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WH Draws Criticism Over Its Definition of Reopening Schools; GOP Senators Signal They Plan to Acquit Trump Despite Impeachment Evidence; Impeachment Managers Show New Security Footage of Riot; School Reopening Debate Grows Heated Amid Vaccine Rollout. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired February 11, 2021 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
And depending on what coast you're on, it's either later today or sometime tomorrow. But look, we're all in this together and we understand the moment that we're living. They have up to eight hours left to make their final arguments. Then the defense is up. What will that look like?
It's unsure. I think it's going to be more of a messaging mission than it's going to be about rebutting factual presumptions with other facts. I don't know how they'll do that. House impeachment managers have served up plenty of proof so far, tying the disgraced ex- president to the deadly insurrection.
What is better evidence than the people who were active in the insurrection saying they did it because of Trump's urging? You can't unsee what we were shown Wednesday and what you heard Wednesday. And we can never forget what happened on January 6th. It was not just a riot.
So here's an extended look at some of the never before seen this new security footage released by prosecutors showing our leaders running for their lives on January 6th. Now remember, one of the big reasons you haven't seen it is digesting what was out there and the investigators doing their job. The other is half the political spectrum has been running away from the event ever since it happened. Think about that.
No one on the right talks about that day and why it happened because they know they can't play it to advantage. It's an absolute miracle. More lives, including their own, weren't lost that day.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cruiser 50, we're going to give riot warnings as soon as the LRAD is here. We're going to give riot warnings. We're going to try to get compliance, but this is now effectively a riot.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thirteen forty-nine hours, declaring it a riot.
PLASKETT: You can see that the rioter first break the window with the wooden beam that you saw previously. And a lone police officer inside responds and begins to spray the first man who enters, but is quickly overwhelmed.
I want you to pay attention to the first group of assailants as they break into the building. The second man through the window is wearing full tactical body armor and is carrying a baseball bat. Others are carrying riot shields.
Among this group are members of the Proud Boys, some of whom like Dominic Pezzola, who was recently indicted on federal conspiracy charges we will discuss later. In this security footage, you can see Officer Goodman running to respond to the initial breach. Officer Goodman passes Sen. Mitt Romney and directs him to turn around in order to get to safety.
As the rioters reached the top of the stairs, they were within 100 feet of where the vice president was sheltering with his family. And they were just a few feet away from one of the doors to this chamber, where many of you remained at that time. You can see Vice President Pence and his family quickly moved down the stairs. The vice president turns around briefly as he's headed down.
Journalists in the Capitol reported they heard rioters say they were looking for Pence in order to execute him.
CROWD: Hang Mike Pence. Hang Mike Pence. Hang Mike Pence. Hang Mike Pence. Hang Mike Pence. Hang Mike Pence. Hang Mike Pence. Hang Mike Pence.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bring out Pence.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bring him out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bring out Pence.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bring him out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bring out Pence.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bring him out.
PLASKETT: About the same time, Capitol Police announced the Capitol had been breached. Speaker Pelosi staff heeded the call to shelter in place.
As you can see here, the staff moves from their offices through the halls and then enters a door on the right hand side. That's the outer door of a conference room, which also has an inner door that they barricaded with furniture. The staff then hid under a conference room table in that inner room.
This is the last staffer going in and then barricading themselves inside of the inner office. After just seven minutes of them barricading themselves and the last staffer entering the door on the right, a group of rioters entered the hallway outside.
And once inside, the rioters have free rein in the Speaker of the House's offices.
Pay attention to the door that we saw those staffers leaning into and going into. One of the rioters, you can see, is throwing his body against the door three times until he breaks open that outer door. Luckily, when faced with the inner door, he moves on.
The staffer is whispering into a phone as he hides from the rioters that are outside the door.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) we need Capitol Police come into the hallway. They're pounding on the doors trying to find her.
