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Senate Probe: Trump Asked DOJ Nine Times To Overturn Election; Deadline For First Round Of January 6 Subpoenas Hours Away; Former FDA Commissioner: Vaccines For Kids & Merck Antiviral Pill Will Be "Bookend" On COVID Pandemic. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired October 07, 2021 - 21:00   ET



CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Lie, deny, and now, defy. Remember, we define that as the triple play of trumpery.

According to "The Washington Post," a Trump attorney instructed his former advisers, not to comply with congressional investigators, and with good reason. They clearly may have damaging information.

The Senate Judiciary Committee just made that obvious, in a new report, about January 6th, titled "Subverting Justice." It's nearly 400 pages. And they have the receipts.

We're going to give you some of the biggest headlines tonight. But I argue that the obvious headlines, about the main report, aren't the real thing to focus on.

The rebuttal from the GOP is what you must look at. Why? Because those who empowered this, those who ignored it, also empowered it, but all of them collectively, they are still in power. And the rebuttal is proof that the "Big lie" will not die.

In their defense of Trump, you don't just see a disservice to justice, but clear proof that they are in service to him, and his lies, about the election.

Starting with their defense, "Trump didn't do anything wrong, because the coup didn't happen." This is the same lame defense, the same people, gave Trump, on that Ukraine shakedown. "Well, Ukraine didn't comply with putting out dirt on Biden, to get the meeting, and other goodies, from Trump, and the United States government, so, no harm."

You know an act does not have to be completed, for there to be a crime, right? A crime can be, what we call in the law, inchoate, or incomplete, a.k.a., attempted. For example, if I tried to rob you, but I fail, it's not OK. We all get this. And so do Trump's defenders. But this is not about logic.

Ranking Member Chuck Grassley's office put out this report. He is the President Pro Tempore Emeritus, of the U.S. Senate, defending Trump's coup attempt, multiple times, as, ready? "Not unreasonable." Do you think they would therefore offer what was a reasonable basis for him to question the election, let alone try to overturn it? They don't. But again, this is not about logic.

The proof of Grassley's perfidy, his bad faith, is clear, from his past. After the Capitol attack, Senator Grassley said this.

"The courts didn't back up Trump's claims. He belittled and harassed elected officials across the country to get his way. He encouraged his own, loyal vice president, Mike Pence, to take extraordinary and unconstitutional actions."

But now, his coup attempt was "Not unreasonable?" What changed? The threat of Trump to him, nice and slow, because that's all it is, OK?

The problem therefore, is not Trump being out of power as President. It's all of those, who are still in power, who are worried about his reach, and his base, and their complicity, in helping to keep the "Big lie" alive.

The Grahams, the Gosars, the Cruzs, the McCarthys, Hawley, Brooks, Greene, Cawthorn, Stefanik, Jordan, and yes, Mitch McConnell, and don't forget, a 147, in the Trump party, in Congress, that backed the attempted overthrow of democracy, by wanting to decertify the election, with no good basis.

The rebuttal report, that's the focus. That and the silence from those not involved with the rebuttal, about its lameness, because that is just as poisonous. I'm telling you. The "Big lie" could come back, and be played exactly the same way, in the midterms.

So, here's what the Democrat-led Judiciary Committee is hoping to expose, to highlight what happened, and therefore maybe do something about it.

Trump asked the DOJ nine times, after the election, to undermine the election result. Nine times! Not just "Take a look," not just, "Hey, have you seen this really obvious piece of proof?" It's just "Do something. Do something. Do something." And they have the receipts.

He considered replacing then-acting A.G. Rosen with DOJ lawyer Clark, who supported his fraud conspiracies.

Then, White House Counsel, Pat Cipollone, threatened to quit, if the President replaced Rosen, with Clark, calling a letter that Clark and Trump, wanted the DOJ, to send to Georgia officials, a, quote, "Murder-suicide pact."


And then, Chief of Staff Mark Meadows made, quote, "Multiple," unquote, requests for Acting A.G. Rosen, to launch election fraud probes. Again, he was pressuring him to do it, not offering him information, or sources that would lead to his own decisions. You see the difference? Here's a picture, put in the report, of a New Year's Eve meeting, where Trump was threatening Justice Department leaders, to overthrow democracy, for him.

