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Indonesia Navy Searches Recover Debris Believed to Be from Missing Submarine; U.S. to Resume Use of J&J Vaccine with Warning; India Struggles with Devastating Second COVID-19 Wave; New Video in Ma'Khia Bryant Shooting; Worldwide Climate Summit; ASEAN Meets in Jakarta; Fears of Hurricane Season and COVID-19 after St. Vincent Eruptions. Aired 5-6a ET

Aired April 24, 2021 - 05:00   ET

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


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UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.

KIM BRUNHUBER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): There has been a major development in the hunt for a missing Indonesian sub that lost contact during a military exercise on Wednesday in the Bali Strait. It's believed that the crew ran out of oxygen hours ago. Let's bring in Blake Essig, who has been following being story for us from Tokyo.

BLAKE ESSIG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Heartbreaking news out of Indonesia. The navy chief of staff addressed the media to report that several pieces of debris from the missing submarine have been found.

Six pieces of debris were presented during this press conference. The 44-year-old sub, with 53 souls on board, went missing Wednesday morning during a torpedo drill in the Bali Strait.

The sub descended to well below its survivable limits and at that depth it had the potential to implode. There were reports the submarine was still intact, but it only had 72 hours of oxygen, in perfect condition which would have run out earlier today.

Again, we just learned during this press conference the six pieces of debris have been found belonging to this missing submarine, bringing an end to the questions of what happened to this submarine. Again, absolutely heartbreaking.

BRUNHUBER: The fact that there are pieces there, suggest it might have imploded. The fact you say they have passed the limit for oxygen definitely suggests that the sailors there won't be found alive. So this will turn from a rescue to a recovery.

What do we know about the crews that are out there right now, trying to find and to get at that sub?

ESSIG: As you mentioned, Kim, this has turned from a search and rescue to a search and recovery. From the Indonesian side, there are 20 ships and four aircraft scouring an area about 40 kilometers off the coast of Bali.

There is help from other countries. A P-8 Poseidon arrived from the U.S. earlier today. The situation is far from over. There is loved ones that still have a lot of questions and want answers, want their loved ones returned home.

As we have said, the fact these pieces of debris have been found from the submarine and all facts that we have talked about before, all add up to the fact that this situation did not end well and, again, a recovery effort is now underway.

BRUNHUBER: All right. Thanks so much, Blake.

To recap the news, six pieces of the Indonesian sub they have been looking for, they found six pieces of that sub. We will have more news as we get it.

The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine will be going again into the arms of Americans. The Food and Drug Administration lifted a temporary pause in the vaccine's use, saying its benefits far outweigh its risks.

The FDA suspended the vaccine because of a dozen patients who received the shot had blood clots from the vaccine. Alexandra Field has more from New York.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The motion to be voted upon is the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine.

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A CDC advisory committee voting to resume use of Johnson & Johnson's single-shot vaccine for people aged 18 and up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, the vote is 10 in favor, four opposed and one abstention. The motion carries.

FIELD (voice-over): The committee did not recommend new restrictions based on age or gender. But the vaccine will be updated with a new label indicating that women under the age of 50 should be aware of the risk of blood clots.

The recommendations coming 10 days after a decision to pause use of J&J. Regulators considered evidence of 15 cases of rare and severe blood clots reported among women, including three deaths.

That's out of more than 8 million people who got the shot in the U.S.

[05:05:00]

FIELD (voice-over): Health experts stress the decision to resume use comes with added safety benefits.

DR. FRANCIS COLLINS, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH: I think it is important to point out that this is a treatable condition if you recognize it right away. It's been good to have this pause, is to get everybody apprised of that, so that all physicians know that this is something to watch out for.

FIELD (voice-over): Just as the country's third vaccine will soon return to the market, an even bigger push to once again get more shots in arms, the average daily number now slipping below three million following the mid-April high, 3.4 million daily shots.

JEFF ZIENTS, WHITE HOUSE COVID-19 RESPONSE COORDINATOR: We have gotten vaccinations to the most at risk and those most eager to get vaccinated as quickly as possible. We know reaching other populations will take time and focus.

