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CNN NEWSROOM

CDC Says, 259-Million-Plus Vaccine Doses Administered In U.S.; Kentucky Derby Winner Medina Spirit Fails Post-Race Drug Test; Voters In McCarthy District React To His Support For Trump; GOP Representative Kinzinger Compares His Party To The Titanic; The Dangerous World Of Human Smuggling; Can Technology Have Racial Bias? Aired 6-7p ET

Aired May 9, 2021 - 18:00   ET

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


[18:00:00]

JIM ACOSTA, CNN NEWSROOM: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Jim Acosta in Washington.

Just in to CNN, new reporting from the CDC shows how many Americans have now received at least one coronavirus vaccine shot. As of right now, 259 million-plus doses of vaccine have gone into the arms of the people in this country, 259 million doses. And look at that other number, more than 114 million people are now fully vaccinated, that's about a third of the U.S. population.

Those numbers are making public health experts feel better about relaxing some COVID guidance like the requirements to wear mask indoors. Here's the nation top infectious decease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, just this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS HOST: We've had experts, like the former head of the FDA, Scott Gottlieb, say it's time to start relaxing the indoor mask mandates. Is he right?

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: No, I think so. And I think you're going to probably be seeing that as we go along and as more people get vaccinated. The CDC will be, you know, almost in real-time, George, updating the recommendations and the guidelines.

But, yes, we do need to start being more liberal as we get more people vaccinated, as you get more people vaccinated, the number of cases per day will absolutely go down.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: So all of this forward momentum, more vaccinations relaxing the mask mandates all points to the same question, when will life in this country really turn the corner towards normal. Dr. Fauci also said today that he sees next Mother's Day, that's a year from now, as a likely time to be in his words, about as close to back to normal as we can.

And joining us now is Dr. Jonathan Reiner. He's a CNN Medical Analyst, Professor of Medicine and Surgery at George Washington University, also and a doctor in straight talk, as I like to think. Dr. Reiner, thanks for being with us.

More than a third of the country is now fully vaccinated. Dr. Anthony Fauci says, by my next Mother's Day the country will likely be back to normal if enough people get vaccinated. Does that sound right to you? Is that abut where we are going to be?

DR. JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Yes, it does seem right. And it seems to me that this summer is going to see so much closer to normal than what we've had in a very long time. The key statistic to think about, is how many adults -- what percentage of the adult population has received at least one vaccination, and we're at 58 percent now. So 58 percent of adults have at least one shot.

In Israel and in the United Kingdom, when that number exceeded 60 percent, the number of cases daily and the number of deaths dropped dramatically very, very quickly. We will pass that number this week. So I expect during the month of May, we will see daily cases drop dramatically and deaths finally drop to quite low numbers.

ACOSTA: And Dr. Anthony Fauci also said today that it may be time to relax indoor mask mandates as more people get vaccinated. Do you agree with that?

REINER: I really agree with that. Look, I don't think anybody has been a more strident supporter of getting the entire country to wear masks than me. But what we need to understand now is that our vaccines are very, very effective. And I think the message for people who have been vaccinated is that you are immune. You are immune to this pathogen.

The message to those who have not been vaccinated is that you are still at great risk of getting this virus. If you have not been vaccinated you should be wearing a mask, when you go out, you should certainly be wearing a mask when you go into an indoor place outside of your home. But for the vaccinated, you are safe.

And I think what we'll see is the CDC starts to bifurcate that kind of recommendations going forward. And basically tell vaccinated people that you can drop your mask in indoor places.

ACOSTA: And as you know, some health experts have raise question about whether President Biden is being overly cautious by wearing a mask in rooms where everyone is vaccinated. Our Jake Tapper asked the White House coronavirus response coordinator, Jeff Zients, about that this morning. Let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: You and I are both vaccinated and you and I are in the room together talking and I have no fear that I'm going to get the virus from you, and I assume vice versa. And I think the concern is that by being overly cautious, the signal is going out to the public, that there is necessarily a light at the end of the tunnel. Do you understand why people --

JEFF ZIENTS, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE COORDINATOR: I think everybody is tired, and wearing a mask can be a pain. But we're getting there. And the light at the end of the tunnel is brighter and brighter. Let's keep up our guard. Let's follow the CDC guidance, and the CDC guidance, across time, will allow vaccinated people more and more privileges to take off that mask.

