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Cuomo Prime Time

CDC Revises Mask Guidelines For The Vaccinated, Recommends Masks Indoors In Some Areas; Officers Attacked At Capitol Testify At Insurrection Hearing; Wildwood Mayor On Mask Mandate. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired July 27, 2021 - 21:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: News continues right now. Let's turn things over to Chris for "CUOMO PRIME TIME." Chris.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Few things give me hope Coop the way that Simone Biles situation is being processed. Because we've all seen in sports where someone has an injury and they go out and they they're going to test it out before the game, see if they're game ready. It's game time decision. We, you and I have heard that a thousand times.


And now, we're seeing that count for the holistic sense of health. There is no mental health versus physical health. It's all the same. And it is good to see that respected.

I know some are saying, "This is weakness. She's a champion. She should go out and perform." You would not say that if she was walking with a bad limp. You wouldn't say it. You would listen to her and say, "Hey, listen? You got to put the team first. Good for her. Good for her." And that's what we should say now.

And I really believe with this, Osaka, Venus Williams, I don't like that, I'm keying on women, even though women have a tendency, to understand the intelligence of emotions and psychology, more quickly, and more easily than men.

But there are a lot of men that suffer this way also, just like they had a bad organ or a bad joint. And this is the same thing. Hurt is hurt. Pain is pain.

And it gives me hope. And I hope she competes. And I hope she wins.

But it's important to cover, especially the way you're doing it Coop. As always, appreciate it.


CUOMO: All right, brother.

I am Chris Cuomo. Welcome to PRIME TIME.

"Or else," that's where we are, again. Months of pleading that we need to protect ourselves with the gift of a vaccine, or else. You see? You're going to be told things have changed. And it's not true. And here's the argument.

The variant will create cases at a rate we can't control, if we don't take the vaccine. That's what they said. Or else, if you don't take the vaccine, if we don't do the right things, things may go back to being more restrictive. That's what they always said. Or else, the fall may not be what we want it to be. All this was said. All this was known.

When they told us we didn't have to wear the mask anymore with the vaccine, it was because of the Alpha variant. But they said, if not enough people get vaccinated, this virus will change. If you let the virus spread, you will have more variants, and more trouble. So, that's the loud part of this. That's what happened.

The science hasn't changed. The CDC stance, and all the experts that come on all these shows, they've all been saying this. If the variant, the variants continue, because this thing keeps spreading, things might change.

So, when you hear "What happened to the science? They told us science says the vaccinated don't need to wear masks anymore." Yes, based on what? The Alpha variant, and how cases were trending, and how people, who are vaccinated were responding to it, as a function of the rate of people, who were getting protected by taking the vaccine.

But they always said "But, but, but, but, but." We didn't want to hear it then, right? We just wanted to hear the good news. But this was always there. If people don't get the vaccine, and the variant comes, and it continues to spread, there will be more variants, and things could change. And here we are. What a shame!

Let the map tell the story of the problem. Basically, all of America is in the red right now.

So, the CDC has altered its guidance from 10.5 weeks ago, for the vaccinated, to take their masks off. Now you got to put them back on indoors again, in certain areas. Listen.


VOICE OF DR. ROCHELLE WALENSKY, CDC DIRECTOR: Unlike the Alpha variant that we had back in May, where we didn't believe that if you were vaccinated you could transmit further, this is different now with the Delta variant.

And we're seeing now - now that it's actually possible, if you are a rare breakthrough infection, that you can transmit further, which is the reason for the change.


CUOMO: Now, you could say "See? They never knew. They never know. See? See? They were telling us these things. This is why I'm not taking the vaccine. You see? They don't know."

But that's stupid, OK, because they can only go on the facts, and the understandings that exist in reality. They knew that if people didn't get protected, the virus would continue to vary itself. And that's what's happening.

The shift in guidance doesn't mean the vaccines are a failure. It means that not enough of us are getting the shots quickly enough, to keep this virus in check, as we did, in the beginning, with that first big wave of people getting vaccinated.

Remember, it was the Left saying "Trump vaccine? Forget that! I'm not taking that vaccine. This guy's a liar and a fraud." Yes, he said it. My brother said it. A lot of people on the Left said it. "I'm going to check with my doctors. I'm going to check with the experts."

And they did. And the vaccine went out. And it was given to millions. And we saw the facts. And those feelings were replaced by the facts. Why isn't that happening now?

We all want the virus to stop mutating. We all want to control it, so we can burn down masks for good. That's why I take issue with people, who seem to be, soft-selling the vaccine, in this trade-off with a misplaced sense of freedom.



REP. DAN CRENSHAW (R-TX): Let's not try to go back to the times of 2020, where we're talking about lockdowns, and mandates, and putting people - and fining people, and putting them in jail, if they don't do exactly how we - what we want them to do.


