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Soon, Biden Delivers Speech after Meeting with U.K. Prime Minister; FDA Extends Shelf Life of J&J Vaccine to 4.5 Months; Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) Says Deal Reached on Overall Dollar Amount in Bipartisan Infrastructure Talks. Aired 1-1:30p ET
Aired June 10, 2021 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: He does on a coop in New Jersey with his partner. Adams insisted to CNN's Don Lemon he is a New Yorker and he pledged to release his E-ZPass records. Rival Andrew Yang tweeting last night, I don't think he lives there, that following Adams' apartment tour.
Thanks for joining us today. Have a great day. Ana Cabrera picks up our coverage right now.
ANA CABRERA, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, I'm Ana Cabrera in New York, thank you so much for joining us.
Moments from now, President Biden will speak on foreign soil in an address from England that he hopes will rally the world's democracies and reassert America's global leadership.
Now, ahead of this speech President Biden sat down with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson for the first time. It is a key moment as the two countries enter a new phase of their special relationship.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Mr. President, I welcome you to Cornwall.
JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: It's a great pleasure to be here.
JOHNSON: Fantastic to see you here on what I think is your first big overseas trip since you've been --
BIDEN: It is.
JOHNSON: -- since you've been president.
BIDEN: It is. I've been to your great country many times but this is the first time as president of the United States.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: The two leaders also signed a new Atlantic charter, 80 years after the original was forged during World War II.
But today's cordial tone obscuring lingering tensions over Brexit and a far cry from 2019 when then-Candidate Biden described Johnson as a Trump clone.
CNN's Senior White House Correspondent Phil Mattingly and CNN Chief International Correspondent Clarissa Ward join us now from England.
Phil, let me start with you. What can you tell us about today's sit- down and White House expectations for the Biden-Johnson partnership?
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Ana, it was intentionally filled with symbolism and an effort to really kind of show the reengagement that the White House has really put behind the entirety of the theme of this trip, obviously very carefully choreographed between the two leaders and the meeting itself was carefully choreographed, making sure that the first meeting President Biden had on foreign soil with a foreign leader was with the leader of the country that has a special relationship with the United States of America.
Everything was kind of lined up with specific intent, including the signing of that revised or updated version of the Atlantic Charter. And it kind of goes to the broader thrust of what the administration is going for in the entirety of this trip, obviously the G7, NATO as well, USEU, and then leading up to that meeting in Geneva, with Russian President Vladimir Putin, trying to underscore that western democracies are in an existential battle right now and that western democracies perhaps, after fraying bonds of the last four years, are now coming back together from a leadership perspective.
Obviously, there are tensions between these two leaders, between these two countries, no more so than on the issue of Brexit, particularly on the issue of Northern Ireland where the president have been very forthright about his view of things and his view that perhaps the U.K. and Prime Minister Johnson are going down a dangerous path at this point in time.
But you never saw any of that publicly. The two leaders met with their teams for about 90 minutes, about ten minutes one-on-one, we're told, making clear publicly at least that the two sides are as unified as they've ever been, perhaps more so, and that, more than anything else, despite any tensions they may have is the message that both I think the White House and the U.K. really want to get across.
CABRERA: Clarissa, so much was said of the parallels between Johnson and Trump and they did project this buddy-buddy image. What does Johnson though hope to accomplish with Biden that maybe wasn't in the cards during the Trump era?
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So I think before the comparisons, Ana, were between Johnson and Trump, now Johnson would like to see the comparisons be between Boris Johnson and Winston Churchill.
It's no secret that the prime minister is a huge admirer of Churchill, and with the very deliberate use of language and symbolism in this new Atlantic Charter, it becomes clear that, essentially, Boris Johnson really is trying to recapture a time in history, 80 years ago, when the U.S. and the U.K. were partners, working in lockstep, essentially reshaping the post-war world.
Now, many things had changed in the intervening decades, and there are huge challenges facing both leaders, but I think the prime minister is hoping that as we see this kind of new show of strength for western democracies, with President Biden kind of filling in the void that President Trump had left, that he can somehow profit from that as well.