ACOSTA: What do you think, Dr. Reiner? Is the president being too cautious?

REINER: Well, it's his job to be cautious, but I think the message from this administration needs to be clearer and cleaner for those that have been vaccinated.

[18:05:01]

The data that we have accrued from now, over 100 million fully vaccinated people shows that the risk of serious illness is close to zero if you have been fully vaccinated, and I want the American public to understand that. That's the carrot that you get for going to get a shot.

You are not only protecting your community, which is perhaps the most important role for getting vaccinated, but you're protecting yourself in a really, really resounding way.

And the CDC should be telling people that. The CDC should be telling people, if you are vaccinated, book a reservation at a restaurant. Support your local restaurants. Go out and take your mask off, have a drink, because, first of all, that's true, and people need to understand that. Without that kind of guidance, people think that this pandemic is endless.

ACOSTA: That's right. That's -- and if you get your vaccine, a lot of places will give you a gift certificate to the restaurant, as we just heard from Jose Andres, they'll give you a free beer in some places. There's been (INAUDIBLE) out there.

Let me ask you this, Dr. Reiner. Fox's Tucker Carlson received some blowback this week and rightly so from his own colleagues over this reckless anti-vaccine rhetoric that he's been engaging in. Let's watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: But no one should ever be forced to take this or any other medicine against their will, unless they speak up now, unless they resist this, they will be getting this shot whether they like it or not and a lot more shots after this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: I obviously don't know if you know what the hell he's talking about, but is this part of the problem in terms of people getting vaccinated? REINER: Yes. So I think he's really a saboteur. That's what I think of Tucker Carlson. Every night, he has a million questions about this vaccine. Somehow, magically, he has no one on his show that can answer these questions. I'm willing to answer these questions. And I have a question. I have two questions for Tucker Carlson. Number one, have you been vaccinated?

ACOSTA: Right.

REINER: And number two, why won't you tell your audience whether you've been vaccinated? I am tired of his nonsense.

ACOSTA: Yes. It would be nice to know the answer to those questions. I'm not sure you will get them, but, Dr. Jonathan Reiner, thanks so much for asking them, we appreciate it, we'll talk to you again soon.

And we're following a developing story out of Colorado right now. Police say a gunman shot and killed six people at a birthday party before taking his own life. I want to get right to CNN's Paul Vercammen, who is following this for us. Paul, this is just awful. What more are you learning.

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You are right, Jim, it's horrendous. It's an early morning Mother's Day massacre, six people found dead in a mobile home park in Colorado Springs. According to police, the alleged shooter drove over to the park, a birthday party was occurring inside, he walked in and he just began shooting. Six people dead. There were also children inside, but in some sort of silver lining, all of the children were uninjured and police say they are now with relatives.

They found the alleged shooter at the scene, and he was injured and they transported him to a local hospital, he later died there of his injuries. They have no motive and the entire community is heartbroken.

Let's start with the comments of the police chief. He said that words fall short to describe the tragedy that took people's life this morning. As chief of Police as a husband, father, as a member of the community, my heart breaks for the families and the children who have lost their parents. And Governor Polis in Colorado also weighing in, stating as we are celebrating the women in our lives who have made us the people that we are today.

Now, this shooting happened at 12:20 this morning. Again, no motive -- in all that -- shooter, people are dead. Back to you now.

ACOSTA: All right. Paul Vercammen, thank you so much. Colorado just becoming the scene of mass shooting after mass shooting, just endless gun violence there. Paul Vercammen, thanks so much, we appreciate it.