Just three days later, three days before the January 6th insurrection, there was another meeting. And according to the Acting A.G., Trump opened by saying, quote, "One thing we know is you, Rosen, aren't going to do anything to overturn the election," unquote.

And yet, the defense, in the rebuttal, "Trump did not use the Justice Department to overturn the election," meaning it's OK, because he didn't succeed. And these people see nothing wrong with the clear proof that he tried to, and had his people tried to, at least nine times.

All they're missing in their rebuttal, with this, "It isn't illegal - is the" - remember this line? "It isn't illegal when the President does it." That's the only thing they're missing, from the Nixon cover- up playbook.

But Nixon didn't have this power in his own party. He didn't have these kinds of people, in power, worried about him, and his base going forward. Trump does. So, what will they do next?

Let's ask a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Democrat, Chris Coons, Senator, from Delaware.

Good to see you, Senator.

SEN. CHRIS COONS (D-DE): Good to be on with you, Chris. It's been quite a day, here in the Senate.

CUOMO: Every day is a month's worth of drama. So, let's start with what just happened.

The Republicans voted to end cloture, but none voted to raise the debt ceiling. They left that to the Democrats. And you passed it on a party-line vote, 50-48. I don't know what happened to the other two.

What does that tell you about your future?

COONS: It means unfortunately, that we will be right back here, in two months, needing another vote, configured exactly, like tonight's vote, in order to raise, or suspend, the debt ceiling, going forward.

Chris, I frankly think part of what happened was that Mitch McConnell became convinced he was playing this dangerous game of chicken, too close to the line, and there was a lot of passion, in the Democratic Caucus, about simply ending the rule that requires a 60-vote margin, for the debt ceiling. And so, frankly, he caved.

CUOMO: Why would he believe that, Senator?

COONS: This gives us.

CUOMO: When he knows-- COONS: I'm sorry?

CUOMO: --Joe Manchin wouldn't do it?

COONS: I suspect that he had a conversation with Senator Manchin, and Senator Sinema, where they expressed alarm, concern, and possibly even willingness, to change that rule.

I don't know. I wasn't in the room. But my sense is that's what ultimately moved him to act.


COONS: Here's what it gets us, Chris.

CUOMO: Please?

COONS: Two months, when we can focus, on passing President Biden's "Build Back Better" agenda.

Two months, when we can come to an agreement, about how to get the bipartisan infrastructure bill, and how to get this critical, I hope, more than $2 trillion package, of investments, in elder care, daycare, childcare, early childhood support, making health care less expensive, providing a tax cut, to America's middle-class, and making it all paid for, by ensuring that the wealthiest Americans, and our most profitable companies, pay their fair share.

That's roughly the "Build Back Better" agenda that we hope to get through the House, and Senate, and to the President's desk, including some robust action on climate.

We now have the time, and the space, to finish those negotiations, and get that done, before we have to turn to our end-of-year appropriations, continuing to pay for the government, to stay open, and another vote on the debt ceiling. I hope we take this window, and get this work done.

CUOMO: Small point, and then two big points.

The small point, we had heard that you were trying to get it done, by the end of October.


CUOMO: You think that's unreasonable?

COONS: It's possible. That's when the Surface Transportation bill expires. And so, it would make sense for us to finish the work, on "Build Back Better," and on the infrastructure bill, and get them to the President's desk.

But frankly, it means we've got two members of my caucus, who need to be really clear, about what they're willing to support, and not, and then let our committee chairs get to work, right-sizing this bill, to fit within the agenda of what we're going to be able to pass. CUOMO: Statement against interest. I want to know every detail of how you guys talk amongst yourselves, in the internecine, strife, and the haggling.


However, tactically, is there any lesson being learned, on the - in the Democratic fold, about how bad this looks that you guys can't make a deal, with yourselves?

COONS: Yes, I think it's very clear, within our caucus, that we have the pen. We have the opportunity, to take bold action that's going to help tens of millions of American families.