PLASKETT: Now infamous pictures of Barnett with his feet on the desk, you might see something that you didn't notice previously. Here's a better look. As this photo highlights, he's carrying a stun gun tucked into his waistband. The FBI identified the device as a 950,000-volt stun gun walking stick. The weapon could have caused serious pain and incapacitated anyone Barnett had used it against.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're taking projectiles. Let's go, we need unites outside on the terrace ASAP. We need unit. We're surrounded.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cruiser 50, they've breached the scaffolds. Let Capitol know they have breached the scaffold. They are behind our lines.
SWALWELL: This video shows members of Congress exiting to the side of the podium where we would go through the House lobby and downstairs.
Minutes later at 2:44 pm, Ashli Babbitt attempted to climb through a shattered window into the House lobby. To protect the members in the lobby, an officer discharged his weapon and she was killed. I want to warn everyone that the next video, which shows her death is graphic.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a gun. There's a gun. There's a gun.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's got gun.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get your pants off.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, take (inaudible) ...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Take your pants off.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pants off.
SWALWELL: About six minutes after the shooting, downstairs, remaining members, staff and journalists in the gallery were finally able to flee.
In this security footage video, you can see them exiting. Many members are still wearing their gas masks. They walk just feet away from where Capitol Police are holding an insurrectionists at gunpoint. Just minutes earlier, that insurrectionists had tried to open the gallery door and thankfully was stopped by a tactical team. Although members were now being moved to another location, the mob
continued to fight, to stop the count, to find the members, to engage with the police. The building was not yet secure.
This security video from 2:56 pm shows the mob in the House of Representatives wing on the second floor of the Capitol. Insurrectionists who are still inside the building are fighting with the police who are overwhelmed and trying to get them out.
This new security footage of the senators and staff leaving the chamber will be displayed on the screens. It is silent.
As you were moving through that hallway I paced it off, you were just 58 steps away from where the mob was amassing and where police were rushing to stop them.
The Capitol Police created a line and blocked the hallway with their bodies to prevent rioters at the end of the hall from reaching you and your staff.
Here in this new video you see Leader Schumer walking up a ramp. Going up the ramp with this detail, he'll soon go out of view. Seconds later, they return and run back down the hallway and officers immediately shut the door and use their bodies to keep them safe.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cruiser 50, I copy. We're still taking rocks, bottles and pieces of flag and metal pole. The crowd is using munitions against us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Multiple deployments U.S. Capitol with pepper spray.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cruiser 50. We lost the line. We've lost the line. All MPD, pull back.
SWALWELL: I want to show you that same attack from the officers' perspective from his body camera footage.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: Even some Republicans are shaken by the video they watch from their Senate seats today. But they're still more worried about an ex- president than living up to some law and order promise. The legal and political view of ignoring the reality, next.
CUOMO: Compelling evidence doesn't mean you get a conviction. That's true in a criminal trial, let alone a political one. The video says a lot, but what it has to do is overwhelm, to make the Republican jurors, if that's what they are anymore, I don't really know that they're Republican, I really just think I call them reTrumplicans but really, I think it's farther than that now. They will do what is best for Trump, not you.
Let's discuss that. Let's bring in Elliot Williams and John Harwood. Let's tick through the likely defenses and how they play. Elliot, John, thank you.
I'll start with Elliot. First, hey, he said I condemn this, Elliot, and I told them to be peaceful when they protest. So I said what I was supposed to say.
ELLIOT WILLIAMS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Right. But the most compelling thing that the House managers noted is that what the President was behind was a pattern of conduct that started not just on January 6th, but going back to the summer before. We've talked about this before on the program, Chris, too, that the President started undermining the results of the election last summer on Fox News. And then again in December when urging people to come show up and then tweeting be there, it'll be wild and so on.
The interesting thing here, though, is that the best legal point that came out today is this concept of foreseeability. I know you know the term well as a lawyer as well, but can a person have reasonably foreseen the consequences of their conduct, you think about this in the context of personal injury law, right?