CUOMO: I don't get the message.

Look, I keep asking Dan Crenshaw to come on the show. He'd rather talk about me than to me. He says - his people say he's busy. He's on camera, more than I am, this guy.

But what is the virtue of that message? "Don't punish people for not doing it. Don't come after them. They have the right not to take it. Let's not go back to 2020." What do you think is going to happen, if every time you talk about the vaccine, you put in a qualification that they don't have to take it?

Just because you have the right not to take the vaccine doesn't mean it is right for you not to do so. Of course, you are free not to take it. But should you take it? Why isn't he as vehement on that side of it? He's got the facts. He's a smart guy.

And what about the people you put at risk, if you exercise your freedom not to take it, like kids, maybe your kids, and those who are immune-compromised, and can't take the virus, or who're elderly and infirm? What about their freedom? What about the interplay of your choice and their choice? Why not discuss that? "We are the Land of the Free because of the Home of the Brave." Why leave that part out? "We are the Land of the Free because we are the Home of the Brave." Why not push the bravery? Why not push the case for taking the vaccine, as much as saying you have the right not to?

Think about it. If you want someone to lose weight, do you balance saying "Hey, listen, you should diet. But you have the right to eat cake and nothing but cake." Do you tell a smoker, "You should quit. But you have the right to smoke yourself to black lung death."

No. Why? Because they know they have freedom or not freedom. And you're not looking to balance the good with the bad, right? You're not looking to balance safety with a misplaced sense of self- determination. Of course, you can. But should you? And isn't that a leader's place to talk about where the exigencies lie?

And the answer on the vaccine, and Crenshaw knows this, Cruz knows this, they all know this, is that in almost all cases that a doctor should consider, the answer is, you should get the vaccine. So, why doesn't a Crenshaw or a Cruz? Now, why do I talk about them? I talk about them because they matter.

And I don't want to hear your hate about Crenshaw. Crenshaw, listen, the guy represented this country. He lost his eye, in service. When people joked about that, I said it was wrong. There are certain lines we just can't cross.

And I want him to come on and make the case. I don't want to play some tit for tat with him on Instagram or Twitter. This is real. These matters come on the big stage. You have the invitation. You should take it. That's leadership.

Because, look? It's a legitimate question. You know how hard we had to dig to find out when Cruz or Crenshaw, specifically, when they got vaccinated? They don't talk about that that much. Why?

Why don't they talk about their decision to get vaccinated, as much as they talk about how people have the freedom not to do so, and how this is government trying to control you, and that we shouldn't punish people for not taking it? Why emphasize that?

I want you to come on, and make your case, my brothers. We are in a bad place. And we need to talk about why we're here, as a way of finding a way out of it.

Because look, I don't think it's a coincidence that some of those, who are soft-selling the vaccine, are also among those ignoring January 6, or trying to minimize it, and those who are quiet about the election fraud farce that's going on in their party.

Advantage is being found in division. And that's the common thread with all of those, isn't it? Opposition is a legitimate position, these days, for the out-party. It's one of the big problems with the binary system. It's too easy to do "Us" and "Them." And right now, that posture is making us sick, again. Now, is masking up the right move at the right time? It's an open question. And we will test the President's Chief Medical Adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, tonight, as the country tries to deal with what many see as a step-back.

The guidance comes on a day of another big reveal, in another, major fallout, from our manufactured division. Did you watch this today, the beginning of the January 6 commission?

I don't know how anyone, who heard these four Police heroes talk about how they viciously came under attack by a Trump mob, I don't know how they can listen to a Senator Ron Johnson, or these others, on the fringe, and see them as anything but liars?


CUOMO: When they call this, "Patriots" and "Tourists, unarmed, you know, it's just a few, just loving their country," you know who doesn't respect that? The officers, who took the heat.

One took direct aim at what he calls an assault on history.



OFFICER MICHAEL FANONE, D.C. METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT: What makes the struggle harder and more painful is to know so many of my fellow citizens, including so many of the people, I put my life at risk, to defend, are downplaying, or outright denying, what happened.

I feel like I went to hell and back to protect them, and the people in this room. But too many are now telling me that hell doesn't exist, or that hell actually wasn't that bad. The indifference shown to my colleagues is disgraceful!


CUOMO: Is he wrong? Where are all the Amens from the "Blue Lives Matter" crowd now? Did you know that McCarthy and McConnell didn't watch? They see they're too busy. And they wonder why they're called Trumpers!

Too busy doing what? You said you were going to do nothing with this administration that your position was opposition. So, what are you doing? Why not hear from the men that you say you always support, right?

