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CNN NEWSROOM

Sen. Mitt Romney Booed While Speaking At Utah GOP Convention; Trump Allies Concerned About What Feds Will Do Next; CDC: More Than 100 Million Americans Now Fully Vaccinated; Interview With Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA); SpaceX Capsule Now Undocking From International Space Station; Utah GOP Vote To Censure Senator Romney Fails; Global Aid Pours In As India Breaks COVID Record. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired May 1, 2021 - 20:00   ET

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


[20:00:02]

PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST: And be sure to join us for the season premiere tomorrow night at 10:00 Eastern, only on CNN.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Coming back this morning, what's the matter with you? Your life's going down the toilet. Cover up that damn thing. Put some makeup on.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Okay, fine.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: Well, Dukakis was well known as Clairee in "Steel Magnolias". She was the cousin of former Massachusetts governor and presidential candidate, Michael Dukakis. Olympia Dukakis was 89 years old.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Throughout much of the country, Americans are seeing signs that the light at the end of the tunnel draws near.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Certainly, we're headed in the right direction. We're going to have a great summer. But we just have to be a little more careful against the big stuff right now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I also fear that people are going to get complacent. They are going to see that things are returning to normal. We don't reach herd immunity come the fall and with the winter, because coronaviruses are winter respiratory viruses, we have a big resurgence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Raids by federal agents of Rudy Giuliani's apartment and office this week are raising fears among former President Trump's inner circle.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These are quite overt steps that are being taken by the Justice Department. This isn't just anybody. This is a lawyer to the president, former U.S. attorney in New York. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a late night for SpaceX, as a crew and

capsule get set for an overnight splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(MUSIC)

BROWN: I'm Pamela Brown in Washington.

Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM on this Saturday. It's great to have you with us tonight.

And we begin with a stunning new moment in American politics. Another example of just how fractured the Republican Party is, more than three months after it lost control of the White House and Congress.

Listen to what happened when Senator Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee in 2012, spoke at the state party convention in Utah today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MITT ROMNEY (R-UT): I don't have the fact that I wasn't a fan of our last president's character issues, and I'm also no fan --

(BOOS)

Aren't you embarrassed? And I'm also no fan of the president's -- yeah, sure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My friends, this is the moment I was talking about. Please. Thank you. Show respect.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: So, did you just hear that? Someone had to step in and say, this was the moment I was talking about, show respect.

And it's hardly the only example of Trump critics in the party under fire.

Let's bring in CNN commentator and former Arizona Republican senator, Jeff Flake, and Larry Sabato from the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

Great to have you both on.

Senator, your reaction to matching that moment?

JEFF FLAKE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I feel for him. I think we've been there. My state party in Arizona censured me after I left office, along with Cindy McCain, who never held office, and Doug Ducey, our current governor, a Republican governor.

So, what we saw in Utah is just where the party is unfortunately right now. If you take that subset of a subset, those who participate in all of Republican primaries, they're very much with the president and anybody who voices any dissent is booed, frankly.

BROWN: Larry, you know, Republicans have very little time to get their party unified before the midterms. It's copping up quickly. You watch scenes like that nearly six months after the election. How dangerous is that divide for a party that is in rebuilding mode?

LARRY SABATO, CENTER FOR POLITICS DIRECTOR, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: Well, it doesn't help them. Look, if this were an isolated incident, it would be one thing, but as you said, Senator Flake just said, this has become typical of the Republican Party across the country, because the grassroots party that shows up at conventions like the one in Utah, which is known for a particularly right-wing Republican Party, they are totally intolerant of dissent when it comes to President Trump and most of his key policies.

Look what they're doing to Congresswoman Liz Cheney, daughter of the former two-term Republican Vice President Dick Cheney. They want to toss her out of leadership. Some of the senior people in the House caucus want to toss her out.

And this is all over the country. If senators and congressmen on the Republican side have the nerve to be faithful to the Constitution and decide to vote either to impeach in the House or convict in the Senate in Trump's two trials, impeachment and conviction trials, then they're being punished by grassroots Republicans.

[20:05:19]

So, you have to admire them for their courage, but you also have to say to the Republican Party, boy, this is the way they conduct parties in authoritarian countries. Trump is an authoritarian. This is a purge.