WILLIAMS: This time of year, if you go dump water on your front porch and someone slips and breaks their neck, you're held responsible, because you could have seen it coming. And the best instance we saw of this today was this - remember that truck rally or the bus caravan back in Texas over the summer, which I'd forgotten about.
CUOMO: That he all but celebrate.
WILLIAMS: But you have Trump's - he all but celebrated calling the people patriots afterwards. So the idea that people could have engaged in violent conduct at the behest of the president, he should have been aware of that. And that's why staff around him and individuals had said there was reports that he was put on notice that there might be this kind of conduct.
So it's sort of silly and disingenuous for the president now to say, well, I told people not to do it when he had all reason to believe that his words could have led people to engage in violent misconduct.
CUOMO: All right. So John, you're not a lawyer, but you look like one, so you're going to have to play the role of one just in terms of analyzing the kind of feasibility of the argument tomorrow. So what they are likely to argue is, look, time tells a different story. Time says, one, I said what I said, Trump said what he said, because he believes it. He believes the election was stolen. It's a good faith belief and he's allowed to say it. And I've been saying the same things for a long time and there was never any riot or insurrection.
So I didn't really think it was going to happen. They came there with a pre plan to do it, it had nothing to do with me.
JOHN HARWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, the pre plan was something that had been stoked as Elliott was just saying by Donald Trump for some time. Donald Trump helped organize that rally. Donald Trump had been amplifying the messages of people who were preparing that rally. He facilitated it. He invited speakers to that rally.
So Donald Trump was completely implicated in the whipping up of emotion on the lie that he was spreading that he had won the election for some time, in the organization of the rally and then in the execution of the rally and the message that he delivered, and that his personal lawyer delivered that the congressman he invited to speak delivered, who said we're going to go take names and kick ass. Rudy Giuliani said trial by combat.
This record is very clear that Donald Trump orchestrated a set of events over a number of months. And you mentioned that Texas caravan, Donald Trump, of course, had celebrated the people who menaced the Biden-Harris bus by tweeting that they were great patriots. And it's not irrelevant here that Marco Rubio, the senator from Florida, said at a public event, we love what they did.
Marco Rubio is one of the jurors. You were talking about the audience for the arguments that are being made.
CUOMO: It's complicit.
HARWOOD: There are a huge number of accomplices to Donald Trump in that jury. Ted Cruz who talked about Bunker Hill in 1776 and we're going to go fight a couple of days before this insurrection. There's a lot of complicity on the jury and that's one of the reasons why we're not going to get a conviction, it's almost certainly.
CUOMO: A couple more beats, that stupid mask crews wore, come and get it. Yes, there's nothing inflammatory about that.
Elliot, I didn't hear this today, I may have missed it. One of the arguments is surely going to be the 1st Amendment but people have a fundamental misunderstanding about what the 1st Amendment does. What it does is make sure that Congress can abridge free speech. It's about laws. It's about what laws can be passed.
There is no law here. That is up for debate and the impeachment is not a legal standard test per se. I didn't hear the House managers try to get ahead of that argument today. Did I miss it or did they just miss the opportunity?
WILLIAMS: No. Well, I don't know if it's a missed opportunities to have more chance (inaudible) ...
CUOMO: To do it tomorrow.
WILLIAMS: Remember, they also addressed the 1st Amendment. Well, they can and they also addressed it in their legal briefs. Look, the President's argument that the 1st Amendment shields him from liability would mean that a president could literally wear Nazi symbols in a Jewish neighborhood and goose step down the street that is protected 1st Amendment conduct. You're allowed to be an anti-Semite if you want to.
But you don't want a President of the United States doing that and certainly if a president did, you would want that person impeached immediately. It prevents a president from wearing a Klan hood, again, protected conduct, but you don't want the President of the United States doing it.
So the idea that merely because the president says it, he can't be impeached for it is nonsense. The other thing is that there's this - you hear the expression of the 1st Amendment doesn't allow you to shout fire in a crowded theater. That's in a Supreme Court case, Brandenburg versus Ohio. That's the general standard.
