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Chaos Erupts After Shots Fired Outside MLB Game Saturday; Father And Son Who Were At The Nationals Game Speak Out; New COVID Cases Up In 30 States As Vaccine Rates Fall; Interview With Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) about America's Gun Violence; House GOPs; DeSantis PAC; Havana Syndrome. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired July 18, 2021 - 16:00   ET



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

Chaos in the nation's capital last night when shots were fired outside of Nationals Park as the home team took on the San Diego Padres. Viewers at home could even hear it happen just before the broadcast went to commercial.


UNIDENTIFIED SPORTS COMMENTATOR: Padres put three more on the board. 8-4.

UNIDENTIFIED SPORTS COMMENTATOR: In between innings, fans started for the exits and for the concourse out of their seats. No rain is going on. There are no lightning. No nothing. But people are running. And it's a real scary situation right now, to be honest.


ACOSTA: The mass exodus, near mass panic sparked by the sound of gunshots in the sixth innings, fans fled their seats, some scrambling to find cover at the nearest dug out or concession stand. After a tense 15 minutes D.C. Metro Police determined there was no threat inside, but the shooting outside left three people wounded, including one fan. A fan of America's national pastime now a victim of America's national epidemic of gun violence.

CNN's Suzanne Malveaux is live outside of Nationals Park.

Suzanne, we understand they're able to complete that game earlier today. But what else have you learned about the shootout?

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Jim, you might actually hear the roar of the crowd right now. I think you can hear that. Game two was completed, in fact. Nationals versus Padres. The Nationals lost 4-10. This is game three so potentially a chance to really make up for some of that loss there.

I've spoken to a lot of people here, they're excited, they're enthusiastic about being out here but also at the same time they're still negotiating what it means to be in big crowds after this year, being cooped up in the pandemic and also just this increase in violence that we've had, crime throughout the country.

And so, yes, there was sheer panic. There was a moment of trauma for many people who experienced that game yesterday. It literally happened -- it was behind base three, the gate, that is where there was a shootout that occurred between two vehicles. One of those fans of the Nationals got caught in between. A young woman who was shot.

The panic happened, Jim, when she came stumbling back into the stadium, she was bloody. People didn't know what was going on. That is when our colleague, Sam Feist, she's a CNN bureau chief, as you know, friend and colleague, he was here and he went into reporter mode as you can obviously understand. And he said that was the time when nobody knew what was going to happen next. That was the worst.

I had a chance to talk to Sam. Here's how he described it.


SAM FEIST, CNN WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, WAS AT THE NATIONALS GAME LAST NIGHT: So you heard screams because I think a lack of knowledge of what was going on. But I heard from a friend who had a 17-year-old who was in the stadium who called his mother terrified that he might die today because he also didn't have information. So you can just imagine at that moment when you think there's an active shooter, how terrifying it is.

It cleared up relatively quickly and as we now know, no one inside the park was injured at all. But it was a frightening few minutes, of course.


MALVEAUX: And, Jim, we know that D.C. Police, they have increased their presence here at the stadium, around the stadium. They are also issuing this surveillance video of a vehicle that they are still in search of as well as offering a $10,000 reward leading to arrests in that shooting.

But most people here, Jim, they feel that it is safe, that this was an isolated incident, yet they are a little bit nervous about it. But, again, they're out here, they're having a good time and they're not going to let it get in the way -- Jim.

ACOSTA: Yes, Suzanne, I understand fans were told to remain calm, remain inside the ballpark when all of this was unfolding. But did fans feel like they had enough information at the time? It sounds like they didn't.

MALVEAUX: Well, there was certainly a period of time when they felt like they didn't have enough information. What they were told at the time when it was unclear was the announcer kept for a while. There was no information, the announcer came on and told them to all stay in their seats. And the scoreboard came up and it said, stay in your seats. This is something that is happening outside.


And that is the time when people really weren't sure whether or not the danger was -- there was some sort of danger inside or outside or what they should do. At some point afterwards, when they determined that it was safe to come outside, that is when they told those to leave and they ended up exiting rather quickly. And so the good thing is, it all did work out, but there was a point where people didn't really know what was going on and there was a sense, there was supposed to be some fireworks so people weren't really panicked in the beginning.

