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Biden Meets with British Prime Minister; Biden to Meet with Putin; U.S. Donates Vaccine Worldwide; Dr. Mark McClellan is Interviewed about Worldwide Vaccination. Aired 9-9:30a ET

Aired June 10, 2021 - 09:00   ET

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


[09:00:00]

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Go to Dead and Company when they go to Citi Field in New York, they're going to see them in Raleigh and, you know, they're going everywhere.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Fair to say you are jealous of Stephanie Elam.

BERMAN: Yes. You know, although, if -- to go to a concert you have to be near people. I'm not sure I'm down with people. We'll see.

KEILAR: We'll see. All right.

BERMAN: CNN's coverage continues now with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto. People.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. We're so glad you're with us. I'm Poppy Harlow.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: We're back next to each other again. That's nice.

HARLOW: It's great being here.

SCIUTTO: I'm Just Sciutto.

Just minutes from now, President Biden set to depart for a critical meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson ahead of the G-7 summit. It is Biden's first overseas test as diplomat in chief. In the coming days, the president taking on a very familiar role on the international stage, albeit with a new title as he looks to restore U.S. allies' faith in America as a partner and a leading democracy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: At every point along the way, we're going to make it clear that the United States is back and democracies of the world are standing together to tackle the toughest challenges and the issues that matter most to our future. (END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: The focus for Biden, a big focus, is zeroing in on re- establishing the international community's respect, particularly in the wake of former President Trump's go it alone America first approach. But the president's biggest meeting will not come until next week. That is when he sits down face-to-face with Russian President Vladimir Putin. President Biden already sending a clear message that his relationship with the Russian leader will be very different from his predecessors. This as Putin delivers a message of his own.

There is clearly a lot to get to. Our team is following all of the developments unfolding overseas.

Let's begin with CNN chief national affairs correspondent Jeff Zeleny in Falmouth, England.

Jeff, good morning. Good afternoon to you.

President Biden meets with Prime Minister Johnson later today. What can we expect?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Poppy.

This is, of course, the first meeting between President Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. So they certainly will be beginning their own relationship. The two countries have a special relationship. But it's also the relationship of the -- and the dynamics of individual leaders that really, you know, enlivens the country's relationship.

But we got a sense from President Biden, as he arrived here last evening, talking to American troops about the importance of democracy and why democracies around the world also so important as the rise of -- as autocrats are certainly happening.

So listen to what President Biden said. It really sets the tone for the rest of his week here.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have to discredit those who believe that the age of democracy is over, as some of our fellow nations believe. We have to expose as false the narrative that decrees of dictators can match the speed and scale of the 21st challenges.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ZELENY: So really putting into historical context there the challenges that are set for him and Prime Minister Boris Johnson. So just taking a look now at a couple of things on his itinerary for the rest of the day here.

He and Prime Minister Boris Johnson are going to review the Atlantic charter and revise that. This is, of course, a document some 80 years old this year reached with FDR and Winston Churchill back in the -- really set the course of things after the Second World War.

This is going to be updated for this age. Talking to White House officials this morning, they tell us that this is going to be talking about the new threats. Not necessarily in a new Cold War sense, but talking about, you know, the other threats and challenges facing these two countries.

But also, in this face-to-face meeting, it is going to give the president and the prime minister a chance to really reset their relationship. You'll remember during the 2020 campaign, at the time Joe Biden not a fan of Boris Johnson. He called him a clone of Donald Trump. That is an entirely new dynamic that is going to be starting today. So we'll see them face-to-face for the first time.

And, of course, later today, President Biden will be talking about the vaccines. Those 500 million vaccines the U.S. is buying for other countries, Jim and Poppy.

SCIUTTO: Yes, it will be interesting to see if Biden is reminded of his description of Johnson in the past while he's there.

CNN's Nic Robertson, also in the U.K.

SO, Nic, this is the time that Biden is sitting down with friends. Next week he's going to sit down with an adversary, with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva. We're going to be there for that.

State Department condemning Russia's decision to designate opposition groups affiliated with Alexey Navalny as extremists.

I wonder, what message is Putin sending to Biden with this move in advance of their face-to-face meeting?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: You know, I think when you evaluate President Putin over the last number of years, he got to feel under President Trump that he could get away with whatever he wanted. And he appears to be set on trying the same game with President Biden.