And the fact that it's been dragging on, for weeks, and that there are some internal disagreements, about how big the package should be, and how bold it can be, distracts from the fact that folks are eager for us to get it done, and to move forward.

The elements of this plan are widely popular. Polling shows that the American people think we should invest, in things, like paid family leave.


COONS: High-quality daycare, reducing the cost of health care, making it easier for folks, to get back to work, and for families to afford the things that keep them up at night.

So, we need to get busy and get this done. But we have a few key disagreements we need to get past first.

CUOMO: I had a caller on my radio, say to me, "Only the Democrats would fight with themselves, to not get done something that American people, from both sides of the aisle, want done." Let that be a clue to you.

Now, one other big policy issue, in terms of getting this done.

What's coming out from the former president, and his people, and that rebuttal, to the Senate Judiciary report? That has one clear message. "We don't care. And we are on board with the Big lie."

While you guys are arguing over you know how much money to put in this plan, how worried are you that your midterm elections are marred before they begin, that any race that they don't like, they'll say, "Is rigged," and half the country is ready to believe it?

COONS: Chris, that's one of the ways, in which I see our democracy steadily being undermined, from within, is by Republicans, who know better, being willing to stay on board, with President Trump - former President Trump's "Big lie," about the 2020 election.

Look, even Bill Barr, his incredibly loyal former attorney general, has in print, said that he knew that the claims of fraud, in the election, were BS. And what you're seeing today in this deal - in this report, from the Senate Judiciary Committee, is that President Trump didn't try to inappropriately muscle, the Acting leader of the Department of Justice, into buying, into his fraud claims, about the election, once, not twice, not three times, nine times!

And if it hadn't been for a few folks, like Pat Cipollone, who refused to go along with this, we might have had a different outcome. We came very, very close, to a terrible and tragic outcome, in the election, in 2020.

And you're absolutely right, Chris. The midterms in 2022, I think we will see false claims of election fraud, widespread, throughout the country that undermines the strength of our elections, and the credibility of our democracy.

CUOMO: Senator Chris Coons, thank you very much, for giving us insight, into the goings on, in the people's business. Appreciate you.

COONS: Thank you, Chris.

CUOMO: All right. All right, let's go deeper into this. Executive privilege. What will it mean if Trump asserts that? Is it a kill shot to investigators?

We have a former impeachment counsel, to take us through, the dos and don'ts, when it comes to executive privilege, and what the options are, in getting past the wall of silence, in Trump-world, next.









CUOMO: This is deadline night for the first round of Trumpers, to decide if they will do, what the law compels them to, and comply, with subpoenas, from the January 6th Select Committee.

"The Washington Post" is reporting that Trump's lawyers don't want his former aides to comply. That's not unusual.

The question is what are you willing to do? You want to fight the subpoena? OK. But what if you want to play games? What if you want to do worse? What does that mean? Let's take it to a better mind, Norm Eisen. Counselor, welcome back.


CUOMO: So quickly, the obvious route is, "I don't like this subpoena. I don't think you have a legitimate reason to send it to me. I'm going to fight to quash it in court." That hasn't been done yet.

Dan Scavino is like hiding, so that they can't personally serve him, as if the personal service were necessary here, which of course, it isn't.

So, the idea of executive privilege, will that end any chance, to inquire, to these men, about these events?

EISEN: Chris, I do not think executive privilege is going to provide the shelter, that according to the "Post," Trump and his lawyers, are seeking, in informing these men, that executive privilege applies, and they shouldn't cooperate.

Let me tell you why. And it's based on my experience, litigating these issues, fighting with Trump, on these issues, as special counsel, in the impeachment, the first impeachment.

Executive privilege belongs to the President of the United States. The courts have said, in the Nixon v. GSA case that the privilege is the property of the nation. We only have one president at a time, Chris.

So, Trump was able, when he was in office, to tie people in knots. Now, it's not your father's White House, or Justice Department. And whether Trump goes to court, or Congress pursues civil or criminal contempt, these executive privilege claims are not going to hold water.