But when they didn't have a sense that those were fireworks, but it was, in fact, that shooting and didn't know what to do, that was when a great deal of fear was inside the stadium. Thankfully, it all turned out well.

ACOSTA: What a scary moment. All right, Suzanne Malveaux, thank you so much for that.

My next guest, Jon Solomon and his 12-year-old son Josh, were at the Nationals game last night. It was their first Nationals regular season game together.

Jon and Josh, I'm so glad that both of you are OK, you're able to join us this afternoon.

Jon, you wrote about what happened on Twitter. This tweet, I think, just really encapsulated what happened last night, captured the feelings of so many fans. So many people who were watching this unfold. I want to read part of what you tweeted, it says, "The scariest part of the shooting at Nationals Park was the unknown. What do you do in the fog of uncertainty? People raced towards us in our seats on the third baseline shouting, shooter. Hiding under our seats, my 12-year-old son said, I don't want to die. I'm too young to die."

That is just so scary. As a father I can totally understand.

John, tell us about the moment that you first heard these shots ring out. We heard Suzanne talking about some of this. What was going through your mind? What did you see? What did you do?

JON SOLOMON, ATTENDED NATIONALS GAME LAST NIGHT: Yes, initially, we thought maybe it was fireworks or maybe it was the PA system that's celebrating the strikeout that just happened, which wouldn't make much sense but then people are starting to run down towards our area and our seats, and you hear someone say, shooter. And it's just chaos. And so, you know, we went down onto our seats as a lot of people did under the ground and stayed there.

But it's just the total uncertainty. You don't know, you know, where to go, what direction it's coming from. Some people fled. But to flee, you would have to go where we were sitting up towards where the shots were coming. The people in front of us ended up going onto the field and into the Padres dugout before security sent them back. So yes, just really, really chaotic.

ACOSTA: Yes, it just sounds like everybody was scrambling.

And, Josh, I've seen the videos of everyone running. I'm sure just like you had. That must have been pretty scary at the time. What did you think when you were seeing all of this?

JOSH SOLOMON, ATTENDED NATIONALS GAME LAST NIGHT: Well, first thing I thought was, what do I do? Because I've only experienced this -- I've had lockdowns in school, but nothing like this. And we just had to get on the ground and I just saw a bunch of people running. I just didn't really know what to do.

ACOSTA: I can just imagine. And, Jon, how long until you guys were told you and others in the stadium were not in media danger? Did it feel like you weren't getting enough information at that time?

JON SOLOMON: I mean, you always feel that, but I'm not going to fault the Nationals for that. I mean, the PA announcer, it felt like, I don't know, five, 10 minutes, came on and said that the shooting was outside the ballpark. So that made you feel a little bit comfortable. It's just total chaos and uncertainty. And just spending the whole time just trying to, you know, make sure my son is as calm as possible and he was amazing.

Like a lot of kids, you know, deal with anxiety. And you can see other kids around us who were really shaken up and he was amazing. You know, going through this.

ACOSTA: I'm sure you're a very proud dad today. Josh was very brave and amazing.

Josh, I want to ask you about this because I'm a huge baseball fan. I'm sure like your dad is, has this changed how you feel about baseball?

JOSH SOLOMON: No. I still want to go to the games no matter what. We actually have tickets to a game Friday and I'm still going.

ACOSTA: Good. That's great. And you're going to cheer for the Nats, I'm sure, right? Is that correct?

JON SOLOMON: Sorry, no.

ACOSTA: No? Oh, my goodness. Well, Jon, let me switch to you, I won't take issue with that after everything you guys have been through. But, Jon, you end your Twitter thread with this thought and I think it's a very serious sobering thought. It says, "There are so many kids who have to live with the fear of being shot every single day. That should piss all of us off."

You note that you went home to your suburbs -- your home in your suburbs last night, in the suburbs last night, does this experience give you a greater appreciation of the surge of gun violence that we're seeing in the country right now, its effect on children?


I was just listening to your son say a few moments ago, you know, they have lockdown drills at school. That just -- I hate to hear that, that kids have to go through that at school. But to think that they have to have this type of worry in their minds going to a baseball game, it's very upsetting.