[09:05:03]

Now, President Biden is saying that when he gets to sit down with him, he's going to tell him what he wants him, President Putin, to know.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Heading to the G-7, then to NATO, (INAUDIBLE), then to meet with Mr. Putin, to let him know what I want him to know.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTSON: So this meeting between them is about -- not about friendship. White House officials say it's going to be candid. And it is to provide, at the end of it, a stable relationship, a predictable, stable relationship. That's certainly something the United States allies are going to look for.

But one of the issues that may very well come up is that topic, Jim, that you just mentioned, Alexey Navalny and his group (ph). The State Department have issued a very robust and strong statement on that. And I'm going to read it to you right now.

With this action, Russia has effectively criminalized one of the country's few remaining independent political movements. We urge Russia to cease the abuse of extremism designations to target nonviolent organizations and its repression against Mr. Navalny and his supporters and honor its international obligations to respect and ensure human rights and fundamental freedoms.

That message from the State Department and what President Biden has to say privately behind those closed doors are central to his standing internationally, that he says that he is a champion for democracy and that we must defend democracy in the face of autocracies, that this is essentially an historic pivot moment for the world. And that's what President Putin can expect to hear from him.

SCIUTTO: And we'll see if that messaging changes Russia's behavior. Still a test. Still a question.

Jeff Zeleny, Nic Robertson, thanks very much to both of you.

Joining us now to speak more about this morning's meeting, the challenges, the goals for Biden, CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash.

And, Dana, if we can begin with this Johnson/Biden meeting. Interesting, maybe awkward, diplomatically as well because Johnson deliberately allied himself with Trump, you know -- you know, fellow populist. Trump supported Brexit. Of course that's something that Johnson championed. Now there's a new sheriff in town. Is that a bridgeable gap for those two leaders?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It is a bridgeable gap because President Biden understands that it is not just about personalities. It's not just about how and what at the particular prime minister campaigned on are what he stands for when it comes to his domestic or even European politics. It's about this so-called special relationship that we have been covering since we first started covering politics and even before that.

You know, I was looking back and remembering, Jim, it was 20 -- almost exactly 20 years ago that George W. Bush, the White House I covered, went and met for the first time with Tony Blair and they bonded over Colgate toothpaste. Do you remember that? I don't expect there to be a Colgate toothpaste moment here, but there were questions then about whether the two of them could get together. And then look what happened?

SCIUTTO: Yes.

BASH: You know, for better or worse, they became linked to one another. SCIUTTO: Yes.

HARLOW: So there is going to be, presented later today, a new Atlantic charter. And, obviously, this harkens back to FDR. But what's different this time and what's notable, and our colleague Steven Collins had pointed it out this morning, is that even FDR didn't have to face sort of the unraveling democratic values at home when he -- when he was crossing the Atlantic that time, right? And so Biden faces this unique challenge of having to present the United States as renewed, refreshed, united overseas while domestically this all remains at home.

BASH: That's right. And it's all about a -- having moral authority at the end of the day because, as I mentioned, whether it was Bush, who certainly had his problems on the world stage, particularly as the Iraq War happened and then went bad, he did have that moral authority on something as -- so basic that none of us ever even questioned it, which is his respect for the institutions of democracy here in the United States.

HARLOW: Yes.

BASH: And that is something that President Biden certainly has the respect for, but he doesn't, you know, have the ability to say that it is rock solid the way that almost every president before him has had.

And so meetings that he goes into, never mind in the short term at the G-7, but more importantly with Vladimir Putin, other presidents, his predecessors, have been able to say, don't back slide on democracy.

[09:10:09]

Don't do things like calling your opposition an extremist organization because that is not the way democracies work.

Vladimir Putin can turn to him and say, really, you're going to lecture me about democracy because you had an insurrection at the United States Capitol.

HARLOW: Great point.

BASH: Again, that's certainly not Joe Biden's fault but it makes it more difficult.

SCIUTTO: Imagine those circumstances that U.S. allies have to encourage it, America, not to backslide on democracy. I mean that's the reality in 2021. It's remarkable.

BASH: Yes, it is.

