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Interview With Dr. Anthony Fauci On New COVID Models, Vaccine Supply; Unarmed Black Man Shot By Deputy While On The Phone With 911; NYPD Investigations; CNN Hero Glenn Close. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired April 25, 2021 - 16:00   ET

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


[16:00:00]

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: We're going to get there, in addition to continuing to find inspiration from loved ones like my mom, our ancestors, and perhaps it's just like Tim Shriver just said, that the way out is together. And so I know, together we must find a way out because, as Dr. King said, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

Thank you so much for being with me today, this weekend. Thanks for giving me a moment to just get all of that off my chest. Jim Acosta is up next.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN HOST: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Jim Acosta in Washington. In just a moment I will speak live with Dr. Anthony Fauci as we get some troubling new numbers today in the battle against the coronavirus.

Key models predicting that by mid-May, the U.S. will have more vaccine doses than people who want them. And those who are getting the vaccine, the CDC says, nearly one in 10, have missed their second dose. Back in March that number was closer to 3.5 percent.

Meantime, for many Americans who are fully vaccinated, a big question that remains top of mind is, do I really still need to wear a mask outdoors? I know I have that question myself. And we're hearing that new guidance is coming soon.

And joining me now is the direct offer of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci. He's also the chief medical adviser to President Biden.

Dr. Fauci, welcome back to the show. Thanks again for joining us on a Sunday afternoon, Sunday evening. Want to get right to it. How troubling is it to you that sometime in mid-May, which is just a couple of weeks from now, the U.S. could have more doses of the vaccine than people who are willing to receive them? Is that a troubling sign for you?

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: No, not necessarily, Jim. I mean, I think we're going to continue to get a steady flow of people. As you get the difference between supply and demand, that is less and less as you get more and more people proportionately to the entire population of the country vaccinated, that you're likely going to see a leveling off or maybe even a diminution of the amount of vaccine that you're going to be able to give to people per day.

We're hanging around about three million per day now. We were as high as close to four million. We're now I think average about 2.9 million. But that's not unexpected. That's something that we just need to continue to push are we are to get as many people vaccinated as we possibly can, as quickly as we can.

ACOSTA: Well, we've learned this morning from the CDC that about 8 percent of Americans have missed their second dose. Back in March that number was just over 3 percent. I know you're a numbers guy. I know you're a data guy. What are the implications of that?

FAUCI: Well, I mean, obviously, whenever you a two-dose vaccine, you're going see people who for one reason or other -- convenience, forgetting -- a number of other things just don't show up for the second vaccine. A percent of 8 percent, I'd like it to be a zero percent, but I'm not surprised that there are some people who do that. In fact when you have other vaccines such as the zoster vaccine, the herpes zoster vaccine.

That's the kind of thing that the percentage of people who don't show up for the second dose is even more than that. So that's not something that's specific to SARS-COV-2 vaccine. It is something that you see generally when you have a two-dose vaccine.

ACOSTA: And you said this morning that you believe the CDC will soon be updating these guidelines around outdoor mask use. I mean, that is -- that is a question at the top of mind for so many people, they say, well, you know, I go out, I get both vaccines, you know, what should we expect in terms of mask guidance for people who have been vaccinated?

FAUCI: Yes, you know, Jim, I don't want to come out ahead of a CDC announcement. But as you hinted yourself just now a moment ago, that very soon, imminently, in the next few days, very likely, the CDC will be coming out with updating their guidelines of what people who are vaccinated can do. And even some who are not vaccinated. And certainly what one can do outdoors vis-a-vis mask is going to be one of those recommendations. So stay tuned. It's coming soon.

ACOSTA: All right. And if you don't mind, I'll press a little bit. I know you don't want to get ahead of these guidelines, but I assume airports, travel, that sort of thing, that will be coming up as well, more than likely?

FAUCI: Well, sooner or later. I don't know if it's all going to be coming out at once. I mean, the one thing for sure is the thing that's on a lot of people's minds is what about outdoors, because obviously a lot of people are going to be spending a lot of time more outdoors now because the weather is getting really nice. Beautiful spring weather. You're going to be seeing people wanted to do things outdoors without masks.

[16:05:04] And it's common sense to know that the risk when you are outdoors, which we have been saying all along, is extremely low. And if you are vaccinated, it's even lower. So you're going to be hearing about those kinds of recommendations soon.