We've created a whole new flag now, right? You see the American flag, and all black with just the blue stripe? I thought we had one flag. And the colors are red, white, and blue. So, if you're going to put that much emphasis that you're going to change our national symbol, to show respect for it, why aren't you respecting it now?

And yet, in all the division, and all the darkness, I see hope, where it matters most, which is on the pandemic, and here's why. It is not too late. If people get vaccinated, our fall can be saved, school, work, OK?

The variant spreads, this Delta variant, spreads really quickly. But what have we learned in other countries that you haven't heard enough about? It peaks quickly as well, when the right measures are taken. So, we can still get there.

Now, will we? Another cause for hope, many Trumpers with platforms are finally getting on board, to stress the importance of getting what they're calling the "Trump vaccine."

Hey, man? Don't hate. The former president pushed Operation Warp Speed. The fruit of it was the vaccine. I'm fine with being called the "Trump vaccine." Call it whatever you want.

And listen? They should all make this suggestion. If you support the former president, and if you support Trump, how can you not take the vaccine? I welcome any of them to come on, and make that call, to their own.

Let's bring in a much better mind to understand this new advisory, and whether it makes sense, White House Chief Medical Adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Doctor, thank you for being with us, on an important night.


CUOMO: First, give us the nuts and bolts of the new guidance.

FAUCI: OK. What the new guidance says, based on a really change in the science, namely, we have a different virus we're dealing with, as you correctly said.

Six months, I mean, 60 days ago, a little bit more than two months ago, when the CDC said with the Alpha variant, if you had a breakthrough infection, the level of virus in the nasal pharynx was clearly lower, than if you were infected, and had been unvaccinated. And so, the danger of spreading was extremely low, and maybe even non- existent.

What's happened now, with the Delta variant, you have a virus that spreads much more efficiently, from person-to-person.

And importantly, when people who are vaccinated, in the unusual or rare event, when they wind up getting infected, and have a breakthrough infection, which is natural, when you don't have a 100 percent effective vaccine, when those people who are vaccinated, got infected, when they were even asymptomatic, or mildly symptomatic, the level of virus in their nasal pharynx is extremely high. And it has been well-documented that they can and do transmit the infection to uninfected people.

So, with that change, in the landscape there, the landscape of what the virus can do, the recommendation from the CDC that they announced today is that when you are indoors, in an indoor environment, in an area of the country that has a substantial or a high level of, community spread, you need to wear a mask. Whether or not you are vaccinated, you have to wear a mask, even if you are vaccinated.

CUOMO: Quick follow, then two challenges.

The follow is "Well, then what does it matter if people get vaccinated? If everybody is vulnerable to this Delta variant, then why not"--


CUOMO: --"why should people get vaccinated at all?"

FAUCI: Well, there's a really, really good reason to get vaccinated, Chris. And that is to save your life, to prevent you from being hospitalized, prevent you from dying.


Because the one thing that is clearly works very well with this vaccine is that even with the Delta variant, it prevents you, if you do get infected, from getting severe disease, enough to put you in the hospital. It protects you against infection pretty well. But what it does even better is to prevent you from getting serious disease.

So, when you get vaccinated, you don't get vaccinated just because you don't want to wear a mask. You get vaccinated because you want to save your life. Your own health is the reason.

The fact that you want to might now wear a mask, because we have a situation, where if you do get infected, you might spread it to somebody else, that's almost the secondary issue. The primary issue of getting vaccinated is to save your own life, and prevent you, from getting seriously ill.

CUOMO: The political pushback. "Ah, you said you knew. You said it was science. And now, you're changing it. You didn't know then."


CUOMO: "Or you don't know now."

FAUCI: No. We're not changing the science. You know what changed, Chris? The virus changed. And the science evolved with the changing virus.

We were dealing with the Alpha virus, back a few months ago, as I told you. It was a virus, that if a person had a breakthrough infection, very, very unlikely that that person would transmit it. That's changed.

Now, the level of virus in the nasal pharynx, of an infected person, with Delta, is 1,000 times of what it was with the Alpha, which means it really has the capability and, in fact, in the real world, is doing it, it can transmit. So, nothing changed about the science. It was the virus that changed. We're dealing with fundamentally a different virus.

CUOMO: The breakthrough data, let's talk about it. An Italian study just came out that less than 1.5 percent of deaths involve people, who are fully vaccinated.

FAUCI: Right.

CUOMO: What do you know, in this country, about breakthrough infections, severity, lethality?

FAUCI: Same thing. In this country, if you look at over the last several months, going back with Delta, beyond Delta, and before Delta, 99.5 percent of the deaths, in the United States, are among unvaccinated people, and 0.5 percent are among vaccinated people.