Right now New York City police are on the hunt for suspects after a shooting in Times Square. New video shows an officer was carrying a four-year-old girl, right there, you see her right there, who was shot. Two women were injured as well. Officials describe all three as innocent bystanders. I want to bring in CNN's Evan McMorris-Santoro in New York. Evan, just when you think it's just so wonderful to see people back in time square again as because the pandemic is hopefully coming to an end and people are getting vaccinated, feeling safe to go outside and so on, and then you have a situation like this. It's just terrible. What else are you learning at this hour?

EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jim, that's the exact right context because we have seen normalcy start to return to places like Time Square here in New York, which is a great scene. But just to tell you, just to explain how scary this was yesterday, the best way to do it is to show you it.

[18:10:04]

Let's watch that video again. Looking at the normal Saturday afternoon in Times Square, crowded street, officer say, gunfire erupted after a dispute between some folks and those three women, those three females got shot as innocent bystander, including a four-year-old girl who was shot in the leg and taken into for a surgery.

The other two, included a tourists who was in town to see the Statue of Liberty, but that was closed, so she just went to Times Square to hang out. And another woman who is in Times Square doing what people do there, which is shop and look around and try to explore the city.

Police released this photo, a person that they say they want to talk to in relation to this incident. They're actively investigating it, and they say that they are trying to get to the bottom of it. But the big fear for the people in New York is that, as you say, this city is right on the cusp of a very, very important reopening.

Tickets for Broadway, which is, of course, is right down there in Times Square, just went on sale again last week, for theater are supposed to be open at the end of the summer. You know, we were hit really hard by the pandemic here. We're hoping to see the tourism come back and people get out of their houses, and do the things that make New York, New York.

Authorities and the police are worried that incidents like this may make that harder and that's why everybody is watching this so closely, Jim.

ACOSTA: Yes. And it's one of the sad, I think, realities of this pandemic ending and life getting back to normal in this country, is that we're now seeing more mass shootings like this breakout across our country, or acts of gun violence that are just unbelievable to watch and that video is just incredible. Evan McMorris-Santoro thanks so much for that update.

And coming up, a derby doping scandal, the winner of the Kentucky Derby fails a post-race drug test putting new scrutiny on its famous trainer.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:15:00]

ACOSTA: Some stunning news from the world of horse racing, the horse that won the Kentucky derby just eight days ago, Medina Spirit, has failed a post race drug test and now his derby title could be in jeopardy. CNN Sports Correspondent Carolyn Manno joins me now. Carolyn, what's the latest?

CAROLYN MANNO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jim, we're still waiting on results from an additional test that will ultimately determine whether or not the Kentucky derby winner is disqualified. And Bob Baffert also has a chance to appeal those results, and that's a process that could take a long time to adjudicate as well.

I spoke with Bob Baffert earlier this morning. He was very upset, told me that he unequivocally denies the any wrongdoing in this, that he plans over to turnover every stone here to get to the bottom of this, and get some answer. He was also visibly upset when he met with the media this afternoon.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOB BAFFERT, MEDINA SPIRIT'S TRAINER: We did not give -- I -- my veterinarian -- nobody here. We -- for that matter of fact, Medina Spirit has never been treated with betamethasone. So, I cannot believe that I'm here before you guys. I never thought of being here. Yesterday, I got the biggest gut punch in racing for something that I didn't do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MANNO: So Jim, the drug in question here just for a little bit of context is a regulated anti-inflammatory. It's a therapeutic drug. It's normally put into a horse through an injectables, although there are some other path ways, it could be topical as well. So, there is a little bit of room for error in terms of a horse picking this up.

It's not exactly a performance enhancing drug at least, in the classic sense, but what I would say is that is that it's probably performance- modifying drug, because you know as it is in anti-inflammatory, what its' design to do is to take down joint inflammation in horses. And sometimes when it's administered before a race, it can mask problems and ultimately lead to catastrophic results.

ACOSTA: And the trainer denies any wrongdoing, Carolyn, but I understand he has had a number of horses have these sorts of issues in the past, failing drug tests, that sort of thing. What can you tell us about that?

