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House Strikes Deal To Create Independent Jan. 6 Commission; Interview With Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA); Israeli Airstrike Destroys Gaza Building With AP, Al Jazeera Offices; Biden Speaks With Israeli And Palestinian Leaders Amid Gaza Violence; Sources: Colonial Pipeline Paid Ransom To Hackers; NY Yankees Hit By Breakthrough COVID Cases; Fauci: Unvaccinated Kids Should Still Mask Up When Around Others; Houston Police Empty-Handed In Search For Bengal Tiger. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired May 15, 2021 - 15:00   ET

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


[15:00:02]

JIM ACOSTA, CNN HOST: It would be bipartisan, made up of ten Republicans and ten Democrats. But the final vote on expected next week.

The news about the commission coming as the truth of what happened that day remains under assault, including this moment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ANDREW CLYDE (R-GA): Watching the TV footage of those who entered the Capitol and walked through Statuary Hall showed people in an orderly fashion, staying between the stanchions and ropes taking videos and pictures. You know, if you didn't know the TV footage was a video from January 6th, you would think it was a normal tourist visit.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: That Georgia congressman who likened the riot to a normal tourist visit forgot to mention that on the same day of the riot, he was behind the barricade on the House floor. This photo resurfacing after his remarks.

Meantime, some members of congress say they are so concerned of their safety when it comes to the behavior of their fellow lawmakers.

Listen to what Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat from New York, had to say about Marjorie Taylor Greene.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): This is a woman who's deeply unwell, and clearly needs some help. The depth of that unwellness has grave concerns for other members as well.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: Republican Congresswoman Greene allegedly chased Ocasio-Cortez down the halls of Congress this week, with "The Washington Post" reporting Greene was screaming at her.

CNN's KFILE also uncovered a since deleted video of Greene from 2019 at the time she was conservative activist and traveled to Capitol Hill to taunt Ocasio-Cortez and her staff through a mailbox slot.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-GA): All right. We're going to see -- we're going to visit Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Crazy eyes. Crazy eyes. Nutty Cortez.

You need to stop being a baby and stop locking your door and come out and face the American citizens that you serve. If you want to be a big girl, you need to get rid of your diaper and come out and be able to talk to the American citizens, instead of us having a flap, a little flap. Flap.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: Let's get straight to CNN's Suzanne Malveaux at the Capitol.

Suzanne, you've reported on politics in Washington for so long. I know that this has got to be astonishing to you to see as well. You've got to wonder how there's going to be any agreement on a commission given this past week.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And, Jim, you're absolutely right. I mean, it really was a stunning surprise and development. Very significant that you had this deal that took place here in the style of the 9/11 commission, that you have the top Democrat and Republican of the Homeland Security Committee deciding that yes, they are going to go forward with this and in scale and scope.

Initially, there was a lot of pushback here. It was Nancy Pelosi wanted it very narrowly focused on the January 6th attack and Trump's actions leading up to it. Republicans wanted to spread it out, make it broader and deal with Antifa, far-left groups, creating violence potentially at protests regarding police violence.

But here is what is in the language here, and it is very significant. This is a ten-member panel half appointed by Democratic congressional leaders, including the chair, half appointed by Republicans, including the vice chair. The commission would have the power to issue subpoenas. That, of course, would have to be signed off by both of chair and vice chair, and they would have a concrete deadline here, Jim, which was different than the 9/11 commission, we're talking about by the end of the year.

And so, this legislation could come up as early this week on the House side. They would definitely need at least ten senators, Republicans, on that side in order to overcome a filibuster for this to go through, Jim.

ACOSTA: And, Suzanne, I also want to ask about the altercation that occurred between Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Marjorie Taylor Greene. What is Greene saying about this?

MALVEAUX: Well, Jim, you know, in all my experience covering Capitol Hill and the White House, I have never seen anybody really go after and confront another member of Congress just like this. I mean, you have the harassment, you have the name-calling, the taunting both in person as well as in social media. Greene is saying that she's trying to paint this as some sort of normal type of interaction, an approach, a strategy for an invitation for debate over policy.

Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GREENE: I was talking to AOC, saying you need to debate me about the Green New Deal. She doesn't need to file ethics violations or whatever she's doing. That's reacting like a child. Adults are able to debate policy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: So, Jim, Greene has already been stripped of her committee assignments. The only other thing that would be left is potential for censure or yes, the House Ethics Committee could take up something, some sort of other punishment to express their displeasure here, our you could have the House leadership, the Republican leadership, Kevin McCarthy, step in and say this is unacceptable behavior. So far, there is no sign that he's going to do that -- Jim.

[15:05:04]

ACOSTA: Okay. Suzanne Malveaux, thank you so much. It wasn't just Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Congressman Eric Swalwell suddenly found himself in a shouting match with one of Greene's staffers over wearing a mask. Let's watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GREENE: Eric Swalwell, walking in here, my staffer nicely says to him, Congressman, you don't have to wear your masks anymore, despite of what Biden said yesterday. He chases my staffer inside, everybody saw it, and gets in his face, curses at him, saying you don't tell me what to do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: And with me now, who I'm sure has a different version of events, Congressman Eric Swalwell of California, who is also author of "Endgame: Inside the Impeachment of Donald J. Trump."

And, Congressman, take us exactly through what happened between you and this aide for Marjorie Taylor Greene. You just heard her say a few moments ago that her aide politely said something to you.

REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA): Like we're friends.

ACOSTA: Like you were friends, you go way back. Tell us what happened. SWALWELL: Well, I was leaving the House floor. You're still required

to wear a mask on the House floor. And, frankly, Jim, I just forgot to take my mask off once I came out of the building. I love having my mask off now.

And Greene's aide said, take your mask off, Congressman. I kept walking past. I thought, you know what, I'm tired of this shit. These marauding goons who are going around trying to bully my other colleagues, so I just went up to him and, you know, I asked him who he was, and I told me, don't tell me what to do with some words you can't say on CNN. And predictably he went speechless.

But, you know, this is not the way it works around here. I've worn a staff badge and I've worn a member pin. And when I was a staffer, I would never talk to a member of Congress like that. And my staffers tell me all the time, they would love to talk to Marjorie Taylor Greene and tell her what they think of her policies, but there's still decorum and respect and I think people are just losing patience with Greene.

ACOSTA: Yeah, what is going on? What is happening with Marjorie Taylor Greene? Are other members of Congress besides Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez concerned about her stability?

SWALWELL: Yeah, freshman Cori Bush, right?

ACOSTA: Yeah.

SWALWELL: Also had a number of encounters with Greene and had to have her office moved because of what Greene is doing. Look, she's clearly trying to draw the foul. She gets in your face, and then she goes and hit send on the fundraising emails that go out, because she doesn't have much committee work to do.

But this is a place that needs to start functioning again. It needs to recognize the truth of what happened on January 6th, and also, you know, take up, you know, the America family plans and America jobs plan. But this is just more distraction.

ACOSTA: And you saw at the beginning of the interview, we were playing some video, Congressman Clyde of Georgia, describing some of these rioters, insurrectionists on January 6th as tourists. You're seeing the video now of Marjorie Taylor Greene taunting Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez before she became a member of Congress.

What is going on? There almost seems like a total breakdown of civility. Is that just coming from one side, in your view? Or, you know, you're going to have some Republicans out there watching saying, hold on, the Democrats also are responsible for some of this as well.

SWALWELL: I feel like you're seeing responsible Republicans like Adam Kinzinger, like Liz Cheney and others, you know, joining us in calling for more decorum.

Second, the Greene behavior, frankly, Jim, I was a prosecutor. I've convicted people for less on stalking charges. I mean, she is following Ms. Ocasio-Cortez around for years by trying to engage with her. She just needs to let it go. She's just not that into you, Marjorie Taylor Greene, I'm sorry.

ACOSTA: If she doesn't let it go, if she keeps harassing her, stalking her, chasing her around the halls of Congress, should the Capitol police, should the sergeant at arms do something?