SCIUTTO: I do -- I do want to ask, do partners believe that message, right? Because one thing that Trump changed is that things that used to be bipartisan approaches to the world, commitment to NATO, for instance, the friendship with the U.K. and so on, you know, that changed under Trump. And, of course, world leaders might look and say, well, in 2024, you could have a Trump-like Republican or maybe Trump himself come back. I mean do they believe this message from Biden is lasting?

BASH: I don't know that they can believe it's lasting, but there's little question that they will be welcoming it, at least in the short term. And now really, more than ever, because it's not just, you know, autocratic regimes popping up and doing better in -- in -- well, not that there's an autocratic regime in -- in America, but there -- there certainly was an autocratic tendency here, and it's happening around the -- around the globe.

So, at least in the short term, time is of the essence because as we hear from President Biden and it was one of the first things that he said about his foreign policy, he looked to China. And, Jim, you know this better than the other two of us in this conversation, that his number one goal is to make sure that the United States and other democracies are competitive with China. That is really urgent. And if he can at least establish the base line for that in the next four years, that will be a short-term success.

HARLOW: Dana, thank you so much.

BASH: Good to see you guys.

HARLOW: We have a lot ahead this hour.

Still to come, FDA advisers are meeting right now. They're talking about authorizing COVID-19 vaccine shots for children under 12 years old. So what does that mean for so many of our kids? When could they actually get it? That's next.

SCIUTTO: Yes, and by the next school year perhaps.

A major surge as well in violent crime across this country has police preparing for a potentially bloody summer. Former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton will join us.

Plus, former White House Counsel Don McGahn is telling lawmakers he felt, quote, trapped by former President Trump. His long-awaited testimony answering many pressing questions about his time in the White House. What's it all mean?

Stay with us.

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[09:17:25]

HARLOW: The White House is set to make a really big announcement, a major contribution to the global vaccination effort. President Biden will soon announce that the U.S. has purchased and will donate 500 million doses of Pfizer's COVID vaccine around the world.

SCIUTTO: Yes, major change from the previous administration.

CNN's senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen joins us now.

So, Elizabeth, how do you distribute 500 billion doses of vaccine to the world?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, goods get distributed all over the world all the time. For the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, they have to take special care with temperature. But, you know, this is the kind of things that shippers are used to doing.

What's so great about this is that this administration recognizes that you have to vaccinate the world. The virus knows no national boundaries. So even though things are looking much better in the United States, there is -- there's ample vaccine. All you need is for it to be spreading around the world for a variant to emerge that could really get us all. And that would be terrible. And so you should really vaccinate the world.

So let's take a look at what the plan is for getting vaccine to these lower income countries.

So we're talking about 92 low and lower middle income countries. In August, vaccine will start shipping and then by the end of the year 200 million doses will be delivered. And then in the first half of next year, the remaining 300 million doses will be delivered because, again, viruses don't know national boundaries.

So, yes, is this an act of charity? Yes. But it's also a way of protecting Americans.

Jim. Poppy.

HARLOW: Elizabeth, thank you very much. It will be very welcome, I know, around the world.

Let's bring in to discuss this and a lot more, Dr. Mark McClellan, the director of the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy. He's a former FDA commissioner, now serves on the board of Johnson & Johnson. So a lot to get to on all these fronts with you.

Can you speak to the impact you expect this to have, the United States, 500 million doses, as Jim said, but I would suspect we need other wealthy nations with an excess of vaccine to do the same.

DR. MARK MCCLELLAN, DIRECTOR, DUKE-MARGOLIS CENTER FOR HEALTH POLICY: Poppy, we do need more. This is a really important step. We've developed and have available here in the United States some very effective and safe vaccines. You can see what a difference it's made in the pandemic. Unfortunately, the rest of the world, especially low and middle income countries, including the 92 that are getting these vaccines, are in a very different position with COVID still surging.

So this is an important step, but we have a lot more vaccines that we need to provide in the range of billions of doses.

[09:20:01]

And on top of that, as Elizabeth said, we can get the vaccines to countries where they're needed, but just as in the United States, there are challenges in getting from there, the vaccines out into people's arms and overcoming issues like confidence and hesitancy around the vaccines. There's still a lot of work to do there around the world.

So this is a first step and hopefully the G-7 meeting that's taking place now can add to it.

HARLOW: Yes.

