Return to Transcripts main page
Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
F.D.A. Expected To Authorize COVID Vaccine Booster Shots For Some Immunocompromised People Within Next 48 Hours; Federal Judge Decides House Dems May See Some Of Former President's Financial Records; Infrastructure Bill And Budget Resolution Face Tenuous Course Through House, Democrats Politics; YouTube Suspends Sen. Paul For A Week For Baseless Mask Claim; Twitter Suspends Rep. Greene For A Week For False Vaccine Claim. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired August 11, 2021 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Thanks so much for watching. "AC360" starts now.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening We begin tonight with breaking news that is vitally important for millions of Americans who have been vaccinated against COVID but might not be fully protected because their immune system is damaged by illness or suppressed by certain medications.
CNN has learned that the F.D.A. is expected within the next 48 hours to authorize booster shots in some of these cases, third doses with the up until now two-shot vaccines. The C.D.C. estimates about nine million Americans are immunocompromised, so it's a very big deal as well as a first. It would be the first authorization for booster shot for COVID.
Also late today, U.S. Surgeon General Murthy offered this hopeful prediction for parents to CNN's Wolf Blitzer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. VIVEK MURTHY, SURGEON GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES: If everything were to go well, and everything would fall into place, I think it's possible that we could see a vaccine before the end of the calendar year for kids under 12.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That cannot come too soon. Obviously, nationwide, the number of kids hospitalized for COVID is on the brink of exceeding the highest levels on record for the entire pandemic. In California, where the numbers are also climbing, the Governor today became the first in the nation to order vaccination or regular testing for all teachers and other school personnel statewide.
Meantime, in Texas and Florida where childhood cases are climbing much more steeply, local officials defied orders from their respective governors by imposing mask mandates in schools or the general population.
And across the hardest hit areas, people who work in children's hospitals are seeing something they haven't seen prior to the delta variant they say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KENDAL JAFFE, PEDIATRIC ICU NURSE, NEW ORLEANS CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL: Over the last year, we hadn't seen as many kids get acute COVID lung disease as much as we're seeing now that the delta variant is definitely hitting them a lot harder a lot faster than we had seen in the past.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is a game changer.
JAFFE: It is. The kids are definitely sicker than they have been.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So, a lot to talk about tonight, including how effective masks are keeping kids safe in school. We'll talk to pediatric infectious disease specialists who studied more than a million school students and staff in North Carolina about what the research actually found.
We begin though with CNN's Kaitlan Collins at the White House. So, what do we know about this booster decision?
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: So, Anderson, this is expected to come from the F.D.A. by the end of the week authorizing this third shot for some people who are immunocompromised. It is not expected to be everyone who is considered immunocompromised, but a small subset of group.
And as you heard the Surgeon General say earlier, that can be people who recently had organ transplants or getting chemo treatment, things of that nature as well. But that will be detailed when the F.D.A. does make this authorization and it's not the last step in actually getting these people this third shot of Moderna or of the Pfizer vaccine, but it is the first step in this.
Because once the F.D.A. has changed the authorization which right now is just for two shots, and that's why doctors can't offer a third shot at this point, because that's not what the F.D.A. has authorized, then the C.D.C. has to vote on that and make a recommendation about whether or not to follow that authorization from the F.D.A.
And conveniently, the C.D.C. does have a meeting with its vaccine advisers scheduled for Friday. And so there could be a vote coming out of that. And so you could see this start to move quickly for some of these immunocompromised people who've been waiting to hear from the F.D.A. and from the C.D.C., whether or not they need a third shot of these two dose vaccines.
COOPER: What about boosters for the general population? I mean, is this just kind of a first step so that it's not everybody all at once? COLLINS: Yes, well, they are kind of considering two different things here. So, for people who have -- who are immunocompromised, the concern, essentially that they need a third shot is because they never developed the same response to the vaccine that someone who is not immunocompromised did.
And so that is a concern there and why they need them, given of course, we've seen that about a third of the people who are eligible to get a vaccine in the U.S. did not actually get one. So, there is not that herd immunity that doctors were hoping the U.S. could achieve.