CUOMO: So, OK, so if that's not going to happen, then they're going to come in. And they're going to talk. But they're going to limit what they say, as best they can. And they'll be coached.


And then, you have, what we saw, in the rebuttal, which is that the Republicans, they - I'm telling you. I've never seen anything like that rebuttal before. And I know this story is the main report, the nine times he tried to use the DOJ.

People need to look at the rebuttal, Norm. That would never make it through a law school class, for any kind of moot-court situation. They basically say, "Well, he didn't succeed at any of this. What's the big deal? He didn't use the DOJ. He just tried. This was - this coup attempt wasn't unreasonable."

Just think of those words, Norm. The President's coup attempt wasn't unreasonable in America?

EISEN: Chris, the "Big lie" is bad enough when Trump and his ex-White House cronies pervaded.

But when that cancer of falsehood invades the Senate, the world's greatest deliberative body, I wrote down what this minority report, said, because it turns reality on its head.

President Trump did not exert improper influence on DOJ? His concerns centered on legitimate complaints and reports of crimes?

Chris, I filed two ethics complaints, this week, against the other insurrection lawyers, including Mr. Clark, who's so prominent in this complaint, and Mr. Eastman, out in California.

If any lawyer dared to file these statements, in court, what this minority has put in the report, they would immediately be subject to investigation, sanctions, and potentially losing their license.

It's outrageous. And it's dangerous for our country, when this cancer of deceit, has crept, into the minority, in the Senate.

CUOMO: And so, all you have to do is look at what they do, in terms of attaching the proof, of these legitimate claims, and complaints, and all that. And, you see, it gets really shaky, really fast.

But I'll tell you what. It's the best indication that the "Big lie" is not going away, Norm. It's not going away at all.

I appreciate you taking us through this first step. Let's see what happens, once we get into it. I will call on your counsel, once again, as always. Be well until.

EISEN: Thanks, Chris.

CUOMO: All right, another case that has us stymied, the homicide case, of Gabby Petito. We have new information on when police had eyes on her missing fiance.

But a question also, if they had eyes on him, how did they let him get away?

Brian Laundrie's father joined investigators, in the search, at a Florida reserve.

I thought nobody had asked him to help. I'll tell you, finding officials, who are just straight with you, these days, is really, at a premium, OK?

We also have a survivalist. What would it take to live, in this reserve, for as long as it's been, so far? What kind of place is it? What do you need to know? What do you need to have? Right?

He knows. Next.









CUOMO: Couple of developments, and then some insight, into the big question, of the unknown, right now, in terms of Gabby Petito case.

North Port, Florida police are defending themselves against criticism that they let Brian Laundrie get away. A spokesman tells CNN, Laundrie was under surveillance before he vanished, but says, officers were limited, in how much they could act.

Brian disappeared three weeks ago.

Would surveillance or non-surveillance preclude officers from going where any citizen goes? Answer's no. They could have followed. They could follow you somewhere, if they have a reason to, or even if they don't have a reason to. They're not going to do anything to you.

If they're just watching somebody, and they leave, and go to the reserve, why didn't they go to the reserve? We're not allowed to do that? Says who? Please show us.

So, three weeks ago, this happens, before there was an open homicide investigation. At that time, Petito's body had not yet been found.

Here's what the police spokesman told Randi Kaye.


JOSH TAYLOR, NORTH PORT, FL POLICE SPOKESMAN: If you talk to a lot of people, who have experience, in law enforcement, I mean, the guy goes for a walk, in the Carlton Reserves. He's not wanted for a crime. I mean, what are we - what are we supposed to do?

We're going to go tree to tree, tree to tree, following him, back through the woods? I mean, you know, it just wasn't there with the information we had, in this case.


CUOMO: I don't disagree. I don't disagree. I don't think they had reasonable suspicion. They didn't even know that Gabby Petito was dead. So, is it fair to say they lost him? No. I don't think it's fair to say that they lost him. He wasn't a wanted man. He is now.

The spokesman also says police are not in possession of the cell phone Brian Laundrie was using, on his road trip, with Gabby, and they don't have her phone either. Does that mean the Feds don't? See, one of the problems in this situation is you have local cops, and then you have the Feds.