FIELD (voice-over): That effort could get a boost soon, vaccine eligibility now considered likely to expand to children under the age of 16 in a matter of weeks.

DR. ROBERT FRENCK, CINCINNATI CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL: I'm quite hopeful that, even by May, that we would have a vaccine available for 12 and above.

FIELD (voice-over): Following a review of data collected from a large study of thousands of pregnant women, the CDC issuing guidance that now goes a step further than it did before.

DR. ROCHELLE WALENSKY, CDC DIRECTOR: CDC recommends that pregnant people receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

FIELD: Johnson & Johnson officials defended their vaccine in front of that committee, calling it a critical tool in terms of combating COVID not just in the U.S. but around the world.

They cited the vaccine's efficacy in protecting against a number of strains of the virus. They also talked about the ease of distribution that comes from the fact that it is just a single-dose vaccine -- in New York, Alexandra Field, CNN.

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BRUNHUBER: The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, made by its subsidiary, Janssen, is the only single dose vaccine in major use. The Janssen vaccine uses a nonreplicating virus to prompt the body to create antibodies.

Medical experts are weighing in on the decision to lift the pause of the Johnson & Johnson shot. They are hailing the review process by the CDC and explaining why the decision is so important.

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DR. PAUL OFFIT, CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL OF PHILADELPHIA: Yes. I thought, today, was the CDC at its best. It was a clinic in how to understand relative risk. I mean, they went through, here's the risk of having a severe blood clot before there ever was a pandemic or there ever was this vaccine.

Here's the risk of having a severe blood clot from the vaccine. Here's the risk of having a severe blood clot from getting this disease.

Here's the risk even in young women of dying from this virus, being hospitalized from this virus. Here's why it is that this vaccine, this single-dose vaccine, has certain advantages.

And I thought it was just superb. And you can understand how people came to the conclusion to reaffirm their original recommendation to give this vaccine to everyone over 18 years of age who would qualify.

So, I think -- I think they did the right thing, and they did it quickly.

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DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: It's very clear that the benefit, even if you account for this rare occurrence, these blood clots, the benefit is very much there, just looking at the numbers.

If you go to women over the age of 50, it's even clearer. There is clear benefit from this vaccine in terms of preventing hospitalization and preventing death. For emergency use authorization, what they ultimately have to show is that the benefits outweigh the risks. That was clear. That is why it's really no surprise that they lifted this pause.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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BRUNHUBER: Joining me now from San Francisco is Dr. Stephen Parodi, he's from the Permanente Medical Group at Kaiser Permanente.

Doctor, thank you for joining us. I want to talk about the significance of releasing the pause on the Johnson & Johnson, the 9 million doses the U.S. has on hand. You helped oversee 20 plus hospitals.

What effect will it have on your staff's ability to vaccinate Californians?

DR. STEPHEN PARODI, ASSOCIATE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, PERMANENTE MEDICAL GROUP: This is a really big deal. It gives us an opportunity to have an expanded access to a vaccine we've had on pause in the last two weeks. And it's going to be really important to get to herd immunity. We're in a race against the variants. The more tools in our toolbox, the better.

BRUNHUBER: Some CDC advisers say they're not happy; even though the vaccine label will note the rare risk of blood clots, we should say, there's still not enough guidance from the CDC about the risks. The CDC says they'll have to do extraordinary outreach to doctors and patients on the issue. But is it enough?

How will this change the way you deliver this vaccine, specifically to patients, in terms of warnings?

PARODI: Number one, the CDC and FDA are going to formalize a warning. What we're doing is taking in that information, packaging.

[05:10:00]

PARODI: So it's available to the patients, to the general public, in the messaging so that everyone can make an informed choice.

This is important to understand the risks and benefits of vaccination but also, as important, the risk of getting COVID. And I just want to make it clear that there is still a lot of COVID going around in the United States.

