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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Interview With Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL); GOP's McCarthy And McConnell Say They Did Not Watch January 6 Hearing; Psychologist For D.C. Police On Unseen Injuries Of Insurrection; Biden To Mandate Vaccines Or Regular Testing For All Federal Employees; How Capitol Riot Testimony Played On Conservative Media; Simone Biles Leaves U.S. Women's Gymnastics Team Finals To "Work On Mindfulness". Aired 8-9p ET

Aired July 27, 2021 - 20:00   ET


BOB COSTAS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I mean, it may be different in terms of what the implications are, but there should be no more stigma attached to it than going to the doctor for a physical ailment.

And he is not alone in that. I mean, not Aaron Rodgers hasn't stopped competition, but one of the things Aaron Rodgers has said, while he tickers back and forth with the Packers is, "I'm taking this summer to work on the mental aspect my way." And Kevin Love, the NBA player who has been on Olympic teams had an issue and stepped aside for a while.

So, it's becoming more and more accepted.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: All right. Well, I appreciate it. Thank you so much, Bob. Really great to have you. And thank you.

COSTAS: Thanks, Erin.

BURNETT: All right. Thanks to all of you. It's time for Anderson.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. For almost every moment since a violent mob of Trump supporters breached the Capitol, we have been lied to about what actually happened that day.

Tonight, the people trying to tell you it wasn't exactly what it was have no place to hide anymore.

Today's, testimony at the opening hearing of the House Select Committee on the insurrection took away the cover that all liars need, the cover that these liars have been using, because in the end, they are cowards; as opposed to the witnesses today. Four police officers testifying to what they experienced as they defended everyone in that building, even the liars.

In a moment, one of the Committee members, but first, some of what these men had to say. It is long, but it is important to hear. And we should warn you, you'll hear profanity. You'll also hear one officer utter the racial epithet that members of the mob yelled at him over and over again. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OFFICER MICHAEL FANONE, D.C. METROPOLITAN POLICE: My name for those of you don't know is Michael Fanone. And while I've been a sworn officer with the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C. for almost two decades --

SGT. AQUILINO GONNELL, U.S. CAPITOL POLICE: I had deployed to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom. But in January 6, for the first time, I was more afraid to work at the Capitol than my entire deployment to Iraq.

OFFICER DANIEL HODGES, D.C. METROPOLITAN POLICE: We started that day at 7:30 a.m. and our assignment at the time was to maintain high visibility along Constitution Avenue, namely the blocks leading up to Presidents Park, where then President Donald Trump was holding his gathering.

OFFICER HARRY DUNN, U.S. CAPITOL POLICE: As the morning progressed and the crowd of protesters began to swell on the east side of the Capitol, many displaying Trump flags. The crowd was chanting slogans like "Stop the Steal," and "We want Trump."

But demonstration was still being conducted in a peaceful manner.

HODGES: I continued to monitor the radio. I could hear Commander Glover leading defense efforts at the Capitol as the protesters began their transition from peaceful assembly into terrorism.

DUNN: Then I heard urgent radio calls for additional officers to respond to the west side and an exclamation, a desperate voice that demonstrators on the west side had breached the fence.

FANONE: Jimmy and I immediately began to search for an area where we could be of most assistance. We made our way through a door on the south side of the Capitol, walking then to the crypt, and finally down to the lower west stairs tunnel. It was there that I observed the police commander struggling to breathe as he dealt with the effects of CS gas that lingered in the air.

GONNELL: Metropolitan Police Officer were being pulled into the crowd. We have one right here right next to me.

As we tried to push the rioters back from breaching the Capitol, in my attempt to assist two MPD officers, and grabbed one officer by the back of the collar and pulled him back to the police line. When I tried to help the second officer, I fell on top of some police shields on the ground that were slippery because the pepper spray and bear spray.

FANONE: I can remember looking around and being shocked by the sheer number of people fighting us. As my police body worn camera shows, thousands upon thousands of people seemingly determined to get past us by any means necessary.

HODGES: Around this time, one of the terrorists who had scaled the scaffolding that adorned the Capitol at the time threw something heavy down at me and struck me in the head disorienting me.

DUNN: More and more insurrectionists were pouring into the area by the Speaker's lobby near the Rotunda and some wearing MAGA hats and shirts that said Trump 2020.

I told them to just leave the Capitol, and in response, they yelled, "No man. This is our House. President Trump invited us here. We're here to stop the steal. Joe Biden is not the President. Nobody voted for Joe Biden."

I'm a law enforcement officer and I do my best to keep politics out of my job, but in this circumstance, I responded. Well, I voted for Joe Biden, does my vote not count? Am I nobody?