SWALWELL: Yes, for the safety of Ms. Cortez, because it's not just on the campus. This continues for Alex when she goes home. So, she goes home in her district and she gets threat, because Marjorie Taylor Greene will post about her and the threats come in.

But as to Mr. Clyde, you know, I was on the floor that day on January 6. I heard the smashing of glass, the pounding of the doors, the shouting of the mob. I send a text message to my wife I hope I never have to send again.

I was grateful that Mr. Clyde went to the door and stayed back and barricaded it. And so, to me, it's just disgraceful that he would seek to erase what that mob, sent by President Trump, tried to do on that day.

ACOSTA: And let me ask you about that, because we're just showing the video now, the picture now of Congressman Clyde, who described rioters as tourists that day barricading the door on January 6th. How do you form a 9/11-style commission? How do you get to a point where both sides can agree on the common set of facts as to what occurred during the insurrection that day if you have members of Congress like Congressman Clyde, like others, many others, we'll be showing a montage of this later in the program, if people can't agree on what actually happened?

[15:10:03]

How do you put together a commission that will have any sort of end results that contributes to changes up on Capitol Hill if these members can't agree on what happened?

SWALWELL: I think keep building support from law enforcement. You know, people like Officer Mike Fanone, a hero. I think he reminds us every day that he speaks out, or he gave his footage to CNN, reminds us of what actually happened. So call out every lie.

Speaker Pelosi, you know, reminds us all the time that the September 11th Commission did not happen on September 12th. It was November of 2002. So, it took sometime to get there. So keep building the support.

But it's really -- it's critically important that we have some commission to understand what happened, who inspired the attack and most importantly, because we're going to have to inaugurate a president again, make sure it never happens again.

ACOSTA: And we have this chilling body cam footage that Officer Fanone gave to CNN from the Metro PD here from Washington, D.C. You hear one of the rioters, one of the insurrectionists saying I got one. You can officer just about pleading for his life, saying he has a family and so on.

You signed a letter demanding that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy meet with Officer Fanone. I know you were saying that McCarthy's office hung up on Fanone. I asked McCarthy's office about it, they said they did not hang up on Fanone.

Putting that to the side, why is it important do you think that McCarthy meet with this officer?

SWALWELL: Because Officer Fanone is a hero. Speaker Pelosi met with him. I took him to meet with the Speaker Pelosi and the impeachment managers.

And every day that Officer Fanone hears people trying to erase what happened on January 6 within the Republican Conference, it really is an insult to his service and he hopes to speak to the leader of that party, Kevin McCarthy, to see if he can impress on his members that that day was real, the tragedies were truly suffered and we need to make sure it doesn't happen again.

And, you know, Officer Fanone, I just checked in with him before I went on air today. I figured I would be asked about this, he's not been reached out by Kevin McCarthy. It's police week, and I think for every officer that served that week, please, Leader McCarthy, please meet with Officer Mike Fanone.

He does not care about politics. He's not a Republican or Democrat. He calls me and jams me up every day on Democratic policies he doesn't like. He's a hero who is worth hearing out.

ACOSTA: He should definitely talk to Officer Fanone, no question about it, and we're always happy to do that here as well.

Before you go, though, we're following the breaking news out of Gaza right now and Israeli airstrike as well on the building, and you see it right there, that housed offices for "The Associated Press", and Al Jazeera. Both media outlets suggested that this was an effort to silence their journalists.

What would you make to that? And what would you say to the Israeli forces about -- you're on the Intelligence Committee, you're on a variety of committees in the House that may have an interest on what's going on over there. What is your message to the Israelis watching that video?

SWALWELL: Yeah. Well, thank God those journalists are okay. Ands there are a number of laws, international conventions that protect journalists. So, Israel needs to make pretty damn sure that no journalist dies who's trying to cover the conflict.

Also, you know, Hamas has sent an unprecedented amount rockets into Israel. Israel certainly has a right to defend its people. But a responsible, a real responsible to protect innocent life in the Palestinian areas and I hope we can get both sides at the table to, you know, hash -- end this conflict, find a two-state solution.