You know, just here in California, we're still seeing a couple thousand cases a day. That's a lot better than, you know, 40,000 cases a day. But we're still in the thick of it, when it comes to this pandemic.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BRUNHUBER: That was Dr. Stephen Parodi, the associate executive director for the Permanente Medical Group.

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BRUNHUBER: Live pictures from high above the Earth. You're watching the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule docking with the International Space Station and on board are four astronauts from three countries, the United States, France and Japan.

This marks the third ever staff flight for Elon Musk's company and it marks the first time SpaceX has recycled a previously-flown rocket booster and spacecraft. The four crew will join astronauts already on board the ISS and that will put the space station's total staff at 11, which is one of the largest crews it's ever hosted.

But four other astronauts will hitch a ride home on Wednesday. Reflecting what is dominating our attention on Earth, a prime focus of the astronauts' mission is to study multiple cell types.

You're watching live pictures as the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule docks with the International Space Station. After blasting off from the Kennedy Space Center 24 hours ago now. Very cool to see in real time here.

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BRUNHUBER: We will be right back.

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BRUNHUBER: More coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. The news coming out of India is both troubling and tragic. For a third day in a row, they set a new global record for daily cases.

Health officials reported more than 346,000 new infections. India's total cases now at 16.6 million since the pandemic began. The country is facing shortages of medical supplies, including oxygen.

We learned on Friday night, 20 critically ill patients in a hospital in Delhi died after the supply of oxygen ran out. Anna Coren joins us live from Hong Kong.

The situation there getting both desperate and morbid, as we have seen from some of the pictures.

What can you tell us?

ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's nothing short of a catastrophe what is going on in India and many experts say this was avoidable. You mentioned that case in New Delhi, the capital, where the oxygen supply in a hospital ran out. Those 20 patients, critically ill patients, were connected to this oxygen supply.

It was supposed to arrive at 5:00 pm. The tank didn't arrive at the hospital until midnight and those patients died. This acute shortage of oxygen happening right around the country.

Hospitals, their staff, taking to social media, making pleas for more oxygen because local officials are not answering their calls. This comes as the second wave is turning into a tsunami.

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COREN (voice-over): The rituals of death light up the sky across India. A second wave of the coronavirus, which began mid-March is spreading through the country, leaving grief stricken families desperate for ways to perform the last rites for the loved ones.

On Friday, India recorded more than 330,000 new cases, the highest daily case count in the world. The country's crematoriums are pushed beyond capacity, some facilities using their parking lots and piles of wooden planks to meet the demand.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): There are so many bodies coming, we are running out of wood. If it continues like this, then in 4 to 5 days, we will have to cremate bodies on the road.

COREN (voice-over): One man was forced to keep the body of his mother at home for nearly two days before coming here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Nobody helped in time. We were running here and there for a ventilator. She died after the oxygen ran out.

COREN (voice-over): Volunteer groups are working morning to night to receive the bodies of those who died from the virus, whose families are unable or unwilling to take them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): When the bodies come to us, we inquire about the person's religion. And if the person is Hindu we perform the funeral as per Hindu customs. But if they're Muslim we do the funeral accordingly.

COREN (voice-over): Gravediggers in this cemetery of New Delhi say they too are struggling to bury the dead, with 15 to 20 bodies arriving daily over the past few weeks. They say it's overwhelming and cannot be sustained for long.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Now the condition of our graveyard is that if the death toll keeps rising, then in the next 2 to 3 days, we will have to close it down. There will be no space left here.

COREN (voice-over): For many of the victims , the virus taking not only their lives but also the dignity they deserved in death.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COREN: Kim, apparently, according to the health ministry, approximately half the cases being detected in New Delhi, the capital, at this very moment, are the results of this more contagious variant first detected last year and affecting younger people.

The central government said anyone over the age of 18 can now register for the vaccine. You have to remember that less than 2 percent of the Indian population has actually been inoculated. And there is a desperate shortage now of vaccines.

[05:20:00]

COREN: Health experts, they say, for the curve to actually flatten, the 3 million jabs being administered every day will have to increase to 10 million. So there is a huge job ahead for Indian authorities -- Kim.

