the oil- producing nations, right, in the Middle East, and got bigger commitments from them too, right, the ones you would imagine would stand in the way.

But I wonder, does this administration see their bigger challenge getting international help and buy in or getting over domestic political hurdles here, right, in terms of meeting these goals?

HARWOOD: Well, I think they're both enormous challenges. Obviously, the administration and the entire world are going to get help from the economic marketplace. People recognize that the world is shifting to clean energy. We see the auto industry adjusting, we see the energy system adjusting, the utility industry adjusting.

The question is that business market pressure gets so you far, you need political advances as well, the challenges to keep those two things marching in lock step. And this is the beginning of an effort after the Trump administration where President Trump disdained the issue of the United States trying to do that once again.

SCIUTTO: Well, listen, we'll see how much you can get done over the next few years. John Harwood, thanks very much.


SCIUTTO: Congress' push to reform policing has hit a major snag, both sides at odds over whether to make it easier to prosecute members of law enforcement criminally, gets to a legal standard here. We're going to discuss that, next.



HARLOW: So, President Biden recently met with members of the Congressional Black and Hispanic Caucuses. A lot of focus was on recovery from the pandemic. Well, Congressman James Clyburn stressed that the recovery needs to be better for everyone. And as we hear more and more about a return to normal, it's important to highlight how unequal this recovery is, especially for many families of the Harlem Children's Zone. It's a renowned non-profit that help so many in the most need right here in New York City. The Founder, Jeffrey Canada, and their current CEO, tell me they have never seen -- never -- a crisis like this.


CANADA: Poppy, I've been involved in education more than 45 years. And I've gone through traumas with education starting in Boston with bussing in the 70s, coming back to New York with the crack epidemic, the crime bill, the super predators. This is worse than anything I have ever faced.

HARLOW: This is worse than that?

CANADA: Ever, ever. We never worried about everybody=, every single age, mothers who have two-year-olds are traumatized. Our kindergarteners are traumatized. And the thing we know about trauma, it doesn't go away.

KWAME OWUSU-KESSE, CEO, HARLEM CHILDREN'S ZONE: This is probably the most challenging experience I've ever had. It is an awesome responsibility and it's something I don't take lightly.

HARLOW (voice over): If you think Geoffrey Canada and Kwame Owusu- Kesse could be father and son, you're not far off.

CANADA: He's very much like my son. I think of him that way.

HARLOW: So you like dad?

OWUSU-KESSE: Very much like so.

HARLOW: Both were raised by single mothers, but now lean on each other as they take on their biggest challenge yet for Harlem's children.

CANADA: When you have the great poets, Langston Hughes and folks growing up in Harlem thinking that's who we're going to be, we're going to lead this country.

HARLOW: You bring up Langston Hughes, and the first thing that comes to my mind, Geoff, is what happens to a dream deferred? And I worry about what COVID has done to that dream for these kids.

CANADA: Just the terror of thinking could he be right? That in the end, this thing could explode, sort of a rotten thing that if you don't tend to it.

HARLOW: Langston Hughes also wrote what happens, it explodes?


HARLOW: How do you make sure these children's world doesn't explode?

OWUSU-KESSE: I think that's work, right? That is why I've dedicated my life to this.

HARLOW: More than 22,000 children and adults are served each year by the Harlem Children's Zone, a 97-block community of comprehensive care, from education to health care, to housing assistance, all founded by Canada in the '90s. [10:30:08]