BROWN: Wow. Those are some strong words.

Senator, when that video came in, I was actually on live, on the air live with Senator Roger Marshall of Kansas, a Republican. This was his best guess as to what was fueling that anger. Let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ROGER MARSHALL (R-KS): So, there's a lot of anger out there with this far left agenda and I think Senator Romney is probably feeling some of that anger out there. And sometimes you just don't know who to be angry at.

Certainly, the Republican Party has a big tent. We've come a long way since Senator Romney was the presidential nominee. This is a different party today. It's much more progressive.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: So, basically -- I see you're laughing. He blamed the left for the booing of Romney and he called the GOP progressive. What do you think about that?

FLAKE: Well, that's -- that wouldn't be my description of the party right now. I mean, you know we're in a bad place when Marjorie Taylor Greene or Matt Gaetz would get a better reception at a Republican convention than Mitt Romney. So, we've obviously got to change that.

And I do think the president's influence will wane over time. It already is. But right now, we're in a bad way and, I mean, we can, because the Democrats' agenda has been decidedly progressive, more progressive than people expected.

So, there is a place for Republicans to do well in the midterms, but we've got to shed, you know, this fringe element, I mean, in Arizona, the story you ran just a few minutes ago, still trying to litigate the election of November. And so, we just got to move beyond, frankly.

BROWN: Well, it is interesting, because I was talking to Senator Marshall about his votes to throw out millions of -- of valid votes in Pennsylvania and Arizona and he said to me, well, it's time to move on, but in the state of Arizona, they're on their third recount here of the election results in a state that Trump lost, you know?

So, Larry, what do you say to a Republican like that who is saying, look, let's not pay attention to what we did then with trying to overturn the election results. When you have what's going on in Arizona right now and you have the ripple effect, basically, of those actions.

SABATO: It's incredible. It's disgusting. Here we are in May of the year after the presidential election and you still have these hard core Trumpers who control many of the state and local Republican parties still trying to prove that Trump's big lie wasn't a lie at all. The lie, of course, about the election being determined by voter fraud and that he really won -- please.

I think Senator Marshall simply misspoke. He said progressive, he meant regressive. That's the direction in which the Republican Party has been moving at all levels.

BROWN: All right, I wish we could continue to talk, but unfortunately we have to wrap it up here.

Former Senator Jeff Flake, Larry Sabato, thank you so much.

FLAKE: Thank you.

SABATO: Thank you.

BROWN: Well, fear takes hold in Trump world after the feds raided Rudy Giuliani's home and office this week. One Trump adviser telling CNN this was a show of force that sent a strong message to a lot of people in Trump's world that other things may be coming down the pipeline.

And a short time ago, I spoke to former federal prosecutor, Preet Bharara, about the case and asked him about the reaction from Trump's allies. Let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PREET BHARARA, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY, SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK: They don't send messages when they execute search warrants. They're trying to gather evidence. You know, the messages that they send are contained in indictments and in criminal complaints and in court arguments that they make in the proper setting.

So -- I don't know what message it would be, I think even knows that the Justice Department and the Southern District of New York in particular, they mean serious business, they will walk away from a case when it's not appropriate to bring it, but they won't hesitate to do so, so, I don't know what message they think was trying to be sent. They don't conduct themselves that way. At least I did not.

BROWN: And what do you say to those who say, well, this is the Biden DOJ, Biden prosecutors, you know, that are doing this, that this was politically motivated? What do you say to that?

BHARARA: There's zero evidence of that. The investigation was begun before the current administration took office. The level of review, if we're just talking about this search warrant, the level of review that had to -- that it had to go through at the line level, which are nonpolitical career prosecutors at the supervisory level which is the same up and to the U.S. attorney themselves and also people at Main Justice, given the nature of this, probably up to the deputy attorney general or the attorney general, and then a federal district court judge.

[20:10:23]

And everyone knows, by the way, that at the end of the day, some of this information is going to be public. Perhaps in connection with a charge or other motion practice. And so -- it's not as easy as people think to have folks decide they're going to harm someone, because in Rudy Giuliani's words, they hate him. You don't build a case on hate.

But eventually, the work of the office is going to be subject to scrutiny from the press, from the media, from the public and from the courts. And so you don't go around doing blunter bust nonsensical things unless you actually have the goods.