BRUNHUBER: Yes, absolutely. Anna Coren in Hong Kong, thank you so much.

Protesters were back on the streets for a third day on Friday here in the U.S. over the police killing of a Black man in North Carolina. Andrew Brown Jr. was shot when deputies served an arrest warrant. One witness saw the police shoot at the car but no shots were coming from the car.

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CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: What was this like for you, witnessing this?

DEMETRIA WILLIAMS, WITNESS: It was inhumane, and it was sickening to me because Andrew Brown that everybody knew, that we called Drew, was not violent. He never toted a gun. So, to me, I think it was just like overkill. They murdered him that was trying to flee away.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRUNHUBER: For the most part, officials are being tight-lipped about the incident and say they can't release the body cam video yet due to a North Carolina law. Dianne Gallagher has the story.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't breathe. I can't breathe.

DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After three days of peaceful protest in Elizabeth City, North Carolina ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As you see, all these people here, they want answers.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): -- Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten revealing seven deputies involved in the incident that led to the shooting death of Andrew Brown Jr. are on administrative leave and three have left the force on their own.

TOMMY WOOTEN, PASQUOTANK COUNTY SHERIFF: There is absolutely nothing to hide. I am trying to let the investigation unfold.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): Wooten meeting with Brown's family for the first time late Friday afternoon. Though he offered condolences, the family called the sitdown "almost a waste of time."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The same way we went in is the same way we came out. We don't understand or know anything. When they call the family law, I really thought Wooten is going to see the video.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): The sheriff claims he wants the same.

WOOTEN: The family is not going to have to wait much longer. Their wishes will be granted. I want what the citizens of this county want.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): But that state law prevents the video from body cameras worn by deputies who shot and killed Brown while serving warrants from being publicly released without a court order.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We asked our local officials to release that video.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): Something the city council called an emergency meeting Friday afternoon to request. CNN has also joined a media coalition to petition the court to release the videos.

Officials haven't given many details about the shooting itself. They say deputies were serving both search and arrest warrants issued by an alcohol drug task force.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is an arrest warrant surrounding felony drug charges. Mr. Brown was a convicted felon with a history of resisting arrest.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): Witnesses claim Brown was in his car trying to get away.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because it's grass, so of course it's spinning mud and they started. They stood behind him. I couldn't tell you who shot him. I couldn't do that. But one of the offices or maybe a couple shot him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have a 40-year-old male with gunshot wounds to the back.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): A law enforcement radio dispatch from the deadly encounter obtained by CNN does reveal that Brown was shot in the back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Be advised, EMS has got one male, 42 years of age, gunshot to the back.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): Brown's family says its quest for answers is made even tougher when they think about what his death will mean for his children.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I've never in my life see a man take up the time and love his children the way that he did. And the way he would just look at them and they loved him.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): Wishing they could see him one last time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would just want him to know, as he did, that I loved him. And I loved him.

GALLAGHER: The sheriff has said he is trying to get all of the elements together perfectly before they release this information to make sure that everything is right.

But the family says the more time that goes by, the more suspicious they become, and protesters have echoed that same sentiment saying that they plan to protest every night until the video is released.

And then, depending what is on that video, well, they will continue to do so to demand accountability and justice. North Carolina's governor Roy Cooper tweeted, calling the shooting tragic and concerning and said the body camera footage should be released quickly -- Dianne Gallagher, CNN, Elizabeth City, North Carolina.

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BRUNHUBER: The body of 16-year-old Ma'Khia Bryant, who was fatally shot by a Columbus, Ohio, police officer on Tuesday, may soon be laid to rest.

A spokesperson for the family said funeral details could be finalized and released later today. In the meantime, Columbus officials have released several graphic videos of the incident. One of the video shows the girl lunging at another girl with what appeared to be a knife.

[05:25:00]

BRUNHUBER: The mayor's office says social media and the timing with the verdict in the George Floyd case drove officials to release these videos quickly. The public safety director said he was heartbroken when he saw the footage.