When it comes to the general population getting vaccines, what they are studying for that is the efficacy and when it starts to wane. That is still something interesting that they are looking into, they are trying to make a judgment on when that happens. We've seen Moderna and Pfizer kind of put out some of their own information.
But the question then is not just that everyone should get them at once, it is, who should get them when and what should the dates be recommended for them? Because of course, a lot of elderly people were first in line to get the vaccines in the United States, a lot of healthcare workers also. So that is something that we're expecting to get closer to September from the top health officials based on what we've heard so far.
But this is a decision for those who are immunocompromised, it could come right now, by the end of the week, though, we have been cautioned that timing could slide.
COOPER: Kaitlan Collins, appreciate it. Thanks.
Let's get perspective now from CNN medical analyst and former Baltimore City Health Commissioner, Dr. Leana Wen. Her latest op-ed in "The Washington Post" out late today is titled "The pandemic has become more dangerous for children. Here's how to help keep them safe." She is also the author of the new book, "Lifeline: A Doctor's Journey in the Fight for Public Health."
Also with us, CNN chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Sanjay, how significant is this? I mean talk about who is considered immunocompromised and eligible for a third shot?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Well, this is significant. I mean, we've seen this sort of play out in countries around the world and I think a lot of people have been wondering when this was likely to happen here in the United States. And it looks like it is imminent, as Kaitlan just said, if the F.D.A. does go ahead and make this recommendation that will be followed by the C.D.C., just like we saw with the vaccines.
Remember, the F.D.A. authorized. C.D.C. formally recommended. We'd see the same thing. And soon after that, we could see these shots going out, maybe this weekend or early next week, it could be that fast. It is, you know, about three to four percent of the population we're talking about, nine to ten million people. Immunocompromised means your immune system is compromised, not able to sort of create the sort of immune response to the vaccines that other people do.
So, people who have received chemotherapy, HIV-AIDS patients, and people who maybe received organ transplants and are on immunosuppressive drugs. Let me show you something here, Anderson. This graphic of what we're talking about here.
This is a study that just came out of "The New England Journal of Medicine." It's all busy, they're focused on that bottom left screen. The red lines basically are what happens with someone got the first two shots, see how many antibodies they produce, not many. Then they have the third shot and they produced a lot of antibodies.
The blue lines are the same thing, just with placebo, just to give a control test there. Point being that for people who said, look, I just am not generating enough antibodies, at least according to this one study. When they got that third shot, it did make a big difference really bringing those antibody levels up.
COOPER: So, just so I am clear. People who have HIV who are on medication, are they still immunocompromised? I thought that meant that their systems were pretty much like everybody else.
GUPTA: Yes. It depends. You can measure that. You can basically see how many of these types of immune cells they actually have in their system. So, they're often you know, sort of followed along for that specifically, whereas people who may take immunosuppressive drugs for transplant, for example, some people may take these types of drugs because they have autoimmune diseases.
We're going to hear more from the F.D.A. about who specifically they are talking about here, because you know, 10 million people is a big group of people, but who specifically is that going to be? I think that's part of what the F.D.A. and then the C.D.C. will drill down on.
COOPER: And Dr. Wen, there is some advantage on people who received the one dose, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should do. But if an immunocompromised person received the J&J vaccine, would they now I assume they would be able to get a dose of Pfizer or Moderna?
DR. LEANA WEN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Well, I definitely hope so. And actually, in this case, I certainly agree with Sanjay, I think it's really important for the F.D.A. and C.D.C. to come up with strong recommendations that certain groups of immunocompromised people should get the booster shot at this point. But I also hope that they leave room for nuance.
I mean, there are going to be people with some degree of immunocompromised who may not belong in one of these high risk -- very high risk categories, but maybe by way of exposure, for example, maybe they live at home with someone who is unvaccinated not taking precautions, they have a little bit of immunocompromise, maybe they should also be allowed to get a booster shot by way of exposure. And the same thing goes for people with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
We actually know at this point that the J&J vaccine, like AstraZeneca, another adenovirus vector vaccine, they are effective against severe illness, but less effective, it seems, especially with a delta variant. And so, I think for these individuals, a decision should be able to be made between them and their doctor about getting a booster dose at this time, regardless of immunocompromise.