But thank God we have a responsible president now in the United States who I think can press upon the Israeli leader the need to do that.

ACOSTA: All right. And President Biden, we understand the White House has spoken with the Israeli prime minister. They put out a readout of that call, and the president has said that, yes, Israel has a right to defend itself, but he's also expressing concern -- expressed concern to Netanyahu during that call about the safety and security of journalists. We're going to be watching that, keeping tabs on it.

Congressman Swalwell, thanks for coming in this afternoon.

SWALWELL: My pleasure.

ACOSTA: And being the first live in person guest on my show, as I've been anchoring here.

SWALWELL: I don't have to worry about room rate anymore, getting in trouble for getting like a 9 out of 10.

ACOSTA; You get a 10 out of 10 for coming in here in person without a mask on. We appreciate that.

And, of course, Swalwell and I both made sure with one another we were both vaccinated.

SWALWELL: That's right.

ACOSTA: And we're all playing it safe here at CNN as we get back to normal life here in Washington.

Thanks so much, Congressman.

SWALWELL: Thank you.

ACOSTA: We appreciate it.

Much more on our breaking news out of Gaza. An Israeli airstrike takes out a building with offices belonging to "The Associated Press" and Al Jazeera. Both media outlets are reacting. A live report, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:18:40]

ACOSTA: And we're following breaking news. The White House says President Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas today, about escalating violence in Gaza.

The calls come the same day an Israeli air strike destroyed a building housing two prominent media outlets, "The Associated Press" and Al Jazeera.

For the latest, let's bring in CNN's Ben Wedeman in Jerusalem, and CNN's Arlette Saenz at the White House.

Ben, to you first, this airstrike it's pretty incredible. It brought down that building housing a couple of prominent news outlets. Tell us what happened.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This happened in the early afternoon. The building, the Jalaa building, is 12-story building in central Gaza City which as you said, houses the premier American wire service, "The Associated Press", and the offices of the Al Jazeera news network. The building was brought down completely, to rubble and dust.

The Israelis did warn -- give a half-hour warning for the building to leave. They even spoke with the owner of the building who pleaded with the Israelis to allow the journalists to have more time to get their equipment out. It's also worth noting there are families that live in this building.

Now, in the aftermath of this attack, Gary Pruitt, the chief executive of "The Associated Press", put out a statement in which he says -- we are shocked and horrified that the Israeli military would target and destroy the building housing "A.P.'s" bureau and other news organizations in Gaza. They have long known the location of our bureau and knew journalists were there. And also very soon after the building collapsed, an Al Jazeera English anchor had this to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This channel will not be silenced. Al Jazeera will not be silenced. We can guarantee you that right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WEDEMAN: Now the Israelis saying the building contained -- or there were offices of some research and development unit. That's why the building was struck. Now, I can tell you, as somebody who has covered this conflict for decades, I can remember going back to the summer of 2001, I was in Ramallah just down the street from a building where a very specific office was hit on one floor. The rest of the building was unharmed.

It's no secret that the Israelis have the technology to specifically target a room in a building. Why they would take down the entire building is anybody's guess, but certainly many of the journalists struggling to cover this story in Gaza are asking themselves, is this an attempt to silence them. Now, we -- and we understand, of course, that President Biden has been on the phone with Prime Minister Netanyahu, stressing the importance of protecting journalists, but we shall see if such words are falling on deaf ears. Jim?

ACOSTA: We certainly will find that out. Ben, thank you so much.

Arlette, what do we know about this call between Biden and leaders in that region? The White House did make mention of the fact that the president did say to Netanyahu that he is concerned about the safety of these journalists.

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: They did, Jim, and it's been a very busy working Saturday for the president, as he and his team are monitoring the situation regarding Israel. Amid these growing concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza, the president picked up the phone today and had a pair of phone calls. He first, or he spoke at one point with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and at another point, a separate call, he spoke with the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas.

What you see the president trying to do in this period, is that the president is trying to strike this delicate and tricky balance when it comes to supporting Israel's right to defend itself, but also trying to express concerns for the Palestinian people.