MANNO: Yes, that' right Jim. And that is a part of this. You know, if this does come through as a violation, it would be the sixth in more than a year. And Bob Baffet, a hall of fame trainer, has certainly has dozens of those over four decades of doing this. But what I would say to that as well is that, especially after speaking with one equine veterinarian today is that, a lot of times this get chalked up to error rather than malicious intent. And a lot of the violations the Bob Baffert and other trainers have picked up over the courses of their career have been whittled down to smaller fines and shorter amount of time. So, it's not necessarily as cut and dry as a violation equals guilt.

That being said, the other problem here, Jim, in this sport is just a glaring lack of regulation overall at the federal level, at the national level, everything varies state by state. Case in point, the Preakness just recently announced in the last hour or so that they are now going to look at the test results and ultimately determine whether or not the Kentucky derby winner is going to be allowed to compete next weekend at the Preakness Stakes, which is only six days away.

So this has certainly brought to the surface many of the problems in horse racing that have existed for a long time.

ACOSTA: All right, an extraordinary development in one of the premiere sports events out there. Carolyn Manno, thanks so much for that report.

And coming up, he's one of the Republicans that won't walk away from Trump or the big lie. So what should you voters in Kevin McCarthy's home district think?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GARY TUCHMAN CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And your congressman, McCarthy, he has not said, no, Mr. Trump has hasn't stolen. He's kind of going along with it. How do you feel about that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel it was stolen.

TUCHMAN: You do?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes I do

TUCHMAN: But there's new proof of that, zero. All the judges have said it was not true, including Republicans.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:20:00]

ACOSTA: The top Republican in the House has made it clear he's all in for Donald Trump and his big lie about the election. But how do people in Kevin McCarthy's home district feel about their congressman. Here is what a few have told CNN's Gary Tuchman.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TUCHMAN: Donald Trump has said the election was stolen, and your congressman, McCarthy, has not said, no, Mr. Trump has hasn't stolen. He's kind of going along with it. How do you feel about that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel it was stolen.

TUCHMAN: You do?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes I do

TUCHMAN: But there's new proof of that, zero. All the judges are said it was not true, including Republicans.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

TUCHMAN: But is there proof of that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But I have real suspicions based on evidence that we have come across.

[18:25:04]

TUCHMAN: What is the evidence, if you don't mind me asking, respectfully?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I mind you asking.

TUCHMAN: Do you like Kevin McCarthy?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hell, yes.

TUCHMAN: It was a legitimate election. We all know that. And I wonder if think leader McCarthy just need to seek something about that to reassure other who are concern about what Donald Trump is saying and said.

CATHY ABERNATHY, KEM COUNTY, CA REPUBLICAN PARTY: I think other than the media, I don't think the people are concerned about that. What they want to hear from Kevin McCarthy is what he has been saying, what isn't the president stopping what is going on at the border, why are we going --

TUCHMAN: You don't think that people are more concerned about what Trump says.

ABERNATHY: Not about the election, I don't think people are caught up in that at all.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ACOSTA: Great reporting, as always, from Gary Tuchman. Let's bring in CNN Political Commentator Ana Navarro and Senior Adviser for the Lincoln Project, Tara Setmayer. Ladies, thanks so much.

I mean, Ana, what is your reaction to what those McCarthy supporters are saying? I almost want to hide under the desk here while I hear those kinds of comments. It's just so hard to accept. ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know, for a while there I thought people were lying to pollsters. I thought that when we saw this, you know poll members that said the majority of Republicans thought the election have been stolen, that's okay. They're just saying that for the pollster. But the more we dig into it and the more that there is interaction with these Republicans, they believe it.

And I think, you know, the defense lawyer for one of the insurrectionists who was on -- you know, going to trial, hit upon it. It's called Foxitis. If you hear bullshit, to quote you, Jim, if you hear that time and time and day after day and night after night, and night after night, you believe it. You absolutely believe it.

And, look, you know, Tara and I have been saying for over four years now that this is a cult. And part of a cult is brainwashing. And what has happened with so many of these Republicans that believe these lies is that they have been brainwashed.