And I hope that the F.D.A. and C.D.C. allow for people to start making these decisions for themselves with their doctors, instead of having as is the case, many people just going to random pharmacies, their doctors saying to them, you should get the booster, but they can't prescribe it. And so they're going to pharmacies, they're going to grocery stores trying to figure out a way to get the booster -- that should not be happening. We should allow people discretion and in consultation with their doctors.
COOPER: So, Sanjay, how would this even work now, if you're going to get a booster? I mean, are the big vaccination centers still operating? Or is it now all through pharmacies and doctors?
GUPTA: It is mostly through pharmacies and doctors, and in most places, there is supply. You know, this was a problem obviously, early on that the demand was outstripping the supply. For a long time, the supply has outstripped the demand. And in some of these places, these vaccines are even expiring.
So, you know, I mean, it's a question of them really, you know, being able to use this in this way, otherwise, possibly going to waste.
So for most people, it'll be you know, whatever sort of system, maybe they got their original vaccine, if it was a big vaccine center, it's most likely it's going to be more available in their local pharmacies now.
COOPER: I mean, I just -- I know this is off topic, but I mean, I've got to say, the idea that vaccines are going to be thrown out, because not enough people are taking them, and there are people around the world who would do anything to get a vaccine. It is -- it is just -- it's unconscionable.
GUPTA: I totally agree. I mean, I just came back from Tokyo and I got a chance to interact with people from all over the world there, and it is remarkable to me that you have places around the world where you know, access is one or two percent of the population even as access.
GUPTA: There were vaccine programs that have just started in some countries over the last few weeks. So people are literally begging for these vaccines in order to get back to their way of life. And, you know, we're explaining that we have, you know, significant hesitancy, plenty of supply.
To be fair, there is hesitancy all over the world. But this is, you know, unprecedented levels for sure. COOPER: Dr. Wen, we were talking a lot about this week, about when children under the age of 12 would be eligible for the vaccine. We heard from the Surgeon General tonight, who said it's possible that a vaccine be available for kids under 12 before the end of this year.
He also noted the companies are still compiling data from the trials they are conducting. You're a mom, two young kids, what are your expectations?
WEN: Well, it feels like our timeline keeps on getting pushed back because initially, there were some reports that maybe as early as September-October, we would be able to see the vaccines be authorized for the five to 11 year old group, and maybe the three to five year old group by the end of this year. I mean, that's kind of what I think I and many other people were hoping for him.
At this point, I would like to see a bit more transparency as in, what exactly is happening? How close are we to getting those results? And also, how much data is the F.D.A. actually waiting for?
The urgency to get the vaccines for younger children is quite extraordinary now. I mean, right now we're entering a period that is arguably the most dangerous time for children during the entire pandemic, because we have the Delta variant, we have 93,000 children who are getting -- who got infected in the last week, more than 200 kids are getting hospitalized every day, and now kids are going back to school. People are not using the same precautions as they were before.
And so I think we need to raise the level of urgency and to really ask the question, how much data are we looking for? I mean, how many children need to be in these studies? What is the level of safety and the time period that we need? Definitely, we want to make sure that these vaccines are safe and effective. Of course, we don't want any corners to be cut, but we also need these vaccines pretty urgently, too.
COOPER: Yes. Dr. Leana Wen, thank you. Sanjay, I appreciate it, as always, thank you.
Coming up next, one girl's struggle with COVID. The support she got from her mom and medical professionals. Also, new word on how best to protect millions of kids like her.
And later, the implications of a judge's ruling today outlining how lawmakers will be able to get a look at the former President's taxes and what they might learn.