And I want to read you a bit of how the White House describes that phone call between the president and the Israeli prime minister. They said the president noted this current period of conflict has tragically claimed the lives of Israeli and Palestinian civilians, including children. He raised concerns about the safety and security of journalists and reinforced the need to ensure their protection.

Now, this comes after you and Ben were talking about, after an airstrike flattened that building in Gaza that was home to "The Associated Press" and a few other media outlets. The White House has indicated they've been stressing to the Israeli government they need to ensure the safety and protection of journalists. This is a situation the White House has been working on for days, making phone calls to those regional partners in the Middle East. The president is keeping a very close eye on this, as they're hoping these tensions will de-escalate soon.

ACOSTA: They certainly need to deescalate. I'm not sure that's going to happen anytime soon. But Ben Wedeman, Arlette Saenz, thanks so much for following all this. We'll get back to you.

And joining me now is the former defense secretary and former CIA director, Leon Panetta.

Secretary Panetta, always great to talk to you. Appreciate you coming by.

What do you make of this airstrike destroying a building where journalists work? Should the Israeli defense forces be taking out buildings where there are journalists inside? Obviously, the journalists were given time to evacuate and so on, but they did take down that building.

LEON PANETTA, FORMER DEFENSE SECRETARY: Jim, this is just another dangerous escalation in this conflict between the Israelis and Hamas. And it basically raises the concern that, as events escalate, and as the Israelis take more actions in Gaza, and as people take to the streets, that ultimately this could escalate into a war.

[15:25:08]

So I hope that Prime Minister Netanyahu and Abbas listened to Joe Biden's recommendation to begin to cool things, to try to achieve a cease-fire, and to try to end what I think is a dangerous conflict in that area. ACOSTA: And, Secretary Panetta, President Biden, as you were just

saying, he spoke with the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu today, as well as the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. What should he be telling them in terms of deescalating the situation? It sounds as though the president is going to be on the phone with both these leaders on a regular basis for the next couple weeks, at the very least.

PANETTA: Well, the first thing that I think is important is that I think President Biden is trying to return the United States to the role of an honest broker, in trying to deal with the Israelis and the Palestinians. I think that is the appropriate role for the United States.

So, I'm glad that President Biden is speaking to both parties. I think he's urging them to de-escalate, to try to achieve a cease-fire, and to try to engage in peaceful negotiate. That is the message that the United States should send. I hope that they listen to that.

ACOSTA: And the U.N. secretary general is calling for all parties to immediately cease fighting, and allow for mediation to take place. That doesn't look like it's going to happen anytime soon. How close is this region, do you think, to all-out war?

PANETTA: Well, that's what concerns me is that, you know, we've seen almost 2,500 rockets fired from Hamas into Israel. They're trying to overwhelm the Iron Dome defense system, which is the system that can take down those kinds of rockets. We're seeing the Israelis going after almost 670 targets in Gaza, and dropping tons of weapons, and we're seeing people taking to the streets.

If you combine all of that together, it is a very different situation from what we have seen in the past, where there have been relatively few exchanges. This thing is escalating. It's escalating in a dangerous way. I think everybody needs to recognize that if we continue this tit for tat, ultimately the result is war.

ACOSTA: That's right, and we have seen this cycle of violence play out time and again, Secretary Panetta.

Let me ask you this. You were once the head of the CIA. I want to ask you about that massive cyberattack that shut down the Colonial Pipeline, and lead to this gas shortages in the Southeast, some pretty crippling gas shortages just in the Washington, D.C. area alone.

Sources tell CNN the company did in fact pay a ransom demanded by the cyber criminals. As somebody who was, you know, once director of the CIA, do you think that was the right decision? Should companies be paying of these cyber attackers?

PANETTA: I don't like that, because it sends a message to other attackers that all they have to do is shut one of their infrastructure down and they're going to get paid off. That's a bad signal to send.

