Return to Transcripts main page


Data Shows Unvaccinated People Don't Fear the Virus; More Americans Getting Vaccinated as Delta Variant Spreads; Israel Starting Booster Shots, U.K. and Germany Considering It; Equinox & Soul Cycle to Require COVID-19 Vaccine for All Members, Riders and Employees; DOJ Orders Ex-President Trump's Tax Returns Released; Simone Biles to Compete in One Event & U.S. Women's Soccer Team's Hopes for Gold Dashed; First Transgender Olympian Fails to Win Medal in Olympic Debut. Aired 1:30-2p ET

Aired August 2, 2021 - 13:30   ET




ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: You're heard it time and time again, COVID can make you very sick or worse. You've also heard that the vaccines available to us, simply put, work.

But now there's hard evidence, data to underscore that point.

Let's bring in our senior data reporter, Harry Enten, who has been crunching the numbers.

First, Harry, getting vaccinated seems to significantly improve your chances of staying out of the hospital and surviving.

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL WRITER & ANALYST: That's exactly right. These are new numbers from the CDC. And I love them because they've just so clear.

You speak about hospitalizations first. Look, around the time July 26th, when the study was done, through July 26th, 163 million-plus folks were vaccinated. Look at that.

How many were not hospitalized because of COVID? 163 million-plus. Percentage of the vaccinated that were not hospitalized? Greater than 99.99 percent.

You look at deaths, you see the exact same picture. Look at this. Did not die from COVID, more than 163 million. Percentage of the vaccinated? Great than 99.999 percent. My goodness gracious.

And when you compare the vaccinated group versus the unvaccinated group, look at this. If you're unvaccinated, your chance of a symptomatic case, eight times higher. Hospitalization 25 times higher. Death 25 times higher.

These numbers are so crystal clear. If you're vaccinated, your chance of getting sick is very, very low. And if you're unvaccinated, your chances significantly higher.

CABRERA: It seems like a no-brainer. And yet, it's also interesting to note that the unvaccinated have a lower fear of the virus, including Delta, that variant, than the vaccinated. Right?

ENTEN: It's just so bizarre. You know, sometimes stats don't make any sense, but here we are.

Look at this. This is a poll that was taken in the middle of last month. You are very concerned about Delta? And 54 percent of vaccinated adults were. Just 25 percent of unvaccinated adults were.

I wish the unvaccinated were more fearful. They may then go out and get vaccinated. But unfortunately, we're at the point where a lot of the unvaccinated just do not fear this pandemic.

And you know what? It's a scary situation. They should. And if they did, they'd get vaccinated. I hope they do. Because then they will get vaccinated.

CABRERA: Hopefully, some of the information we continue to share on our air and the numbers you've been sharing and reporting, the stats, will help them make a decision and get vaccinated.

Harry Enten, it's great to see you. Thank you for all that information.

ENTEN: Thank you.

CABRERA: And joining us now, Dr. Kathleen Neuzil. She's the director of the Center for Vaccine Development at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Dr. Neuzil, the good news is vaccinations have picked up. More than 700,000 people are getting shots daily over at least the past five days.

If we can keep up this pace, when might we hit herd immunity?

DR. KATHLEEN NEUZIL, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR VACCINE DEVELOPMENT, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: Yes. It's a good question. I'm not sure I can do the math that fast in my head, but it's absolutely terrific news that we are seeing vaccinations pick up again.

You know, we did hear some sobering news last week about how contagious this Delta variant is.

And so really, we may have to get vaccination numbers up very high, as we do with diseases like chickenpox and measles, in the 90 to 95 percent coverage range.

So we're really pushing for everyone to get vaccinated.

CABRERA: So you're saying herd immunity is now going to be much tougher to reach? It has to be 90 to 95 percent of the population vaccinated or immune because they've had maybe a previous infection is the other way to have the immunity as well. That's important to note.

Israel, we are starting to see give out third shots, a booster shot. Now the United Kingdom and Germany are considering the same thing next month. Why not start this now in the U.S.?

NEUZIL: Yes. We're not quite ready for boosters.

We would really like to see, as we have with this vaccine program from the beginning, fully understand how well tolerated a booster dose is, how safe a booster dose is.


And a booster dose doesn't guarantee that you won't have virus in your nose. All the studies are underway.

Right now, in the United States, it makes a lot more sense to focus our efforts and our resources on that large unvaccinated population.

CABRERA: But according to the CDC, most of the breakthrough cases recorded, about 74 percent, occurred in adults 65 or older.