COOPER: The numbers we showed at the top of the program on kids hospitalized with COVID are certainly alarming, but a line on a graph enough when it's climbing sharply only says so much about the effects of a virus that are being felt one child and one family at a time. Gary Tuchman tonight has more.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Knock, knock.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): A Children's Hospital in Missouri, and sitting on the couch is Angel Baker, a mother who has gone through a horrifying week. Her 14-year-old daughter Marionna tested positive for COVID, got very sick, and was put an oxygen for five days.
Angel says her daughter has received excellent treatment here at the Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital in St. Louis.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It might make you cough, but that's what we want. That's good. I warned you. Good job.
TUCHMAN (voice over): Marionna and her mother live about 150 miles away in Southern Missouri. She started feeling ill at home. It quickly got worse.
ANGEL BAKER, MARIONNA'S MOTHER: I was scared. I was panicking. Monday, the second -- August 2nd, I decided to take her to Urgent Care because she told me she couldn't breathe.
TUCHMAN (voice over): The decision was made for Marionna to be transported by ambulance to this renowned Children's Hospital. For Marionna, it was like a nightmare.
MARIONNA BAKER, INFECTED WITH COVID-19: Really scared.
TUCHMAN (on camera): When you saw her struggling to breathe with the oxygen, what was going through your mind?
A. BAKER: Just praying asking God to bring her back. Keep her safe.
TUCHMAN: Were you afraid she wasn't going to make it?
A. BAKER: Yes, sir.
TUCHMAN (voice over): The 40-year-old mother says she received the COVID vaccine, but says her daughter did not.
TUCHMAN (on camera): Why didn't she get vaccinated?
A. BAKER: I don't know. I left it up to her, and she decided she didn't want to get vaccinated.
TUCHMAN: I don't mean to make you feel badly because you've gone through so much. My guess is, and I'm making an educated guess that you wish you insisted upon are getting vaccinated?
A. BAKER: Yes.
TUCHMAN (voice over): There are currently children as young as two years old in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and the regular patient rooms at this hospital. Of course, children under 12 cannot yet get the vaccine.
TUCHMAN (on camera): Last year at this time, doctors here say the typical numbers of children with COVID coming into the emergency room on a daily basis were zero, one, or two. Now they say that daily number is usually 11,12, or 13.
TUCHMAN (voice over): Dr. Wail Hayajneh hi Ajay is a pediatric infectious disease specialist at the hospital.
DR. WAIL HAYAJNEH, CARDINAL GLENNON CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL: We are seeing more severe cases. We're seeing more cases in the ICU. We are seeing more cases that require longer duration of treatment in the hospital.
TUCHMAN (voice over): Dr. Aline Tanios who is the Surgical Unit Medical Director here.
DR. ALINE TANIOS, CARDINAL GLENNON CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL: It is agonizing sometimes, especially when you see some of these sick -- some of these kids spiraling down before they head to the ICU.
TUCHMAN (on camera): How many children who are ill with COVID in this hospital have gotten the vaccine also?
A. BAKER: Ready to go?
M. BAKER: Yes.
A. BAKER: Yes.
TUCHMAN (voice over): Marionna has turned the corner and is looking forward to recuperating at home and then being well enough to start her life as a high school freshman. She left us with this message.
M. BAKER: Get the vaccine so you won't have to be in the hospital and can't breathe.
TUCHMAN (voice over): And her mother has one, too.
A. BAKER: Please, parents. Get vaccinated and get your kids vaccinated. It is real. Don't let no school, no governor not -- it is real.
COOPER: And Gary, I understand there's been a development in the story.
TUCHMAN: Yes, Anderson, there's good news. Marionna has been released from this hospital. She now will be able to recuperate at home. She is supposed to start high school a week from Monday. She won't be able to go to high school just yet, but her mother is hoping she's healthy enough to start going to school before the end of September.
One interesting note, Anderson, Marionna has a 12-year-old little sister, that 12-year-old little sister also was not vaccinated. So Angel was here with her older daughter, Marionna for the week, but she went back to Sikeston, where they live in Southern Missouri on Friday, and she took her daughter to get vaccinated -- Anderson.
COOPER: Gary Tuchman, appreciate it. We wish them the best.