I would prefer that we develop both defenses and the offenses necessary in order to confront these cyberattacks. This is the battlefield of the future. I said cyber can be used virtually to paralyze our country. We're seeing that begin to happen. We cannot just simply sit back, pay these guys off and have this continue in the future, because, frankly we will pay a price for these kinds of cyberattacks, as we have, and it can affect our security.

ACOSTA: What about the tide of the Russians? How concerned should Americans be that this appears to be tied back to the Russians? It's not clear whether or not this was well known inside the Kremlin. But once again, we're dealing with a Russian menace here.

PANETTA: Well, we've seen Russia play this game before. They have cyber-attacked us with regard to the elections. We saw them cyberattack us with regard to SolarWinds, going after industries and government agencies. And we have seen these individuals coming out of Russia who impacted on this important fuel line.

[15:30:00]

This is very close to becoming acts of war when people are seriously impacted by what these Russians are doing.

I think the United States has to very strongly let the Russians know that this is not only unacceptable, but that if they continue to do this, they too will pay a price with regard to cyberwar fare.

ACOSTA: All right, former defense secretary, Leon Panetta, thanks for those insights. Always greatly appreciated.

Coming up, HBO's Bill Maher and eight members of the New York Yankees -- did you hear about this -- all testing positive for coronavirus despite being vaccinated. What does that tell us about the virus? I've got that question. A lot of you have that question. We'll ask an expert, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:35:13]

ACOSTA: Fully vaccinated, yet infected with COVID. That is the current reality facing comedian, Bill Maher. The HBO personality tested positive this week but says he's asymptomatic and feels perfectly fine.

But his announcement comes after eight members of the New York Yankees testing positive despite all being vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Of those eight, only one showed symptoms.

Dr. Celine Gounder is a CNN medical analyst and an infectious disease specialist. She joins me now.

Dr. Gounder, this has a lot of people talking. This has me scratching my head. I suppose this was going to happen, right? These vaccines are not 100 percent full proof all of the time.

But what does this tell us?

DR. CELINE GOUNDER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Jim, these are, to be clear, some of the best vaccines we have ever made.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been shown to be 90 percent effective in reducing even your risk of infection. Johnson & Johnson a little less effective but still quite good. They do prevent severe disease.

So Bill Maher, the Yankees players did not have symptoMs. However, they are not perfect. And you may still see some infections.

What you're seeing is really a reduction in risk from whatever your baseline risk is. And baseline is determined -- and if we could see that map on screen now. This is a map looking at community transmission by county across the U.S.

So your baseline risk is really about how much is circulating in your community.

The counties in blue are the ones with the lowest risk. A lot of the counties are in yellow, where the risk is moderate. The counties in orange and red are where there's still a fair amount of transmissions.

So it really depends on where you are. And certainly. if you're in a place where there's still a lot of community transmission, even if you're vaccinated, you could pick up an infection. But it's much more likely to be asymptomatic and not a severe infection.

ACOSTA: Yes, all of this tells us we're not there yet. We're getting there but we're not there yet.

The reason we know about these breakthrough cases is because Bill Maher and the Yankees are being tested regularly as part of their jobs.

If everyone who was vaccinated was tested regularly, would we find that the virus is still everywhere? What would that tell us?

GOUNDER: We certainly would see more breakthrough infections. So people who have been vaccinated ending up with an infection if we were testing everybody who had been vaccinated.

But I think -

(CROSSTALK)

ACOSTA: They just don't know about it, is that what you're saying? Something like that/

GOUNDER: Yes. So if they don't have symptoms, they wouldn't be aware unless they got tested.

The key thing to understand thought is the risks of severe disease, hospitalization and death is dramatically reduced, essentially to zero if you get vaccinated.

So even if you pick up an asymptomatic infection, an infection without symptoms, that's really not, in the big picture, something that we're too worried about.

ACOSTA: And the CDC's new mask guidance for fully vaccinated Americans, it has sparked some confusion.

Many of the big retailers out there are keeping their policies unchanged. While some, including Trader Joe's, Walmart, Costco, no longer requiring their customers to mask up.

How do you see this playing out? I can see people saying, well, at this store, store X, I have to wear my mask, but at store Y, I don't have to wear my mask. I guess you still have to keep it in your pocket.