Boy, if there ever was a statistic that would stimulate someone to get vaccinated, I think this one is it.

CUOMO: So, what about this suggestion?

"So, then, don't mess with us, the vaccinated, and put mask restrictions on us. Go after the unvaccinated, make it easier for them to get it. Push private businesses do - deal with them. Don't deal with us. We did the right thing."


CUOMO: "Deal with the people, who didn't do the right thing."

FAUCI: Right. But you just used the word, Chris, "Don't go after us." Nobody's going after the vaccinated people.

What the CDC is saying that given the small chance that you could get infected, and transmit that infection, to someone else, wear a mask prudently, when you're indoors, in a high volume area for infection.

And there's a good reason for that, because what you don't want to do is then inadvertently, and innocently, perhaps infect someone else. That could be a family member. That could be someone, who has an underlying condition that makes them very vulnerable, such as someone who's immunosuppressed.

So, what goes beyond you is protecting other people, particularly the loved ones around you.

CUOMO: How long? What is this, like, how long is it going to be like this? What does it mean for indoor dining? What does it mean for my kids going back to school in the fall?

FAUCI: Right.

CUOMO: You know how hard it's going to be to have masks on kids. I mean, they're not going to wear the mask.

FAUCI: Well, yes.

CUOMO: They're going to get yelled at for not having the mask. They're going to get sent home. Families are going to get upset. What are we looking at here?

FAUCI: Well, what we are looking at, in the immediate future now, as we approach the fall, and the children, the main thing we want to do, and the CDC makes this very clear, is to get the children back to school, in-person, in the class, by the fall.

And the way to do that safely now, with the modification of the recommendations, is to get everyone in the school, wearing a mask, right now, because of the situation we're under with the high degree of viral dynamics.

You know, Chris? One thing, going a step further, that all of this could be avoided, if we get the overwhelming proportion of the population vaccinated. We have 100 million people in this country, who are eligible to be vaccinated, who have not gotten vaccinated.

If you want to end all of this, this, back-and-forth, let's get the overwhelming proportion of the population vaccinated. And all of this will go away, because the virus won't have any room to change, to mutate, to become a different variant.

CUOMO: That's a very important point. So, we still have a chance, if you get vaccinated, which could happen in the next few weeks.


I mean, there's plenty of vaccine, there's plenty of access. It's not equal everywhere in the country. Certainly, there are minority populations, impoverished populations that don't have the same access. But it's been getting better over time.

We can still have a better fall than the one we're facing right now.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, appreciate you on an important night, coming on, to tell us what it is, and tell us why. Appreciate you.

FAUCI: Thank you. Thank you, Chris.

CUOMO: All right, be well. Stay safe.

All right, so now, look, one, I'm asking questions. It's a little bit Socratic, right? Why, because that is the resistance out there. Of course, I don't have the resistance. All I do is talk to experts all the time. I don't know about anything as much as I know about COVID.

So - but you have to deal with people where they are. And people aren't going to like these changes, and they're not going to understand them, and they're going to think they're punitive. And that's why we have to ask the questions.

So now, what are the questions have to be asked? Well what's the fallout from what we heard from the officers today at the Capitol? What does it matter? Now that they said what should be believed, what's next? What is the value of what can come out of this commission? What do you say about that?

Let's get after it with one of the select committee members, Congressman Jamie Raskin. Simple question, is this worth it, and why? Next.









CUOMO: Objectively, fairly, I don't think you could watch the testimony today, and say, "Man, I don't believe it."

The four officers are telling the truth. They selflessly put their lives on the line, to defend democracy, on January 6. Period!

Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin is on the January 6 select committee. He joins us now.

Now, I do believe that there will be people, because Fox aired this, who haven't seen a lot of the footage, who haven't really been exposed to the reality that the rest of us have seen with wide eyes, since it happened.

But beyond that exposure, what is your hope for what this commission can bring?


REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): Good be with you, Chris.

Look, we were charged with defining the character of the threat that we faced on January 6th, and who organized it, who mobilized it, who paid for it? How did they go about executing their plan? And why did they do it?

And so, we're going to do a complete authoritative report on that. But then, the next step is how do we prepare to deter this in the future? Because I don't think there's anybody--

CUOMO: Let me see if Jamie comes back - Congressman Raskin.

We lose him? Can you get him back, or no? This is my favorite moments on television! Just me and listening to the voices in my head!

What I'm about to ask the congressman, if I can get him back, is how do you get the buy-in from the other side, right? Well, how do we plan? How do we make this different, going forward?

Well, what can you make different if you have the other side seeing this as an affront? "It's Pelosi's committee! She's to blame! It's not bipartisan!" How are you going to get buy-in?