What Jamie Raskin said this morning was a very powerful way of putting it, Congressman Jamie Raskin, which is this isn't about shouting fire in a crowded theater. This is about the fire chief who was paid to put out fires, then setting the theater on fire than standing and watching it burn and egging the arsonist on when it happens.
So this 1st Amendment, it's such a nonsense argument. But again, go and I would urge your viewers to take a look at the briefs, this fabulously laid out 77-page brief and they really tick off all these 1st Amendment points and the president is just incorrect as a matter of law on each of them.
CUOMO: Big problem for them is, OK, let's say you're right. He didn't intend it. He didn't want it. He didn't stoke it. Why didn't he stop it? They're going to have a problem contending with that.
Look, I don't think they have a problem with anything because I think that this is baked in already. But that's a problem. If you didn't intend something and then it happens. What you do is try to stop it, if you didn't intend it. We didn't see that here.
Now John, another thing that may come into play that no lawyer is going to like but it may be the most effective thing in terms of giving a fig leaf to the senators who don't want to vote to convict is to bring up the riots of last summer and say what about all this, you guys don't want to impeach anybody for this. You didn't think this was wrong. January 6th was just as wrong as all this, but no more. It's the same thing. You only care about it, because it's Trump. That works with the base.
HARWOOD: Well, yes, and we heard that from Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri today. The entire Republican Party is consumed with the idea of drawing equivalences between the things that are happening within their party and what happens with Democrats.
There is no comparison between violence that may have occurred at racial justice protests over the summer, which is wrong, which should be prosecuted if it took place and a systematic attempt by the President of the United States, the commander-in-chief of the armed forces to incite an insurrection against American democracy itself, they're just not comparable. They may be comparable talking points on Fox News and that's what Roy Blunt and some Republican senators are echoing back.
But it's not compelling to a reasonable rational person looking at the set of events and making a comparison between the two. None of these things, of course, are necessary for this Republican jury to get to the result they want. They're going to say and many of them said, of course, after the proceedings today, while I still think this trial is unconstitutional and therefore I can't look at the merits on a standalone basis. As long as they can hide behind that, they've got what they need.
CUOMO: What they should do then is vote present if they really felt that way, but they know they can't because they'd be playing with the math. Elliot Williams, John Harwood, thank you both very much. Appreciate you, especially at this time.
Republicans jurors, are they willing to ignore some of their own base to keep up the big lie? That is a big question for that party going forward? Is the GOP going to get a surprise from its own ranks? What could that look like? Next.
CUOMO: ReTrumplican Tom Cotton on the day of the riot asked a staffer to bring his knife to the secret hiding spot, saying he was ready to defend himself and those who were with him. Yet no indication that he's willing to show any fight against the man who sent the mob, Donald Trump.
Let's bring in Phil Bump from The Washington Post and former Republican Congressman Charlie Dent. Gentlemen, thank you very much. I want to discuss a little bit where this party stands and we start, Phil, with the state of the room. It is unusual, full stop. It is more unusual, even in this case, because what these politicians are looking at more than their obvious partisan bias, which is always at play is that they were witnesses, would be victims and in many cases, accomplices or co-conspirators with the allegations being made against the president. What does that mean?
PHILIP BUMP, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, WASHINGTON POST: Well, it's a good question. I mean, you raise a totally valid point, which is that the events of January 6th were entirely dependent upon the months' long lie that Donald Trump told that there'd been massive election fraud, which include 2020 election.
I actually went back and looked at the comments of senators after November 3rd, after Election Day and nearly two dozen of them, about half, just shy of half of the Republican caucus sitting in that room in the Senate were people that enabled that lie who said, yes, we have to investigate these alleged claims of fraud and so on.