More now on how to prevent these cases. Our next guest and his colleagues at Duke University recently presented the results of a study of COVID in North Carolina schools. Dr. Danny Benjamin is a distinguished Professor of Pediatrics at Duke, co-chair of the ABC Science Collaborative, which did the study.
Dr. Benjamin, I appreciate you being with us. So, I want to ask you about your study in a moment. First, we just saw Gary's piece. As a pediatrician, what do you say to kids who are choosing not to get vaccinated in that age group who are able to? And what do you tell parents who are hesitant about getting their kids vaccinated?
DR. DANNY BENJAMIN, PROFESSOR OF PEDIATRICS, DUKE UNIVERSITY: Well, the nuances of discussion are a little bit different. So for the kids, I tend to talk to them about thinking about playing football, like it's 2019 once again, or think about a social life like it was 2019, to try and get them excited about the vaccine itself.
For parents, it's a much more concrete discussion. You're going to reduce the chances of long COVID, of death, of morbidity, of hospitalization, by more than 95 percent. You're going to essentially drive all that to zero. It'll be safer than the flu. It'll be just like getting a cold. You want to get this done.
And then I tell them my own experience when the Pfizer trial first opened up for 12 to 15 year olds, my two youngest sons were two of the first children enrolled in that study, and I'm a firm believer in the efficacy of the vaccine.
COOPER: So, the vaccines won't be available for kids under 12 before the end of 2021, according to the Surgeon General. You studied over a million students and staff in North Carolina. Can you just tell us what you learned about how effective masks are in schools? Because you had Rand Paul, you know, on YouTube saying that cloth masks don't work?
BENJAMIN: Yes, that statement by Dr. Paul was incorrect. So, it started in the fall and then we replicated the study during the winter surge. And through that time, we showed that masking was preventing transmission of COVID in schools. It drove it down to the point where a child coming in with COVID had less than a one percent chance of giving it to their peers or to a teacher.
Then North Carolina developed bipartisan legislation to the credit of our governor and legislators that required schools to report their data to us at the ABC Science Collaborative, and put all children in the state eligible to be in school full time, over a million children and adults reported data to us every week through their schools, by school infections, from the community and school acquired. Over 7,000 schools, 40,000 quarantines, but only 363 within school transmission, which again, less than one percent chance of passing it on to your peers or to an adult.
COOPER: So, I mean, that's extraordinary that you're saying a child with COVID coming to a school, but wearing a mask has a less than one percent chance of giving it to another kid, because of the mask.
BENJAMIN: That's correct. That's the primary intervention. These schools didn't do widespread screening testing. They didn't do widespread ventilation changes. They simply had universal masking. They had very high compliance with that.
We had sub studies in several districts, which showed a compliance rate greater than 90 percent in the mainstream curriculum, and we're getting ready to submit that for publication here later this month. But yes, the primary intervention is masking.
COOPER: Do you know what it would be without a mask? I mean, if a child with COVID came to a location with COVID, but no mask, do you have a sense of what the likelihood of transmission would be?
BENJAMIN: Sure. The best data points that we have thus far are from Israel back in 2020, where it was approximately 13 to 16 percent of the children and adults were infected in a week without masking. And then in North Carolina and in Missouri, we've had a couple of school districts open up going with a voluntary masking policy, and those school districts have gone four or five days and through a combination, partly the drama around quarantines and partly because of infections that are occurring in schools, they're going back to a masking policy.
BENJAMIN: With the delta variant, it's harder to know because we have so limited experience. But I would say well over 10 percent.
COOPER: You also looked at the risk of transmission in sports and extracurricular activities, what did you find?
BENJAMIN: So, sports and extracurricular activities in high school and in middle school, that's where somewhere between 50 and 75 percent of the within school transmission is going to occur if you have universal masking in place. And the implications for that are that the extracurriculars partly because of the intimacy of athletics, or chorus, or the arts, or theater, the intimacy of those interactions between children, and the subsequent kind of leaks in mask compliance, if you will, result in a greater risk of infection in that setting.