And by the way, the other piece of evidence that I think is a good piece of evidence about how un-politicized this department is, there appears to be a continuing investigation into the son of the sitting president of the United States, Hunter Biden, by the Delaware United States attorney and no efforts to interfere with that.

It's a quaint concept, but those things can be done without politics.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BURNETT: And it's worth noting that Giuliani's hunt for information about Hunter Biden in Ukraine, that is what kick-started all of this. CNN previously reported that the Trump White House was even warned

that some of the information Giuliani was given was part of a foreign disinformation campaign.

And this just into CNN tonight, an arrest has been made in New York City. In custody, a main linked to a string of attacks on synagogues and Jewish centers in the Bronx. We talked about this story last weekend. Police have been searching for this man right here, identified as Jordan Burnette, since last weekend. That is when at least four synagogues were vandalized and robbed over two days.

The NYPD's hate crime units was involved in the investigation, and police officials say Burnette will be charged with burglary as a hate crime, among other charges.

And we have live coverage coming up tonight on this show, as three astronauts leave the International Space Station and make their way back to earth. The crew Dragon spacecraft Resilience is scheduled to undock from the International Space Station later this hour. Don't miss it.

And also tonight, I'll ask a doctor about her tough decision to enroll her 16-month-old son in a COVID vaccine trial.

We'll be back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:16:36]

BROWN: Well, tonight, the U.S. is making major strides towards normalcy, after more than a year of the pandemic. But the progress, it does come with a warning. Now is not the time to let down our guard against COVID-19, I know we're tired of hearing that, but it is the truth.

If you look at the numbers, as lower COVID numbers allow places like Disneyland to reopen in the U.S., apocalyptic images of India's skyrocketing surge in cases serve as a reminder that an entire country can go from low COVID rates one month to a raging pandemic the next.

With that in mind, CNN's Natasha Chen looks at the latest COVID trends.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Even as global daily coronavirus cases reach a new peak, pushed by the crisis in India and South America, the United States curve is flattening. The improvement in numbers is helped in part by the more than 100 million people in the U.S. close to one-third of the population who are now fully vaccinated.

TIM SMITH, FEMA VACCINATION CENTER LEADER: I'm seeing a shift towards that underserved population to ones that are on the fence and thinking about it, we have to do a more effort to get the knowledge to them and help them make the correct decision to get vaccinated.

JIM REDICK, NORFOLK, VIRGINIA EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS & RESPONSE DIRECTOR: By the time they leave, they have smiles on their faces and they share with us the reasons why they're getting vaccinated and they share them, they post them on the wall and it's all about doing it for not only themselves, but most of the time, for their family, friends and other loved ones.

CHEN: Now the focus turns to vaccinating younger teens once their eligible. Many of whom have also missed routine vaccinations for things like the flu this past year because of the pandemic.

DR. ROCHELLE WALENSKY, CDC DIRECTOR: It's going to take a truly coordinated effort to achieve both the rollout of COVID-19 vaccine in adolescents and a rapid catch-up of routine vaccinations.

CHEN: Pfizer has applied for an emergency use authorization to allow 12 to 15-year-olds to receive its COVID-19 vaccine. President Biden says schools should probably all be open in the fall. This vision of almost normal is tantalizing. New York City will allow 75 percent capacity for indoor dining starting Friday.

MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D), NEW YORK CITY: I think "The Daily News" has it right here. This is going to be the summer of New York City.

CHEN: The restaurant reservation website Open Table shows the number of customers dining out is around 20 percent below pre-pandemic levels.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome back!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Welcome!

CHEN: Disneyland resort in California, the only one of the global Disney parks left closed since last March, reopened with restrictions to California residents on Friday. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky says falling case rates and rising vaccination rates mean a full reopening of businesses by July 1st is a reasonable target, though she also warns the virus has tricked us before and the U.S. has not reached herd immunity.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown on Friday designated 15 counties entering extreme risk level with harsher restrictions as the state reported five straight weeks of at least 20 percent increases in new cases and a near doubling of hospitalizations in the past week, particularly among younger people.

GOV. KATE BROWN (D), OREGON: Economic relief is something I can do as your governor to help those impacted by this fourth surge. What I can't do is bring back someone's life lost to this virus.