DUNN: That prompted a torrent of racial epithets. One woman in a pink MAGA shirt yelled, "You hear that guys? This nigger voted for Joe Biden." Then the crowd, perhaps around 20 people joined in screaming, "Boo. Fucking nigger."

No one had ever, ever called me a nigger while wearing the uniform of a Capitol Police Officer.

HODGES: Terrorists pushed through the line and engaged us in hand to hand combat. Several attempted to knock me over and steal my baton. One latched on to my face and got his thumb in my right eye, attempting to gouge it out. I cried out in pain.

GONNELL: I vividly heard an officer screaming in agony and pain just an arm length from me. I didn't know at that time that that was Officer Hodges. He's here today to testify.

I too, was being crushed by the rioters. I could feel myself losing oxygen and recall thinking to myself, this is how I'm going to die, defending this entrance.

DUNN: As the afternoon wore on, I was completely drained, both physically and emotionally. I sat down on a bench in the Rotunda with a friend of mine who was also a black Capitol Police officer and told him about the racial slurs I endured. I became very emotional and began yelling, "How the (blank) could something like this happen? Is this America?"

I began sobbing. Officers came over to console me.

GONNELL: There are some who express outrage when someone kneels while calling for social justice. Where are those same people expressing the outrage to condemn the violence attack on law enforcement, the Capitol, and our American democracy? I'm still waiting for them.

FANONE: 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.


COOPER: Those deniers made opposing this committee their mission, and before that stopping a bipartisan 9/11-style commission. They've ostracized the two Republicans on the Committee today, Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger.


REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): No Member of Congress should now attempt to defend the indefensible, obstruct this investigation, or whitewash what happened that day. We must act with honor and duty and in the interest of our nation.

America is great because we preserve our democratic institutions at all costs. Until January 6, we were proof positive for the world that a nation conceived in liberty could long endure. But now January 6 threatens our most sacred legacy.

The question for every one of us who serves in Congress, for every elected official across this great nation, indeed, for every American is this: will we adhere to the rule of law? Will we respect the rulings of our courts? Will we preserve the peaceful transition of power? Or will we be so blind and bipartisanship that we throw away the miracle of America?

Do we hate our political adversaries more than we love our country and revere our Constitution?

REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): You guys may like individually feel a little broken. You guys all talk about the effects you have to deal with, and you know, you talk about the impact of that day, but you guys won. You guys held.

You know, democracies are not defined by our bad days. We are defined by how we come back from bad days, how we take accountability for that, and for all the overheated rhetoric surrounding this committee, our mission is very simple. Let's define the truth and it is to ensure accountability.



COOPER: And part of that means debunking the lies, the lies from Senator Ron Johnson and others that it couldn't have really been an insurrection because no one was armed.


REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): And I wonder what your reaction is to that? Because we've heard about, well, first of all, rampant baseball bats, lead pipes, Confederate battle flags and so on.

And what about the question of firearms? So, what is your reaction generally to this proposition that they weren't armed?

FANONE: First and foremost, I would say that the implements that you just described are most certainly weapons. With regards to firearms, I know that in the days immediately before the January 6 insurrection, and January 6 itself, firearms were recovered by law enforcement from individuals in Washington, D.C., who were believed to have been participants, or at least those who were planning to participate in the January 6 insurrection.

And yes, those were firearms, handguns and such.


COOPER: Congressman Raskin and Congresswoman Cheney also tackled the lie from Congressman Andrew Clyde that the mob was no different from the tour group or from the former President that it was a loving crowd.


RASKIN: Why do you call the attackers terrorists? And what do you think about our colleagues who think we should call them tourists?

HODGES: Well, if that's what American tourists are like, I can see why foreign countries don't like American tourists.


CHENEY: And then you hear former President Trump say, quote, "It was a loving crowd. There was a lot of love in the crowd." How does that make you feel?

GONNELL: It is upsetting. It is a pathetic excuse for his behavior for something that he himself helped to create, this monstrosity. I'm still recovering from those hugs and kisses.


COOPER: Re-living it cannot have been that much easier for Capitol Police Sergeant Aquilino Gonnell, D.C. Metro Police Officer Daniel Hodges, and Michael Fanone, and Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn. We invited Congressman Clyde and Senator Johnson to come on the program tonight, both declined.

Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy accepted. She is a Democratic member of the committee and like everyone in that room, owes a lot to the witnesses today.


REP. STEPHANIE MURPHY (D-FL): You know, I have two young children. I have a 10-year-old son and a seven-year-old daughter, and they are the light of my life. And the reason I was able to hug them again was because of the courage that you and your fellow officers showed that day.