JON SOLOMON: Yes, I mean, we should all be angry. And it was Josh who pointed out as we were on our way home last night, he was reading an article that there was a 6-year-old girl killed in Washington, D.C., on Friday night. We don't talk about that, you know, quite as much. And there were so many kids around the country who have to live with this fear every single day.

Sometimes it happens in schools. But a lot of times in inner cities like Washington, D.C. and we have to really acknowledge and admit that we have a gun violence problem in this country and it's just all really, really sad.

ACOSTA: That's right, Jon. And we can't just think about it when it happens outside of a ballpark. We have to think about it and reflect on it and do something about it, and commit ourselves to doing something about it when it happens in any community in this country. And that's just perfect that you have that perspective on this.

Jon and Josh Solomon, thank you so much. And Josh, I just want to say, once again, how brave you are. Thank you to you and your dad for being on with us today. I won't hold it against you that you're not going to root for the Nats later this week, but I hope you have a good time at the ballpark.

JON SOLOMON: Thank you, Jim. I appreciate it.

JOSH SOLOMON: Thank you.

ACOSTA: Thanks so much. Stay safe. Appreciate it.

And this just in to CNN, the coronavirus shooting down the hopes of an Olympic hopeful. American tennis star Cori "Coco" Gauff just announcing that she has tested positive for COVID and will skip the Tokyo Olympics. The 17-year-old is currently the 25th ranked woman in the world and was expected to lead Team USA in the medal quest. Coco says she hopes there will be more chances for her to make her Olympic dream come true in the future.

The Olympics begin just five days from now. Some disappointing news there from the tennis world.

And just one day before the U.K. starts lifting coronavirus lockdown rules, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson -- get this -- has announced that he will be in self-isolation for a week after coming into contact with someone infected with COVID. In this case, it was the U.K.'s own health secretary. Remember Boris Johnson was critically ill with COVID last year and most pandemic restrictions will be lifted in the United Kingdom starting tomorrow.

Despite these developments, as COVID cases are on the rise, again across the U.S. the Delta variant is tightening its grip.

How did we get here? That is the big question tonight with vaccines readily available to anyone who's eligible. You might be wondering why not even 50 percent of the country is fully vaccinated. That's because health experts aren't just fighting the virus, they're battling misinformation. Sometimes outright disinformation that is causing people to question whether they should get a life-saving COVID vaccine.

Doctors say the virus is now putting younger previously healthy and mostly unvaccinated people in hospitals at higher rates as cases climb. Today this warning from the U.S. surgeon general.


DR. VIVEK MURTHY, U.S. SURGEON GENERAL: I'm worried about what is to come because we are seeing increasing cases among the unvaccinated, in particular. And while if you are vaccinated you are very well protected against hospitalization and death, unfortunately, that is not true if you are not vaccinated.

We're seeing 99.5 percent of deaths right now from COVID-19 in our country are happening among the unvaccinated.


ACOSTA: And this warning comes as Los Angeles County has just reinstated a sweeping indoor mask mandate regardless of vaccine status as cases and hospitalizations rise. It went into effect at midnight.

Joining us now is CNN medical analyst Dr. Jonathan Reiner, he's a professor of medicine and surgery at George Washington University.

Dr. Reiner, when you look at what's happening in L.A. County, do you think the CDC lifted its mask mandate -- mask recommendations I should say, not mask mandate, mask recommendations for fully vaccinated Americans too soon? What do we do about masks now at this point?

DR. JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Well, Jim, the problem is that when the mask recommendations for fully vaccinated people were lifted in May, the folks in this country, the large number of folks in this country who are unvaccinated took that as their queue to stop wearing masks. Actually, this weekend I went on record as saying I think it's time for the CDC to recommend masks for everyone.

Not to protect the vaccinated who, as the surgeon general just said are very well protected against Delta, but to protect the unvaccinated. And it seems like the only way to get folks who won't take the vaccine to at least have a modicum of protection is to require it for everyone. And I think this is a sacrifice that vaccinated people in this country are going to have to make to protect those in this country who are unvaccinated.


ACOSTA: Wow. I got to wonder if folks are going to want to go along with that, Dr. Reiner. Earlier this week, a Louisiana doctor told CNN that every person who is infected with the original wild-type virus would typically infect one to two people. With the Delta variant, he says six to eight people. That's been his experience that they may become infected from one person.