ACOSTA: And I want to ask you about the CDC lifting the recommended pause on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. That got everybody very concerned about these blood clot issues that were coming up.

The vaccine label will get a safety warning. But what does this do for vaccine hesitantly? Because now you're going to have people -- obviously, Dr. Fauci, they're going to say, well, I don't want the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, even if they're not in that risk category?

FAUCI: Well, one of the things that I think people aren't fully appreciating is that when you talk to people, many of them realize that the very fact that the CDC and the FDA called this temporary pause really is a reflection of how seriously we take safety. So as opposed to being something that is going against people getting vaccines, I think they're going to realize, if you ask somebody why they're hesitant, there are a number of reasons.

One of them that's a predominant reason, Jim, is that people might be concerned about safety. The very fact that even with an exceedingly rare adverse complication, exceedingly rare, the CDC and the FDA did take the time to pause and reexamine it carefully, and then renew the availability of the vaccine. And in fact, they're coming out now with just additional information to the people. Not necessarily -- this isn't an official warning.

It's just additional information for people to know if they have a choice and they decide what they want to do that they'll have more information about this particular candidate, namely the J&J.

ACOSTA: And you know, we're hearing a lot of talk about possible booster shots for people. Moderna announced they're making one available for the fall. Pfizer also said people may need a third vaccine dose within 12 months. I mean, this is causing a lot of concern, I suppose, with some people. Obviously, people are talking about it.

How likely is it that we will need to line up for booster shots? And what happens if people don't get them?

FAUCI: OK. So one of the things that I noticed there's been some confusion about, Jim, that I'd like to clarify. That when you talk about the need of a third shot in the two-shot regimen, you are not talking about efficacy. Because right now -- I mean, right away, 14 days after your second dose, you have a very, very effective vaccine. And you are highly, highly protected. The third shot, or the additional boost, is referring to the durability of that protection, how long it lasts.

You shouldn't make it a reflection of whether or not the vaccine that you already took is effective or not. It's highly effective. We're trying to figure out how long that durability protection lasts. We know it goes out at least six months and likely considerably longer.

But we don't know exactly how long. So what the companies are doing appropriately, and the NIH is working with them to develop that information to find out if you get to a point where the durability of the protection starts to go down a bit and go lower and lower, you may need a boost to keep it up within that highly protective range. So it that happens --

ACOSTA: Would it be one shot or two shots?

FAUCI: That's not -- you know, Jim, we don't know. I mean, likely, it will be a shot, and it might be one that you'll need periodically, similar to what we do with influenza. We don't know that, but you want to be prepared for it.

And that's exactly what we are doing. So we don't want the public to get any consternation about, what does this mean? It means that we are staying prepared. Unless the durability starts to go down, we want to be prepared to keep it up at a level that's highly protective.

ACOSTA: And we're going to have to learn that as we go, obviously. And scientists believe --

FAUCI: Absolutely. Absolutely.

ACOSTA: Yes. And scientists believe 70 percent to 85 percent of the population must be fully vaccinated so we can return to pre-pandemic life as we knew it. But we're not even near that right now. We're only a fraction of the way there.

FAUCI: Right.

ACOSTA: Do you think we're going to hit that high, that target number that we're looking for?

FAUCI: So, Jim, let's -- again, thank you for giving me the opportunity to clarify that a bit. When we've been talking -- and I have said this many times, and many other public health officials have said that. If you're talking about the classical issue of herd immunity, where you have a total blanket of protection over the community we are estimating -- because we don't know. We're estimating that that's about 70 percent to 85 percent.

However, even before you get to that, as you get more and more people vaccinated, you will reach a point even before then where you'll start to see the number of cases going down dramatically.

[16:10:12]

Not necessarily complete total protection, but the number of cases going down dramatically. Right now, we are averaging about 60,000 cases per day on a seven-day average. As we get lower and lower and lower, you are going to be seeing a gradual diminution of the restrictions, and a more progressive moving towards normality. It's not going to be like a light switch on and off. We go from where we are right now to completely normal. It's going to be a gradual getting. With regard to what you can do

outdoors, what you can do, travel, outdoor sports, stadiums, theaters, restaurants, little by little, you'll be seeing that approach to normal. The gateway to that, Jim --

ACOSTA: Will you feel comfortable at 50 percent? I know you don't like us to pin you down on numbers but will you feel comfortable --

FAUCI: No, Jim, because --

(LAUGHTER)

ACOSTA: Going back to my White House days when I would do this to you.