Let's take a break. Let's see if we can get the congressman back, and get an answer.









CUOMO: All right, we have Congressman Jamie Raskin back.

The question is how do you make any change, when you have no buy-in from the other side?

"This is Pelosi's fault. It's Pelosi's commission. It's not bipartisan. It's a hack job. They won't accept the findings."

How do you get progress? How do you get buy-in?

RASKIN: Well, the remarkable thing here is that the committee actually can work now, because we've got an effective bipartisan group that is focused, like a laser beam, on getting at the truth.

And so, that's been the ironic effect of the Jim Jordan people trying to destroy what we're doing. They did sandbag and filibuster the independent 9/11-styled commission with five Republicans, five Democrats, equal subpoena power. They got rid of that.

But then Pelosi said, "Well, we mean business. We're going to do a select committee. And we're not going to let you turn this into a partisan food fight." And because of that, I think the country saw how members of Congress, across the aisle, can actually work together, to get somewhere.

So, I'm very optimistic about our ability to determine what the interlocking networks were of these domestic violent extremist groups, then how they interacted with the Trump White House, and other political operators, like Rudy Giuliani, and Roger Stone? Who paid for the whole operation?

And then, to what extent all of us are still under threat? What changes do we need to make to our security processes, so this doesn't happen again? Because, obviously, we were not ready, for a violent insurrection, ginned-up, by a major political figure, with a lot of money, and power behind it.

CUOMO: I've been watching the media coverage of this. And, of course, it's no surprise that there's intense interest about who you're going to subpoena, right?

That's the gotcha nature. That's the combative nature. "Who they're going to go after? Are they going to try and get Trump?" I really, I don't really care about that. You're going to subpoena who you subpoena. You're going to try and get everybody.

But what about getting the tapes of the conversation between former president Trump and House Minority Leader McCarthy? If he was in the White House, during that phone call, shouldn't there be at least a transcript of it, and then that removes the need for testimony?

RASKIN: Well, my colleague, Representative Cheney kicked off her part of the hearing, by basically saying that's exactly what she wanted to go for. She wanted to get a minute-by-minute description of the President's actions, and the President's conversations, during that day. It could also--

CUOMO: But should that phone call be recorded, Congressman?

RASKIN: But - I don't know the answer to that. But that's certainly something that's subject to discover, so we can figure it out.

CUOMO: Because I thought they recorded all the phone calls in them.


CUOMO: Every time you're going to talk to a president, they always say to you "Remember, it's being recorded."


CUOMO: So, I wonder how much discretion there is.

RASKIN: Yes, I mean, there were a lot of different cell phones, and so on, being used. But I think the presumption should be just what you're saying. And everybody owes this commission, they're on this testimony.

We are the sovereign here. We got the power to subpoena people's testimony, to subpoena people's records, and their telephone conversations. And we want to get at the truth. This is not a game.

And so much of justice during the Trump period was a game, just like cat and mouse, like hide and go seek. That's not what justice is about.

And so, we want to get to the bottom of this, so we can deliver a report to American people that's totally authoritative and comprehensive, and explains to American people, how we're going to preserve our democracy, going into the future. And this was the one thing that blew my mind the most about the hearing today.

And officers were, of course, just dazzling and extraordinary, in their courage, in their valor. But they were really focused on this question, at the very end that the Chairman asked them, "What should we do?" And they were very focused on this question of, "Does this go all the way to the top? Who was organizing all of this?"

Because, none of them, felt that, this was some kind of spontaneous eruption, like a bar fight, or something like that. They felt that they were under a military-style attack. And if you look at what happened that day, that's what it was.

CUOMO: I hope that, just in the interest of just keeping down the flames, I think you guys should call Speaker Pelosi, and let people see that she comes willingly, and wants to talk about this, because they're not going to get that on their side. I promise you that.

Congressman Jamie Raskin, thank you very much. Good luck with your work. The country deserves the truth.


RASKIN: Thank you so much, Chris. It's great to be with you.

CUOMO: All right, be well.

All right, let's turn to a Republican, who voted against certifying President Biden's victory. Did he watch today? What would get the congressman's party to get on board with the investigation?

We'll have a conversation, next.








CUOMO: Got two big problems, they're both about the truth, if you think about it.

Now is the time to push the vaccine more than ever. If we do it, we're going to save our fall. If we don't, we know what's going to happen. Masks are just the beginning.

January 6th, do we want to know the truth or not?

Now we had that big opening today with the powerful testimony of the police officers. How many GOP lawmakers watched and listened? Not McConnell. Not McCarthy. They said they were too busy, even though they said that their whole position is to do nothing.

But even if they did, this has been the response that we're hearing from people on that side of the aisle. Listen to Senator Ron Johnson.