Yes. I mean, there's different scales, Ted Cruz seized upon this as a particular political strategy. Others, Pat Toomey sort of gave little nods to it at times. But all of them or this entire bunch, these two dozen people did at some point in time echo and amplify this idea that there was something suspect, which ultimately led to January 6th.
So that's another reason, that's another layer on top of there already have this inclination, this inclination, if you will, to convict President Trump. On top of that, if they are to say Donald Trump did something so wrong by spreading this lie, they are in fact pointing the finger at themselves, which obviously they'll be loathed to do.
CUOMO: So then we get to the point, Charlie, of what it means if they do vote to acquit, because right now everybody is looking at it in the reverse. How can you not convict, how can you not convict, but if they do acquit, now, what does that mean? Cruz, Lankford, some of the names that Phil was mentioning, they say, oh, yes, the House managers haven't done the job.
The only way you can ignore the link between Donald Trump and what happened on the sixth is if you want to. What does this mean if they vote to acquit him, and then he comes out and does a victory march and there is more violence and there's more radicalism online as a result, because it's a victory for all of those groups as well. What does that do to your party?
CHARLIE DENT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, it further splinters the party, Chris. I mean, clearly, there are a number of Republicans like myself and other Republican leaders who want a clean break from President Trump and we kind of rallying around some core founding principles like truth and honesty, and democracy and rule of law.
And I think really, what would be the worst outcome of this whole situation would be is this, if Trump is acquitted, which is likely, that he will not be held to account and then he will turn around.
Trump will turn around then and try to hold those Republicans who did vote to convict or did vote to impeach and he's trying to hold them accountable to the Republican base and trying to take them down. I mean, that's what I'm most fearful of right now that Trump will feel vindicated. He'll feel like he's been exonerated. And then the war will go after those people who stood up for principle who did the right thing and he's going to try to hold them accountable in his own perverse way.
CUOMO: But that's exactly what's going to happen, Phil.
CUOMO: He's going to win because that's what an acquittal is, is win. It shouldn't be. It shouldn't be perceived as that. This is all terrible that he was a part of this. I think the most damning thing for him is you can tell me all day that he didn't want to do this, he never tried to stop it. And when he did try to stop it, he congratulated them and said they were special and that he loved them. I've never heard any leader, let alone a president say that about
people who are actively trying to kill cops, let alone members of Congress. But that's exactly what's going to happen and what does that mean for them going forward? He will be bolder and stronger than ever.
BUMP: Yes. It's a very good question. I mean, I think one of the things I keep coming back to is the unusual case of Mitt Romney. So Mitt Romney, obviously, had a very strong political brand, had a very strong level of familiarity with the Republican base, but he also represents a state that in 2016 was the red state, which was most skeptical of President Trump, it came around a little bit in 2020. It was not quite as dramatic shift in 2012 as it was in 2016.
But why is it that Utah Republicans, for example, are willing to have a Mike Lee, who is much more in line with where Trump wants to the party, but also and Mitt Romney and is it just a function of election cycles? Romney seems to be holding the support there. What's that distinction that exists? What happens in Wyoming? Is Liz Cheney, who voted for impeachment in the House, one of 10 Republicans to do so, is she actually at risk there? I mean, could the Cheney family actually reached that level or is she too in a special spot? What is that distinction? What is it that allows a Republican potentially to weather this storm? That's the unanswered question. I mean, is it simply boldness? Is it simply speaking your mind? Is this something about the constituency?
And I think intel Republicans broadly figure out the answer to that or at least figure out some sense of what the formula might be, then they are at risk of being buffeted by whatever Donald Trump wants to do on any given day.
CUOMO: I'll tell you, you got your answer from Mike Lee today. Do you see how anxious he was to make sure that there was no record that he had said anything about what Trump said to anybody? Now want to know how did they get his voicemail then? If he had nothing to do with the conveyance of the conversations, how did they get his voicemail? Was he hacked?
That's how desperate they are to not look like they're against them. And, Charlie, I'm glad you fixed your camera and got yourself right in the middle of the picture, because I want people to look at you right now. You look great. You look great, brother. You did it well.