FAUCI: Jim, you know me too well.

(LAUGHTER)

FAUCI: You know me too well, Jim. You give a number and they'll zing you with it a week from now. No, we don't know what that number is, but we do know that every single day if you get three million people vaccinated you get closer and closer to being normal. That I can tell you for absolutely certain. I can't give you what that exact number is now because we don't know it.

ACOSTA: Right. And right now -- I mean, this is very concerning, Dr. Fauci. Right now India is experiencing a record surge in coronavirus case. I know you have to worry about the United States, but I mean, this is a global pandemic, as you know, and it's just out of control in certain places.

And India seems like one of these places. The White House National Security adviser Jake Sullivan tweeted that the U.S. is in the process of deploying more resources to the country like PPE, like ventilators.

Why not just send boatloads of excess vaccine doses if we're going to, you know, outpace what we need in about a month from now?

FAUCI: Well, first of all, we do take the very difficult situation that India is going through very, very seriously. You know, the United States and India are the two countries now that have suffered the most. They have been allies of ours.

They have been people that we have, over the decades and decades, had strong collaboration and cooperation with. So it was really great to see that Jake Sullivan made that tweet because we are going to do the things that he mentioned in that tweet. But also things like getting them vaccinations is certainly on the table.

These things are all being discussed. And there are a number of things, not just the immediate things, that Mr. Sullivan mentioned, but also things that we're talking about as a possibility. So I wouldn't take any of this off the table about what we are going to do to help India because we take the serious situation that they are going through very seriously, just the way we do the situation in our own country, which is our primary responsibility. (CROSSTALK)

ACOSTA: Is that a crisis in India, do you think, right now?

FAUCI: As you know, is to make sure that we are protected.

ACOSTA: Is that a crisis?

FAUCI: Well, you know, yes, -- it's a very serious situation. Again, I don't know. It depends on -- each person has a different interpretation of what a crisis is. The one thing I can tell you, it's very, very serious what's going on. They had about 330,000 infections the other day. That's a very, very high number. And they are suffering terribly, which is the reason why we are extending ourselves now to help them.

ACOSTA: And I want to take you back to a year ago when President Trump at the time suggested one possible treatment for the coronavirus that people could inject themselves with disinfectants and ultraviolet light and so on. You remember this well. Let's have our viewers take a look back at that moment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Supposing we hit the body with a tremendous -- whether it is ultraviolet or just very powerful light. And I think you said that hasn't been checked but you're going to test it.

And then I said supposing you brought the light inside the body which you can do, either through the skin or in some other way. And I think you said you're going to test that, too? Sounds interesting. Right, and then I said the disinfectant would knock it out in a minute, one minute.

And is there a way where we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it will be interesting to check that. So that you're going to have to use medical doctors with. But it sounds -- it sounds interesting to me.

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: How damaging was misinformation to -- and just bad information -- talk of injecting yourself with disinfectants, hydroxychloroquine? How damaging were all of those episodes of misinformation to the U.S. response to this pandemic? And how does that contrast with where we are now?

[16:15:08]

FAUCI: Jim, I don't want to go back in time and start talking about things that have passed. We've had discussions about that multiple times. And whenever I go back or anybody asked me that question it just retriggers a whole bunch of distracting stuff. That's in the past. I'm happy to talk to you about what we're doing right now. And what we're doing right now, if you want to use the basketball metaphor, a full court --

ACOSTA: Does the public -- yes, but I want to ask you, though, does the public, though, have better information now coming out of the administration?

FAUCI: Yes, the public -- well, the public right now is getting science-based information. That's what President Biden said after he was elected and before he was inaugurated. And he made it very clear to me and my colleagues on the medical team that what we were going to do is that we were going to act on science, and we were going to act on evidence, that not everything was going to go right every single day.

And if it didn't, we're going to try and correct it. We wouldn't be pointing fingers. We wouldn't be blaming. We're just going to try and get it right. And that's what we have been doing. And I think it's really worked very well, particularly if you look at the vaccine rollout. We have been highly successful. We have at least a third of the country -- of the adults in the country who are fully vaccinated.

(CROSSTALK)

ACOSTA: What grade would you give to the response right now? What grade would you give the country right now in their response?