ACOSTA: Yes. And if you are suffering from Foxitis, ask your doctor if CNN might be right for you. Let me just throw that in there.

Tara, that fact is 70 percent of the Republicans think the election was rigged, as Ana was just saying, and two-thirds of Republican think Trump is good for the party. What is the incentive for someone like Kevin McCarthy to oppose this trajectory? I mean, why should he go out there and go against you know what some of those constituents were just saying on Television a few moments ago?

TARA SETMAYER, SENIOR ADVISER, THE LINCLOLD PROJECT: You know, because it would be the right thing to do. God forbid, you actually told the truth, right, and upheld the Constitution, defended democracy and actually stood for what Republicans claim their principles were.

What happened to the party of Lincoln, to the party of Reagan, Jack Kemp? You know, these people are completely, completely no longer a party that is pro-democracy, because that's what you are supposed to stand up for. We don't live in a mobocracy, but that's what the Trump MAGA world represents. And Kevin McCarthy is so spaghetti-spined, he is a coward that he would rather bend his knee to fealty to Trump rather than stand up for the Constitution.

When I work in Capitol Hill, I was up there for seven years. And I was there when Kevin McCarthy was there and the young guns and Eric Cantor, and Paul Ryan and all of these guys who -- Mitch McConnell, they would go up there and grandstand about the Constitution and law and order and all of these things. Where is that now? It's nowhere to be found.

They are allowing a lie, a Nazi-level propaganda lie that undermines the most fundamental basic principle of a democratic Constitution, be perpetuated by a twice impeached president, losing, loser president who lost the White House, the Senate and the Congress for them.

They are letting that person continue to be the titular (ph) head of the Republican Party. They're doing this at their own risk. This will be the demise of the party if they continue to go down this route. They already only have 25 percent or so of Americans I.D.ing as Republicans. That's not growing the party, it's shrinking it.

ACOSTA: Yes. And, Ana, Congressman Adam Kinzinger is one of the lone voices out there in the Republican Party consistently speaking out against this embrace of Trump. Here is what he said earlier this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): I think what the reality is, as a party, we have to have an internal look and full accounting as to what led to January 6th. I mean, right now, it's based on the Titanic. We're like you know, in the middle of the slow sink we have a band playing on the deck and telling everybody it's fine, and meanwhile, as I have said, you know, Donald Trump is running around, trying to find women's clothing and get into the first life boats.

And I think there's a few of us that are just saying, guys, this is not good, not just for the future of the party, but this is not good for the future of this country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: Ana, does that make the former president the unsinkable Donald Trump? What do you think?

[18:30:00]

NAVARRO: I think it makes him the iceberg. Look, and I think it makes Kevin McCarthy the captain who fled the ship, you know, who sank with the ship. It's just -- it makes no damn sense. The reason why Kevin McCarthy should tell the truth is because if you want to call yourself a leader, you have to behave like a leader, and behaving like a leader requires truth telling.

It requires sincere talk. It requires being straight with your constituents, and with your caucus. And the reason that Donald Trump is retaining power in the Republican Party is because people like Kevin McCarthy and his followers are continuing to give him that power.

Listen, Donald Trump should be, you know, an irrelevant old guy playing golf and watching FOX in Far-a-Lago. Instead, these guys continue making him relevant and some women by showing up at Mar-a- Lago, kissing the ring among other body parts.

You know, paying homage to him. Treating him like some sort of idle on an altar, and that's why he keeps retaining power and relevance, because Liz Cheney is losing her chairmanship, her conference chair, because of, you know, telling the truth against Donald Trump. Is that -- you know, but I keep thinking this, Jim, today we remember those Republicans who stood up against Richard Nixon, and they are remembered in history as heroes and as having done the right thing, whereas the others are remembered as a bunch of cowards.

You know, people like -- people like Bill Cohen who was on earlier today, people like Hogan, Congressman Hogan. Sometimes they lost their seats but history remembers them as heroes.

(CROSSTALK)

ACOSTA: What do you think --

SETMAYER: Let me say something --

NAVARRO: Kevin McCarthy and that caucus is going to be remembered as a bunch of rats.