For example, one of these problems with the Laundrie family. The Laundrie family is going to have trouble, all right, certainly in the court of public opinion. We'll see if there's any legal exposure.

But the cops didn't know that Brian was gone, until the 17th. OK, that's a long time, because he was gone since like the 13th. But the Feds did. Now, why didn't they tell the cops? I don't know. But that's not on the Laundrie family.

If the Laundrie family is in contact with the Feds, and they tell them "Hey, the kid didn't come home," is it their fault the cops don't know?

Meanwhile, Brian Laundrie's father, local cops were saying, "Yes, no, nobody's asking for the family of the wanted guy. We don't want his help." He was there today!

Laundrie's father took part, in the search, for his son. They asked him "Hey, do you know any of the routes that Brian liked, in the reserve?" He said, "Yes." So, they went and met him at the Carlton Reserve.


His parents believe that that's where this guy is. I know. I keep calling him "Kid." It's just because I'm old. I know that he's a man, and he should be treated as a man, under the law. There's no question about that.

But we keep glossing over the fact that this guy's been in the jungle basically, for weeks. Is that doable for this guy?

Shane Hobel is the Founder of Mountain Scout Survival School.

It's good to have you. Appreciate you. I should have had you sooner.

So, people, who know him, and who know, hiking, say, "He is a hiker. He is a good hiker. He is a trained hiker and camper." They say, "He is not a survivalist."

What's the difference, when it comes to the context, of us trying to figure out, if he could still be alive in there?


Being a hiker, you're usually dependent on your gear. He's carrying a backpack. We don't know what's in it. We don't know what kind of supplies he already has, or what he started with? When is the last time he had food, or water? How much does he have, before he runs out, before he has to replenish it?

And so, a hiker usually carries the things in with them, a camper and that type of deal. When it comes to survivalists, this is the idea of not having any of those things, and utilizing the resources that are already available, on the landscape.

Now, his sister, I think, believe, was quoted by saying that he is a moderate survivalist, that he's decent, but he's not an expert. Even that alone can sustain somebody.

And certainly in that climate, you're not dealing with the harshness of going to the North here. And as we - as seasons change, he still has a lot of resources that he can tap into.

CUOMO: Help me understand that, because, to someone like me, I'm not into that. I feel like I'd be a dead man--

HOBEL: Sure.

CUOMO: --as soon as it got dark that, I would step into some water, where there's an alligator, or a snake, or I eat the wrong thing.

What does he have access to, if he's what his sister termed, "A mediocre survivalist?"

HOBEL: Well, that would tell me that he has decent concepts, in terms of shelter. There's plenty of water down there.

Again, I don't know what kind of gear, or what, he has, in his backpack. I don't even know if he has anything. I'm going to assume that he does, because he's a hiker. And a backpacker, normally, they carry the gear.

And so, he's got water location and purification to deal with. He has fire. But you don't necessarily need, because it's not a cold climate. And food wise, there's plenty of fish. There's snake. Yes, there's gators, so he can be on the menu as well. But there is plenty of resource that's there.

And the other thing we have to remember is even though this is a preserve, surrounding, the preserve, there are seasonal homes, and other vacation homes, things that could be vacant.

And there's no reason why, like spokes on a wheel, he can be coming in and out of urban environments, without anybody knowing this, and still resupplying and going back into the reserve.

A survivalist doesn't have to do that. They can stay indefinitely, on the landscape, because everything you need is already there.


HOBEL: I don't believe that this is the type of person that we're dealing with.

CUOMO: So, even if it isn't the type, meaning that he could do it all by himself, you're saying he doesn't have to, because even though, to us, we're looking at it, as the wilderness, there are opportunities for him, in there, especially if he knows the reserve, which according to his family, he does.

Shane Hobel, thank you very much. When we learn more, about what they're thinking, they're seeing, or finding, please, come back, and give us some context, because I don't know what the heck I'm talking about.

So, it's good to have you. Be well and thank you.

HOBEL: My pleasure!

