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CNN NEWSROOM

Soon, Biden to Issue Rallying Cry Ahead of July 4th Vaccine Deadline; Anti-Asian Attacks on Rise in the Age of Covid; "National Enquirer" Fined over Hush Money Payment; Biden Talks COVID Response as Cases Decline, Restrictions Ease. Aired 1:30-2p ET

Aired June 2, 2021 - 13:30   ET

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


[13:30:00]

DR. LEANA WEN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: He's already announced making transportation available and we are expecting childcare initiatives and other things employers can do to facility vaccinations.

All of these are really important steps. It's important for the individuals and for their family and for everybody around them and their community as well.

ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: We have seen a lot of incentives lately, free beer and free cruises and free baseball tickets and free college and cash prizes and so much more.

Dr. Wen, are these incentives paying off from a public health perspective? And what other strategies could be deployed to reach people who have not gotten vaccinated at this point?

WEN: Incentives can help. And for some individuals it will be an important motivator.

I think two things have to be done. One is to make vaccination as easy as possible. And that includes going to where people are. Specifically going to workplaces, going to schools now that we are able to vaccine 12-year-olds and above.

We should also offer to vaccinate parents where children go into schools to be vaccinated as well. And we need to enlist more trusted messengers, people need to have their concerns addressed.

And we are tying the vaccination to additional incentives as well.

I think we will see more requirements for vaccinations not only by colleges and universities, but also by workplaces moving forward as well.

CABRERA: And you mentioned vaccinations in schools. And that's something New York is wanting to do. The mayor saying they will offer vaccinations for kids aged 12 through 17. That will start on Friday.

And the data shows how the vaccinations in that age group stalled since they became eligible three weeks ago.

I talked to parents who are , I will get this for myself and maybe not for my child until everything is known about any potential long-term effects from the vaccines. How do you address those concerns?

WEN: I think a lot of people still on the fence about getting vaccines either for themselves or other family members. And they name the idea of could there be long-term effects. And I wish they would validate and say, it's possible.

These vaccines have not been around for many years and we can't say definitively there's not going to be something that happens in 10 years' time.

And for all of these other vaccines, polio, chickenpox, and the side effects are seen within six weeks. And there are not side effects seen in five- or 10-years' time.

And it has to be weighed with the real benefit of getting the vaccine that prevents so much harm, and also is key to allowing all of us, including kids to get back to pre-pandemic normal.

CABRERA: I really do appreciate you, hearing you lay that all out there, because I think it's a genuine concern and a legitimate concern for a lot of people.

I also want to ask you about this new powerful op-ed you wrote in the "Washington Post" about the concern about the origin of COVID-19 and the lab theory that could potentially spark more attacks against anti- Asians already and hate crimes have gone up against Asian-Americans.

And just this week, an Asian woman in New York was attacked by a man that punched her in the face. This was in broad daylight. And she was surrounded by other people. And now the NYPD is recommending hate crime charges.

You said you personally have experienced an uptick in hateful e-mails?

WEN: Yes, and this is extremely unfortunate and difficult for a lot of us to talk about.

We have seen very sadly, tragically, during the pandemic, that shop keepers have had their shops burned or graffiti. There have been physical attacks. And people have blamed me and my people for causing the coronavirus.

We should investigate the lab leak fully, as we should investigate every potential for what happened here with the origin of COVID-19.

But we should all be careful with our words. For example, let's stop the instances of people using the terminology of China virus.

When people are saying about the Chinese government, say that. If the Chinese government is covering up, don't blame the Chinese as a whole. And don't use blanket terminology like that. It's important for us to identify the anger people have about the

pandemic. But it's not appropriate to target anger against innocent people.

You may be angry at a government but it's not an excuse to hate all Asian people or target or blame Asian-Americans here in the U.S.

[13:35:04]

CABRERA: It's important. And it's a distinction worthwhile to point out, not saying the Chinese but the Chinese government or Chinese officials. And I think that can help all of us.

Thank you, Dr. Leana Wen. And it's good to see you. And I appreciate all you do.