COOPER: Congresswoman Murphy joins us now. Congresswoman, just hearing that again after surviving the attack in the first place and hearing the officers recount their stories in person earlier today, I mean, does it make the white washing of January 6 by some of your Republican colleagues even more sickening to contemplate and too difficult to explain.

MURPHY: It is good to be with you tonight, Anderson. And I think when you listen to the testimony today, it was heart wrenching. Those officers went through a lot. The members on the Select Committee also shared bits and pieces of their experience that day, and in many ways we re-lived January 6 together.

And what I think we saw was that the officers were disgusted by the fact that there are colleagues of mine who continue to try to deny that January 6 was an attack on the Capitol. They feel offended that they protected these people, and they fought for our democracy. And now, these people are trying to whitewash their experience and diminish their experience after all that they did.

And obviously, for my personal perspective, I'm on this committee because I want to find the truth and ensure accountability for what happened on January 6 because we can't allow this disinformation to win.

COOPER: You know, for Ron Johnson to say that you know that nobody was armed, I mean, you have Officer Hodges who had somebody who was trying to gouge out his eye. You have people using flagpoles as spears, as lances, as weapons to batter people.

You have Officer Fanone who was pulled out of a sea of rioters taken to the hospital. He was told by a doctor he had suffered a heart attack, and later diagnosed with a concussion, traumatic brain injury, and posttraumatic stress disorder. He was Tasered.

I mean, how can these Republicans say these, and claim that they back the blue with any credibility?


MURPHY: Well, these were four officers that were hurt that day, but we can't forget about the 150 others who also suffered medical injuries and they were also hurt. And the fact that those people were hurt in this -- with the rioters using all kinds of weapons, including having brought IEDs to the Capitol Complex, as well as bear spray, and all of the things that you saw on those videos during the hearing, it is incredibly hypocritical for the Republicans who say they are the party of law and order to turn a blind eye to the clear lawlessness and the attacks on law enforcement on January 6.

COOPER: I want to play a little bit more of what you said today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MURPHY: You don't realize that other parts of the Capitol had been

breached, but you really felt like you were the last line of defense. Well, I'm telling you that you were our last line of defense. And during the exact period of time, Officer Hodges, in that video where you were sacrificing your body to hold that door, it gave Congresswoman Rice and I and the Capitol Police officers who have been sent to extract us the freedom of movement on that hallway to escape.


COOPER: You were not the only member of the committee who got emotional today. It's really striking how still, you know, months later, it is still very emotional, not only for the police officers, but for you and other members.

MURPHY: It is emotional to me not just because of the fear that I might have felt on January 6, but it's emotional for me because of the disappointment I feel.

I am a proud American who loves this country and this democracy, but I'm a naturalized citizen who escaped an authoritarian country. And what I saw on that day was inconsistent with what I know America to be. And I think when you heard some of the other members get emotional, it's because it was driven by their love of country and their fear for our future.

COOPER: Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney spoke today about the need to get out subpoenas quickly to follow them all the way through the courts if necessarily. CNN is reporting that the Justice Department has ruled that former Trump administration officials can now testify about the former President's actions leading up to the insurrection.

Who do you want to hear from? And do you think any of them will actually cooperate?

MURPHY: There's a wide group of people that we need to hear from, and we will follow the evidence to whomever or whatever it leads. And what I think we will have to do is use all the powers of the committee to bring forward anybody who is present for those conversations, whether it's the elected official, or their staff, or anybody else that was involved, and our committee intends to do that because we need to lay out the full set of information from the lead up to January 6 all the way through the actual events of January 6, and to see if there is continued planning for political violence to create a political outcome.

COOPER: Congresswoman Murphy, appreciate your time today. Thank you.

More now on the Republican lawmakers, some of whom could not be bothered to hear from the officers today, and some such as Senator Ron Johnson, who as we pointed out earlier, declined to come on the program. CNN's Ryan Nobles caught up with him, though. Ryan, did Senator Johnson have anything to say?

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, he did not want to talk about the hearing. He said that he did not watch. And when we pressed him on some of those things you've outlined tonight, his suggestion that it wasn't an armed insurrection. And also, he said that he never felt at risk that day.

He did go on to say that he did a thank the efforts of the Capitol Police officers on that day, but then went out of his way to say that most of the protesters here on Capitol Hill that day were actually peaceful.


NOBLES: So you think that some of the protesters were actually -- had good intentions on that day? Is that what you think happened that day?

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

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

JOHNSON: 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: Do you think your life was saved, though by these police officers?

JOHNSON: Yes, and I commend them for it.


NOBLES: So that's notable. He admits that he believes his life may have been saved by the police officers on that day, especially when he said just a few weeks ago that he thought that his life wasn't in danger at all.

