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More Children Test Positive for Virus; Vaccine Trial Surpasses Diversity Goal; New Video of Ambushed Deputies; Champions for Change Boyan Slat. Aired 9:30-10a ET

Aired September 15, 2020 - 09:30   ET



CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Have been this year. Three million acres and more in the west still burning because of the drought, because of the -- the bark beetles. The bark beetles, because they're not dying, because it's not cold any more. The bark beetles killed trees. The trees are dead and they're standing there and they're burning and they're on fire. That's all I got.


POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Chad -- yes, we are so grateful for that, for you, for setting the record straight. I'm going to post that on social media and tweet it out so people can watch it again and again if they have any questions about what the science tells us.

We thank you, Chad, very much.

MYERS: It's frustrating sometimes, it truly is, to talk and talk and talk and no one listens.

SCIUTTO: Yes. And the science, as you note there, is clear. It's clear on this. And we're living through it.

MYERS: Yes. Right.

HARLOW: Chad, thank you. Thank you. We'll be back to you soon for an update on the storm.

Up next, the race for a vaccine, but none of it wouldn't be possible if volunteers didn't answer the call. We'll talk to one of the doctors leading a trial and one of those people participating in it. You're going to want to hear from the two of them, next.



SCIUTTO: Welcome back.

We lost Elizabeth Cohen just a moment ago on the question of more children in this country testing positive for coronavirus, particularly as they go back to school, or some do. Elizabeth Cohen, what are we learning from this? I mean is this

showing that the infection is spreading like wildfire among kids? Is a big portion of this more testing of children? What do we know?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: So, Jim, let's take a look at the numbers because I think then we can sort of comment a little bit on them.

This study looked at children. It said that there had been nearly 550,000 cases among children since the start of the pandemic and that that is nearly 10 percent of all reported cases. When you just look at the most recent time period, August 27th through September 10th, it's almost 73,000 cases.

Why we are seeing -- you know, the other folks have mentioned that we're seeing more children now than we did before with Covid-19, that could be because school is back in session. It could also be because we're testing children more. In the beginning we weren't testing them so much because typically they are not very sick. It is important to note that there are complications that are quite terrible in children. Thankfully, they are unusual.


SCIUTTO: Understood. And, of course, the question becomes, do they bring it home?

Elizabeth Cohen, thanks for helping us understand. We'll continue to watch.


HARLOW: Thank you very much, Elizabeth.

Trials for the Moderna vaccine, they're moving forward and they're also working to increase minority participation. The biotech company slowed its trials, you'll remember that headline, a few weeks ago due to the lack of diverse involvement, but now the numbers are up to nearly 10 percent.

My next guest playing a crucial role and is playing a crucial role in this effort -- both of them. Dr. Marc Siegel is the co-lead of the Operation Warp Speed trial at George Washington University, one of 90 different locations where they're working on this, and Mark Spradley is a participant in the trial who says he thought it was his public duty to take part.

Marc and Mark, I'm going to call one of you doctor. It's good to have you both here. Thank you so much.



HARLOW: Dr. Siegel -- good morning.

Let me just get an update from you, Dr. Siegel, on where you think we are in terms of getting an answer on this Moderna vaccine that is so interesting because it's an MR&A vaccine, so it's unique in that a vaccine of this type, the way it works has never been taken to market successfully and tested this broadly before.

Pfizer's CEO, as you know, said their vaccine, they should know by the end of October if it works or not. Is the same going to be true for Moderna's, do you think?

SIEGEL: That's difficult to answer because it really depends on how many people come down with symptomatic Covid after they've received the second dose of the vaccine. And that's really the primary end point is looking at the number of people, or looking at a set of patients who come down with symptomatic coronavirus and then looking at which of those patients had the placebo, which of those had the vaccine, and seeing if there's a significant enough difference to know that the vaccine worked. So it depends on how soon people in the study become infected with coronavirus.


Mark, you felt a calling to do this, a public duty as sorts as you described it in "The Washington Post." You have friends who have suffered from Covid. Where are you in this process and how are you feeling?

SPRADLEY: Well, thanks, Poppy.

2020 will be remembered as the year of civic engagement. Some Americans will help the victims of wildfires in 10 states, others will choose to support people being impacted by the hurricanes in the Gulf state. I'm one of 30,000 volunteers that want to end the pandemic.

HARLOW: So how do you feel? I mean have you gotten both shots, one shot?