FAUCI: You know, I'd give it an A right now, easily, Jim. I really would. Because if you look at the vaccine the way it's rolled out right now, you know, the president had mentioned that he wanted to get 100 million people vaccinated in the first 100 days.

And we've doubled that now within the first 100 days. And to have half the country -- half the adults in the country that have at least one dose, to 75 -- no, it's now more than 80 percent of seniors have received at least one dose, and 65 percent of them have received full vaccination and fully protected.

The number of hospitalizations and deaths that have gone down among the elderly is about 75 percent to 80 percent. So it's all going in the right direction. We still have great challenges, Jim. You know, you don't want to declare victory prematurely. We still have 60,000 new infections per day which is the reason why we want to stay on the two pathways, one, continue to vaccinate as many people as we possibly can as quickly as we can.

And to maintain and uphold the public health measures until we get that -- the dynamics of the virus down so low that we can feel comfortable with that progression towards normality. So I think we're doing a very good job in the midst of a lot of challenges.

ACOSTA: And if I asked you what the world was going the look like a year from now in terms of the pandemic, what would you tell people?

FAUCI: Well, I think it's going to be heterogenous, Jim. I don't think you're going to see a unidimensional response for the simple reason that there are going to be countries that have not yet gotten the number of vaccines that they need to protect themselves. I think the United States is going to be in a much, much, much better

position than we are now, as is the European Union, and Canada, and Australia, the countries that are rich countries, with the resources to do it, which is the reason, what you said a moment ago, when we were talking about our response with India and with Southern Africa, all of Africa, and in the Caribbean and South America.

A pandemic that's a global pandemic requires a global response. So that's the reason why we and other rich countries have to exert what I think is our moral responsibility to help the rest of the world get this under control. So that, you know, a year from now we'll be in really much better shape than we are now. But there'll be other countries that won't be.

The quicker we get the rest of the world protected, the more secure will our protection be because if you have viral dynamics someplace else, even though we are doing very well in this country, there is always the threat of a variant that originated someplace else coming back to our country and disrupting the kind of safety that we have put over ourselves because of our own vaccines. So we've really got to take a global look at this and respond globally.

ACOSTA: All right. And that means you'll be plenty busy over the next year, Dr. Anthony Fauci, thanks as always for coming on and clarifying a lot of information out there right now that people are struggling with as we try to get over this pandemic.

Dr. Fauci, thanks again for coming on. We appreciate it.

FAUCI: Thank you for having me, Jim. Always good to be with you.

ACOSTA: All right. Good to be with you.

[16:20:01]

And coming up, outrage in Virginia after a deputy shoots a man on the phone with 911 after reportedly mistaking the cordless phone in his hand for a gun. What else we're learning from the body cam next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ACOSTA: Disturbing new body cam footage of a deputy shooting an unarmed black man in Virginia just an hour before the deputy had given this man, Isaiah Brown, a ride home. But a 911 call set off a chain of events that ended with the man being shot multiple times.

CNN's Polo Sandoval is following the latest. Polo, what can you tell us?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jim, hard the believe that at this point Isaiah Brown is in -- at least is in serious condition after being shot about 10 times, according to his family. They allege that the shooting was a result of a miscommunication, that the only thing that he actually had in his hand, according to his family, was actually a phone. And we are going to break down exactly what happened here for our viewers in just a second here. [16:25:01]

In fact we're going to play a portion of that call in addition to deputy-worn body camera video which will show you exactly what happened before and after that shooting itself here. But first, some backgrounds on exactly what happened there.

According to officials who say that initially their deputy was responding to Brown's call of a domestic disturbance. And in the 911 call that I have listened to, you can actually hear, Jim, you can hear Brown having an argument with his brother.

At one point in the conversation Brown even threatens to kill him. Allegedly Brown is also heard asking his brother for a gun. His brother refuses. And then seconds later Brown tells the dispatcher that he does not have a gun and that he is unarmed as he walks out onto the street.

And as you hear sirens approaching, the dispatcher repeatedly instructs Brown to hold his hands up. And that's exactly the audio that we're about to play our viewers. Again, a quick reminder of what you're about to hear is what Brown's phone capture as the deputy arrived on scene on Wednesday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Isaiah, are you holding your hands up?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Show me your hands.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Put your hands up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Show me your hands now. Show me your hands. Drop the gun. Drop the gun now. Stop walking towards me. Stop walking towards me. Stop. Stop. Stop.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He just shot him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Show me your hands. Show me your hands. Drop the gun. Drop the gun.