Dr. Reiner, if that's the case, where do you see us two weeks from now? Do you think that that may be the case with the Delta variant, that it is infecting more people than we saw before?

REINER: Yes, it clearly is. So we know a couple of things about this variant. We know that it replicates very quickly. And the net effect of that is people who are infected with the Delta variant have more virus on board. And we also know that the virus itself is more sticky.

So you probably need less of it to become infected in the first case. So if you have a lot of virus on board, somebody who is spreading it, and you don't need a lot of it to actually get infected, that's a prescription for an increase in transmissibility and that's what we're seeing around the United States.

So what we're going to see throughout the south and the Midwest and places in this country where there are a lot of unvaccinated people, we're going to see a continued surge in cases all around. And what we will begin to see is a surge in deaths. We're already seeing increases in hospitalizations and places like Missouri and Arkansas. And we will start to see that in every other place where the virus is surging and it's going to be throughout the south, southwest and Midwest in this country.

ACOSTA: And Dr. Reiner, obviously, misinformation is a huge problem in all of this. Yesterday I asked Dr. Anthony Fauci if he thought other diseases like measles or polio would be eradicated in this kind of environment. He gave a pretty surprising answer. Let's listen.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: If we had had the pushback for vaccines the way we're seeing on certain media, I don't think it would have been possible at all to not only eradicate smallpox, we probably would still have smallpox and we probably would still have polio in this country if we had the kind of false information that's being spread now.


ACOSTA: Dr. Reiner, I suppose you agree with this. What is the answer to all of this disinformation, misinformation, bad information? It is just wreaking havoc right now.

REINER: Well, I do think we need to hold the purveyors of the disinformation to account. But what I would like to see immediately is a series of nationally broadcast town hall events, kind of like what we saw during the election cycle hosted by all the networks. Hopefully, simultaneously broadcast by all of the networks and bring in America's vaccine experts, Dr. Fauci, Walensky, the surgeon general, Mr. Zients from the White House.

And let a series, a broad selection of reporters and citizens question them and let these folks speak directly to the country and dispel all these myths. Let's do it. Let's do it immediately. Let's do a bunch of them and then let's take them on the road to smaller communities.

ACOSTA: It's a great idea, Dr. Reiner. I almost feel like we need like a Live Aid or a farm aid type of event, a vaccine aid event that we can broadcast around the world. Get a bunch of bands together, do something. I mean, we just need to do something in this country, around the world as well, to get these vaccines in people's arms.

All right, Dr. Reiner, great idea. Great to talk to you as always. Thanks so much. We really appreciate it.

REINER: My pleasure, Jim.

ACOSTA: All right, take care.

And coming up next, we're learning that the months leading up to the insurrection were more worrisome than any of us knew. The nation's top general apparently so concerned that President Trump would attempt a coup they came up with plans to stop him.

Does the former president belong in prison?

I'm going to ask my next guest that exact question.



ACOSTA: It's our top story this hour, police here in Washington, D.C. increasing patrols around Nationals Park after three people were shot outside the stadium last night. You can see people hiding in their seats or running into the dugout after hearing the shots. Several CNN journalists were at the game. They tell us they heard multiple loud bangs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Nobody inside the stadium was hurt but three people outside were.

And joining me now is Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters.

Congresswoman, we are in the midst, as you know, of a gun violence epidemic. It's happening across the country. We talk about it every weekend. So far this year, there have already been at least 366 mass shootings and it's only July. CNN counts a mass shooting as four or more people shot. So last night's D.C. shooting is not even counted among those, if you can believe that.

But you and your fellow Democrats have control of the White House and Congress, can we get something done on gun control, do you think?

REP. MAXINE WATERS (D-CA): We're trying and we've been working very hard at it for a long time. And we simply have not been able to get the support of the Republicans on something like background checks. But, yes, it must be dealt with and I would hope that after all this trying to get bipartisan support on gun control and other things, that we just move ahead. We just move ahead and take our majority and use it in order to get some things done that have been absolutely undermined, you know, by the Republican Party.

So we're working very hard, you're right. This gun violence must be stopped. It is just unconscionable that in this country we've not been able to control not only the bodily harm and murders that have been done, but all the crimes that has been committed by guns. We've got to get gun control.