Remember when the "National Enquirer" paid a former playmate hush money to cover up an affair with then-Candidate Donald Trump? They just got hit with a fine because that's illegal.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[13:40:22]

CABRERA: A Trump hush money payment to a former "Playboy" model is now ruled an illegal 2016 campaign contribution.

The Federal Election Commission hit the "National Enquirer's" publisher with a $187,000 fine for paying Karen McDougal 150 grand for her story claiming an affair with Donald Trump, only to make sure it never ran. Donald Trump denied the affair.

The former commissioner of the FEC, Trevor Potter, is joining us.

The question is, why is this fine happening now, years later?

TREVOR POTTER, FORMER FEC COMMISSIONER: It's a great question. The answer is the FED is incredibly slow, which is a problem.

All of this is not news to your viewers because it has been plead in court in New York, and the southern District New York lawyers charged Mr. Cohen, Donald Trump's lawyer with this.

CABRERA: I'm so sorry, Trevor, I have to interrupt.

We have the president speaking on COVID and vaccinations.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I would like to play out our plan in June to counter -- to continue, I would say, our successful fight against the pandemic as we approach the July 4th date.

We have made incredible progress in getting people vaccinated quickly, efficiently and equitably. Nearly 170 million Americans of every party and background and walk of life stepped up, rolled up their sleeves and have gotten the shot. And 52 percent of adults are now fully vaccinated, including 75

percent of all seniors. Twenty-eight states, the District Columbia, have achieved 50 percent of adults being fully vaccinated in their jurisdictions.

It's clearer than ever, the more people we get vaccinated the more success we are going to have in our fight against this virus.

Since January 20, and we're talking now about 15 months ago, the average daily cases are down from 184,000 to 19,000. Below 20,000 for the first time since March of 2020.

Average hospitalizations are down from 117,000 to 21,000. Death rates are down over 85 percent,

And this just didn't happen by chance. We got to this moment because we took aggressive action from day one with a whole of government response.

We used every lever at our disposal to get this done. We experienced the production and expanded it in a way making vaccines available for every single American, and they are available and we knew that was the case months ago.

We worked with the states to create over 80,000 vaccination sites and we deployed over 9,000 federal staff, including 5,100 active-duty troops to help get shots in arms.

As a result we have built a world-class vaccination program. I promised you we would marshal a war-time effort to defeat this virus, and that's just what we're doing.

Now, tens of millions of Americans have been vaccinated and are able to return to a closer to normal life. Fully vaccinated people are safely shredding their masks and greeting one another with a smile. Grandparents are hugging their grandkids again.

Small business owners are reopening storefronts and restaurants because of the vaccination strategy.

Our economic strategy, we're experiencing the strongest economic recovery this country has seen in decades.

There's a group called the OECD that includes most of the world's largest economies in its membership. They have been one of those leading bodies analyzing economic growth around the world for 60 years.

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Just this week, they increased their projection for the U.S. economic growth this year to 6.9 percent, 6.9 percent. That's the fastest pace in nearly four decades.

And that's because our vaccination program and our economic response, which alone are adding three to four percentage points to our growth, and stronger growth not just this year but in years to come.

In fact, America is the only major country where global forecasters have actually increased their five-year forecast for economic growth since January of 2020.

Because of that America is heading into the summer dramatically different than last year's summer, a summer of freedom. A summer of joy.

A summer of get togethers and celebrations. An all-American summer this country deserves after a long, long dark winter we all have endured.

What happens after the summer? The data could not be clear. For all the progress we are making as a country, if you are unvaccinated, you are still at risk of getting seriously ill or dying or spreading disease to others.

Especially when Americans spend more time indoors again closely gathered in the fall, and as we face the potential threat of a new, more dangerous variants,

Even now, if you look at the areas of the country where the vaccination rates are the highest, the death rates are dramatically falling.

The vaccines are effective. They are effective against the variants currently circulating in the United States.

On the other hand, COVID deaths are unchanged in many parts of our country that are lagging behind in vaccinations.