And we're seeing this borne out, by the way, in popularity for the U.S. that we haven't seen in a long time, particularly here in Europe. The Pew Research Center has put out a poll today talking about how they surveyed 16 different publics and found that a median of 75 percent of people express confidence in Biden versus just 17 percent for Trump.
That is really just a staggering differential. They also found that last year, 12 nations said just 34 percent had a favorable opinion of the U.S., this year, that number is up to 62 percent.
So, we're definitely seeing, according to this Pew Research poll, a real difference in world opinion about the U.S., about the U.S.'s role in the world, and certainly Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be hoping to capitalize on that as well, Ana.
CABRERA: So, Clarissa, has he had a challenge shedding his association with Trump, especially after Biden himself, you know, called him a Trump clone?
WARD: I think it has been a challenge for him, but, you know, the prime minister has of deflecting things with humor and obfuscation. It's often difficult to see just what he actually really finds challenging.
He's also very good -- you know, analysts say he's very opportunistic, he knows how to seize a moment, how to garner attention for his own merit, how to seize on that moment with President Trump to get him on side when he was going through all his campaigning with Brexit. Now, it's a new era, apparently, and he wants to make sure that he is part of that. He appears to be a political survivor, Ana.
CABRERA: All right, thank you both. And please stay with me throughout this hour as we await the remarks from President Biden expected here any moment now.
Let's bring in an expert to discuss as we await those remarks, former U.S. Ambassador to the U.K., Matthew Barzun joins us now. His new book is called, The Power of Giving Away Power. And, Ambassador, it's good to have you with us, thank you for being here.
Biden and Johnson, they have contrasting personalities and leadership styles. There's Biden calling Johnson a Trump clone, of course. Is that significant or do shared policy goals ultimately override any interpersonal hurdles?
MATTHEW BARZUN, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO U.K.: Thank you for having me, Ana. I think both leaders, Biden and Johnson, there is so much work to be done ahead. They are going to be focused on the immediate present, and what they can do together and not dwell on the past, although both leaders are wonderful students of history.
And it's interesting in that previous piece, you know, we use the word, world stage, choreography, lockstep, I think Clarissa said, and I think it's a mistake for those of us watching these things to think or expect or even to hope that leaders will be in lockstep. It's just not true. And it's okay because the tension that you talked about that is real always -- it was there between FDR and Churchill, and Johnson, you know, wrote a book on Churchill, as you mentioned.
So our history is one of making tension fruitful and productive. And that's what I think they need to do for climate, for COVID, for the range of topics in front of them.
CABRERA: And even though they're projecting a very friendly, warm image, as they, you know, met for the first time face-to-face, I wonder what you think might be happening behind the scenes and whether there are any, you know, difficulties or challenges or differences that they will have to work out behind the scenes.
BARZUN: I'm sure. I mean, you talked about Northern Ireland and Brexit. There's no shortage of them. And, again, we shouldn't be afraid of them or be surprised if they happen because they're always there, and that's okay.
I mean, sometimes we make the mistake, and I'm a big fan of the phrase, special relationship, but a lot of people think it's kind of a cliche and they kind of roll their eyes or they nod their head but there's not a lot of thinking going on. And we should think about it. Because we often make the mistake that our countries do hard things together because they're friends and there is a truth to that.
But the much more important truth is that we are great friends because we have done hard work together and there's a lot of hard work ahead for our two countries and the rest of the G7 and the rest of the world, particularly as it relates to COVID.
So it's that hard work together which, you know, will refresh and renew, as you were talking about the special relationship, that's what always have (ph).
CABRERA: You served your post as ambassador during the Obama administration, so you got to see then-Vice President Biden in action. What kind of leadership do you expect from him going into these meetings? BARZUN: I mean, he is a wonderful listener. I mean, he really takes it in. he's a great speaker too. We saw that earlier, but -- and we'll see it again, I guess, in a few minutes but -- and different from Obama, obviously. But he is a student of history.
And I think he is throughout his whole career, someone who -- he's a natural diplomat. When he was head of the Foreign Relations Committee, he doesn't shy away from difference. He knows that a lot of energy and potential power is indifference. And he's not afraid to work through things with other world leaders and that's the job they need to do, work through.
CABRERA: You know you've said we shouldn't look at this as a reset after the Trump aberration.