ACOSTA: And I want to ask you about January 6th. I know we've talked about this before. But let's talk about it again because a new book reveals that the months and weeks leading up to the insurrection were much more concerning than any of us knew at the time.

According to one of the new books out there, the country's top generals were so worried then President Trump would attempt a coup if he lost the election that they were coming up with plans on how to stop him. And yet listen to what he said at CPAC earlier this month. I'm sure you saw this.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: I didn't become different. I got impeached twice. I didn't change. I became worse.


TRUMP: I became worse.


ACOSTA: Congresswoman Waters, Trump himself says he has become worse. What do you think should be done about his activity, what he was up to around January 6th when the -- when our nation's own generals, top generals, were concerned that he might try to pull off a coup to stay in power?

WATERS: Well, the first thing is, I hope that these revelations will wake up the American public and particularly those who follow him, and without question that the top general of this country who is in charge of the Joint Chiefs said that he was worried about the fact that he and his aides may attempt to pull off a coup and have the brown shirt in the streets the way they protected, you know -- oh, my goodness.

This is -- this is absolutely outrageous that the president can brag about it and talk about being worse than anybody ever thought. Well, I want you to know that our chief of staff -- Chief Milley basically believed that he would have to get control of the FBI and he would have to have control of the -- you know, all of the Defense Department in order to pull it off. And it seems as if he was going to be ready for him.

And he said in no uncertain terms that he was not going to let it happen. And he used some strong words to say that. But he believed that he had basically put into all of these positions his supporters and people that would stick with him. That's why he was worried about whether or not he had tried to organize this effort to control, you know, the defense and the FBI, the CIA and all of them.

ACOSTA: And I know yesterday you attended a memorial for former congressman John Lewis. It's been a year since his death. Where do you think the country is right now in terms of voting rights in this country? What would John Lewis think if he could look down and see what's happening today, especially with all of these laws that are being passed in these states across the country, you know, limiting voting for people of color and so on.

All of those -- all of those initiatives because of the big lie that we saw the former president advanced around the insurrection.

WATERS: Well, I want you to know that John Lewis gave his life to civil rights and this was a man who was beaten almost within an inch of his life on the Edmund Pettus Bridge defending the right to register to vote and voting rights. And to see what is happening now with all of these states coming up with suppression laws is something that I believe that he would have thought at one point that we had gotten past the attempts to keep blacks, in particular, from voting.

We've been through the poll tax days, counting the number of beans in a jar, and all of those things to keep us from being able to vote and here we have the Republicans leading in many of our states with their governors who are trying to take us back and trying to make sure that they put obstacles in the way of our voting. When you take a look at what's happening in Georgia, where they're talking about erasing 100,000 people from the rolls on the pretense, well, they didn't vote in the last election or so.

When you look at what they're doing to try to eliminate early voting days, when you're looking at what they're doing that makes the lines longer and then saying to us who would try to make people comfortable by giving them water in line that that somehow would be against the law.

This is a dangerous time for our democracy. This is a dangerous time because Trump, who served as the president of the United States for four years, has basically led this country to a point where he's got believers and supporters who thinks that he is the president and he should be the president. And somehow it's been stolen and it's got to be taken back.


So, January sixth may not be the only thing that they do when they invaded our capitol, when that insurrection took place. They may be organizing again.

As a matter of fact, on my way to the christening of the John Lewis Navy Ship, on that road leading into where the ships are being, you know, made, there were signs, big signs, on the street held by, you know, some of these men who support Trump. One sign said that Trump is the president. And is the president. And then, another sign touted the proud boys and saying that they were good people and that they had not done anything wrong.

And so, they are coming. They are not going to stop. And I know we're trying to get our commission together, that Nancy Pelosi has tried to organize when they would not support the commission that was offered to try and get to the bottom of the insurrection. I know that we're waiting on them to assign their people to it, to want to do right.

But in the final analysis, our attorneys generals, whether they're in New York or in Georgia, they've got to go after him about how he's cheated, you know, on his taxes. How his family has taken advantage of having a non-profit that they use like it was their own money. On and on and on.

One way or the other, we've got to stop Trump and his allies. It's more than undermining our democracy. They're dangerous and they're out to do harm.