CHEN: With similar caution in mind, the Biden administration will restrict travel from India for non-U.S. citizens starting Tuesday with some exceptions.

[20:20:03] So, with much to celebrate on the cusp of normalcy, there is also the reminder of what can happen with too much, too soon.

Natasha Chen, CNN, Norfolk, Virginia.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN: And when we come back, a doctor's decision to enroll her 16- month-old son in a COVID vaccine trial. She says trust the science. And she joins me live up next.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BROWN: Well, with more than 100 million Americans now vaccinated against the coronavirus, vaccine-makers are moving onto this next phase, to see if it's safe and effective for children.

[20:25:04]

Pfizer says its vaccine is 100 percent effective for kids 12 to 15 years old, and has applied for emergency use authorization in the U.S. to administer the vaccine to then. Moderna is expected to follow. But they're not stopping there.

This week, Pfizer began a trial testing its vaccines in babies as young as 6 months old. One of the children in that trial is Nathan Galvan. And Nathan is 16 months old and last week, he received his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. That dose was about one-tenth the dosage that adults receive.

Nathan was enrolled in the trial by his mother, Dr. Thao Galvan. She's a pediatric transplant surgeon at Texas Children's Hospital and she joins me now.

Dr. Galvan, thank you so much for coming on the show to talk about this decision.

Tell us, what made you decide to enroll Nathan in this trial and how much thought and research went into it before you decided, yes, I will do this?

DR. THAO GALVAN, BAYLOR COLLEGE OF MEDICINE: Well, thank you for having me. The reason I wanted to do this was multifactorial. The first was, I wanted to protect my family. I think we've seen a lot of the devastation from COVID and I just wanted to be able to move past that safely. And I knew that the vaccinations are making a huge impact and I feel like that will be true with the children, as well.

Having said that, of course I worried, just like any parent would and they want the best for their children, but we're starting Nathan in school in the autumn and I wanted him protected, I wanted his classmates protected, his teachers, everyone's families, and I was empowered and inspired by the tens of thousands of people who had already enrolled for vaccine trials, adults, adolescents and children like you mentioned.

Not least of which, though, I work with some of the most preeminent people in their field. Dr. Flumino (ph) is the infectious disease specialist who is the principal investigator for this study, and she and I work closely together and, you know, we discussed this at length. I studied the data, I understood the risk profile and I trusted Dr. Munoz. I trusted Texas Children's Hospital. I knew I would be supported and I trusted Baylor College of Medicine.

And so, all of those sort of informed our decision. It wasn't easy. It took a long time. I've been studying a lot of the literature throughout this pandemic. And so, I just, you know, tried to make the best decision I could for my family.

Also -- I also felt that if I could advocate for vaccines for my patients and my family and my friends, that I should have the same conviction to trust the science as it would apply to our children, so, that's what I did.

BROWN: So, he did have his first shot, that was last week. Tell us about how that went and tell us about some of the worries you've had as a mom? I have a 15-month-old daughter myself, almost 15 months old and I can imagine some of the things that would go through your mind, enrolling, you know, an infant into something like this.

GALVAN: Being in the profession I am, I know there are a lot of decisions that can be made that have consequences. There is nothing that comes without some risks. And so, being wary of that, I definitely had to think about that for Nathan and, you know, that was the same week where the J&J trial was actually paused and that gave me pause, to be frank with you.

But I'll tell you, honestly, if you look at it from a macro sense, percentage-wise, I knew the risks to Nathan were minuscule compared to the potential benefits. And also we knew we need to move forward in order to move beyond this, and so, you know, just recognizing what could happen, what happens with vaccines when you have an unfortunate reaction, anaphylaxis, et cetera, I just had to weigh those benefits and the risks and frankly, I felt like I want children to be protected. So if I had the chance, and I took it.

BROWN: Very quickly, obviously he's just a baby, he doesn't understand what's going on, he can't give consent. What do you plan on telling him one day when he's older? I'm sure that this will come up. You know, how do you think he'll react?

GALVAN: I hope that he'll be proud of himself. I know I'm proud of him. I -- we believe in science in our household. We believe very much the power that we can -- that science gives and eventually it will prepare. The more we understand, the less fear there is.