CUOMO: All right, we have some good news to report, news that could change the course of this pandemic that so many of us, parents, have been waiting for.

Will Pfizer's request for the FDA to authorize its shot, for 5-year- olds to 11-year-olds be the big moment that it sounds like? Why would it be a big moment? What are the kind of qualifications?

Chief Doctor is here, next.









CUOMO: So, the former FDA Commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, says "The end is finally near. The COVID pandemic may soon be over."

The U.S. Surgeon General, however, isn't ready to make any big pronouncements yet. Here we go with the messaging again!

He tells CNN he is cautiously optimistic. Listen.


DR. SCOTT GOTTLIEB, FORMER FDA COMMISSIONER, MEMBER OF PFIZER BOARD OF DIRECTORS: We're going to have, hopefully, a vaccine available for children.


GOTTLIEB: And, at some point, before the end of the year, we probably will have the orally-available drug, from Merck, if things go well, and that undergoes a favorable review.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that will--

GOTTLIEB: And I think those two things are going to be sort of the bookend on the sort of pandemic phase, of this virus, and we're going to be entering the more endemic phase.

DR. VIVEK MURTHY, U.S. SURGEON GENERAL: It's certainly a move in the right direction. If you've got good vaccines, we've got good oral medicines, we can take - use preventive measures, like masks, when we need them, we will be in good shape, against COVID-19.


CUOMO: Until we aren't! Is that going to be another iteration of that same kind of, "It's good until it isn't" situation?

How optimistic should we be? More vaccines, more antivirals, are people going to take them, right? If they get it approved, for the kids, will parents - reasonable parents feel safe about it? Will unreasonable parents keep their kids from it?

Our top doctor, Sanjay Gupta, is here to discuss that, and much more, including his new book, "World War C: Lessons from the Covid-19 Pandemic and How to Prepare for the Next One."

Yes, amen, to Sanjay, for finally taking us through what should have been done, which was done, in a movie, 10-plus years ago, which is "It's coming. Be ready!"

Congratulations on the book.


CUOMO: I'm sure it's going to be a big hit, because what you say is well-researched and well-reasoned.

GUPTA: Thank you.

CUOMO: Now, you feeling good, about Pfizer, putting, this, in, and the Merck pill? Do you believe that this is the added tools we need?

GUPTA: Yes, those are important tools.


What I feel best about Chris, though, is the fact that the numbers are all coming down, as you mentioned. In kind of in medicine, you give a treatment, and then you may get another scan, to see is the patient's tumor shrinking or not? That's really what tells you, if the treatment is working.

And, at this point, because the numbers are coming down, you could sort of apply that same metaphor, and say, whatever is happening, all these various things, the amount of vaccination, the amount of natural immunity that's occurring, because so many people are getting infected, these other things, these other things, on the horizon, in terms of getting more kids vaccinated, all that makes a difference. But the fact that the treatment appears to be working right now is good.

I do want to show you one thing, Chris.

CUOMO: Please.

GUPTA: Because everyone says "Winter is coming. And that's when it all gets worse."

So, I looked back, the last two pandemics, 2009, 1918. And it's really interesting, because it was right around this time, we - put up those graphics, right around this time, that you had the significant surge, this time of the year.

And then, in 2009, once the numbers started to come down, they stayed down.

This is South Korea. That's not the right graphic.

But after the numbers started to come down, at that point, they stayed down. Same thing happened in 1918. There was a little bit of a surge, back again, in February or March of that year.

But what you found was that enough people had immunity, really, by this time, in the pandemic, that you really started to have the cases and the hospitalizations, come down, at this point, and not really have a significant surge back.

That's the key, I think. It's happened before. And I think it can happen again.

CUOMO: So, even without, the vaccine, and the Merck pill, do you believe it's worked its way through? Or are we still vulnerable to the lambda variant, or whatever comes next, if the things allow it to keep replicating?

GUPTA: We're looking at all these variants. And it's making its way through the Greek alphabet. So, Delta - is the Delta, and then there's Lambda, there's Mu. There's some that are look a little bit more concerning than others, just based on the characteristics of the virus.