And the implications for that are, that's an area where the school districts really can encourage and motivate children to vaccinate, and they can do so by policies where they say, okay, if you want to participate in football, that's great, vaccinate, or have regular testing done, because you and your teammates and your opponents are at higher risk, have testing done a couple of times a week.
COOPER: Just, finally, and you may not have looked at this, but just from what you what you believe or what, you know, if some parents are obviously facing a situation where there is not a mask mandate in the school, they want their child to be masked, but they're worried about, you know, no one else in the class being masked, is it still, in your opinion, effective for a child for their own self-protection to be masked if the other kids in the class are not?
BENJAMIN: No, that's not sufficient. What parents want to do in that situation, it helps a little bit, probably, to put the mask on one's own child. The big things to push for is to make sure that the schools are being ethical as it relates to quarantine policy, transparent in their communication around who is exposed, communicating to parents if their children are exposed, and communicating publicly the number of infections and the children that they're harming by that policy.
COOPER: Dr. David Benjamin, I appreciate it. Really fascinating. Thank you.
BENJAMIN: Thank you.
COOPER: Just ahead. Another major legal decision about whether Democrats can see the former President's tax returns. Details on what Democrats may finally see when we continue.
COOPER: Major legal decision that may put at least some of the former president's tax returns in the hands of Democratic investigators in the House something the former president his lawyers have tried to prevent for years. A federal judge says they should be allowed access to those and other financial records while investigating possible violations of the Emoluments Clause which forbids foreign payments to a president.
In this case concerning hotel on federal property in D.C. and I'm quoting from the judge now, the Committee has presented detailed and substantial evidence that President Trump at least through his business interests, likely received foreign payments during the term of his presidency.
So it was not a complete victory, though for Democrats on the Oversight Committee. The judge shouting Supreme Court decision on this case said they were only allowed tax records for while the former president was in office, not stretching back to 2011 as they've subpoenaed. Both sides suggesting they may appeal. A separate committees also pursuing these records, eight years of which were obtained by the Manhattan DAs office earlier this year.
Want to get perspective now from Norm Eisen, former counsel to House Democrats during the first impeachment and a CNN legal analyst. And also Timothy O'Brien, author of TrumpNation, The Art Of Being The Donald, is all several years (ph) of the former president's tax returns when he was involved in litigation.
So Norm, you raised a red flag early on about the Emoluments Clause in the former president, you heard what the judge wrote. The -- what do you make of where this has landed and what the judges has so far decided?
NORM EISEN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Anderson, thanks for having me back. I think it's an important milestone on holding Trump accountable. When you and I first started talking about emoluments in '20 -- early 2017, we didn't imagine it would take this long. But the rule of law as slow as it is, is working.
And there's no question that the constitution forbids a president from taking money from foreign governments, Anderson. And now finally, Congress is going to get a hold of his tax returns. That's an issue for when he's president and we're going to see what the full extent of it was. I think we're going to have some pretty shocking further revelations about just how much he was getting from foreign governments.
COOPER: Tim, I mean, how big a deal is this ruling, in your view, because the judge said the House can't see tax returns before he was president. Does that make a big difference you think?
TIMOTHY O'BRIEN, AUTHOR, TRUMPNATION: I mean, I'm glad that we got this. I would disagree with my friend Norm a little bit in regard as to whether or not it's a milestone because I just don't feel there's enough here if there's a lot of arbitrary boundaries around this. The Judge Mehta has said that House Oversight can get Trump's tax returns for 2017 and 2018 from his presidential tenure, but didn't allow them to see 2019 and to get 2020 when those are prepared. That's perplexing to me, if Judge Mehta was restraining or constraining their purview in that regard.
He saying though, they can go back to get financial records to 2013 on Trump's hotel in Washington, because that is possibly in excess of emoluments, which, you know, an 18th -- a fancy 18th century word for bribery. We know that there was a lot of foot traffic in that hotel from diplomats and lobbyists. There's no question that the Trump Organization got foreign payments. The issue is whether or not that got tied to policy changes.