For young people who may think this doesn't affect you, listen up, please. This virus, even a mild case, can be with you for months. It will impact on your social life. It could have long-term implications for your health that we don't even know about yet or fully understand yet.

It's true, the young people are much less likely to die from COVID, but if you do not get vaccinated, you could get COVID sooner or later, but you can get COVID still.

A substantial percentage of people with COVID, even young people will suffer illnesses and some will have long-term impact health issues as a consequence.

And if you are thinking the side effects from the shot are worse than COVID or you just can't take a chance, you are just dead wrong.

Do it for yourself. Do it to protect those more vulnerable than you, your friends, your family, your community.

You know, some people have questions about how quickly the vaccines were developed, and they said they were developed so quickly they can't be that good. Here's what you need to know. Vaccines are developed over a decade of

research in similar virus and they have gone through strict FDA clinical trials.

The bottom line is this. I promise you, they are safe. They are safe.

Even more importantly, they are extremely effective. If you are vaccinated you are protected. If you are not vaccinated you are not protected.

Places with high vaccination rates will also see cases of COVID moving forward. Places with lower vaccination rates are going to see more.

You know, we were elected to be president and vice president for all Americans.

I don't want to see the country that is already too divided become divided in a new way, between places where people live free from fear of COVID and places where when the fall arrives and death and severe illnesses return.

The vaccine is free. It's safe and it's effective. Getting the vaccine is not a partisan act. The science was done under democratic and Republican administrations.

As a matter of fact, the first vaccines were developed under a Republican president and deployed by a Democratic president.

And all over the world they are desperate to get a shot. And you can get it at no cost and no wait. Any American over the age of 12, no matter what you believe or who you voted for has the right to get vaccinated.

It's your choice, so please exercise your freedom. Live without fear. We need to be one America, united. Free from fear this fall.

Now how we keep beating this virus as we enter the fall after summer? I ask adults to come together to get one shot by July 4th, 70 percent by July 4th with at least one shot.

To date, 12 states reached this milestone and we expect more to meet this milestone this week. Nationally, we are at 63 percent of adults with one shot. And we're getting closer. We still have work to do.

[13:50:14]

With 73 percent of Americans over the age of 40, with one shot, and we especially need people under 40 to step up. Over 40 is doing much better.

That's why today we're announcing a month-long effort to pull all the stops to free ourselves from this virus and get to 70 percent of adult Americans vaccinated.

I'm going to take everyone -- it's going to take everyone, everyone. The federal government, state governments, local, tribal, territorial governments, private sector, most importantly the American people to get to this 70 percent mark, so we can declare independence from COVID-19.

And free ourselves from the grip it has held over our lives for the better part of a year.

Each of you has the power to help gain this freedom as a nation. If you get a shot this week, you can be fully vaccinated by July 4th, by the week of July 4th. You can you celebrate Independence Day free from fear or worry.

This effort has five keep parts.

First, we're making it easier than ever to get vaccinated. 90 percent of you live within five miles of a vaccination site. The vaccinations are free, and most places allow walk-up vaccinations. No appointment needed.

You can go to vaccines.gov, or text your zip code to 438829. You can get a text back with the places you can get a shot that are close by.

Now we're going to make it even easier. In response to our call to action, businesses and organizations across the country have stepped up to help everyone get vaccinated.

Starting next week, many vaccination sites will offer extended hours during the month of June, including pharmacies that will be open 24 hours every Friday night. This month.

If you're too busy at work or school, you can get vaccinated arch the clock on any Friday. Any Friday.

For parents who haven't been ability to get the shot because they didn't have the childcare, starting today, KinderCare, Learning Care group, the Bright Horizons, along with hundreds of YMCA locations will offer free drop-in childcare while the parents are getting vaccinated.

In addition, Uber and Lyft are both offering free rides to and from vaccination centers.

It's easier than ever to get vaccinated. Text 438829 to find out what the nearest places you can get vaccinated from your zip code and visit pharmacies with extended hour and walk-up shots that are available.

Free childcare, free rides, free shots.

Second, we're going to reduce our outreach and public education efforts. We're going to relaunch them, in effect.