SETMAYER: Yes. Just to follow that up, why this matters, why it's so in infuriating as someone like Kevin McCarthy who knows better, who knows better, he knows that Donald Trump is a liar. He knows that Donald Trump is dangerous for this country but he doesn't care. It's about pure political expediency and cowardness.

The same thing, why does this matter? Why does it matter that Liz Cheney is speaking up and being penalized for it? Why does it matter that Adam Kinzinger and these guys, not only the handful of these Republicans are finally doing this?

It matters because of what happened on January 6th. There was a violent insurrection, an attempt to overthrow our government on January 6th, where lives were lost. And officers like Officer Fanone, and others, and 140 others who were injured, holding the line to save our Capitol from being taken over by a violent mob incited by Donald Trump, the sitting president of the United States, where there was a confederate flag being hoisted, carried through the Capitol. A Trump flag being hoisted instead of an American flag.

A freaking gallow with a noose for people ready to hang the vice president of the United States. It matters because Liz Cheney is speaking the truth about that and Kevin McCarthy and these other Republicans, they don't want to hear it anymore.

They don't want to face the fact that their guy was responsible for inciting that. They want to act as though that never happened. She is standing up for the bravery of those officers. She's standing up for what they swore an oath to. And she's standing up for the oath that she swore.

Just like Senator Margaret Chase Smith in 1950s stood up as the conscience of the Senate and gave her declaration of conscience speech against McCarthyism. The same thing Liz Cheney is doing right now, and she should be applauded for it, not being thrown out of leadership in the Republican Party.

ACOSTA: I think if we're looking for a profile in courage moment, we're going to be looking for a long time.

Ana Navarro, Tara Setmayer, thanks so much for those perspectives. Great as always, we appreciate it.

And coming up, CNN's exclusive video of human smugglers on a risky mission just over the U.S. border with Mexico.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right now they're just making their way slowly towards the wall. They're crawling, clearly trying to avoid seeing anyone who might be on the border.

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:38:17]

ACOSTA: And now a CNN exclusive. We're about to show you extraordinary footage from a city just across the border from El Paso, Texas.

CNN's Matt Rivers and his team met with and followed human smugglers and captured the moment when they, the smugglers, smuggled two migrants into the U.S. It is video rarely seen from this perspective, from the migrants' point of view.

Human smuggling is of course a crime but we wanted to document the process because it is part of the reality of what is happening at the border every single day and what can be lost in all the numbers is exactly how so many migrants actually arrive here using smugglers. It can be a terribly dangerous journey that hundreds of thousands of people are still willing to take part in, desperate to get to the U.S.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RIVERS (voice-over): As long as there's been a border wall, people have tried to climb it, up from Mexico down to the U.S. hoping for something better on the other side. Today one such attempt starts here in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. We watched from afar as two men carry a makeshift latter toward a car, lashing it to the side. These are polleros or human smugglers who help cross migrants who pay them to get into the United States.

Today, the smugglers had told us to be in this neighborhood at a certain time. If they had migrants to cross they told us we could follow them but would not tell us exactly when or where this would take place. After we arrived, though, we're told they would indeed try to cross two migrants currently in the backseat of that car. So the car takes off, driving just a stone's throw from the border wall in El Paso, Texas, on the other side.

Further up the road the car slows, and a minute later the trio heads toward the wall as we follow behind. This smuggler has never allowed cameras to trail him before. He agreed to have only myself and a local producer follow him, only recording on our cell phones knowing our presence could increase his chances of getting caught, trying to cross the wall here is extremely dangerous.

(On-camera): So right now they're just making their way slowly toward the wall. They're crawling, clearly trying to avoid being seen by anyone who might be on the border. Dragging the ladder they will use to go up and over the wall. This is a difficult trek here, no question. (Voice-over): It's slow progress on their hands and knees, and a bit

further on they catch their breath, so we had about 30 seconds to talk with the migrants. They allowed CNN to record them only if we hid their identities, a young man and woman, 18 and 20 years old. Originally from Ecuador, they say they paid various smugglers thousands of dollars each to bring them to this point. They told us they're hoping to eventually find work in south Texas.