RYAN NOBLES, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So, you think that some of the protesters were actually - had good intentions on that day? Is that what you--


SEN. RON JOHNSON (R-WI): I think some of those protectors tried - protesters - protesters tried to protect that police officer. And I think that ought to be noted.

NOBLES: Yes. But do you think that, you know, your life might--

JOHNSON: There were - there were tens of thousands of people that day that engaged in peaceful protests. There were a few hundred that committed acts of violence. Those people, I condemn. Those people--

NOBLES: You think your life was saved though, by these police officers?

JOHNSON: Yes and I commend them for it.


CUOMO: We know it was a dangerous day. And yet, he wants nothing to do with talking about it, thinking about it. He believes it's being exaggerated. How contagious is that within the party?

Let's get perspective from Republican congressman, and Doctor, Scott DesJarlais.

It's good to have you, sir.

REP. SCOTT DESJARLAIS (R-TN): Good to be here, Chris.

CUOMO: Were you able to watch the January 6th proceedings?

DESJARLAIS: I was able to see as much as I could. I was on Armed Services. And we had some work to do there. But I tried to catch that, and some of the highlights.

CUOMO: What does it mean to you that those officers went before the body and said that not only did they feel threatened, then, but they feel threatened now, that they're being disrespected, out of some kind of political maelstrom?

DESJARLAIS: Yes. I've been here now, in my 11th year, and have nothing but respect for the Capitol Police. I appreciate what they tried to do.

And, I mean, obviously, from the testimony today, it was very emotional, and compelling. And I feel for them.

And I don't know what the rules of engagement were that day. I don't know what the breakdown in leadership was that allowed the Capitol be breached by a couple hundred of unarmed citizens. But we need to get to the bottom of that, so it doesn't happen again.

CUOMO: Why do you say unarmed, when they were beating officers, and using the officers' weapons, and using flagpoles and other sticks? That doesn't count as being armed?

DESJARLAIS: Well, yes, I mean, if you're attacking someone with that that is being armed. And the officers should have been able to defend themselves. That's why I don't know.

We had a 13-year veteran shot, outside the House chambers, who was unarmed. And yet, we don't really know the full story there. Maybe that'll come out in the commission. But if that happened, on the streets of Baltimore, or whatnot, we'd get more information. So, I hope that comes out as well.

CUOMO: Well, in terms of why they couldn't defend themselves, how do you think you do against 10 men, holding sticks that were all attacking you at the same time?

DESJARLAIS: Well, if I had a gun, I'd probably do pretty well. A lot of these folks were armed with rifles.

CUOMO: So, you would have shot them?

DESJARLAIS: And I'm sure they didn't want to open fire on civilians. There was 40,000 people in town, or more, to protest. Unfortunately, it turned into a riot, and turned into what we saw at the Capitol.

I was here looking out the window that day. It was awful.

January 6th is supposed to be a day, where we look at the election. I mean, it's ironic that Bennie Thompson, the Chairman of this commission, was one of the ones protesting in 2005, against Ohio, doing the same thing that a lot of us were doing.

As we know, the rules were changed, because of COVID. There was 150 million people voted in this election. And there's a lot of people that don't have faith in the electoral process. And we never really got to finish what we started that day because of this unfortunate event.

And I condemn the people that did that. President Trump condemned the people that did that. And he said, they don't represent his America, and they should be prosecuted. And I agree. CUOMO: Well, when we talk about how we got there, it didn't help that people like you didn't want to certify the results of the election, without any proof of the same, right? And that the President was pushing--

DESJARLAIS: Well Bennie Thompson didn't want to approve the election in 2005. And he's leading this commission. Every Republican president in this century was questioned and challenged by Democrats, the same way we did on January 6th, so.

CUOMO: Do you remember - hold on a second.

DESJARLAIS: I don't know why we are being held--

CUOMO: I don't remember House Democrats--

DESJARLAIS: --to a different standard.

CUOMO: I don't remember - well here's why. Because you did something different. I don't remember House Democrats standing up and saying "We refuse to certify this presidential election." Remind me when that happened?

DESJARLAIS: Well, I don't know that we stood up and refused to certify the election. We wanted to look at the constitutionality of the voting process, in several states, like Pennsylvania, Georgia--

CUOMO: They had all been looked at, by members of your own party.

DESJARLAIS: --and Arizona. They got this election (ph) being a landslide. But there was 150 million people voted. If you take Arizona, Georgia and Wisconsin, those three states were decided by 42,000 votes. That's a mere fraction. So, you don't have to have widespread fraud to change the outcome.

We wanted to look at the constitutionality because ballots were being cured. There wasn't the appropriate transparency. Atlanta cleared the voting facility, because of a water main break, that turned out to be a urinal overflow.