Would there be any harm in people in that age group getting a booster shot now?

NEUZIL: So, again, I think the studies are underway.

If we were to start giving boosters in this country, we likely are to start in those that are highest risk, perhaps people who have suppressed immunosuppressed because of underlying or conditions or medications or older adults.

But, again, we're not quite ready yet in the U.S. to make that call.

CABRERA: Right. I hear you.

In India, where the Delta variant was first identified, they had that huge outbreak. Then cases plunged over the past couple months, way down. A similar drop is underway in Britain.

How did India and the U.K. apparently get this Delta variant under control?

NEUZIL: This virus is teaching us humility.

Of course, in both of those countries, you know, they tried to increase vaccination, but in India, for example, it was a minor percentage of the population.

We're all a little perplexed, to be honest, why we saw that plummet with the Delta variant. We didn't seem to be anywhere near the herd immunity numbers that might be needed.

However, you know, efforts were taken in terms of nonpharmaceutical interventions, masking and social distancing and vaccinating as many people as possible as quickly as possible.

CABRERA: You highlighted the mystery of the virus. There's still so much we don't know.

Dr. Kathleen Neuzil, thank you for your expertise and insights and joining us today.

NEUZIL: Thank you.

CABRERA: This just in. Equinox and Soul Cycle will soon require COVID- 19 vaccines for all members, riders and employees.

CNN's lead business writer, Matt Egan, just broke the story.

Matt, what more can you share?

MATT EGAN, CNN LEAD BUSINESS WRITER: Ana, this feels like another important moment in the pandemic. Equinox is going to require a one- time proof of vaccination to be shown by all of it members at Equinox, riders, and employees.

This is in New York City only. And it will take effect in early September.

And I want to read a quote from Equinox executive chairman, Harvey Spevak.

He said, quote, "We have a responsibility to take bold action and respond to changing circumstances with urgency. We encourage other leading brands to join us in this effort to best protect our communities."

Equinox said proof of vaccination status can be proving either by showing a physical vaccine card, a digital version or a photo of the card.

The company said it will work with riders and employees and members who require a medical or religious accommodations.

I asked the company whether or not this is going to be expanded beyond New York City. A spokesperson told me, that as the demand for real- life experiences continues to expand, Equinox plans to introduce similar policies in all the markets and will continue to follow local health guidelines.

This is important because, remember, Equinox is a leader in the fitness space and it could put pressure on other gyms to follow suit.

And, Ana, this is another example of how Corporate America is responding to this worsening pandemic.

CABRERA: I know I'd feel a lot better if somebody is huffing and puffing next to me knowing they were vaccinated. We all have to show proof.

Matt Egan, thank you.

EGAN: Thank you.


CABRERA: Former President Trump feeling the heat now that the Justice Department has ordered his tax returns released. Does he have any legal recourse left? Elie Honig joins us next to discuss.



CABRERA: Congress is one step closer to getting former President Trump's taxes. The Department of Justice telling the IRS Friday it must hand over the taxes to the House Ways and Means Committee.

That committee has been after the tax returns for the last two years. Trump will get 72 hours' notice from the IRS before his tax information is handed over.

CNN senior legal analyst, Elie Honig, is joining us now. He's a former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York and also the author of "Hatchet Man, How Bill Barr Broke the Prosecutor's Code and Corrupted the Justice Department."

I've got to get your reaction to a statement we just got. This is "The New York Times" reporting a statement from Trump's attorney, Ronald Fischetti, which reads this: "This is politicizing and harassment of Mr. Trump."

He goes on to say, "There is no evidence of any wrongdoing here. And I object to the release of the returns, not only on behalf of my client, but on behalf of all future holders of the office of the president of the United States. Is no one safe?"

What's your reaction to that or a response?

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, Ana, the choice facing Donald Trump is to sue or not to sue. That certainly seems to indicate pretty strongly that he will sue.


If he does nothing here, the returns are going to Congress because of the new decision out of DOJ.

If he does sue, as you said earlier, he has been given 72 hours. The parties have actually asked for another day here. But I think that statement sort of settles any mystery here.

We know Donald Trump historically is very litigious. This shows us he intends to fight this in the courts. He's got nothing to lose.

And if nothing else, he's going to at least drag this out and delay this, which seems to have been his strategy, thus far.

CABRERA: How much longer could he delay it?

HONIG: Well, if he does sue, as long as it takes the court to rule. Remember, if that happens, we've got the district court, which will decide first. Then he will have the right to appeal to a court of appeals.

So we could be talking about many months more of this, if he sues.