How do you look at it? Why do you think it's wrong to frame it that way?
BARZUN: Well, I mean, I understand why the four years before were so -- gosh, what are the words -- but just disempowering to multilateralism, generally, and to the women and men doing this great work who aren't in the photo op, right, all these amazing people on the teams, NGOs around the world who are going to be critical as we do this COVID global vaccination rollout. They're not in the photos but they're doing incredible work around the world.
So I don't find -- reset sort of makes it look like it's a set piece, like we're going back to when everything was perfect and happy. And I just think that's not the way the world works, as I talked about earlier. And so the button I would propose we hit is the let's get real, let's get real about the unbelievable challenges, let's get real about the work we can all do and kind of stop pretending that whatever plan they roll out is going to be perfect. Of course, it's not, never has been. It wasn't perfect 80 years ago. But it's the right direction.
And what I'll be looking for is not only what they say today, but what is it like in a month when some things are going better than expected and, clearly, a bunch of things would not be living up to expectation? Can we be honest with each other where things are falling shortly, medically, financially, logistically, ethically, you name it, and good friendships and effective alliances are able to course correct like that because they're honest with each other, or in the words of Churchill, show charity towards each other's shortcomings. We all have them.
CABRERA: Former Ambassador Matthew Barzun, thank you so much for your insights.
Please stand by as Biden's European trip is now in full swing. It may be full of glad handing right now but it will be a different story next week when he sits down with Russian President Vladimir Putin. A string of cyberattacks in the U.S. already has tensions flaring. But now Russia is cracking down harder on the opposition movement of jailed Putin critic Alexei Navalny. This as CNN learns Biden hopes the U.S. and Russia will agree to restore their respective ambassadors.
CNN Senior International Correspondent Matthew Chance joins us from Moscow. So, Matthew, the timing of this move, labeling Navalny's group extremist, is no accident, I imagine. What message does this send and does it raise the stakes for this meeting?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Well, I think it's been in the works for a while, you know, the idea that the Russians have been building up to try and sort of silence dissidence in the country and, of course, ALEXEI NAVALNY is already behind bars, he's already been effectively silenced.
Now, the authorities have moved to outlaw the political organization that he was the top of, so there are going to be no more of those investigations into official corruption in the elite circle around Vladimir Putin. And anybody who does support them, or shows support for them is potentially now going to be prosecuted, they could face up to six years in prison, anybody who's funded the organization in the past or showed support for them, they've all been labeled as extremists and will be banned.
And this is the important thing domestically here in Russia, they will be banned from standing for election, and there are crucial elections are coming up here in three months, in September, for the country's parliament.
The ruling party which Vladimir Putin presides over has been losing ground in the opinion polls, partly because of the work of Alexei Navalny's anti-corruption foundation, but also because of others issues, like the COVID pandemic and the malaise in the economy here. But now they've moved decisively to sweep aside any possible challenge to the authority of the ruling party and of Vladimir Putin. That's the message that was sent at home.
The message it sends internationally on the eve essentially of the Biden-Putin summit is that, look, we know you're concerned about our crackdown on dissidence but we know you're going to stand up against autocracies around the world, but this is Vladimir Putin doubling down on the autocracy over which he presides. Ana?
CABRERA: Right. He's not giving an inch, clearly. He knows -- Biden has already called him a killer going into this face-to-face, and we know that Biden has been studying, we're told, for weeks, ahead of this trip, ahead of all of his meetings, including the one with the Russian president, which is to come at the end of this swing in Europe. Thank you so much, Matthew Chance.
And as we await remarks for the president, we're also following some big headlines on the pandemic, a key FDA meeting under way right now on getting younger kids vaccinated, and growing concerns over a contagious variant. We have the breaking details.
Plus, sticker shock, new proof that prices are soaring for everything, from gas to groceries. And the pain is worse than expected. And a mother's emotional reunion with her nine-year-old daughter after seeing her on the news alone at the U.S.-Mexico border.
CABRERA: We're back with a major move in the race to preserve critical vaccine doses. The shelf life of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has now been extended from three months to 4.5 by the FDA, and this is just weeks before tens of thousands of doses might have been deemed unusable.