And so, there was a lot of things that, you know, questions that we have not had answered. And I know your network and other networks have talked about no widespread fraud. But I don't know that those questions have been fully answered.

CUOMO: Well but--


CUOMO: Let's leave it--

DESJARLAIS: --there's a lot of people out there that don't have faith in the election.

CUOMO: Let's--

DESJARLAIS: And obviously, some of the people objecting to the election--

CUOMO: Let's leave it like this.

DESJARLAIS: --when it was Republican presidents, they didn't have faith in the process.

CUOMO: Does it - well of course, they're not going to have faith in the process, Congressman, when you keep telling them that there was fraud, and that there's no proof ever presented. And you say "Well those questions aren't answers."

DESJARLAIS: No, there was fraud.


CUOMO: You had each of those states.

DESJARLAIS: --there is fraud. You say there's no widespread fraud. But we could all admit there was fraud. We have evidence of people, who voted that weren't on the rolls. There were more people voting than--

CUOMO: Congressman? That happens in every election--


DESJARLAIS: --there isn't. But there is evidence.

CUOMO: When it happened in 2018, you guys called it "Sore loser."


You had Wisconsin. You had Arizona. You had Georgia. You had Pennsylvania. You had Republicans all over the place. They certified their own results. And then you tried to decertify the election. So, it wasn't just in good faith and first instance.

DESJARLAIS: And Chris, your network spent the last four years, talking about a Russia hoax. We had a Democratic Party that impeached the President twice, once when he wasn't even still in office. And you're going to talk about us not accepting the outcome?

I think it was Representative Schiff today that said, "If this is going to be the new normal that a party is not going to accept the outcome of an election, because the other party won, God help us."

Well, I mean he led the charge, about impeaching the President, and knew that he had facts on Russia. And, as you know--

CUOMO: Trump--

DESJARLAIS: --and we all know now that that wasn't true. But your network was leading the charge on - on that hoax.

CUOMO: Trump - first of all, it's not a hoax. Russia interfered with the election. Members of the Trump campaign took stupid meetings, and asked for help that they shouldn't have done. That is the definition of collusion.

Was it criminal conspiracy? No. If you watched my show, you'd know I've been saying all along, "You will never get a criminal charge on President Trump. They won't allow it at the DOJ. The facts won't support it." And I was right.

But let's now move to where--

DESJARLAIS: No, you're not. And I watch your show. And I watch Fox.

CUOMO: I'm right.

DESJARLAIS: And frankly, I blame the media for a lot of the divisiveness in this country, because depends on which channel you watch, you're going to get a different spin.

I accidentally watched a channel, the other night. My wife Amy put on. It was NewsNation. And I watched it for 15 minutes. And they told stories, at the border, and Pelosi.

I couldn't tell which channel it was. I asked her. She didn't know. And I had to look up. And it's so refreshing to hear a news channel that doesn't bias the viewers, one way or another. And we need more of that, if we're going to move forward, as a country.

CUOMO: Congressman?

DESJARLAIS: Because what we had the last four years doesn't work. What we're doing now doesn't work. Pelosi kicking Republican members off this commission, because she was afraid to answer tough questions, is not a fair--

CUOMO: She offered you guys an equal split.

DESJARLAIS: --it's not a fair hearing.

CUOMO: And--

DESJARLAIS: And we didn't get to kick two of their members off a jury. The prosecutor and the defender gets to pick witnesses.

CUOMO: This is not a jury.

DESJARLAIS: In this case, we, I mean--

CUOMO: It's not a jury. You are--

DESJARLAIS: --Pelosi is running basically a kangaroo court.

CUOMO: --you are a doctor. You're not a lawyer.


CUOMO: The rules aren't the same. Here's what I'm saying. If you don't think conversation like this is constructive, I don't know how to help you. I'm giving you the platform. DESJARLAIS: No, I'm glad to have this conversation with you, Chris.

CUOMO: I'm asking you the questions. I'm pushing back when I can.

DESJARLAIS: I was hoping to talk a little bit about vaccinations. We're supposed to do that a lot here (ph).

CUOMO: Well, let me get a question in there, before I let you go.


CUOMO: You just heard Fauci say, there is a window. If people get vaccinated now, yes, you're going to have these mask mandates put in place, these recommendations, whatever they want to call them. We know people are going to follow them on the local level.


CUOMO: That we can still get out of this.

Do you believe now is the time, for people, on both sides of the aisle, but obviously you speak for your side of the aisle, to push getting vaccinated that it's safe, and not offsetting it by saying, "But of course, it's your freedom, not to get it." Doctors don't say that to you.


CUOMO: They say "Get the vaccine" or "Don't get the vaccine."