And so, we're in a bad time in this country, trying to manage all of this. But we must manage it. We must protect our democracy.


WATERS: We must not allow Trump to win.

ACOSTA: All right, Congresswoman, Maxine Waters, thanks as much as always. Appreciate your time. Hope to see you again soon. Thank you.

WATERS: Thank you very much.

ACOSTA: All right, thanks. Coming up next, criticizing Donald Trump is seen as a death blow to Republican campaigns. But is that truly the case? What the fund-raising numbers are revealing next. You're live in the CNN Newsroom.



ACOSTA: The top Republican in the House makes yet another pilgrimage to kiss Donald Trump's ring. House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy, showing Republicans are living for the former president's approval these days. One topic that they discussed, GOP fund-raising. But they probably avoided one uncomfortable truth, all 10 House Republicans, who voted to impeach Trump for inciting the insurrection, are outraising their Trump-approved primary opponents.

I'm joined by Republican Strategist Doug Heye to talk about that, and CNN Political Commentator Paul Begala. Doug, what do you make of the fund-raising headline? I mean, I suppose it makes sense?


ACOSTA: Yes. HEYE: It does. There is a part of the party that, one, supports these members, but also thinks that we need to move past Donald Trump. Whether that's, you know, having a January sixth commission or committee, in one way or another, putting Donald Trump in the rear- view mirror. But the reality is we also sometimes confuse conservatism with loyalty to Trump.

These members are conservatives. And they're raising money, because they're going to have very tough primaries. And they're going to need to raise that money. But they're being supported specifically because they're conservative Republican candidates, not just Trump acolytes.

ACOSTA: And, Paul, Republicans lacking an able leader other than Trump, I mean, that is one of the issues these days. I mean, what can they do in this situation?

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, you see they have some leaders, like Liz Cheney, --


BEGALA: -- who have stood up to Trump. And, kind of like Doug, I don't -- I -- she's the most -- one of the most conservative members of the House. Far more conservative than Elise Stefanik who replaced her --


BEGALA: -- in the House leadership. But she didn't have any followers. They have some leaders but they don't have followers. Kevin McCarthy ought not be called a leader. I mean, he's got the spine of a jelly fish. His life was endangered. His safety was endangered in that riot, in that insurrectionist riot. And he called Trump and Trump mocked him. And yet he still goes and gravels like that. It's disgusting.

I think that this fund-raising is a sign that perhaps there is a market in the Republican Party for courage among conservatives. But, so far, if you look at Trump, he's mostly won these fights.

ACOSTA: Right, that's true. And, Doug, last night I asked Dr. Anthony Fauci about Ron DeSantis' PAC merchandise that attacks Dr. Fauci and masks. Let's watch.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, U.S. CHIEF MEDICAL ADVISOR: You know, this doesn't even deserve a comment. It's just, you know, taking an individual who stands for public health, for truth, for doing the right things. To protect the safety and the health of the public, which I have done now for four decades. And to use my name in a derogatory way to prevent the people from doing things that's for the benefit of their own health. Go figure that one out, Jim. I have no idea what that's all about. That doesn't make --


FAUCI: -- any sense at all. (END VIDEO CLIP)

ACOSTA: Yes, this is the thing I -- it's one of the things of this pandemic, and where we are right now as a country, that I just don't understand. This going after Dr. Anthony Fauci. And it is -- as you know this, Doug, --

HEYE: Yes.

ACOSTA: -- it is pervasive in the Republican base right now. What is going on there? What is that all about?

HEYE: You know, unfortunately, he's been politicized and weaponized.


HEYE: I first met Dr. Fauci in 2005 or 2006 when I worked for Senator Richard Burr and was blown away on issues of bio defense and infectious disease at what an expert he was.


HEYE: And certainly, information changes, facts changes and moves with science. What we -- what we need to get to now, as we see the number stuck at 48 percent of vaccinations --


HEYE: -- let's call it the Trump vaccine. Let's let Donald Trump -- instead of fighting with Facebook and other Republicans, let's have him take all the credit he wants for it. He, frankly, deserves a lot of credit for the vaccine. Let's get needles in arms so we can --

ACOSTA: Yes, but he wouldn't get the vaccine in public. I mean, that's the thing. I understand what you're saying, and I hear people say this all the time. But when he had the chance to get the shot in his arm, he didn't do it in front of the cameras.