I had Anthony Scaramucci on here and he was being cryptic. He was tiptoeing around. What are you guys planning to do? If the former president gets acquitted? How serious are you guys about what I'm hearing about that you're going to try and form your own party?
DENT: Well, I think, look I've mentioned that I was part of a conversation last Friday with about 120 Republican leaders who are just having the conversations among ourselves. Do we need a new faction within the GOP, a faction that maybe operates independently of the GOP? I'll give you an example.
Let's say that there's a battle between Mark Kelly and Kelli Ward in Arizona? Well, I think a lot of that group would say, hey, we're going to go with Mark Kelly and there are others who say, maybe we need to think about a new party. So this is an ongoing, raging debate, because we recognize that many of us, like myself, are in the minority within the party at the moment.
But we also believe it's important for us to rally around people like Adam Kinzinger, and Mitt Romney and Liz Cheney, Fred Upton and others, Peter Meijer who stood up for truth, for principle and want to make a clean break and want this party to be different. They want to be better. They want a new direction.
What we want is we don't want to cling to the past, cling to a man who's disgraced in any way, shape or form. We don't want to follow that man who brought nothing but defeat and misery and insurrection. And so that's what we're talking about. Let's go forward, not backwards. Let's go to the light, not back to the darkness.
CUOMO: So what's the next step?
DENT: What's the next step? Well, we'll see what happens over the next few weeks. And I think we're going to have to watch how this midterm election plays out. And I think this battle is just - I think heating up, some say (inaudible) ...
CUOMO: So you're just going to let them - you know what's going to happen in all likelihood, they're going to double down on opposition. This is going to be Obama's first term times 10 and they're going to play with money for the pandemic. But let's do a one-off, let's do a one-off and it's way too much money and not everybody needs that money. That's what they're going to do. They're going to play small ball and they're going to play slow ball, because the longer the country is in pain, the better it is for you guys in the midterms.
DENT: Oh, sure. I mean, historically, Republicans should do better in this midterm election. But we also have to remember too, Chris that I believe the Republican base is actually shrinking because of the insanity we've seen. These censures of Republican officials out in Arizona with Flake and Cindy McCain and the governor. I mean, I think they lost, what, over 10,000 Republican voters within the next few days.
So the more the Republican Party, particularly at the state and local level, doubles down and supporter of Trump will shrink the base and I think make it harder for Republicans to win majority in the midterm, even though by all counts, Republicans should, at least in the House. But I think this narrative is still being written.
CUOMO: Phil Bump, Charlie Dent, appreciate you, fellas. I'd be looking to see what you guys do, Charlie. We'll all be watching real close.
We need some encouraging news, especially on COVID. Because that's the real fight that we should all be having. Happily, we do have some good signs. OK. Now, what about President Biden's 100-day plan for reopening schools.
I'm telling you, they got to be careful, they're falling for a gimmick, the 100-day thing. Don't worry about the 100 days, worry about the 100 ways that you need to get things done to open schools. Focus on getting the money and getting the things done and the opening will take care of itself. Next.
CUOMO: We're in the middle of a pandemic. We've literally made ourselves sick. How do we get out of it? Just time? It's going to be a heavy toll. But there are reasons to have hope and optimism. The Wizard of Oz is here to spell it out in the numbers.
Harry, let me throw you a curveball at 1:45 and counting am Eastern Standard Time. Let's start with number two, because the big X factor is, is it going to stay about supply with a vaccine or are we going to run out of demand? So what do we know?
HARRY ENTEN, CNN POLITICS SENIOR WRITER AND ANALYST: Sure. So if we go to slide two, what you see here - what essentially we're looking at in this particular slide is we're looking at the percentage of people who say they've either gotten the vaccine or are likely to get the vaccine. And what we see is a steady trend upward, where we see it was only at 42 percent in the average of poll September, October, November, then 51 percent in December and now up to 62 percent in January and February.