So there are also, on top of this donation of Pfizer vaccine, there are up to millions, Dr. McClellan, of J&J vaccine sitting on shelves about to expire this month. I ask you this as someone who sits on the board of J&J. That, I mean, that is beyond frustrating to people around the world and governments that need any vaccine that they can get.

The CEO of J&J said this week, look, we're working very hard on a federal level, on a local level, to do what we can to make sure that these vaccines are deployed in the most -- the most meaningful way.

Can you give us some insight into what's going to happen? I mean, as someone who sits on that board, are you confident that these vaccines are not just going to go to waste?

MCCLELLAN: Well, I certainly hope so. They're so important, especially for people who can't make it back for two doses and want a one shot solution.

What we're finding, Poppy, is that now that we're getting further into the availability of vaccine, you know, we're learning -- we don't really know how long these vaccines can last on the shelf. The J&J vaccine is one that you can refrigerate for a long time, but as part of this emergency, we did -- weren't able to take the time to see just how long they could last. So those studies are ongoing now.

As you heard, J&J is working with the FDA to try to provide the information needed to get confidence about just how long they can last. And that's a really important issue since that could lead to more availability of vaccines here.

HARLOW: But do you --

MCCLELLAN: But, Poppy, it also goes back to the point about sharing the doses outside the U.S., we really need to work that out.

HARLOW: I guess that's what I'm wondering is, as you test whether the J&J vaccine can be refrigerated for more than three months and therefore you could keep it in the U.S. longer for other folks, it seems to me like J&J would like to ship these doses or see them shipped out from states, from the federal government, to other countries, but there is, what, legal red tape, logistical tape that might prevent that?

MCCLELLAN: That's right. First off, the U.S. and other countries that have gotten these excess supplies of really good vaccines are doing it for a reason, they want to be ready for contingencies like variants that may be more resistant, the need for booster shots.

That's understandable. But we're now seeing not just the J&J, in the months ahead we've projected hundreds of millions of excess doses here in the United States similarly coming in western European countries, the other members of the G-7. That could add hundreds of millions of doses, maybe a billion doses this year to the shots that could be available around the world.

And there are logistics to work out. Legal issues and so forth. That's something we need to work on right now. The U.S. is starting to do it. It has started to do this with a small number of doses, 25 million already, 80 million next month. We need to ramp that up and hopefully that's something that the U.S. and other countries that have benefited from these vaccines can do to accelerate the end of the pandemic.

HARLOW: We certainly hope so. It would be such a tragedy to see those go to waste.

Let's end on this. You wrote a really interesting op-ed a few days ago and you are someone who has organized what is called a COVID commission planning group. But here's what you write in "The Washington Post."

The Senate's rejection of a bill to create a commission to investigate the January 6th attack on the Capitol may discourage many about the prospects for a nonpartisan investigation of this pandemic. It shouldn't. And you add, if simplistic narratives about the pandemic are allowed to prevail, the world will be woefully ill-prepared for the next virus.

What is your warning if we don't have this commission that you want?

MCCLELLAN: Poppy, this has been such an all-encompassing pandemic. It's had so many impacts throughout our society. Some things have gone well. We're just talk -- we were just talking about how effective the vaccines that the U.S. government backed in the last administration and this one have turned out to be. Some things have gone not so well, detecting cases early and so forth.

So this is not a partisan issue. This is the biggest public health emergency we've faced in a century. And just like in other major emergencies, there are so many opportunities to learn. We have the technology. We have the ability to prepare so that this sort of thing should never happen again. But we need to look deeply and we need to do it with science, with people from all sides coming together.

HARLOW: I hope a lot of folks heed that warning.

Dr. McClellan, thank you.

MCCLELLAN: Good to be with you.

SCIUTTO: Well, just an alarming surge in gun violence gripping cities across the country.

[09:25:00] Police preparing for what is becoming a violent summer already. Former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton joins us next.

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SCIUTTO: An unrelenting surge in gun violence and violent crime has police chiefs across the country scrambling for solutions. Some departments are bolstering patrols in high-crime neighborhoods. We were out with the NYPD last night doing just that. That puts officers on the streets, rookie officers. It's increasing overtime spending as well.

HARLOW: More than 8,600 people -- 8,600 people -- have died from gun violence this year alone.

[09:30:02]

There have been at least -- or 260 mass shootings.

Our Omar Jimenez is following all of this for us this morning.