This is the last step of a journey tens of thousands of people make every year, risking their lives and their freedom, migrating to the U.S. with the help of smugglers. Smugglers who are often accused of everything from sexual abuse to extortion. Some taking terrible advantage of the vulnerable migrants that purport to help. And some of those migrants are children as record numbers of unaccompanied minors have been headed north recently, many from Central America.

Some make it to the U.S. and others get caught by Mexican officials, and end up in government-run shelters like this one. Either way it's likely their families paid smugglers to bring them here. Officials at this shelter say about three quarters of the kids here were smuggled. A horrifically dangerous trip.

The shelter's psychologist says they can be raped, they can be robbed, they can be extorted, they can die on the journey.

This 14-year-old girl says she was smuggled from Guatemala, and that along the journey passed from smuggler to smuggler, the threat of rape was always there. At times, crowded into a van with many others, she felt like she couldn't get enough air.

We couldn't make any noise, she says. They would only open up these little windows for a bit and then they would close them. It felt like you were choking.

Human smuggling like this is often run by loosely organized groups, but sometimes and especially in Mexico experts say there is a big role played by organized crime.

(On-camera): The cartels that operate so freely here, smugglers bringing people north, either work directly for those cartels or they work independently but they have to pay the cartels for the right to move through certain territories.

VICTOR MANJARREZ, FORMER BORDER PATROL EL PASO SECTOR CHIEF: Human smuggling is a multi-million-dollar industry, and I would venture to guess that it's approaching a billion-dollar industry.

RIVERS (voice-over): Former Border Patrol El Paso sector chief Victor Manjarrez says some cartels have used that money to create wide- reaching sophisticated smuggling networks.

MANJARREZ: And it's almost like a Fortune 500 company dealing with a supply chain.

RIVERS: And at the very end of that chain, smugglers like these, the men that we would later follow to the wall, they say they work for La Lina, an armed wing of the Juarez Cartel. Each migrant they cross pays the cartel roughly $2,000, a staggering sum for most migrants that often leaves them penniless. The smugglers say the cartel gives them a small cut for performing what they call the service.

We try to help them, he says, people come and ask for help, kids, women, men, we support them. But this isn't some selfless act. They get paid for this, and they are part of a system where rape, extortion, kidnapping and even murder are rampant.

We don't do that, he says. We're all humans, they want to arrive safely. We don't harm them. We give them food and water, and help them cross. Other people may hurt them, but we don't.

We of course have no way to know if he's telling the truth, but he says for him this is a family affair. He works with his brother and even his 14-year-old nephew. They all smuggle people. The 14-year-old shows me one of the ladders they use.

That when he crosses kids over the wall, some his own age or even younger, he does it another way.

He says, I tie a thick rope around their bellies and lower them down so they don't fall. His uncle says, without them, two migrants like the ones that we followed through the desert who want to get to the U.S. wouldn't be able to.

We watch as they hook their ladder over the border wall fence. The young man goes first. Once he's down. He runs. And the young woman then follows. Once up and over, she hits the ground and races off as well. We can't watch where she goes because the smuggler tells us we've got to go.

[18:45:05]

(On-camera): I have to run back from the fence, obviously, because the smuggler was still afraid of getting caught, but for him it was a successful mission.

(Voice-over): But for the two people that just crossed, their journey is far from over. It's mainly desert on that side of the wall and they didn't really seem to have a plan. The smuggler told us he had no idea what happened to them after they went over. Those two migrants managed to get in, but for many that's not the case. A few days later we were filming something else on the border when we noticed something.

More people desperate to cross. A woman and three young children make a break for the wall. Here, though, the actual border is just the Rio Grande, more of a stream, really. One by one, holding hands they make their way, and once they've crossed, they're in the U.S., but then comes the wall. A towering steel presence between them and where they want to be. Border Patrol detained them a few minutes later.