And Anderson, we tried to talk to many Republicans today, to get their reaction to this explosive hearing. Most said that they didn't watch and really didn't have a whole lot to say. Take a listen.


NOBLES: ... testified.

REP. MO BROOKS (R-AL): I didn't watch it. I don't know what happened.

NOBLES: Do you believe their testimony at all? I mean, you've heard what they've said in the past, haven't you?

BROOKS: It's difficult to have an opinion on whether you believe somebody when you haven't heard what they had to say.


NOBLES: Yes. Well, many of them said that they feared for their lives? Do you think that that was true? Or --

BROOKS: If they say, if they said that, I agree 100 percent.

REP. TROY NEHLS (R-TX): You don't have Republicans out there thinking they are downplaying this. It was absolutely horrible. I feel for them.

NOBLES: Officer Fanone slammed his hand down on the desk.


NOBLES: And said, it was disrespectful what some of your colleagues have said about what happened on that day.

NEHLS: I don't know what my colleagues are saying. You're interviewing -- you're interviewing me. And I'm giving you my take on what took place.

REP. MADISON CAWTHORN (R-NC): You have to try and take (INAUDIBLE), brother, I don't do all the interviews.

NOBLES: What do you mean? We are just asking some questions about you thought about the --

CAWTHORN: I apologize. No. I don't do all interviews.


NOBLES: So, you can see, Anderson just not a topic that Republicans wanted to engage on today. And the question has to be asked, why are they so afraid just to watch what happened today and then respond to what they saw?

COOPER: Ye. Ryan Nobles appreciate it. Thank you.

Perspective now from CNN political commentator, former South Carolina Democratic legislator, Bakari Sellers, also CNN special correspondent Jamie Gangel.

Bakari, when you hear Senator Johnson say that most of the people on January 6 were, quote, "engaging in peaceful protests." You juxtapose that with everything we heard today, including Officer Harry Dunn, explain in really horrifying detail how some of these pro-Trump insurrectionists hurled racial slurs at him calling him the N word.

How can some of these Republicans be so -- I was going to say untethered from reality -- but I mean, they're just living in a -- I mean, they know -- they saw what happened. They know what happened. It's just lying.

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I'm not sure they're untethered from reality, either. I think that is the new reality. I think the unfortunate part for me and the frustration that I have, Anderson and Jamie, is that I want to believe that this is the tipping point to something. I want to believe that maybe the Republican base and maybe people will change.

But I can't believe that's going to occur based upon what we see day in and day out from the Republican Party, and not all, because I think that Liz Cheney and Adam Kissinger, they harken back to a time when truth and commonsense and respect for others and empathy mattered.

But the fact remains, you can't say you back the blue only during election season. You can't sit here and call out Democrats for being anti-police when at the end of the day, it is utter and complete BS, the talking points that they are spewing.

I felt my heart went out to all of those law enforcement officers, and not just the ones who were represented, but those whose voices couldn't be lifted up, because those are the ones who deserve our most (INAUDIBLE).

COOPER: Jamie, I know you've been talking to Officer Dunn, you actually spoke to him last night as he was getting ready. What did he tell you?

JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: He really wants answers, and I've had the luck of getting to know him because of this over the last couple of months. He worked very hard on this statement. He wanted -- it was -- people did not know, but there was the moment of silence that he called for, for Brian Sicknick on the one hand, and then the very powerful statement where he talked about being called the N word.

And he said to me last night, I'm going to say the full word. I want people to hear what I heard and what it was like. And finally, I think that his final statement when the Chairman said: "What do you want from this?" And he talked about how if there's a hitman, and he gets arrested and sent to jail, but he wanted to know who sent the hitman?

COOPER: Bakari, I want to read you something that the NAACP President Derrick Johnson that I saw on his Twitter feed today. He wrote, "If it were black people storming the Capitol on January 6, the walls would have been dripping in blood. Not only wasn't it an attempted coup on our democracy, it was white supremacy in plain sight. We need answers and we demand justice. This is not a partisan issue."

It is -- well what's your reaction to that?

SELLERS: It's not a partisan issue, and that's the point. I mean, I think you've seen it around the country when you have -- I mean, you've seen it in Washington, D.C. when you have a protest supporting Black Lives Matter. You see the armed guards, the National Guard called out et cetera.

But just think about this. Imagine being a young boy in this country, a young black boy in this country, like my son Stokely and you want to grow up and be a police officer. And you want to go up and maybe one day be a Capitol Police officer, so you can protect those individuals who go and serve every single day.

But you show up to work and the President of the United States and the Republican Party and the leaders in this country, they cause, they ferment, they give a lot of breath to an insurrection.