And I think moving beyond that, I think that -- I just hope that he'll be very proud of himself. I know our family is.

[20:30:00] BROWN: Well, Dr. Galvan, thank you so much for all the work you have been doing as a doctor and for being on the frontlines and for sharing your story about your son Nathan. We really appreciate it.

GALVAN: Thanks for what you do. I appreciate you guys

BROWN: Thank you.

Before astronauts are about to start a trip that they will never forget. And moments from now, they will head home from the International Space Station and I'm going to talk about it with Miles O'Brien and former International Space Station Commander, Leroy Chiao up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BROWN: Look at this. Live pictures, right now, about 200 or so miles above the Earth, think about it, 200 or so miles above the Earth. Four astronauts are strapped into their SpaceX capsule for a ride that is sure to be intense, thrilling, literally out of this world.

The men and women on board, and woman I should say, on board the Crew Dragon Resilience are undocking at the International Space Station and they're going to begin a six and a half trip hour trip home. That starts in the darkness of space and then ends with a splashdown in the cool dark waters of the Gulf of Mexico early tomorrow morning.

[20:35:14]

Joining me now is CNN aviation analyst Miles O'Brien. And a man who knows a thing or two about the International Space Station and the ride there and back, former NASA astronaut, Leroy Chiao, a veteran of four space missions and one-time commander of the International Space Station. Gentlemen, great to have you on for this exciting moment. You see it's coming on done. Tell us what's going on here, if you would, Leroy, what are we seeing?

LEROY CHIAO, FORMER NASA ASTRONAUT: Well, basically they're getting prepared to undock. This is very exciting, of course, the crew on board. They've been there for quite a while. They're looking forward to getting home and in this brand-new -- brand-new spacecraft, very exciting. You know, they're just anxious and eager to go and going through all their checks. They're all professional, so I expect it all to come up without a hitch.

BROWN: So, we're seeing it undock This is the first time these four astronauts are heading home in a SpaceX capsule. You made this journey home, Leroy, in a Russia Soyuz capsule. Tell us, what is it like? Like, what would it be like to be one of those four astronauts right now inside of there?

CHIAO: Well, as I said, there's a lot of anticipation. They've been up there for a long time, they're eager to get home and get back to their loved ones. And, frankly, to get back to earth and get back to being in nature and smelling grass and feeling the wind on their face and watching squirrels and birds fly by. So, you know, they're eager to get home. But at the moment, they're focused on their procedures, they've got to go do their leak checks on their suits. They've got to make sure all the systems are working properly, but they're stepping through their procedures looking forward to that moment. They're going to undock and then go through the rest of the procedures, come back down to the ground.

BROWN: So, Miles, as we watch this, I mean, this landing is much different than the ones before it, right? The Crew Dragon Resilience and its four astronauts will splash down in the Gulf of Mexico in the dark. I'm curious, why not wait until daylight? What do you think the thinking is behind that?

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, it boils down to the weather, Pamela, the wind during the day and the Gulf of Mexico and all around the Florida Peninsula was just too great. They'd like to have it right around 10 miles an hour.

And at this time of year, that can be difficult in that part of the world. It turns out the wind at this time of day is pretty benign. And so, they're going to go for the night splashdown. Second U.S. night splashdown in history, the first being in 1968 with Apollo 8.

There's no reason that they can't do this. The vehicle is checked out for a nice splashdown. And all the search and recovery vehicles have plenty of lights and tracking gear. So, it shouldn't be a problem. It might be a little bit surreal going down for them, kind of in this black hole. But they really don't have a lot of visual contact anyway, as they go down under those parachutes.

BROWN: So, what happens when -- once they land, Leroy?

CHIAO: Once they land, they'll go through their procedures, post- planning checklist. They will ask, you know, to make sure everything is nominal. Make sure they're their vehicles intact and their seat integrity is good. And then they'll, of course, make contact with the rescue forces by radio, and they'll follow the procedures along with the rescue forces on getting them out of the capsule, and, you know, back onto the deck of the ship.

BROWN: So, Miles, what would the concerns be? What are the big concerns, the big risks on the trip home?

O'BRIEN: Well, you know, anytime you're slowing down from 17,500 miles an hour to zero in a very short order, you are dealing with a lot of -- a lot of heat. That's what you're exchanging as you slow down. And as you recall from February 2003, and the loss of Columbia, that is a precarious thing indeed.