But when I talk to these virologists, and I've talked to some around the world, they're not as worried about those as Delta. Delta was a - was a bad one, obviously. We know that. Very contagious the way that that particular virus sort of rearranged itself, to be so contagious, was a problem.

Right now, there's others that are always going to be, on the horizon, but not of huge concern. And what we do see of them is that the immunity that you have, right now, from the vaccinations, or from natural immunity, should offer at least some protection, against what's coming down the pike.

CUOMO: Right. We saw those studies that Israel and somewhere else that it's waning, but they say it's still 90 percent against hospitalizations and death.

GUPTA: That's right.

CUOMO: I mean that's pretty good.

All right, to the book, "World War C," catchy!

Now, why did you want to write this book, especially with the emphasis of preparing for the next one, when you know that we never prepare for anything?

GUPTA: Well, yes, that's a good point. And that's part of the reason, in the book. I mean, Chris, according to the Pandemic Preparedness Index, the United States was the best-prepared country, in the world, for this pandemic.

And, as you know, and I'm not saying this, to make anybody feel bad, but we did among the worst. 4 percent of the world's population, we had 20 percent to 25 percent of the cases, and hospitalizations, deaths. All those things were terrible here.

So, what happened? And how do you model for human behavior? Two things. There's a lots of different ideas that I came across that I put into the book.

But one thing is that we don't think of pandemics like we think of defense. We spend a lot of money, on keeping ourselves safe, potential attacks. And, from a defense standpoint, we treat pandemics like potential weather events. They're just going to happen. They're preordained. We're powerless.

It's not true. There is things that we can do. And, even going back to 2004, we had a pandemic preparedness plan, in this country that we let wither away.

As you said, we don't like to invest in preparation and prevention. But if you do, and you can put a price tag on it, about 30 bucks per citizen, you could become essentially pandemic-proof.

I know that sounds audacious. But I validated that over and over again. That was one thing is that we got to treat this more like a defense issue than a naturally-occurring weather issue.

Second of all, Chris, we're not healthy. And I know, again, this is one of those things we don't talk about enough, because people immediately commingle it with shame. Not my intent.

But 42 percent of the country's obese. And these diseases of affluence, like obesity and diabetes, they put us in really tough shape, for this pandemic.

We think about those things causing diseases, later in life, problems, later in life, look at that, Chris? Four times, five times more severe illness, in those, who had severe obesity, chronic kidney disease, all these things. We - this is a wake-up call that we have to obviously get healthier. We spend $4 trillion a year on health care. If we spent 1 percent of that, in actually addressing some of the things you just saw on the screen, it would go a long way, towards making us healthier, and making us more pandemic-proof.

CUOMO: Quickly, explain to us what microbiome means, and why we should care?


GUPTA: Microbiome is the various bacteria and things that live in your gut. The reason you should care is because about 80 percent of your immunity is in your gut. That surprises people.

They say, "I want to build up my immunity." Well, what does that mean? How are you going to build up your immunity? Go to the gym? In part, yes, but really understanding your microbiome, why it's important, and that if you want to improve immunity, you got to - you got to actually improve your microbiome overall.

It's interesting. One scientist said to me, that's been studying this for a long time that "What you eat in the morning, could influence how you react to the disease that night." That's how quickly it can take effect.

Also, by the way, Chris, most of the serotonin, the feel-good neurotransmitter, most of the serotonin is also in your gut. So, your mood, aside from your immunity, your mood, your overall mental well- being is directly related to your gut as well.

A lot of people know this. But we haven't executed on actually doing something about this. And again, hopefully, if anything good, comes from this, that stuff will serve as a wake-up call.

CUOMO: If it were the size of your gut, America would be in great shape.

GUPTA: Right.

CUOMO: But if it's what's in your gut, we have a lot to work on. And this book is a good guide, for people, who don't want to live through this again.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, our best! "World War C," catchy! On sale now, I'll take three!

It's good to see you, brother.

The pandemic tragically set off a new wave of anti-Asian hate crimes in America. You'll remember. We were reporting on it.