[20:25:06] SELLERS: So, the people you want to protect and serve are not there to

serve you, and they call you nigger, and they threaten to kill you. And they say, if you didn't have this gun on you, I would show you what a real nigger is. And then they go through all of this. I mean, this is what our country is.

So you know, you are one of the best interviewers in all of the world, and so I have to say that when you say they are untethered from reality, I think that's just not the case, Anderson, because that is the reality we live in and that's unfortunate.

COOPER: Jamie, just looking at the back and forth between Speaker Pelosi, Minority Leader McCarthy in the last week, did McCarthy ultimately -- I mean, just on the politics of this, did they get played here by allowing Democrats to -- I mean, Democrats moved ahead with this. They have two responsible Republicans on the committee, who are not, you know, toadying up to Democrats. They are there to seek the truth about what happened.

GANGEL: There is no question that today is a bad day for Kevin McCarthy. It's a bad day for Mitch McConnell. It is a very bad day for Donald Trump. They did not want any hearing whatsoever. They blocked every nonpartisan independent hearing along the way, but there is still a hearing today and somehow, Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger are immune to Donald Trump and the big lie, and I think their presence there was key.

Liz Cheney told me yesterday that they are working together as a group. The Democrats and Republicans usually prepare separately for a hearing like this. They prepared together. Democrats and Republicans used to sit on separate sides. They all sat together.

So, today was not a good day for Donald Trump.

COOPER: Jamie Gangel and Bakari Sellers, I appreciate it.

Coming up next, a police psychologist who's counsel for Capitol defenders talks about how real and how raw the experience still is for many of them.

And later breaking news from the White House, new plans for fighting COVID as the delta variant continues to surge.



COOPER: Each police officer testified today spoke to how scarring the insurrection was for them to body and to soul.


OFC. MICHAEL FANONE, D.C. METROPOLITAN POLICE: As my feet physical injuries gradually subsided in the adrenaline that had stayed with me for weeks waned. I've been left with the psychological trauma and the emotional anxiety of having survived such a horrific event. And my children continue to deal with the trauma of nearly losing their dad that day.


COOPER: As clinical director of the D.C. Metropolitan Police Employee Assistance Program, our next guest psychologist Beverly Anderson has counseled Officer Fanone and many others in the wake of January 6. Officer Fanone gave her permission to speak about his case. We should point out we're glad she could join us tonight.

Thank you so much for being with us.

Fighting off the mob on January 6 that obviously led to severe physical injuries for many, but profound psychological effects for many more, I know many are still now just coming forward and seeking help. Can you tell me what you and your team are seeing and hearing?

BEVERLY ANDERSON, CLINICAL DIR., D.C. METROPOLITAN POLICE EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM: You know, Anderson, when we think about January 6, that is one day, a surreal day, against the backdrop of an even more surreal year 2020. The pandemic was raging. Most Americans were home teleworking, taking care of their children.

And there were demonstrations, very violent demonstrations after the murder of George Floyd, the anti-police sentiment and rhetoric, the calls to defund the police. And our officers were working overtime, mandatory overtime, no days off. They were -- some of them falling ill to the virus, they were worried about their families. They didn't want to bring the virus home.

So, this was just a cumulative traumatic stress of -- for the whole year. And then by January 6, these officers were exhausted. They were spent. And we the United States Capitol grounds is not part of our jurisdiction. The Metropolitan Police answered up a call for help and emergency and they respond. And when they responded, they just -- I don't know that anyone could be ready for the level of violence.


ANDERSON: And the sheer numbers of people carrying thin blue line flags and wanting to really to hurt them. I've watched --

COOPER: Do you know --


COOPER: Let me ask you, the aftermath of all this in which now the people who they are sworn to protect, some of them are saying what happened didn't really happen and that it wasn't that bad and casting doubt. What do you hear from officers about the impact of that as well? Or does that happened impact?

ANDERSON: Well, let me just say this. Let me just say this. Theories are wonderful things but they don't keep the facts from emerging. And I live eight blocks down from the United States Capitol. And I know what I heard, and I know what the officers experienced. I know the injuries. We saw firsthand injuries. Not just Officer Fanone, many, many injuries from the United States Capitol Police, as well as Metropolitan Police. So --

COOPER: You can see brain injuries as well. Apparently --


COOPER: -- you helped identify brain injuries that initially went undiagnosed.

ANDERSON: Yes. Yes, some of the injuries. Went undiagnosed because the thing about concussion is when someone loses consciousness, they don't remember as in Michael's case, because I had met with him. I was not aware that he lost consciousness and only learned a bit from his partner.

And I turned to him, because I spoke with both of them in one of the many sessions we had, and I said, Michael, you didn't tell me you lost consciousness. He said, well, that's because I was unconscious. And I don't remember.