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

SANDOVAL: Now even though you hear that officer repeatedly command Brown to actually drop the gun the Virginia State Police does confirm for CNN that Brown was unarmed at the time of the shooting. The Brown family attorney suspects that the deputy mistook the cordless house phone for a gun.

So now I want you to see exactly what the deputy's body camera captured. A warning to our viewers, you may find this video disturbing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drop the gun. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's got a gun to his head.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drop the gun now. Stop walking towards me. Stop walking towards me. Stop, stop.

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

SANDOVAL: That's a little bit hard to see there, but eventually the deputy does approach Brown. He begins to administer medical attention immediately as an ambulance arrived. Again, we're told that he is in serious condition with what authorities are describing as non-life- threatening injuries. His attorneys want to see the entire audio between the dispatcher and the deputy.

They believe that that would provide them some crucial clues here, Jim, suggesting that potentially the deputy was told to expect an armed individual. So again, that's a big part of the investigation right now -- Jim.

ACOSTA: All right, a lot to sort out. Polo Sandoval, thanks so much for that.

Coming up, CNN goes one-on-one with Vice President Kamala Harris as she reflects on her first 100 days in office and being the last person in the room with President Biden for big decisions.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ACOSTA: And now, a CNN exclusive. As she approaches 100 days in office, Vice President Kamala Harris is reflecting on her role, including being the last person in the room when President Biden makes big decisions. Here is her interview with Dana Bash.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: You just made a really big decision, Afghanistan.

KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes.

BASH: Were you the last person in the room?

HARRIS: Yes.

BASH: And do you feel comfortable?

HARRIS: I do. And I -- and I'm going to add to that. This is a president who has an extraordinary amount of courage. He is someone who I have seen, over and over again, make decisions based on what he truly believes, based on his years of doing this work and studying these issues. What he truly believes is the right thing to do.

And I'm going to tell you something about him. He is acutely aware that it may not be politically popular or advantageous for him, personally. It's really something to see. And I -- and I wish that the American public could see sometimes what I see. Because, ultimately -- and the decision always rests with him. But I have seen him, over and over again, make decisions based exactly on what he believes is right, regardless of what maybe the political people tell him is in his best selfish (ph) interest.

BASH: We're almost at 100 days. Tell me something that has surprised you, that you never thought you would see, hear, or feel, personally as the vice president of the United States.

HARRIS: We are going to lift half of America's children out of poverty, Dana. How about that? How about that? Think about that. I can't tell -- maybe it is obvious -- how much that means. That how much -- that what that will mean. That's good stuff. That's really good stuff.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ACOSTA: And President Biden is set to mark his 100th day in office this week. But before he does that, on Friday, he will give his first address to a Joint Session of Congress, where he's expected to outline his economic agenda and his proposal for how to pay for it.

CNN's Joe Johns is in Wilmington, Delaware. Joe, what are you learning now about how President Biden is preparing for this monumental week?

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, frankly, Jim, it sounds like some of the things they want to do this week are still being worked out.

[16:35:00]

JOHNS: The capstone of the week, of course, is going to be on Wednesday, when the president gives that big speech, the address to Congress.

But, even before that, we're told to expect the administration to roll out the details of President Biden's American family plan. A lot of Democratic priorities in there, extending the child tax credit to 2025; billions of dollars, in fact, for child care. And, even more than that, you know. There's the tuition issue for community colleges, making tuition free for community colleges.

All of this, of course, is still being worked out, we're told, because Democrats have their own priorities, and Republicans, certainly, are concerned about the proposal, the way to pay for it. That, of course, is tax increases, increasing the marginal tax rate back to pre-Donald Trump levels, for example, and more.

One other thing we picked up, I think that is significant here over the weekend, is polling is giving us a better picture of where Joe Biden stands against all of the other modern presidents. And it's interesting.

It tells us that he's well ahead of Donald Trump at the end of the first 100 days, but well behind Barack Obama, George W. Bush and others. The question is why is that? One of the reasons, certainly, is that the electorate continues to be very polarized after Donald Trump left office. Back to you, Jim.

ACOSTA: That's certainly the case. All right, Joe Johns, thanks so much.