SPRADLEY: I received both shots. It's a double blind study. So the participants don't know and the medical practitioners don't know what -- who got the shot or who got the placebo.

HARLOW: You feel all right though? You look healthy.

SPRADLEY: Thank you. I'm happy to be able to stand on the shoulders of giants like former Congressman Lewis B. Stokes from Ohio, who spent 30 years in Washington trying to improve health care and advocating for minority health. And the former dean of the college of medicine at the University of Maryland, Donald Wilson, who spent his entire career recruiting and training students to work as primary care practitioners.


HARLOW: Dr. Siegel, participation from folks like Mark is so important. And you guys were the first, Moderna's vaccine, to slow down and say we can't rush this because if we don't have enough minority participation and representation of blacks, Latinos, et cetera, we're not going to know if this works for all of the populations, especially those that have been disproportionately adversely affected by it.

Can you speak to where you are now in terms of the representation?

SIEGEL: So we are at a -- as a site in GW, we were aiming to be at least enrolling 30 percent of people of color and we are above that. We are over 50 percent enrolling people of color. And so we are encouraged by that. We are encouraged by the willingness of people of color to participate in the study. Study wide there's been significant improvement in -- since the beginning of the study and we are seeing significantly better representations of people of color. So that by the end of the study, the study should more accurately represent the demographics of the country and, therefore, give people confidence that it works for everybody and not just one specific subset of the population.

HARLOW: Well, Mark, what do you say to your fellow black Americans who do not trust this process and who do not given the history in this country, Tuskegee, et cetera, have concerns? What is your message to them because one of your favorite -- my favorite quotes of yours, Mark, that I read is, I trust science.

SPRADLEY: And I do, Poppy. And I would say that, you know, during the 40-year Tuskegee syphilis experiment, it took one brave person, Peter Buxtun, who was a social worker five years to expose the experiment. Today, it would take an hour on social media. And, of course, with the help of mainstream media.

So people should understand that our country is in a better position to safeguard their health care delivery now than any time in history. You have people who are researchers from Santa Barbara, California, to Washington, D.C., that would never waste five years trying to expose a biomedical disaster like the Tuskegee syphilis experiment.

You know, people like Dr. Steven B. Thomas, who's in the public health school at the University of Maryland, his scholarly contribution led to the apology by the president to the victims of the Tuskegee experiment.

HARLOW: It came -- it came decades later, but it was critical.

Before we go, Dr. Siegel, to you, Pfizer's CEO, I'm sure you watched the interview over the weekend, but he explained why Pfizer is not taking government money for their vaccine work. They're spending $1.5 billion of their own.

Moderna, though, is part of the government collaboration here and is taking money. He said, quote, I want to keep Pfizer out of politics. Should people be concerned that the government is working with you guys, for example, or do you believe that is advantageous? I just wonder what your reaction is to those remarks from him?

SIEGEL: I think it's advantageous. I mean the government is funding the production of the vaccine simultaneously with us running the trial so that if the trial is shown to be effective, we won't have to wait months to years for enough vaccine to become available. And that is really because of the government funding of the studies. So I think it's advantageous. I know there's concern about political interference. But as, you know, the researchers have committed to making sure that this study is run scientifically and that the results will be released when we know that they actually are safe and the vaccine works. So I think it's actually a win-win situation. We have science going on as it -- usually as is expected to do, but we also have the funding to allow us to roll out an effective vaccine if it's shown to be effective quicker than we would otherwise be able to do.

HARLOW: Dr. Siegel, thank you, Mark Spradley, thank you both.

SCIUTTO: Well, it's good to see that positive progress on a vaccine.

Ahead, the terrifying moments just after a gunman ambushed two Los Angeles County deputies. And, listen to this, how the quick actions of one saved her partner's life. We'll have the full story.



HARLOW: We have new video out of Los Angeles. This is a story about those deputies ambushed. Well, one Los Angeles County deputy trying to save her partner's life. This is after they had both been shot multiple times in this ambush. Before we show it to you, we want to warn you, these images are very disturbing.

So, take a lock. You can see the 31-year-old deputy applying a tourniquet, look at that, a tourniquet to her 24-year-old partner's arm, helping him take cover behind a pillar.

SCIUTTO: Listen, she's doing all this -- and you can see it there, while bleeding from a gunshot wound to her own face. I mean that is courage in the line of duty.

CNN's security correspondent Josh Campbell has the latest on their recovery and the manhunt for the shooter.