And police officers are very resilient. They're not fragile. And they were in the -- to do what they were sworn to do and that is to protect and serve. That's what they were called to do. And that's what they did.


ANDERSON: It's not about politics. It's -- this is our job, let's go in and do it.


ANDERSON: And but the injuries I mean, I don't know if you heard Michael's BWC, the body camera. But one individual said, get his gun kill him with his own gun. I heard that, you know, it was extremely violent. And, you know, police officers, especially city police off, they see a lot. This is not -- that I'm sure many of them have been, you know, have been punched in the face before. But this was something like nothing that they had seen.

COOPER: Yes, certainly.

ANDERSON: Just to share (ph) -- yes, I mean, it was shocking. And they had no degree of warning --


ANDERSON: -- that this would happen.

COOPER: Yes, it clearly not what they expected to happen on that day.

Beverly Anderson, I really appreciate the work you do. And I appreciate you talking tonight. Thank you.

ANDERSON: Sure. You welcome. COOPER: We have breaking news on coronavirus, next. President Biden expected to announce a major vaccine mandate just as the CDC has released new guidelines on mask. Details in that ahead.



COOPER: As breaking news tonight, the fight against a resurgent coronavirus, the Delta variant. The White House, we're hearing new rules for broad vaccine requirement just one part of a COVID plan that President Biden expected to lay out in the speech on Thursday.

We'll have details on that in a moment. Because that news also comes today, the CDC made two major changes in its mask recommendations. The agency now recommends that all people in areas with a high or substantial COVID transmission rate including those vaccinated wear a mask when indoors. Those areas are indicated in red and orange on this map.

According to the CDC, they make up about 63%, or nearly two-thirds of all counties in the United States, that includes the White House in Washington D.C. Were today following these new guidelines Vice President Harris masked up during a meeting on voting rights.

The other major recommendation before schools reopen, the CDC recommends mask for all teachers, students and staff again, regardless of vaccination status.

Our Chief White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins joins us now. So, this vaccine requirement President Biden's expect to announce on Thursday exactly. What does that entail?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's significant because it's really the first of its kind. We know that earlier this week, the Department of Veterans Affairs was the first to require vaccines for staff, but Anderson that was just for healthcare staff. And now the White House had kind of been hinting that they were going in this direction.

And so, we do expect on Thursday when President Biden is addressing the pandemic and what's been going on lately with the Delta Varian, he's going to say that all federal employees must get vaccinated or submit to rigorous testing. And the details of this are still a little unclear how is that going to work. How will it work for federal employees who are not based here in Washington or instead throughout the country.

But this is going to be the new guidelines coming in it is driven by the Delta variant and the concerns that the White House has about staff not getting vaccinated, because right now, it's not even required here at the White House. And there are some staffers that aren't vaccinated. And so, that is going to be the path that they are working on.

And in addition to that, we should note that White House staffers, regardless of vaccination status, are also having to mask up here at the White House starting tomorrow.

COOPER: All right, Kaitlan Collins, thank you.

Want to get perspective now from Dr. Leana Wen, CNN medical analyst and former Baltimore Health Commissioner. She's also author of Lifelines, A Doctors Journey In The Fight For Public Health, which was just released today. Also with us, Dr. Jerome Adams, former Surgeon General of the United States.

Dr. Adams, you've been calling on the FDA to fully approve the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine so that companies will feel more legally confident mandating the vaccine. As Kaitlan noted, President Biden isn't waiting is going to announce a vaccine requirement for federal employees and contractors. Does the federal government requiring vaccination send the message to other companies to go ahead and do the same even without a full FDA approval?

JEROME ADAMS, FMR U.S. SURGEON GENERAL: Well, it absolutely does. And I've always contended that the workplace is the best mechanism to get people vaccinated. You look at the NFL, 14 teams with 90% plus vaccination rates, you look at hospitals. And now you've got President Biden saying, if you work for the federal government, I'm going to use my status as your employer to make sure you're doing everything possible to protect the workplace.

COOPER: And Dr. Adams, also, you've been calling on the CDC to revise their mask guidelines. Are you satisfied with today's announcement?

ADAMS: Well, we need to make sure we continue to message appropriately. I think we do have to ask the question, what took so long, the Delta variant was first identified in December. So this isn't new science.

But that said, I think that we have to say, today was a good day, the CDC has provided some cover for health officials and for businesses to actually go ahead and get people mask up, and I'm really, really wanting to applaud them for their stance on schools because my daughter is going back to school. She's 11. She's unvaccinated. We need to protect not just our young people, but the people who work in those institutions.

So I think today was a good day. And I think the public is getting the message. This Delta variant is serious, and we're going to see more mitigation until we can get our vaccination numbers out.