CABRERA: Let's say the House Ways and Means Committee gets their hands on these tax documents. What can they do with them?

HONIG: There are some limitations under the federal regulations and the law.

If they get the House and Ways Committee gets these documents and they're identifiable to a specific individual, which these certainly will be, they can be used only when the committee is sitting in closed executive session unless the person consents to having them disclosed.

Donald Trump is not going to consent.

Remember, there's a dispute here, the legal dispute over whether there's a legitimate legislative purpose.

The House Ways and Means Committee said, we don't want the returns to embarrass the president and put them out and make Donald Trump look bad. We want them because we're thinking about new laws.

So if they do put them out, that's going to show some hypocrisy in the position they've taken in front of the courts.

CABRERA: Bottom line, will the public get to see them?

HONIG: It depends on how tight a ship Congress runs. Right?

People, if you look at Congress historically, they tend to leak, and it will be up to Congress whether they follow the regulations or whether somebody puts them out in the public.

CABRERA: And since he is out of office, I mean, where could it go from there, even after they get their hands on them, if they find there's some kind of wrongdoing?

HONIG: If you take the Ways and Means Committee at its word, all they're trying to do is draft new legislation.

But, of course, there's always going to be a political angle. I would think it's fair to say there's a political angle geared toward 2024.

If the former president, Donald Trump, does run again, then there will be interest in the public at seeing the tax returns. He's held them back from us for many years now.

So that could be one of the political considerations. Let's finally get these tax returns out in front of the American public.

But again, that's not the official position that the committee is taking.

CABRERA: It will be so interesting to see if this actually comes to fruition, like we've talked about. It's years in the making.

Elie Honig, good to see you. Thank you.

HONIG: Thanks, Ana.

CABRERA: To Tokyo now. American Olympics sensation, Simone Biles, thrilling fans by announcing that she will compete one more time in these Olympic games. A live report just ahead.



CABRERA: It's been quite a day for Team USA at the Tokyo Olympics. Gymnast Simone Biles will go for gold this week, while the women's soccer team saw their hopes for gold dashed, unfortunately, in today's semifinal.

Let me get to CNN's Alex Thomas with more on the highlights.

Let's talk about Simone Biles, Alex. She had the twisties. That's the reason why she couldn't compete, up until now. Are the twisties gone? What do you know?

ALEX THOMAS, CNN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS ANCHOR: It's just fantastic news, isn't it? She's back in a big way.

And maybe her decision to return to competition could prove to be even braver than that initial choice to withdraw from several events due to concerns about her mental health.

We saw Simone Biles head to the gymnastics hall in Tokyo earlier on Monday but haven't heard from her yet.

The news that she'll be back in action announced via the U.S. Gymnastics Twitter feed.

It read: "We are so excited to confirm that you will see two U.S. athletes in the balance beam final tomorrow, Suni Lee and Simone Biles. Can't wait to watch you both."

Biles helping the USA win silver in the women's team event but opening up about her anxiety and uncertainty as she pulled out of four events where she would have been a strong favorite after those four gold medals she won back in the Rio Olympics in 2016.

Tuesday's balance beam final going to be the last chance to make the podium here at Tokyo 2020.

CABRERA: Good for her. Unfortunately, wasn't meant to be for Team USA in soccer, was it?

THOMAS: No, it wasn't. No Olympic gold at all. The history bid is over for the U.S. women's soccer team. Can't add Olympic gold to the World Cup title they claimed in France two years ago. They lost their semifinal to Canada.

It does mean, though, that one of Canada's players that only goes by the name Quinn and is nonbinary, is the first openly transgender athlete in history, to be guaranteed an Olympic medal.

CABRERA: Lastly, another historic moment for Laurel Hubbard, the openly transgender woman to compete. How did she do?

THOMAS: Yes, the women's super-heavyweight, plus-87 kilograms didn't go the way she would have liked. She failed to complete any of her attempts at the snatch.


Obviously, her presence at the games was hugely controversial. China's Li Wenwen taking the gold.

But Hubbard saying afterwards: "I'm not entirely unaware of the controversy. I would particularly like to thank the IOC for its commitment to the principles of Olympism and establishing that sport is something for all people. It's inclusive, accessible."

She's 43 years of age, so doubtful she'll get another chance at another Olympics.

CABRERA: All right, thank you so much, Alex. Good to see you.

And thank you all for joining us. See you back here tomorrow at 1:00 Eastern. In the meantime, follow me on Twitter, @AnaCabrera.

The news continues next with Victor.