Matt Rivers, CNN, Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

(END VIDEOTAPE) ACOSTA: And coming up, can technology have a racial bias? W. Kamau Bell explores that very question on a brand-new episode of "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

W. KAMAU BELL, CNN HOST, UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA: Looks like if I live here, I'm single. I got some tech money because there's a lot of space. Oh, my hand -- oh, I got a white hand.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There you go. We want to talk about why do you have white hands? As a black man and also (INAUDIBLE), right?

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[18:51:22]

ACOSTA: On tonight's brand-new episode of "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA," W. Kamau Bell explores racism in the fields of science and technology, and its importance as a civil rights issue. Here's a preview.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome to your digital world.

BELL: Looks like if I live here, I'm single, I got some tech money because there's a lot of space. Oh, my hand, I got a white hand.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There you go. We want to talk about why do you have white hands. As a black man and also (INAUDIBLE), right?

BELL: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a fault that the company has. If you don't press anything, give us any information, this is who we presume you to be, and we're saying this is OK. We've all lived and understand the premise of Jim Crow. But I think the new idea is this thing called Jim Code. With implicit bias, we're creating technology that is going to disenfranchise people, particularly black and brown people who simply aren't in the room when these things are being thought of.

(END OF VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: And joining me now "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA" host W. Kamau Bell.

Another provocative episode. This looks great. What was the biggest thing you discovered over the course of this episode?

BELL: Just the small number of black folks and people of color in general who actually are working in STEM industries, and how the school system is set up in a way that it's not really funneling more of us into those industries, that if you -- by the time you get to high school, if you haven't done the right math courses, then you're much less likely to be able to get into a STEM career.

ACOSTA: And how are the black scientists and technology leaders that you're talking to, how are they creating pathways for young black people to follow them? What are they doing?

BELL: Well, you know, we talked to many people in the episode about ways in which they realize they have to go around the system. We talked to a couple of professors of Morehouse College, they have a program called SMASH which encourages students at Morehouse -- of course this is a black university -- to get into STEM fields, and to do that, and to do that work. And to allow them to celebrate their intelligence. So -- and then out here in Oakland, there's girls who code, which encourages black girls to get into STEM careers.

ACOSTA: And Kamau, what else needs to be done to create more opportunities, do you think, for people of color in science and technology? We need to do more than just change the way the hands look in VR technology, I suppose.

BELL: We need to change the people who are programming the hands. And that's what we need to do. All this comes down to, like, elementary education. We need to strengthen our public school system in a way that kids who go to public schools in this country, black kids, brown kids, have the same access to dream and think I can do the same things I see people on TV do.

ACOSTA: And when you were using that technology, what were you thinking when you looked down and you said, OK, wait a minute, this doesn't look like me?

BELL: Well, you know, I'm of the age where I've been through that a lot, where you --

ACOSTA: Yes.

BELL: The default for a lot of these programs, if you're creating an avatar, if you're playing a sports game of some sort, often the default is a white person. And so it's funny how you don't even think that that's weird until someone like (INAUDIBLE) points it out to you, and you go, yes, they're saying that this thing has been designed for white people, and if you aren't white, then you are somehow outside of who we want this to be for.

ACOSTA: Yes. It sounds like, you know, a good reason to change some of this stuff.

All right, W. Kamau Bell, thanks for bringing it to our attention. We appreciate it as always. And great talking to you.

Be sure to tune in for an all-new episode of "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA" airs tonight at 10:00 right here on CNN. And we'll with be right back.

[18:55:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ACOSTA: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Jim Acosta in Washington, and we begin this hour with a weekend of violence in several American cities. In New York, a manhunt is underway for the person who shot a 4-year-old girl, along with two women in Times Square. Video capturing the chaotic scene right after the shooting happened.

In Florida a shooting at a mall in Miami on Saturday left as many as five people wounded. Several suspects are now in custody there.

In Massachusetts, a man was shot and killed by police after officers say he rammed his car right into the front doors of their department before exiting his vehicle.