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NED PETTUS JR., DIRECTOR, COLUMBUS, OHIO, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY: Our Black community is emotionally exhausted. They live with a fear and a pain that many others don't. It's a burden they carry every day.

And so we must understand that we must listen to and respond to our friends and neighbors with compassion, empathy and understanding. They are grieving. I grieve with them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRUNHUBER: Derek Chauvin will be sentenced on June 16th for his conviction on three counts in the murder of George Floyd. He faces a maximum of 75 years behind bars if the three sentences are served consecutively.

The former Minneapolis police officer will remain in custody until sentencing. And we are hearing for the first time from an alternate juror on whether she agrees with the guilty verdict and the time it took to reach that decision.

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LISA CHRISTENSEN, CHAUVIN TRIAL ALTERNATE JUROR: I was a little surprised that it took them only 10 hours. I thought it would be at least a couple of days. I think they made the right decision. I would have said guilty as well.

I'm grateful that Ms. Frazier was there. I'm grateful she had the courage to start filming it because, without her, I don't think we would be sitting here today.

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burn A bone of contention for many civil rights activists seeking to change police culture is a federal policy called qualified immunity. it prevents them from personal liability unless they are shown to violate an individual's statutory or constitutional rights.

Even as Congress struggles to reach a compromise that might pass the Senate, many states are forging ahead on their own. At least 25 states are considering qualified immunity changes or have already passed legislation to ends or restrict the defense. So, some members of Congress are hoping to strike a deal on a federal level.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. KAREN BASS (D-CA): Well, absolutely we will. I think with the leadership of Tim Scott and Cory Booker, I think the stage is set for us to do that. We have had very fruitful conversations. I know that Senator Scott is an honest broker.

He is serious about getting something done and he is also committed to working with his colleagues and bringing those Republican votes. I can't bring the Republican senators along. But I do have confidence that, if they will follow Tim Scott's lead, that we will be able to get the votes we need in the Senate.

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BRUNHUBER: President Biden will unveil his plan to rebuild America's infrastructure when he goes before Congress next week. It seems the price tag is going to be enormous. So, we will explain how he proposes to pay for it. That is just ahead.

Plus, the president vows to drastically cut U.S. carbon emissions the next decade. We will speak with an energy expert on what it will take to meet that goal. Stay with us.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.

BRUNHUBER: Breaking news coming in to CNN about the missing Indonesian submarine. Search crews have recovered six pieces of debris believed to be from the vessel and they presented the pieces at a news conference.

They say the pieces were found 850 meters or 2,800 feet below the surface and included a bottle of grease, part of a torpedo launcher and mattresses. Heavy water pressure on the sub created a crack in the hull and the items floated out.

The depth where the pieces were found is far below what the sub was made to withstand. So, what had been a search and rescue mission, sadly, has turned into a recovery effort.

The two-day climate summit that wrapped up on Friday showcased a central tenet of the Biden administration, that tackling climate change is good for both the planet and for American workers. That at the heart of the president's ambitious infrastructure plan when he presents it next week to Congress. CNN's Jeff Zeleny has a look.

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JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Biden is set to unveil the next piece of his economic agenda during a speech next to a joint session of Congress.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It has two parts, the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan.

ZELENY: After outlining a sweeping infrastructure package in Pittsburgh late last month, the White House is putting the final touches on a so-called Human Infrastructure Plan.

Together, the proposals amount to a nearly $4 trillion investment in reshaping the American economy.

Highlights of new American Family Plan, officials tell CNN, including reducing child care costs, increasing paid family leave and making community college tuition free.

To pay for the plan, the White House is considering nearly doubling capital gains tax for people making $1 million or more, taxing those gains the same as ordinary income.

The proposal also calls for raising the top marginal tax rates for households making more than $400,000 a year to 39.6 percent from the existing rate of 37 percent.

JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: These proposed numbers which are consistent with what he talked about on the campaign trail when he was running for president, what I can say it will only affect people making more than $1 million a year.