GOUNDER: Yes, I think it's really confusing.

I think, unfortunately, the CDC should have given more nuanced advice and said, look, if you're in one of those counties where there's still a lot of transmission, we probably still need to be wearing masks, even if you're vaccinated.

If you're living in one of those low-transmission counties, that's not necessary.

It also makes me concerned. If you think about Walmart, they are one of the vaccine distribution sites. So that means you have people who are not vaccinated by definition going to Walmart to get vaccinated.

So that means you're going to have people are not vaccinated and at risk of transmitting coming to places like that. So I do think that's really concerning.

ACOSTA: Dr. Fauci is advising this for kids who are unvaccinated. Let's play this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY & INFECTIOUS DISEASES: When the children go out into the community, either indoors or in certain outdoor settings, they should wear a mask if you're unvaccinated.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: Why do you think that's essential, given what we know about kids? We know that children don't spread the virus as much as adults do.

GOUNDER: That's right. However, children, while they are also at reduced risk of severe disease as compared to adults, it's not zero. And COVID is much worse than the flu in kids, too.

We've had about 15,000 hospitalizations across the country over the past year among kids, 300 deaths due to COVID among kids.

So we do need -- until all of the kids can get vaccinated, too, do need to continue with some of these mitigation measures to protect them.

[15:40:04]

Just like you would if you take your kids in the car to the grocery store, you put the seat belt on them, even though the risk is pretty low that you're going to get into a bad car crash on the way to the grocery store.

ACOSTA: OK, Dr. Celine Gounder, thank you so much for those great insights. As always, we appreciate it.

Coming, where in the world is that missing tiger last seen in Houston? Everybody wants to know: Where is the tiger? The theory police have, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ACOSTA: Now to the hunt in Houston for a missing exotic tiger. Hundreds of tips are flooding in, along with this new video just released showing a man playing with a tiger inside a house, like it's a dog or a pet.

Please do not do this if you are out there and you see this tiger.

But after a week of searching and all of those tips, still no sign of India, the 9-month-old Bengal tiger.

CNN's Rosa Flores tells us more about who released this new video and has the latest on the hunt.

[15:45:03]

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jim, the man linked to this missing tiger, 26-year-old Victor Hugo Cuevas, releasing photos and a video showing him interacting with this tiger.

Take a look. It shows him playing with the tiger. And according to his attorney, this animal is potty trained. It responds to commands, like sit down and lay down.

And when Cuevas speaks to him in Spanish and says kisses, this animal jumps on his shoulders and gives him a kiss.

But, look, this is not meant to be cute. A tiger is a dangerous animal.

And the investigating agency here is the Houston Police Department.

Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RON BORZA, COMMANDER, HOUSTON POLICE DEPARTMENT: A tiger is a tiger. And I imagine it's going through a lot of stress this week, too, with all of the moving that I'm assuming it's going through, which isn't good. (END VIDEO CLIP)

FLORES: The Houston Police Department says they have received hundreds of phone calls, some of them tips, some of them alleged sightings of this animals, but still no luck.

According to investigators, this animal has probably been moved six, seven, eight times. But they still believe that it's in the city of Houston.

"Tiger King" star, Carole Baskin, is offering a $5,000 reward to the individual to turns this tiger over to a sanctuary and then works with police to prosecutor the owner and the seller -- Jim?

ACOSTA: OK, Rosa Flores thanks so much.

Anybody who has seen "Tiger King" knows they're cute until they're not.

First, it was the break from the royal family, then it was the bombshell interview with Oprah. And now Prince Harry is speaking out, saying life at the palace was a mix between "The Truman Show" and being in a zoo. What else he had to say, next.

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[15:51:28]

ACOSTA: "Like being on "The Truman Show" or in a zoo" -- that's how Prince Harry describes his life growing up a royal. And in a new interview, he gets candidate about his father, Prince Charles, and what he calls a toxic cycle of pain and suffering.

CNN's Max Foster reports.