And new this afternoon, a Kremlin aide is saying that President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin could hold a face-to-face meeting in June. That's according to Russian state media.

And joining me now to talk about that is CNN's Senior International Correspondent Frederik Pleitgen in Moscow. Fred, what are you learning about a potential Biden-Putin meeting? Interesting we're hearing more about this from the Kremlin than the White House, at this point?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I think you're absolutely right. It is quite interesting that the Kremlin is coming out with this. This is a senior Kremlin name. His name is Yuri Ushakov. He's been in the Kremlin for a very long time.

And we picked this up on Russian state media where he gave an interview. And he said that they are talking about June and that there are already specific dates in play, he said. However, he would not name those dates. And we also did reach out to the Biden Administration. So far, they have not given any updates on where things stand.

Now, of course, the Russians say there are still many things in play. There are still things, of course, that could derail all of that. They also say that there aren't actually any working-level meetings going on yet to try and hash out the topics, hash out where things -- where progress should be made.

But when you're looking at that June timeline, Jim, it does seem like something that could be plausible. Because President Biden, of course, is going to be in the U.K. for the G7 Summit in the middle of June. He's also going to be in Brussels for the NATO Summit. So, in and around that time is, certainly, something that could seem like a realistic date.

And, of course, Jim, there are many things that these two leaders could talk about and need to talk about, because there have been such high tensions between the U.S. and Russia over the past couple of weeks, the past couple of months. Of course, the Biden Administration hitting Russia with some really tough sanctions for the 2020 election meddling, also for the SolarWinds hacking. The Russians retaliating, banning top-level Biden Administration officials from Russia.

And then, we had this standoff, almost, going on here until the end of last week, when the Russians had 10s of thousands of troops at the border with Ukraine, which only started moving back, really, towards the end of last week. And, of course, then, that whole complex of opposition politician, Alexei Navalny, who's still in the jail. Just at the end of last week managed to see some independent doctors. That, of course, also something that the Biden Administration had been pushing for as well -- Jim.

ACOSTA: We know Putin will be a handful for President Biden and you'll be watching it. Fred Pleitgen, thanks so much for that.

And programming note, be sure to join Jake Tapper, Abby Phillip and Dana Bash for CNN's special live coverage of President Biden's first address to a joint session of Congress. It all starts Wednesday night at 8:00.

[16:39:06]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ACOSTA: Just since early Friday morning, there have been six attacks on four synagogues in the Bronx in New York. And officials now say they believe that one suspect committed all of these attacks. The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating at least four of the incidents as possible hate crimes.

And CNN's Evan McMorris-Santoro joins me now with the latest. Evan, what can you tell us about these attacks?

EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jim, as you mentioned, this is a very, very disturbing story. What we know, so far, is that these attacks all happened in the late night or early morning hours of the weekend, Friday, Saturday. And there were no injuries. But the suspect threw rocks at these synagogues across the Bronx.

There is actually an image that we've gotten now from one of those surveillance footage around Saturday at 11:00 p.m. That if you can see that image on the screen we're looking at. A guy with a hooded jacket. And that's who police say is the suspect that they're currently seeking.

Now, as I said, no injuries but swift condemnations from the Governor and from the anti-defamation league and the synagogue saying, look, these feel like hate crimes. They want them investigated as such. The governor said they're going to do it. And it's just an absolutely disturbing, scary story for people of the Jewish community up in the Bronx.

ACOSTA: Absolutely. And we're also learning of an attack on a on 61- year-old Asian man Friday evening. What's the latest on that case, his condition and the investigation?

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: It's a horrible, horrible, horrible video, Jim. A man walking down the street. He was pushed to the ground and kicked several times in the head. The police say he's in critical condition. And they're asking for help identifying the suspect. This happened around 8:00 p.m. on Friday. So, once again, you know, just a sort of normal evening on the weekend.

[16:45:04]

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: And just what appears to be a senseless and extremely horrifying attack. The police are still looking for help in identifying the suspect -- Jim.

ACOSTA: That is just horrifying video, Evan. We know you'll stay on top of it. But just another reminder of this issue of anti-Asian hate crimes that this country needs to get on top of. Evan thanks so much for joining us. We appreciate it. And we'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[16:50:00]

ACOSTA: The pandemic means producers are throwing out the script, when it comes to this year's Oscars. Here's Stephanie Elam with a preview.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: From struggle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am a revolutionary.