ZELENY: As the president hits the 100-day in office mark next week, the administration's ambitious proposals are stacking up. Negotiations are set to intensify on Capitol Hill after Biden addresses lawmakers next Wednesday before hitting the road to sell his plans.

On the second day of his virtual climate summit at the White House, the president making the economic argument for addressing the crisis.

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

ZELENY: That jobs plan and the rest of his economic priorities present the first test for Biden's ability to navigate the slim Democratic majorities in Congress as Republicans increasingly make clear they intend to stand against his agenda.

President Biden will hit the road to sell his academic agenda after he delivers this address to a joint session of Congress. We are learning that fewer than half of all U.S. lawmakers, about 200 or so, will be invited to be on hand for the speech.

Of course, coronavirus restrictions are restricting a full House.

[05:35:00]

ZELENY: No word if the members of Supreme Court will be there like they normally are for State of the Union addresses. First lady Jill Biden will be on hand but she will have no guests with her -- Jeff Zeleny, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BRUNHUBER: President Biden pledged to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by half in less than a decade but many climate skeptics, including members of Congress, don't think it's a real crisis. At a Friday CNN town hall on the U.S., John Kerry was asked about that dilemma. Take a listen here.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN KERRY, U.S. SPECIAL PRESIDENTIAL ENVOY FOR CLIMATE: What President Biden is doing and what Gina is doing, what I'm doing is based on science. We -- it's about the -- two and two is four, still. But some people want us to debate whether or not two and two is five.

And, unfortunately, a lot of money has been spent to get people to have doubts about whether this is happening. And, very unfortunately, it has fallen somewhat into the partisan divide of our nation. We have to get over that.

We have to kind of achieve the baseline of facts and science on which we normally, as Americans, have made decisions.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRUNHUBER: Joining me now, from Piedmont, California, is Dan Reicher, a partner in the Climate Infrastructure Fund and a former Assistant Secretary of Energy in the Clinton administration.

Thank you so much for joining us. I want to start with President Biden's targets, obviously very ambitious.

Did you hear enough on the specifics?

I understand we might hear more on the climate change conference in Scotland this year.

But is there enough to make you go here to be optimistic we will see meaningful action?

DAN REICHER, ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCHER: Yes. I think he set an aggressive new target, you know, cutting greenhouse gas emissions 50 percent by 2030, enough we have heard to date that can be built around that.

And then we will hear more. This is an important number he has set and I think we are going to start planning against that number.

BRUNHUBER: The goals are much loftier than any other Democratic president, including your former bosses, Clinton and Obama.

How does that speak to the clout of the pro-climate forces that seem to be ascendant in the Democratic Party right now?

REICHER: I think it's a combination of strong climate oriented forces and just the gravity of the situation we face. It's gotten worse and worse, year by year, decade by decade. So we have to be looking at more aggressive targets like President Biden has set.

BRUNHUBER: Obviously, he is feeling pressure from that wing of the party, right?

REICHER: I think he is feeling pressure but I think he is also optimistic about our ability to meet these more aggressive goals. Technology has improved so greatly and costs have come down so we have a shot at doing this.

BRUNHUBER: To do that, the obvious question is about the huge domestic hurdle standing in the way of actually getting anything passed, right?

Nothing meaningful will happen without support from at least some Republicans. President Biden has been trying to make the economic case, green jobs and so on. You have a vested interest in this with your fund, we should say.

We heard John Kerry predict it will attract Republican support. It's one thing to get Republican voters on side but quite another thing to get Republican lawmakers and never mind Democrats from coal-rich states, like Joe Manchin.

REICHER: Well, I think it's more than the U.S. Congress but let me start with the U.S. Congress. You know, there is a pending major infrastructure bill that puts climate and clean energy at its core. I think we do have a shot of adding some Republicans to that.

If we can't, there is something called the Budget Reconciliation Process that we could actually pass legislation with only 50 Democrats in the Senate. I think we can get this through the U.S. House of Representatives and, if we have to, I think, through budget reconciliation, we can get it through the Senate.