And so, the heat shield is crucial. The heat shield on the shuttle was much more fragile and complicated series of structures. This capsule is kind of a Back to the Future approach to space travel, more of a bulletproof approach when it comes to the heat shield and getting through the plasma, the hot plasma and, and slowing down so rapidly.

But over the years, you know, obviously we had the loss of Columbia, the Russians had a loss on reentry as well when a pressure valve opened up and the crew was essentially asphyxiated. But, you know, over time, what you do is you learn a lot in space and this is an inherently safe vehicle that SpaceX has built. It has a crew escape capability on the ride into space, and it has a very robust heat shield and capability for returning home.

[20:40:02]

So, while there is no such thing as zero risk anytime you're going from 220 miles above us at 17,500 miles an hour down to the surface. There are a lot of -- there's a lot of redundancy in the system. So, we'll watch it and hold our breath a little bit. But we know the system is pretty robust.

BROWN: Yes, but you're right, you still have to hold your breath until it lands, till they get out. And they get to enjoy those simple pleasures of life. As you pointed out earlier, Leroy, that they're probably looking forward to. You know, Leroy, two SpaceX crews at the International Space Station. At the same time, right now, SpaceX has had a lot of success quickly, with its manned space program. What do you think about that?

CHIAO: Oh, I think it's phenomenal. They really have done a great job in getting this vehicle designed and built and tested and then now it's operational. And as you said, they flown these missions, and they've been more almost flawless in their execution. And so, I agree with Miles, it's a very robust system, very robust spacecraft.

And, you know, for me personally, the biggest thing I thought about, as I prepared to come home in the Russian Soyuz, was parachute deploying. You know, the parachute either comes out or it doesn't, of course, their backup system. That was the woes on my mind.

BROWN: That would be on my mind too. Understandably. Miles, last question. Your final thoughts as we watch this, this is video from moments ago. Final thoughts from you, just the significance of what is happening.

O'BRIEN: Well, I -- it was just -- it struck me. It was nice to see 11 people aboard the International Space Station. Last time, we had anything approaching that was about 12 years ago, during the shuttle mission. There were 13 people aboard. You know, when Leroy was on board, in 04/05 in the wake of Columbia, there were just two of them there because the shuttle fleet was grounded.

So, what we're seeing is space is back. The tempo of space is returning to days. We remember during the Shuttle Era. It took a while. There was an awful long gap, but it heartens me to see this happening. It heartens me to see the Chinese launching the first section of their own space station, although it'd be nice if they're in the partnership with the International Space Station.

And I think space is entering a new and really exciting era as the cost to reaching it is reducing and the tempo increases and we're going to start seeing some rather interesting private missions to take individuals into space now. And I think that's going to really capture people's imagination.

BROWN: Totally. And I just love seeing that picture we had up on the screen of the 11 of them having their final dinner before four of them leave on this journey. Six and a half hours down from space, the International Space Station.

Miles O'Brien, Leroy Chiao, thank you so much for sharing your analysis, your experience with all of this. We appreciate it.

O'BRIEN: Welcome, Pam.

BROWN: Well, help for India is arriving. The U.S. sends aid to the country so overwhelmed by a second wave of coronavirus. It's starting to restrict travelers. When we come back, I'll speak to Congressman Ro Khanna who sits on the India caucus.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:45:01]

BROWN: And this just in to CNN. A bid to censure Utah senator, Mitt Romney, by his own party failed today at the state GOP convention. But it was not a landslide win for the embattled lawmaker after his votes to convict Donald Trump at his impeachments. There were 711 votes to censure Romney, 798 against.

And before all of that, this extraordinary moment today, as Romney was booed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MITT ROMNEY (R-UT): I don't hide the fact that I wasn't a fan of our last president's character issues. And I'm also no fan -- it's embarrassing. And I'm also no fan of the president's -- yes, sure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My friends, this was the moment I was talking about. Please. Thank you. Show respect.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: So, just a reminder, those are Republicans booing one of the party elders who was their presidential nominee in 2012. So far, no comment from Romney's team, but the video may speak for itself.