COOPER: And Dr. Wen, when announcing the new mask guidelines today, the CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said, quote, the Delta variant behaves uniquely different than past strains of the virus. She also went on to say, the new guidance for vaccinated people to wear masks indoors in a highly transmissible area of the country, is to remind them that they might be able to infect others.

What does it mean for vaccinated parents with unvaccinated children like Dr. Adams here under 12 years old, especially as more parents are planning to return to their offices? LEANA WEN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Right. I mean, I think actually that the CDC guidance today, it was the right thing, although it wasn't presented particularly clearly. Right now, we don't have a lot of data and actually that's the key. Now we really don't have data saying, what is the likelihood that if you are a vaccinated parent, but if you accidentally -- if you get exposed, what is the likelihood that you could transmit it to your children? We really don't know what that risk is.


But I still think that it's the right thing for us to say and out of an abundance of caution because we don't have those data for vaccinated parents to do our best to reduce our risk. And that means while we are in indoor crowded settings, to continue wearing a mask in order to protect our children, and if we're living at home with other immunocompromised individuals to protect them as well.

I also think that the CDC guidance today that was really important that maybe hasn't gotten as much media attention is around testing, because the CDC also today said that if you are vaccinated, but asymptomatic, and now you're exposed to somebody who has COVID-19, you should be tested, you should still be quarantining, and I think that's really important for people to know, because the guidance really has changed substantially today.

COOPER: Wait, wait, can you just repeat that? So if you are vaccinated, and you've been exposed to somebody who has COVID? What should you do?

WEN: Before the CDC said that if you're vaccinated, and you're exposed, but you don't have symptoms, you don't need to be tested. You don't need to be quarantining. Right now, the CDC is essentially admitting, we don't really know what the Delta variant if you're exposed to it.

We don't know what is the likelihood that you could be asymptomatic, still carrying the virus and be able to transmit it to others. And still so they are recommending in that case that people should be testing it and quarantining.

COOPER: And Dr. Adams when it comes to kids, the American Academy of Pediatrics says that more than 38,600 children and teens became infected last week, that numbers tripled since the end of June. And you got this current wave of infection from Delta. And as it continues, what do you expect to happen when kids go back to school?

ADAMS: Well, you know, again, we know that the risk to children is low, but it's not nonexistent. You still have the chance of kids getting hospitalized and dying from COVID. But the real key here is that kids are spreading it to other people. And we know that when you look at schools under 12, not vaccinated at all because they can't be 12 to 17, only 32 percent of those people are vaccinated. Schools are a large reservoir of unvaccinated people of super spreaders if you will, who can take the Delta variant home into other places. COOPER: So, Dr. Wen when you been strongly urging the CDC to track more breakthrough cases, not just in cases results in hospitalization and death. We learned that the CDC is actually following tens of thousands of vaccinated healthcare and essential workers across the country. Dr. Walensky says they're going to report what they're learning soon. How important is that -- will that data be?

WEN: I think it is very important. I think the CDC should be doing a lot more, I think they should be tracking overall numbers and asking states to be tracking, which actually isn't that hard to do. As in whenever somebody goes for a COVID test, they should be being asked the simple question, have you gotten the vaccine?

When did you get the vaccine? And then if it comes up positive, then you can know what is the percentage of positive test among the vaccinated versus the unvaccinated? And when did they get that vaccine? What type of vaccine did they get?

So, it's possible to do that kind of global tracking. I still don't understand why the CDC is not doing it. But at least in the studies of healthcare workers, at least we're able to get the answers to some questions that we don't have right now. For example, how likely are you to get long haul COVID if you end up as an asymptomatic carrier, or if you end up having -- if you're vaccinated, but you still get COVID.

COOPER: Right.

WEN: And also the important question, how likely are you to spread COVID to others if you're vaccinated?

COOPER: And I mean, that's such a crucial question. So many people who have mild cases of COVID are the ones who get long haul symptoms, syndrome for, you know, which is really devastating, even worse than their initial mild case.

Dr. Wen, in your book, which just came out today, which I just got a copy of and look forward to reading. You're talking about public health, you say it's invisible, it only becomes visible when underfunded and ignored. How is the pandemic proven that?

WEN: I think we've seen what happens when we've lost 30% of our local and state health workforce. In the last 20, 30 years, we have seen that we're not able to respond to emergencies. And in fact, we're robbing Peter to pay Paul, we've taken people off of other work that's really essential. The opioid epidemic, which Dr. Adams I know, we worked closely together when he was the Indiana Health Commissioner and I was in Baltimore, the opioid epidemic has not gone away.