DESJARLAIS: Well, let me tell you this. Let me - let me talk as a doctor, and not a congressman.

CUOMO: They don't say, "But you don't have to."

DESJARLAIS: This is what I would tell my patients.

CUOMO: What would you tell them?

DESJARLAIS: 90 - 99.5 percent of the people, who died were over 30. If you go up to 40, and 50, it's still 95 percent. So, the older you get, the higher your risk. If you're over 50, and you haven't been vaccinated, get vaccinated.

Kids under 20, less than a fraction of a 10th percent, have died of COVID, not much higher than the flu. We don't know the full effects of the side effects in kids.

I've got a 14-year-old daughter. I don't know if you have kids or not. I'm a little leery because of the cardiomyopathy, the Guillain Barre, the blood clots. And so, I don't know if the treatment is worse than the cure, in this case.

So, for the kids, I don't know yet. As a parent, the jury's still out. My wife's a registered nurse. And you see a lot of health care people are skeptical. But if you're a 30-year-old, 40-year old, 50-year old, or if you're

older than 50, and you hadn't got the vaccine, you're playing with fire. You need to get vaccinated.

CUOMO: Doctor, I appreciate you.

DESJARLAIS: But you should listen to your doctor, because pre-existing conditions are where most of these people who died, did pass on. They had other comorbidities. And your doctor knows that better than you do. I can tell my patients that Dr. Fauci is kind of an administrator now.

Tell people to talk to their doctor. Don't listen to Democrats, or Republicans or newscasters.

CUOMO: Well, listen, it's always good - good advice to listen to your doctor about these things. And the rest of us should be trying to give them the right information. And I think you were basically doing that tonight. So Doctor, thank you.

And you're always welcome here to talk about what matters, on this network, OK?

DESJARLAIS: Thanks, Chris.

CUOMO: Congressman Scott DesJarlais, be well.

And we'll be right back.

DESJARLAIS: Thank you.









CUOMO: I'm telling you, I have hope, even DesJarlais. He's not right about the January 6 commission, or about how the politics played out about the election. But even he is saying, "Hey, the older you get, you better get that vaccine."

So that's the right message on the right issue at the right time because COVID is surging, especially in Missouri. St. Louis has reinstated an indoor mask mandate. But Missouri's Attorney General is suing to stop it. The Mayor of Wildwood, part of St. Louis County, is vowing not to

enforce the mandate. Let's just talk about that with Mayor Jim Bowlin.

It's good to have you, Mr. Mayor. So, look?

MAYOR JIM BOWLIN, WILDWOOD, MISSOURI: Thank you, Chris. Good to be here.

CUOMO: I don't have to tell you the problem. You know it. You also have cases surging between younger adults, 20 to 29. What is your thinking about why you don't want masks?

BOWLIN: Well, to put it in context, Chris, cases have increased in St. Louis County. But I just ran the numbers from the county today. And to give you an example, July the 1st, the number of new COVID infections was 97. Yesterday, that had risen by 40 to 137.

And each of these cases is tragic. There's no question about that. But to put it in context, that's an increase of 40 out of a population of St. Louis County of just under 1 million. And the hospitalization rates, the death rates, have remained the same, over the last month.

So, to answer your question, my issue with the mandate is really twofold.


First, statistically, if you look at the data, of neighboring counties, in Missouri that are but St. Louis County, particularly St. Charles County, that had virtually no mandate of any type that, and, in the case of St. Charles County, none, their infection rate is, at this point, virtually tied with St. Louis County's. And yet, we had all of the many restrictions.

And then secondly, is really, I guess, a practical point. I don't think that a mask mandate can practically be enforced. I don't know - I don't think we have enough police to do that, on businesses and all the individuals. So, in essence, I think it's effectively a volunteer system, as it is. And so--

CUOMO: So, are you going to push the vaccination rate, work the messaging on that level? I'll give you the last word on that.

Because, you know Missouri has one of the highest infection and hospitalization rates in the U.S. That's about the vaccine rate being low, only 43 percent, in St. Louis County. Are you going to push that? Last word to you.

BOWLIN: So, I am supportive of the vaccine.

As your speaker, that you just had indicated, there are many variables that go into that. And that is a decision that I think should be left to the individual, and their physician.

But personally, am I in support of recommending that to people? Absolutely. In the City of Wildwood, we had a pop-up event, just a few weeks ago, to get people vaccinated. It was very successful. So, the short answer, Chris is, yes.

CUOMO: Mayor, we'll stay on the story there. You're welcome back here to talk about how it progresses. And good luck.

BOWLIN: Thank you so much.

CUOMO: All right, God bless and be well.

We'll be back.

BOWLIN: You too.