ELAM: To desperation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I need work. I like work.

ELAM: The times are felt in this year's Oscar nominees.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you concerned about an overreaction from the cops?

ELAM: But so is the silence, including from viewers whose lack of interest made most award shows this year a bomb.

MATTHEW BELLONI, FORMER EDITORIAL DIRECTOR, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: If the ratings continue to decline, you're going to see some changes. I think some award shows might go away.

ELAM: The Oscars want to reverse the trend. Gone is the Internet remote access feel that hindered shows like "The Golden Globes."

BELLONI: It ended up being like a bad version of an office meeting, and the Oscars don't want that.

ELAM: Enters (ph) Steven Soderbergh and Stacey Sher, the team, ironically, behind the film "Contagion." The pandemic will be a big theme, they say. But Soderbergh wants a show unlike any other.

BELLONI: And he has said that he wants the Oscars to feel like a movie. They're going to have shots from behind shoulders of people, moving cameras.

ELAM: To pull it off, the show is moving to a smaller venue, here at the L.A.'s iconic Union Station. Itself (ph), will star in Hollywood films, like "Catch Me If You Can" and "The Dark Knight Rises."

And with vaccines out and fewer restrictions, the biggest challenge may not be the pandemic but the movies, themselves. Absent of any theatrical hits, like years past, this year, the best films come mostly from streaming platforms.

BELLONI: It's very different than choosing to go to a movie theater, buy your popcorn, sit in the theater and watch a movie. People just become attached to those movies in a way that they don't when they're on streaming.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please, call me Mank.

ELAM: "Mank" leads with 10 nominations. But "Nomadland" is the front- runner for Best Picture.

CHADWICK BOSEMAN, ACTOR: Yes, I know what I'm doing.

ELAM: Chadwick Boseman is expected to win a Posthumous Award for Best Actor. But the pressure to win may just be on the Oscars, themselves.

BELLONI: Will they be able to get that audience back when there are movies in theaters or is this just accelerating a trend that already existed and those audience members are not coming back?

ELAM: In Hollywood, I'm Stephanie Elam.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ACOSTA: And we'll be watching. And Glenn Close who was up for Best Supporting Actress for her role in "Hillbilly Elegy" is using this moment to shine her spotlight on a very personal issue, mental health. When her sister, Jessie, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Glenn made it her mission to end the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness. She co-founded Bring Change to Mind, a non-profit that brings mental health awareness and support into schools and communities.

This week's CNN Hero shares her work and her family's story.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GLENN CLOSE, ACTRESS: I've always said that mental health is a family affair. When my sister, Jess, came to me and said, I need help because I can't stop thinking of killing myself, it was like a bolt out of nowhere. We have, over the last 10 years, learned a tremendous amount about sigma, about how toxic it is.

We have found that the best way to start ending stigma is to talk about it. Bring Change to Mind is a non-profit organization that fights against the stigma that surrounds mental illness. It's a chronic illness. It's not who you are. It's something because we have this amazing, wondrous, fragile brain is part of being a human being.

And, especially now, because our collective mental health is under such stress. It should be something that really connects us, this need to take care of our brains. It makes us human.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: And to learn more about Glenn and her sister and their family mission to destigmatize mental illness and to dominate someone you think should be a CNN Hero, go to CNNheros.com right now.

[16:54:10]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ACOSTA: Indonesia is officially pronouncing the 53 crew members, on board a sunken submarine, dead. The Navy launched a frantic rescue operation to find the vessel, after losing contact on Wednesday. Today, they did, but only the wreckage. It had broken into three pieces and sunk to the ocean floor.

Investigators still aren't sure what caused the submarine to sink, but the government is planning to give posthumous honors and rank to the entire crew. And this just in to CNN. The commander the U.S.-led mission in Afghanistan confirming today that the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan has begun marking the beginning of the end of the nation's longest war.

General Scott Miller says the official date of withdrawal is May 1st, but that movements have already happened in local areas. Some military equipment is being moved out as well. President Biden has promised to move all U.S. troops out of the country by September 11th and has warned the Taliban against a return to violence.

And you are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.

[17:00:00]

ACOSTA: I'm Jim Acosta in Washington. And we begin this hour with disturbing new body cam footage and 911 audio from the shooting of an unarmed black man in Virginia.