We have so many other issues with HIV, with the obesity epidemic, these are all constantly, there are constant issues that need to be addressed. We have taken funding away from those issues to address COVID-19. And I think we've also seen how COVID has really unmasked underlying health disparities.

And I talked about a lot of the work that we did in Baltimore to address that and how that really should be less than to make the face of public health visible so that we don't cut funding in the future.

COOPER: Yes, Dr. Leana Wen, Dr. Jerome Adams, appreciate your time. Again Dr. Wen's new book Lifelines, A Doctors Journey In The Fight For Public Health, just out today and available now.

Up next, how today's testimony before the Select Committee on the January 6 Capitol attack played on some of the former president's most favored cable TV news outlets or didn't play for that matter.



COOPER: Today's testimony before that Select Committee on the January 6 Capitol attack warranted was coverage here on CNN and other cable news networks. But for some of the most conservative networks, the coverage was wrapped inside a bubble packed into an alternative universe. And one of the former president's most favorite networks seem to pretend the hearing didn't deserve coverage at all.

CNN's chief medical -- media correspondent I should say, Brian Stelter reports.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So in a matter --

BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For a few short hours on Tuesday, Fox and Newsmax viewers did hear the violent truth.

FANONE: I heard people in the crowd yelling, get his gun, kill him with his own gun.

STELTER (voice-over): But then right wing media reverted to form.

GRANT STINCHFIELD, NEWSMAX HOST: I refuse to lead my show with it tonight.

STELTER (voice-over): Newsmax host Grant Stinchfield dismissing the hearing.

STINCHFIELD: It is all theater.

STELTER (voice-over): And distributing talking points it can be heard all across the right wing web, radio and TV.

STINCHFIELD: I'm having a real hard time believing a lot of what I'm hearing because the video doesn't back up nearly all of it. One officer said he thought it was going to be the moment he died. Well, there were no guns at this place.

STELTER (voice-over): Of course, there were guns and there were weapons that injured scores some officers.

SGT. AQUILINO GONELL, U.S. CAPITOL POLICE: Rebars, bat, PVC pipes, copper pipe pipes, rocks, table legs, breaking -- broken down.

STELTER (voice-over): Newsmax and Fox did air the hearing live but wrapped it in Republican commentary.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What they already know this is a political stunt by Pelosi and Democrats and nothing more.

STELTER (voice-over): It's hard to know whether the testimony and the terrifying video montages will change any magga minds.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Putting it all together and seeing it again, is jarring.

STELTER (voice-over): But there's been months of propaganda excusing the attack. One of Donald Trump's favorite channels One American News skipped airing Tuesday's hearing all together.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On the highly partisan January 6 commission --

STELTER (voice-over): But OAN aired two press conferences by Republicans bashing Democrats, including a far right group of lawmakers calling riot suspects political prisoners.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our reports say they are being treated inhumane in jails.

STELTER (voice-over): That presser was interrupted by protesters.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: See that guy that's blowing the whistle. We are not deterred.

STELTER (voice-over): So One America News went back to its top story.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Potential vote fraud.

STELTER (voice-over): While Newsmax cast to the insurrection in a favorable light.


STELTER (voice-over): After the hearing a sympathetic interview with a father and son charged with violent entry and disorderly conduct at the Capitol.

CUSICK: There were officers just inside the doors. Nobody was saying anything to anybody. There was no pushing, shoving going on inside the Capitol.


STELTER: In other words, Newsmax was saying don't believe the video you just saw through an eyes. It was right back to an alternative reality to Anderson. And it proves the point that January 6, the big lie of January 6 is still being spread today.

COOPER: Yes. Brian Stelter, appreciate it. Thanks.

Coming up next, an update on one of the greatest ever at her sport, Simone Biles and her future at the Tokyo games, when we continue.


COOPER: Love and respect coming from all quarters for U.S. gymnast Simone Biles, perhaps the greatest ever female gymnast, a recipient of four Olympian goals and 19 world championship titles. She left the women's gymnastics team finals at the Tokyo Olympics citing a need to protect her own mental health. Afterwards, she appeared alongside her teammates and discussed her reasons in more detail.


SIMONE BILES, TEAM USA GYMNAST: It just felt like it would be a little bit better to take a back seat, work on my mindfulness and I knew that the girls would do an absolutely great job and I didn't want to risk the team a medal for kind of my screw ups because they've worked way too hard for that.


COOPER: Well, one former teammate Aly Raisman commended Biles for her quote bravery. Senator Mitt Romney who ran the two 2002 Winter Games wrote on Twitter that quote, I love and admire Simone Biles. Biles was noncommittal when asked whether she would compete in her remaining events. The next one the women's individual all around final is Thursday.

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.