We're going to launch a national vaccination tour to encourage people to take the shot. The vice president's going to lead that tour across the south and the Midwest where we still have millions of people to vaccinate.

She's going to be joined by the first lady and the second gentleman, and cabinet secretaries along the way. In the spirit of meeting people where they are, we'll also be working

with a black coalition against COVID and other organizations to launch a new initiative called Shots at the Shop.

Barber shops, beauty shops, our hubs service activity and information in the black and brown communities in particular, but in many communities across the nation.

Local barbers, stylists, they become key advocates for vaccinations in their communities, offering information to customers, booking appointments for them, even use their own businesses as vaccination sites.

We're going to work with shops across the country to make an even bigger impact over the next month.

We'll also kick things off this weekend with a national canvassing weekend where thousands of volunteers will be knocking on doors and encourage that I communities to get vaccinated.

Mayors will be stepping up even more over the next month, partnering with us on the city vaccination challenge, to see which city can grow its vaccination rate the fastest, the most, by July 4th.

[13:55:07]

We need you to join these efforts. This is the kind of on the groundwork that's going to get the job done.

Third, we'll be increasing our work with employers. A lot of working people are holding back because they're concerned about losing pay if they take time off to get a shot. Or if they don't feel well the next day.

I said before, for small and medium-sized employers, if you give people paid time off to get a shot, you'll get a tax credit to cover that cost. Already millions of workers across the country are eligible for paid time off and incentives from their employers.

I'm asking all employers, do the right thing. We're making it easy for employers to set up on the job vaccination clinics, to make it even more convenient for employees to get a shot.

Fourth, we're going to continue encouraging people to get vaccinated with incentives and fun reward.

The state of Ohio had the heck of a fun reward, a new millionaire last week, thanks to the create activity of the governor.

Kroger announced they're going to give away $1 million each week to someone who gets vaccinated at one of their pharmacies.

The NBA, NHL, NASCAR tracks, they're offers vaccines at playoff games and in races. Major League Baseball will be offering free tickets to people who get vaccinated at the ballpark. To top it off Anheuser-Busch announced beer is on them on July the

4th. That's right, get a shot and have a beer. Free beer for everyone 21 years or over to celebrate the independence from the virus.

Fifth, and finally, we're asking the American people to help. We need you. We need you to get your friends, family and neighbors and co- workers vaccinated. Help them find an appointment, drive them to the site, talk to them about why you made the choice for yourself.

So many Americans have already stepped up to help get their communities vaccinated. Over the next month, we're going to need you more than ever. We need every American to commit to the five actions.

I have mentioned this. Go to we can do this.HHS.gov. To sign up to volunteer, learn more about how you can help. Take at least five actions to help in June, and you might even be invited to visit us at the White House in July to celebrate our independence together.

I'll close with this. We need everyone across the country to pull together, to get us over the finish like. I problem you, we can do this.

We have already accomplished it together in four months. America can do anything when we do it together.

Please, do your part. Give it your all through July the 4th. Let's reach our 70 percent goal. Let's go into the summer freer and safer. Let's celebrate a truly historic Independence Day.

Thank you for listening. Please get engaged.

May God bless you all. And may God protect our troops.

Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Mr. President, were you -- (INAUDIBLE)

CABRERA: We just heard from the president talking about COVID vaccinations, urges Americans to get their shots this week, saying if you do, you will be able to celebrate Independence Day, July 4th being the goal here, free of fear and fully vaccinated by then.

He said free from fear or worry about getting the coronavirus.

He talked about the initiatives his administration in partnership with a lot of different organizations and businesses will be taking in this month to try to push forward those vaccinations.

He's promising pharmacies will be open on Fridays, 24 hours, and several childcare organizations will offer free child ware while their parents get vaccinated. Uber and Lift offering free rides.

He talked about shots at shops with an initiative of barber shops and beauty shops, to even offer vaccine there's on site.

[13:59:55] He wrapped with this, saying, I promise you we can do this. He purged people to go to wecandothis.HHS.gov to volunteer. He's calling an all- hands-on-deck American push to get vaccinated prior to July 4th.