First of all, they're recovering, right? They're going to make it through. Tell us the latest and what we know, if anything, about the shooter.

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, Jim and Poppy, they are recovering at this hour.


They're out of surgery. They're still in critical condition. The sheriff says that it's still unclear how this long-term impact might be on their health from the shooting, but they are expected to pull through. And as you mentioned, as we look at that new video, just an incredible act of heroism by these officers that were ambushed as they sat in their vehicle. Again, a 31-year-old female deputy is seen rendering aid to her partner, a 24-year-old male. As you mentioned, she had been shot in the face, but had the wherewithal to try to save his life and call for help as this was all going down.

The Los Angeles mayor coming out and just describing this as a complete act of heroism that we see on that video in the face of a complete tragedy.

Now, the gunman in that incident is still being sought at this hour. A reward has been issued for $175,000. Police are appealing to members of the public if they have any information about that shooter they want to hear from you.

Jim and Poppy.

HARLOW: Just unbelievable. Josh Campbell, thank you for that story. We're rooting for them. We're glad they're going to make it through. Thank you for that.


SCIUTTO: Also this morning, there is news of a multi-million dollar settlement in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor. A source tells CNN that the city of Louisville will announce this afternoon that the government there has settled a wrongful death lawsuit with Taylor's family.

HARLOW: Her family sued the city after she, just 26 years old and an EMT, was shot and killed by police during a no-knock warrant in March. For months and months protesters really around the world have demanded that leaders say her name and arrest the three officers involved. We should note, Jim, yes, this is a civil settlement, but still no arrests have been made and no charges have been brought.


HARLOW: And it's now been almost five months.

We'll be right back.



HARLOW: All right, I think we all need some inspiration and something to smile about these days. So all this week in a special series called "Champions for Change," CNN highlights people who are making a difference in the world through innovation and determination. They are change makers who come up with fresh solutions to big problems.

SCIUTTO: So this morning, and if you need a reason to smile, probably do, I do, we meet a young Dutch inventor tackling an environmental crisis, removing trash from oceans and rivers. God knows we need it.


BOYAN SLAT, FOUNDER AND CEO, THE OCEAN CLEANUP: When I was 16 years old, I wanted to get my scuba diving license. And I was just really, really surprised because I just saw more plastic bags than fish. That then got me asking the relatively simple and benign question, why can't we just clean this up?

I would say I've been an inventor all my life really. And that kind of started something that got a bit out of hand.

At The Ocean Cleanup, our mission is to rid the world's oceans of plastic.

DIMITRI DEHEYN, RESEARCH SCIENTIST, SCRIPPS INSTITUTION OF OCEANOGRAPHY: The ocean is very broad circulations of water masses. And over time these currents pick up the pieces of plastic and then they converge towards the great pacific patch between Hawaii and California. The problem with plastics is huge, and what this young man has done is to waken us of this problem.

SLAT: We launched system 001 from the San Francisco Bay, headed to the great pacific garbage patch. We've put so much hope on catching plastic with that first system, and it didn't work and it broke down.

We're just learning to work (ph). The plastic is within arm's reach, literally.

Really the idea is to kind of accept that and to say, OK, we're going to make mistakes. I think within a few weeks at sea we learned more than years behind computers doing simulations.

What we're trying to achieve has by definition never been done before.

In about half a year, we were already out again in the great pacific garbage patch with system 1B where it was successful in capturing the plastic. We also need to stop new plastic from entering the oceans in the first place. Our research has found that just 1 percent of rivers is responsible for 80 percent of all plastic that's entering the ocean around the world. So by stopping plastic in rivers, we hope to not only address the big global plastic pollution issue, but also really help make life better for the people that live near these problematic rivers.

RENATA CORREIA, ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEER, THE OCEAN CLEANUP: Saying that they don't -- they don't fish here anymore, only downstream, because here is -- the water is so contaminated that they can't use the river anymore.

SLAT: The interceptor is a fully solar-powered and autonomous cleanup system which basically uses the current of the rivers to collect the plastic.

Quite satisfying.

SLAT: We have three interceptors cleaning rivers. One in Indonesia, one in Malaysia and one in the Dominican Republic, getting out tons of plastic every single day. And in parallel, we brought the first plastic from the great pacific garbage patch back to shore to recycle into beautiful, sustainable products with which we then aim to actually fund the continuation of the cleanup.