Second --

BRUNHUBER: Let me jump in there.

REICHER: Yes.

BRUNHUBER: There are stringent conditions on that. It being be for any legislation. We have already seen some attempts to do that, fail.

Do you enough in this would pass the characteristics you would need to qualify for reconciliation?

REICHER: I do, because it's largely built around spending. It's largely built around budget. And that is, in fact, how we have done it in the past. So I think it will meet those tests.

We will, obviously, have to see. But I'm relatively optimistic. The thing that I would add, though, even without Congress, the administration, the Biden administration, can take a whole set of steps.

[05:40:00]

REICHER: And I think we are going to see these resetting strong automobile fuel economy standards that the Trump administration rolled back and limiting fossil fuel extraction on federal land.

States can do an awful lot. Even Texas is now aggressively developing solar projects. We've got California pushing energy efficiency and in vehicles and buildings. New York and the New England states are going offshore for wind power. So there a lot we can do through the states.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BRUNHUBER: That was environmental researcher and former Assistant Energy Secretary Dan Reicher speaking to us earlier.

Much more ahead on CNN. The ongoing crisis in Myanmar is the focus for regional Asian leaders meeting in Jakarta. A live report is coming up so stay with us.

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BRUNHUBER: Israel says it responded to more than a dozen rockets fired from Gaza with strikes on Hamas targets.

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BRUNHUBER (voice-over): This footage shows -- appears to show Israeli strikes hitting Gaza. There were no immediate reports of injuries either in Gaza or in Israeli. Israel's army says several of the launches from Gaza were intercepted by its Iron Dome defense system.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRUNHUBER: The escalation and tensions comes amid unrest in Jerusalem. More than 100 Palestinians were reportedly injured Thursday into Friday during clashes with Israeli police.

Leaders of southeast Asian nations are in Indonesia's capital, hoping to find a pathway out of the crisis in Myanmar. The Myanmar military chief is there. It's his first international appearance since the February 1 coup.

Members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations are holding a special leaders' meeting in Jakarta. Our Paula Hancocks is tracking this and joins us live from Bangkok.

What kind of reaction will the military chief get?

[05:45:00]

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kim, the fact the meetings are happening at all is remarkable. ASEAN usually don't have summits talking about an individual member state's political situation.

But the fact of what we see on the ground in Myanmar is of such a concern to many Myanmar's neighbors that this summit was necessary. The fact that Min Aung Hlaing, this is the general who led that February 1st queue, he's the face of the bloody crackdown in Myanmar.

That he's left that country and is now sitting with the head of the states is significant. And it's been slammed by many activists, many saying he shouldn't be sitting with the other leaders because it gives legitimacy to the coup he carried out.

Also pointing out the national unity government which is formed of the ousted leaders and some of the civil disobedience movement leaders and other ethnic leaders, saying that unity government should have a seat to the table as well.

I spoke to one former high ranking official in Thailand, who said you can't have a conversation about how to end the violence in Myanmar without him being at the table.

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SIHASAK PHUANGKETKEOW, FORMER PERMANENT SECRETARY, THAILAND MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS: His attendance is very crucial because I think right now we need to get the message directly across to the general, you know, on some very important points.

First, you know, the gravity of our concern about the situation in Myanmar, how it's impacted ASEAN and also the region and also the need to bring an end to the violence as soon as possible because, you know, the scale of the violence that we see right now is really unacceptable.

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HANCOCKS: Now it's unclear at this point what we will see by the end of the meeting, by the end of the day.

Will there be any kind of agreement or will there be any kind of a statement?

It's just not clear. What is clear from many of the countries is that they felt it was important to start this conversation, to try and start negotiations within Myanmar itself. The national unity government sent a letter to Interpol ahead of this summit, saying Min Aung Hlaing should be arrested as he lands in Jakarta.

And we've heard from others, calls for the International Court of Justice to intervene and arrest him as well and make sure he faces charges for what they say is happening within Myanmar.