So that's a good sign, because we want people to get the vaccine and we want those numbers to climb higher. But what I will say is herd immunity, while we're not exactly sure what percentage that is, it's probably somewhere between 70 percent and 85 percent if you listen to the experts. So at this point, at this particular point, right now it's a supply problem. It's not a demand problem.
There are plenty of people who want this vaccine, but it could turn into a demand problem later on if in fact we do not get those numbers higher up, say, 65 percent, 70 percent, 75 percent which is really what I'd be looking for in the polling data.
CUOMO: And, of course, you have the unknowns, who's got the T-cell immunity, who's had it and has antibodies, et cetera, et cetera. Now, cause for optimism, what do you see in the numbers about cases?
ENTEN: Sure. So if we go back to slide one, what I would really stress here is that the cases, the hospitalizations, the deaths, they really are too high at this particular point. But here's the thing, I'm looking for a gleam right, a gleam.
And what we do see in the 14-day changes as we see the cases are way down, they're down 35 percent. They're at the lowest level since November. The hospitalizations have followed. The deaths have followed. They're still too high, but in fact what we have seen once we got past the holiday stretch, we have seen that all the three major metrics that I look at and most of the experts look at they are getting better.
CUOMO: So how do you reconcile that with variance?
ENTEN: I mean, look, that I think is a big question, when we get that U.K. variant in here, which we have, we get the South African variant in there. But I think it's a real question, it's sort of this race of time, how many people can we get vaccinated before these variants really become a dominant part of the American structure and that's why it's so important for people who are eligible to keep trying to sign up. Because if we can, in fact, get as many people vaccinated as possible, we can keep those cases down and we can continue that good trend line.
CUOMO: Another thing that is on the upswing is how many shots are getting into arms, right?
ENTEN: Correct. That's exactly correct. You might recall Joe Biden said, I want a hundred million shots in a hundred days and that would be 1 million shots a day. That was his initial goal. Since January 20, we're at 1.3 million and in fact that number has been climbing in the recent daily average, if you just look over the past week, if you just look over the past day, it's above that 1.3 million.
That's not high enough. We really probably want to be getting more towards 3 million, but at least at this particular point, the metrics that were set forth at the beginning of the Biden administration, we are reaching them. So it's a good sign that in fact, we're at least not falling backwards.
CUOMO: Is that because of him or is this just a natural ramp up that was going to be happening? We'll use this as a segue into slide four about supply. Because, again, we're trying to get more supply but it's not like he's throwing the kitchen sink at it yet. There hasn't been any new huge infusion of capital. He hasn't invoked the Defense Production Act yet.
They said they were going to give 16 percent or 20 percent more to the states, but they still haven't really explained where that comes from and if that's just the additional dose that's in each vial of Pfizer vaccine.
ENTEN: Sure. That six-dose that you have to get out with a special syringe.
Look, I think it's the steady up climb of the nation basically, getting better understanding of how to communicate with the states. Then, the states within themselves better being able to communicate. We already saw that upswing at the latter part of the Trump administration. So I don't think it's necessarily the Biden administration.
But what I think is so important is that if you put back that slide four, what you do see is Pfizer and Moderna are in fact promising to deliver, say, Pfizer, 120 million vaccinations by the end of March, Moderna a hundred million. That's 220 million. That's enough vaccine for 110 million people. And then that ramps up as we get to the end of May, a total of 200 million from Pfizer, end of June 200 million from Moderna. And by the end of summer, 300 million from both.
That's 600 million doses and that should be able to cover the entire adult population and we haven't spoken even about Johnson & Johnson, which if that, in fact, does get emergency authorization and it's just one shot that you need, that could be a hundred million doses by the end of June as well. So when you look at these vaccine schedules and these delivery dates, if in fact we do meet those projections, we could in fact, if everyone were to take the vaccine, we were able to get into the arms, which, of course, is a big X factor, We could be looking with a lot more people vaccinated by the summer and certainly by the end of summer, Chris.