Joining us now is CNN Medical Dr. Celine Gounder. She's also an infectious disease specialist and epidemiologist.
Dr. Gounder, so this is going to keep a lot of vaccines going to waste. How critical is this move but the FDA?
DR. CELINE GOUNDER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Ana, extending the shelf life of these vaccines, the Johnson & Johnson vaccines, from three months to now 4.5 months, that buys you a month-and-a-half, another six weeks. And in that time, all of that vaccine supply could be shots in arms.
We could easily deliver all of that vaccine supply to people. And so this is really a very important step to make the best use of the vaccine that we have available.
But I think it's important to understand that this is being done safely, that they have done the right assessments, checks of the vaccine to make sure it will be stable from that long. And so we absolutely should use every resource available at our disposal, and that includes vaccine that is still good.
CABRERA: And right now, we know FDA, they're meeting with vaccine advisers discussing next steps to, you know, vaccinate kids under the age of 12, this is just a meeting on what specific information is needed to green light those vaccines in young kids. But when do you think kids under 12 will be able to get their shots?
GOUNDER: Right. So these meetings that they're having are to figure out, in a sense, the protocols for how best to study the vaccines, make sure that they are safe and effective, even in the youngest, so kids under age 12. And so they're trying to figure out how many kids need to be put through these studies, for how long do we need to follow them up to make sure we have all of the safety and effectiveness endpoints.
Our best guesstimates right now are that by the time they go through this process that the vaccines are put through those protocols, we're probably looking at having data come September, October for submission to the FDA and pretty quick approval thereafter. CABRERA: Okay, fingers crossed on that. Of course, there's also a race against the variants. As more and more people are getting vaccinated but those vaccination rates are slowing down. A new CDC study shows the variant first identified in the U.K., rapidly rose here in the U.S. in the first four months of this year. And then there's this variant, first identified in India, which experts fear could become the dominant strain here in the U.S. How concerned are you about these variants right now?
GOUNDER: Ana, I'm really concerned. What we saw with the U.K. -- what we now call the alpha variant, is it spread rapidly, first through Europe, causing surges in Europe. We were somewhat insulated from that here in the United States because we were farther along in our vaccination rollout.
But we did see a surge in some of those Midwestern states, Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, for example, and this new Indian delta variant is even more infectious. So you could think of it as even faster moving than the U.K. alpha variant. And so for people who are not vaccinated yet, this really does remain a very serious threat.
CABRERA: Dr. Celine Gounder, thank you, and please stay with us as we are expecting the president any moment now to address the global vaccine rollout and the COVID response, so I look forward to talking to you more about that after his remarks.
Okay, moving on to the economy and you weren't imagining it, you are paying more for everything, from gas to groceries. What's behind this big surge in consumer prices, next.
CABRERA: This just in to CNN. Senator Mitt Romney says senators in that bipartisan infrastructure group, their talks have now agreed to an overall dollar amount for this package. Let's get right to CNN's Chief Congressional Correspondent Manu Raju. So, you spoke to senators. Is this real progress?
MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That remains to be seen, because there are a lot of details to sort through and it remains to be seen whether or not each caucus could get behind this. There's a lot of skepticism still that anything that this group may agree on can actually pass Congress, especially on the left, democrats in particular say it's time to move on. They say any bipartisan deal that will be reached -- Ana, back to you, Ana.
CABRERA: This is Biden speaking in England.
BIDEN: -- royal family and the people of the United Kingdom. Today would have been Prince Philip's 100th birthday. I know there are a lot of people feeling his absence today.
In addition, I'd like to point out that the greet from the British government has been exemplary. We got a good first full day here in the U.K. Prime Minister Johnson and I had a very productive meeting. We discharged and discussed a broad range of issues on which the United Kingdom and the United States are working in close cooperation.
We affirmed the special relationship, as it's not said lately, the special relationship between our people, and renewed our commitment to defending the enduring democratic value that both our nations share of our partnership.
80 years ago, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President Franklin Roosevelt signed an agreement known as the Atlantic Charter. It was a statement of first principles, a promise that the United Kingdom and the United States would meet the challenges of their age and they would meet it together.
Today, we build on that commitment.