Lisa Ling is about to put the prejudice into context, with history, in the debut of an all-new season, of her award-winning series, "THIS IS LIFE WITH LISA LING."

How deep does it go? How is she going to look at it? What does she hope for it? Next.









CUOMO: "THIS IS LIFE WITH LISA LING," It's back. And once again, Lisa is uncovering some hard truths. Take a look.


LISA LING, CNN HOST, THIS IS LIFE WITH LISA LING (voice-over): In 1882, the U.S. government responded to those fears with racist legislation, the Chinese Exclusion Act.

And, for the first time, in American history, the doors closed, on a population, because of where they were from. Chinese immigrants, who are, already in the U.S., became the target of vicious attacks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People show up, on the Chinese settlement, en masse, or pitchforks and guns. They forced people out into the dead of night. And literally, thousands of folks are massacred, because of this violence.

LING (on camera): Why don't we ever hear about this, in American history books?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not something that is part of this great mythology, of settling the frontier.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not something that makes us look good. But we created this powerful, prosperous country, on the backs of a lot of people.


CUOMO: Lisa Ling is here.

If I may, the gift of the show is the way you depict realities that people are able to see and be immersed in. And it makes it harder to question them, then. You know what I mean? You have less reason to speculate in opposition when you are actually really soaked in it. And you're doing that, once again. You're looking at what we're calling on the screen, anti-Asian hate, in the United States. It's existed. It is spiking. It is often ignored. We covered it for a little while. But then people get tired. And we move away. Compassion fatigue!

You're looking at it through the murder of Vincent Chin. I remember this. This was in the early 80s.

Talk about why you picked that case, and why you want to take something, from the past, to project into the present?

LING: Well, Chris, this whole season, our season eight, we are dedicating to telling stories, examining aspects of American history that didn't make it into the books. Because I've always believed if we don't know where we've been, how do we know where we're going?

And, in the case of Vincent Chin, he was a Chinese American man, working in Detroit, during a time of an economic downturn, in the automotive capital of the world. And, as a result, so many workers were being laid off from their jobs.

And it became very easy to blame Japanese auto manufacturers, because they were producing these fuel-efficient cars, during a time, when the country was going through an energy crisis.

So, Vincent Chin is in a bar, celebrating his bachelor party, with some friends. And he gets into an altercation, with two out-of-work auto workers, who accuse him of being Japanese, and taking their jobs.

They get kicked out of the bar. They wait for Vincent Chin. When he comes out, they chase him down, and they beat him to death, with a baseball bat. And those two men never served a single day in jail, or prison. But that case did become the first ever civil rights case, involving an Asian American, in this country.

And when you look at, what has been happening, in the last year and a half, in this country, since COVID, has taken root, and the scapegoating of Asian Americans, violence and attacks, against the community, have increased over 1,000 percent.

There is this pattern of scapegoating that has existed that has continued for more than a century. And so, we are highlighting that in this episode.


And there's been this incredible movement that has arisen in the wake of all of this violence. And the community is galvanized. And the federal government, corporations, schools are considering teaching Asian American history. I mean, when I grew up, we had no Asian American history.

CUOMO: Right.

LING: And when you don't have any context, for people, living in this country, it becomes really easy, to overlook and even dehumanize them. CUOMO: Listen? And we're seeing it now.

And it was interesting, in the most recent wave, whenever we heard that a case was of an Asian, being abused or assaulted, and it wasn't done by a White guy, all the sudden it would confuse people, like that's the only people who can come after Asians, like there hasn't been selectivity, within minority communities, and different types of infighting, in communities. And you're going to take that on.

And Lisa, nobody takes it on, the way you do. I know you open up your heart, in these things. Obviously, this is close to home, being Asian yourself.

LING: Yes.

CUOMO: So, we're all going to tune in, once again. And it's good to see you, my friend.

LING: Thank you so much, Chris.

CUOMO: Keep doing what you do better than anybody else.

It's an all-new season of "THIS IS LIFE WITH LISA LING," premieres Sunday night, 10 P.M., only on CNN.

There's only one Lisa Ling. You'll see why when you watch.

We'll be right back with the handoff.