CUOMO: Harry Enten, well done and thank you.
ENTEN: Thank you, sir.
CUOMO: You almost put a smile on my face.
ENTEN: I try my darndest.
CUOMO: You still failed. So what does all of that mean for getting our kids back in school? Let's bring in Dr. Leana Wen. Doctor, good to see you. You want to talk politics for a second? You know public policy, let's put that hat on.
LEANA WEN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Sure.
CUOMO: I think Biden has good intentions and is making a messaging mistake. This 100 days thing is putting the cart before the horse. He has not gotten the infusion of capital. We have not figured out the formula for schools beyond if a community is doing well then the school is doing well. And I think that they're going to get in trouble here, because the teachers unions are upset about vaccines.
States, some of them, are allowing people, teachers to move up the queue. There is no national mandate on it, though. And a lot of these schools don't have the money or the resources to have kids go back even if the case counts are getting better. So what is the real prognosis for having my kids back in school before the end of this school year on a regular basis, not a day a week.
WEN: Yes. I mean, I actually agree with you, Chris, about the goal that President Biden set. He set that goal of most kids being back in school for in-person instruction within a hundred days. He set that go back in December. A lot has changed since then, including the arrival of the variants.
In other countries when you have these more contagious variants taking over, schools that were open had to shut and we're not really accounting for that. I'm also not really sure why we're having this fight at all about teachers and vaccines. We have the supply to be able to give all teachers who were going back the vaccination. So if the goal is really to prioritize kids returning, I don't really
understand why we're even debating whether we should be protecting our teachers. Many of whom have chronic underlying medical illnesses, may be older and so forth. And so I'm not sure what the prognosis is, Chris, but I do think that the administration needs to be a lot clearer this week.
They said the CDC is supposed to release guidelines and I hope that their guidelines are very explicit about at what level of community spread do you need certain types of measures. So if you have low spread, maybe you need five measures, maybe masks and distancing are pretty good. But then if it's a medium level of spread, a high level of spread, at what level do you say we also need twice weekly testing.
We need all new ventilation systems, which as you pointed out, we don't have the money or resources to do that. But we really need that kind of explicit guidance or else, as you said, we're really putting the cart before the horse.
CUOMO: What have we done to mandate that schools are testing all the districts in uniform ways and reporting that to the CDC or to whatever federal agency needs to have them? Where are we on that?
WEN: I don't think we're anywhere with it. I mean, there are certainly schools that have implemented pretty good testing protocols. But a lot of schools do not and I think that's the problem. A lot of teachers are saying, if you're not doing the testing, if we don't have the contract tracing, how do we ...
CUOMO: Why not start there, Leana? I heard it's only like 23 states, I think, that are that are giving numbers up willingly. Why doesn't the messaging start there? Every state has to give us the numbers for every school, so we can track it at the CDC level. Isn't that a no brainer?
WEN: They don't have the capacity to do that level of testing and I think that's the problem. We have to recognize that we have limited resources. We don't have the resources to change ventilation systems in every school. And so that's another reason why teacher vaccinations are important.
If you recognize you can't do all these things to protect teachers, at least give them the one thing that is a sure thing, which is the vaccine.
CUOMO: One of the rules in politics, you never expose a problem if you don't have to. So you don't want the data, because it's going to show that people aren't testing the way and that these things aren't that safe. You don't want to know the answer. That's unfortunate. But you got to be real here.
Dr. Leana Wen, thank you very much. Appreciate you, especially at this time. Best to you and the family. And best to you. Thank you for watching in these turbulent times. We
have to make it through together or we will not make it through at all. Stay tuned. The news continues on CNN.
CUOMO: Friends, we will be back at midnight Eastern with a special live late night edition of PRIME TIME. But now it is time for the Big Show. CNN tonight with its star, D Lemon.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: You know what, Chris? You know if we've been - all day everyone's been saying the big lie, it was the big lie with the president ...