At least 745 people have been killed so far in Myanmar according to one NGO but they say that number is far likely to be far higher. That is just the ones they could confirm. We are seeing there are still some protesters are on the streets this Saturday as Min Aung Hlaing is sitting with the heads of state in Jakarta. Kim? BRUNHUBER: Clearly, we will be keeping our eyes on this story. Thank you, Paula Hancocks. Appreciate it.

Next, a landscape he says he no longer recognizes. We hear from the prime minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, where volcanic eruptions are turning the area into a humanitarian disaster.

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BRUNHUBER: A vaccine against malaria has shown up to 77 percent efficacy in a phase II trial which is raising hopes for controlling one of the world's most deadly diseases. Malaria is a parasitic disease transmitted through mosquito bites and 94 percent of people killed are in Africa, with majority of being children younger than 5.

The prime minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines says the worst could still come as the La Soufriere volcano there blankets the area in ash. COVID-19 cases are spiking in refugee shelters. The hurricane season is also approaching. Patrick Oppmann has details.

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PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For over two weeks, the La Soufriere volcano on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent has exploded and laid waste to small communities. The usually lush and verdant area has been transformed into a disaster zone, the prime minister tells me.

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RALPH GONSALVES, PRIME MINISTER, ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES: More but not east and not west. It's like a desert that is desolate. It's apocalyptic. The whole place is covered in ash.

OPPMANN: You don't recognize it.

GONSALVES: No, you wouldn't recognize it and you would be amazed to see the number of (INAUDIBLE) which have also come down.

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OPPMANN (voice-over): It's 42 years since the last eruption. The volcano is making up for lost time, destroying nearby homes and blanking others with ash. The eruptions are visible from space. Ash and debris have landed in neighboring islands. The volcanic activity could go on for months. The aid is appreciated but it's not enough.

GONSALVES: We are not able to do the humanitarian effort and not able to do the recovery without substantial assistance from the region and the global community. I mean, we are really at the midnight hour of need. And we need that help.

OPPMANN (voice-over): In 1902, the volcano erupted and killed an estimated 1,600 people. This time, early evacuations paid off and there have been no reported deaths but the eruptions inflicted hundreds of millions of dollars in damage on homes, infrastructure and farmlands, according to government estimates.

With the Atlantic hurricane season beginning June 1st, the worst may be yet to come.

GONSALVES: There's a lot of materials covered in ash and the rest are muddy. When you have the rains, the rains lubricate and add to the weight and you have mudslides coming down very fast pace.

OPPMANN: Thousands are in tents or shelters or staying with friends and family and increasing the risk for coronavirus.

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OPPMANN (voice-over): The volcano continues to erupt without a clear end in sight. Residents say they will recover and will rebuild. They also know that this may be just the beginning -- Patrick Oppmann, CNN.

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BRUNHUBER: We want to take you back to what is happening high above the Earth. The SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule Endeavor has just docked with the International Space Station. The astronauts are preparing to enter the ISS once the hatch opens. This marks the third time for Elon Musk's company and the first time SpaceX has recycled the rocket booster and spacecraft.

There now will be 11 people on the ISS, one of the largest crews it's ever hosted. Four other astronauts will hitch a ride back home on Wednesday and the prime focus of the astronauts' mission the next six months is to study multiple cell types. NASA hopes this will advance the development of drugs and vaccines.

Tiger Woods is back on a golf course but not playing, at least not yet.

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BRUNHUBER (voice-over): This photo on Instagram is the first the multiple majors champ has released himself since his car crash earlier this year that mangled his leg. He's on crutches and in a brace at his under construction backyard golf course in Jupiter, Florida.

"My course is coming along faster than I am," he posted, "but it's nice to have a faithful rehab partner, man's best friend."

That is his dog Bugs with him. Woods didn't say whether he tried to swing a club.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BRUNHUBER: That wraps this hour of CNN NEWSROOM. For our international viewers, "CONNECTING AFRICA" is next. For the viewers in the U.S. and Canada, "NEW DAY" is straight ahead.