Earlier, I asked Republican senator Roger Marshall for his reaction and listen to his take.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ROGER MARSHALL (R-KS): So, there's a lot of anger out there with his far-left agenda. I think Senator Romney is probably feeling some of that anger out there. And sometimes you just don't know who to be angry at. Surely, the Republican Party has a big tent. We've come a long way since Senator Romney was the presidential nominee. It is a different party today. It's much more progressive.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: So, with me tonight is democratic congressman, Ro Khanna, of California. Congressman, great to have you on. Let's start with that remarkable bit of video GOP senator Mitt Romney being booed by fellow Republicans at the Utah GOP convention today. What is your reaction to the former standard bearer of the Republican Party getting booed by his own side?

[20:50:04]

REP. RO KHANNA (D-CA): Pamela, it really is remarkable. As you pointed out, he was the nominee of the Republican Party eight years ago. Could you imagine President Barack Obama going before a democratic audience and getting booed? It's as analogous to have Romney who ran against Obama be booed.

And it just shows that the Republican Party right now has an identity crisis. And anyone who departs from the party line, who even dares to criticize President Trump is going to be ostracized by a large part of that party.

BROWN: So, let's turn to coronavirus because that is just horrific. I mean, that is where the story is, in so many ways. What is unfolding in India? It is personal for many Americans. I imagine, it's personal for you. The U.S. is home to more than four and a half million people of Indian descent.

You sit on the congressional India caucus as well as the Progressive Caucus. Your district in the Bay Area includes a large Indian-American population. What are you hearing from your constituents?

KHANNA: Pamela, it is personal for me. I have family there. Fortunately, they're safe. But every day, I'm hearing stories of someone who is getting COVID who can't go to the hospital, who is sick. In some cases, we've heard people who passed away a few days because they don't have oxygen.

They don't have medical care. It's really devastating. And there is not an Indian-American family in my district who I've talked to who isn't affected, who doesn't know someone who has had COVID, who has not been able to get into the hospital. It's a humanitarian crisis.

BROWN: It's just tragic. I mean, to think about people dying because they don't have enough oxygen. I mean, it's just like -- you can't even think about it. It's so disturbing. The numbers are also staggering. I want to show our viewers the numbers, these astonishing jump in new cases in India.

The blue line on your screen, if we can just show it. More than 400,000 new cases just on Friday. That breaks a global record. Here we go. Here it is. Look at that. The first U.S. shipment of oxygen cylinders, PPE, and other equipment just arrived yesterday.

President Biden says it is his, quote, intention to virtually send vaccines to India, they would likely be doses of AstraZeneca once the FDA signs off, but that could be months in the making. Even Russia is sending its Sputnik vaccine.

Do you think the U.S. should be sending Moderna, Pfizer, or J&J right now?

KHANNA: Well, I think we ought to license it. Pamela, first of all, the president deserves credit. He is mobilizing the two most important things, which is oxygen and PPE. I spoke to the ambassador of India and that's what they most need. And a lot of private companies in the Indian-American diaspora is mobilizing to send that. That's the immediate need.

But longer term, we ought to require Pfizer and Moderna to license the vaccine recipe so that countries like India can produce it. Right now, they're refusing to license it. This is going to come to a head at the World Trade Organization. Over 100 members of Congress are asking the Biden administration to waive the TRIPS waiver, which would allow for countries around the world to license this vaccine formula and develop the vaccine.

BROWN: All right. Final question for you before we go. As you know, the White House plans new restrictions on travel from India beginning Tuesday. There are exceptions for U.S. citizens, permanent residents and others. Do you agree with this order?

KHANNA: I do. I think the President is taking the right measure. Some other countries have banned all travel. And I really think we ought to listen to what Dr. Fauci is saying, what the CDC is saying. It's too dangerous right now to have some new variants entered into the United States. So, it's the right order and I fully support the president. And if they need to go further because of CDC recommendations, I would support that.

BROWN: Congressman Ro Khanna, thank you for coming on the show.

KHANNA: Thank you. Appreciate it.

BROWN: And thank you so much for joining me this evening. I'm Pamela brown and I will see you again tomorrow night starting at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

But before we go, The Story of Late Night premieres tomorrow night at 9:00 Eastern and here's a preview.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, don't start anything you can't finish.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a time of enormous turmoil.

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