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MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Just when you thought Prince Harry couldn't lift a lid on British royal life any further comes this analysis of the pain he suffered as he grew up.

PRINCE HARRY, THE DUKE OF SUSSEX (voice-over): I don't think we should be pointing the finger or blaming anybody.

But certainly, when it comes to parenting, if I've experienced some form of pain or suffering because of the pain or suffering that perhaps my father or my parents had suffered, I'm going to make sure that I break that cycle so that I don't pass it on basically.

FOSTER: Appearing on Actor Dax Shepard's podcast, called "Armchair Expert," the Duke of Sussex spoke of genetic pain, something he says he inherited from Prince Charles, and something he's coming to terms with during therapy.

PRINCE HARRY (voice-over): I never saw it. I never knew about it. And then suddenly, I started to piece it all together and go, OK, so this is where he went to school. This is what happened. I know this bit about his life.

I also know that's connected to his parents.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Yes.

PRINCE HARRY (voice-over): So that means that he's treating me the way that he was treated.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Exactly.

PRINCE HARRY (voice-over): Which means, how can I change that for my own kids? And well, here I am. I've now moved my whole family to the U.S. Well, that wasn't the plan.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Exactly.

PRINCE HARRY (voice-over): Do you know what I mean? But sometimes you've got to make decisions and put your family first and put your mental health first.

FOSTER: Harry puts his wild partying days down to childhood trauma, joking about being photographed playing naked billiards.

He compared royal life to a mixture between "The Truman Show" and being in a zoo.

PRINCE HARRY (voice-over): It's the job, right?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Yes.

PRINCE HARRY (voice-over): Grin and bear it, get on with it.

I was in my early 20s, I was a case of like, I just I don't want this job.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Yes.

PRINCE HARRY (voice-over): I don't want to be here. I don't want to be doing this. Look what it did to my mum. How am I ever going to settle down and have a wife and a family when I know that it's going to happen again?

FOSTER: Harry recalls going on a secret supermarket run in the early stages of his relationship with Meghan.

PRINCE HARRY (voice-over): The first time that Meghan and I met up for her to come and stay with me, we met up in a supermarket in London, pretending that we didn't know each other. So texting each other from the other side of the --

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

PRINCE HARRY (voice-over): And there were people looking at me, giving me all of these weird looks and coming up and saying hi, whatever. (CHEERING)

FOSTER: They've since married, relocated to Los Angeles, and had one child with another on the way.

PRINCE HARRY (voice-over) So living here now, I can actually like lift my head, and actually -- I feel different. My shoulders have dropped, so has hers.

DAX SHEPARD, HOST, "ARMCHAIR EXPERT" PODCAST (voice-over): I can't imagine.

PRINCE HARRY (voice-over): And you can walk around feeling a little bit more free.

I get to take Archie on the back of my bicycle. Now, I've said that they're probably going to be --

(LAUGHTER)

SHEPARD (voice-over): Yes.

PRINCE HARRY (voice-over): But it's like I never had the chance to do that.

FOSTER: Prince Harry haunted by his past, but now rebuilding his future.

Max Foster, CNN, Hampshire, England.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ACOSTA: This week's "CNN Hero" became paralyzed from the waist down and struggled for years to get into shape and obtain a healthy lifestyle.

Inspired by his own journey, he created an adaptive training and nutritional program to help people with disabilities push beyond their limitation.

Meet Wesley Hamilton.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WESLEY HAMILTON, CNN HERO: Come on. Easy.

My main goal is to teach people how to take control of their lives.

Yes, there you go.

Take full accountability and embrace your reality.

Slowly. Start right here.

When we go through out program, it's only the beginning. I want to be there through your whole journey because I want to see you successful. [15:55:07]

There we go. One more.

I've gained so much from my injuries. And I want other people to have that same mindset.

You're learning that you're about to do more.

I believe that once we help someone, now they have the ability to help someone else.

This has to have a ripple effect. We're coming together, empowering each other, being an inspiration for one another.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: And to learn more about Wesley's work, go to CNNheroes.com. And while you're there, nominate someone you think should be a "CNN Hero."

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