He did it on the way -- after starting an insurrection, he did it in -- on the way out the door while still had his free government health care.

HEYE: Yes, look, I'm -- I've been a Republican my whole life and these are tough times for me, as a Republican. Donald Trump, our last Republican president, is a failed leader and this is -- this shows the reason why.

ACOSTA: Yes. Paul, let me ask you. Joe Biden, President Biden went after Facebook. It just, sort of, caught everybody by surprise on Friday. And said Facebook is killing people. What did you think of that, the president's comments there?

BEGALA: I thought it was terrific. It's about time. This was based on our surgeon general who you had on earlier who has issued a report that says Facebook is hazardous to your health. And remember, in 1964, the surgeon general said cigarettes are hazardous. In 1962, the surgeon general said pollution is. Facebook is polluting our information environment. And people, good people, are being fed this information.

And people have a right to post anything they want. I believe that, as long as it comports with the terms of service of Facebook. But what Facebook does is they algorithmically augment that content. That is to say they put it on steroids. They supercharge the divisive, the negative, the dishonest, the misleading, the dangerous, and they force feed that to innocent people. And I think the president is exactly right to be calling them out and it's about dang time.

ACOSTA: And it's one thing that Biden and Trump agree on. They don't like Facebook.

BEGALA: Yes. Trump is suing them, yes, for different reasons.

ACOSTA: Doug and Paul, thanks so much. And we'll be right back.



ACOSTA: First reported in Cuba five years ago, U.S. diplomats and Austria are now reporting signs of a mysterious illness known as Havana Syndrome. CNN National Security Correspondent Kylie Atwood is tracking this story and she joins me now. Kylie, what more do we know?

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jim, we're learning, from reporting from "The New Yorker" over the weekend, that there are reported incidents of these symptoms that are similar to this Havana incident about two dozen of them against U.S. diplomats, U.S. intelligence officers and other U.S. government officials in Vienna. This demonstrates that these mysterious attacks aren't only happening in the places that we have reported on and heard about, such as Cuba, such as China, such as Russia, but also in Vienna.

I want to go through what these symptoms actually look like to remind folks. So, those who are reporting these symptoms are saying that they have sudden vertigo. That they have nausea. That they have headaches. That they have blood pressure. Sometimes piercing noises in their ears. They really don't know why this is happening.

And so, the first incidents of these were actually reported in 2016 in Cuba. That is why these are called Havana incidents. And then, we have also reported there have been incidents that have happened in Russia, in China, in other countries. So, the State Department is telling us that they are vigorously investigating what they are calling, quote, "reports of possible unexplained health incidents." Very careful language there.

Because the thing is, we still don't know exactly how to describe these. We don't know exactly what is causing these incidents. We also, Jim, don't know exactly who or what is causing them. Now, I should note that a former and current government officials have told me, and others have reported, that Russia is the one who is suspected to be behind this, but the U.S. government still has not officially said that. And the reports that there are more of these cases just this year really make this a very, very urgent matter for the U.S. government.

ACOSTA: All right, a very important story. A big development there. Kylie Atwood, thanks so much. And we'll be right back.




BOBY DUVAL: People are in state of shock. I'm particularly a very much shocked. No matter how much you can criticize the former president, there is nothing that requires such barbaric action of violently taking his life.

MALYA VILLAR (translated): When we look at this drama, where a president was assassinated, and we say we no longer have a country, what about the rest of the people that live in the slums? What are they supposed to do? The women are being kidnapped. They are being raped. When these catastrophes, these circumstances are taking place, these young girls and women are the ones that would be the most vulnerable.

DUVAL: I would love to think that it could be a turning point where people are criticized about how the system works and the reason behind such a horrible act.

VILLAR: The world could have helped us to put an end to this gang problem. Please send forces to disarm the gangsters inside the country holding the population hostage.


VILLAR: The women cannot live.

DUVAL: This kind of behavior is not enough to change my vision, to contribute to a positive development of this nation. It reinforces the reasons of what I'm doing, to do everything I can to have the most impact towards the people who need it the most.


ACOSTA: Go to for more.