But the larger issue here is we still don't have enough transparency to Trump's finances. And there's still not a rule in place legislatively that will require all future presidents to have to disclose their tax returns in (INAUDIBLE).
COOPER: So Norm, is that what investigators would have to prove that people giving money to the hotel that it was linked to then political outcomes or administration policy?
EISEN: Well, Anderson, for congressional purposes, these two lines of inquiry that the court allowed the broader inquiry in time as to the old post office, and the questions about emoluments are important to passing legislation. So, for congressional purposes, these records would matter. We would want to show that the constitution was transgressed or that there were bad practices on the old post office.
But Anderson, these are the same records. These of Trump's tax records while he's in office, that prosecutors in New York are looking at. And we know there are issues of tax fraud, insurance fraud, bank fraud, the judge considered Michael Cohen's testimony about Trump's wrongdoing. Congress is now going to get ahold of those.
And with one set of charges already in place in New York, possible additional charges as I've written Trump's at substantial risk. And now Congress closing in, I think that's a big deal. We could see more revelations of the kinds of two sets of books fraud that got Mr. Weisselberg, in trouble so far. And that's just starting.
COOPER: Tim, where do you -- what is the next step here? I mean, in terms of, you know, based on what you know, about the former president, your dealings with him, how much do you think this matters to him? And if it does, is it because there's something there to hide or just the, you know, nobody likes to have their, you know, laundry dirty or not looked at in public?
O'BRIEN: It matters to him deeply, because his tax returns would not only indicate how robust his business actually is. It would also indicate how much money he had coming in from overseas, and possibly who some of his partners were overseas.
And this is one of the great unanswered questions of his administration, to what extent did his interactions with Vladimir Putin or other dictators, how much were those informed by his desire to pad his own wallet? I think this disclosure gets towards that. And he knows it. And there's relationships he's had in his past that he's concerned about.
Donald Trump consorted with members of organized crime in Atlantic City and in the New York real estate market. There's a lot of dirt there that he doesn't want to expose. Who doesn't want to be exposed and I think if he wasn't concerned about those things, he would have freely given these documents up, as he promised to do many times and didn't.
COOPER: Tim O'Brien, Norm Eisen, appreciate it. Thank you.
Coming up next, the infrastructure bill made it through the Senate, can it survive the House the fight between moderates and progressives within the Democratic Party, ahead.
COOPER: The trillion-dollar infrastructure bill faces a tough course to final passage. Now if that sounds familiar, it should a day after the Senate achieved something couldn't under four years, the previous president, the bill once again faces a tenuous course this time through the House, in part because of a separate budget resolution packed with Democratic priorities and a price tag that House moderates have even bought that.
So to key moderate in the Senate, Joe Manchin whose vote is critical for final passage today he called the $3.5 trillion resolution quote, simply irresponsible. In the House unresolved issues have led to a delicate dance about which bill comes for vote first with moderates demanding passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill before considering the far larger budget resolution progresses. Meanwhile, say it has to be the other way around.
I'm joined now by the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal. Congresswoman, thanks so much for being with us.
What do you say to Senator Manchin's concerns about the price tag of this budget package of $3.5 trillion is certainly a lot.
REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): Yes, thank you, Anderson for having me on. And what I would say is that we are delivering on the vision that President Biden laid out when he introduced the Jobs and Families Plan back in January or February.
This is what we promised to the American people. Its investments in roads and bridges, it's childcare, it's paid leave, it's free community college, it's health care. These are critical pieces that we need to deliver on because Americans want not just the roads and bridges, they want childcare so they can get back to work.
So, this is -- we've always seen them, as you know, together. These two things have to go together, we would have of course, loved if it were just one big package, but we are going to deliver them both together to the President.
COOPER: So what about -- what about I mean, 3.5 again, trillion dollars, a lot of money. What about some level of compromise mean, if you need the Democratic moderates, most notably Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema?
JAYAPAL: Well, you need every single vote? I mean, in the House, we have a four vote majority. And so, you know, the reality is that Joe Manchin's vote is important. And every one of our progressive members votes is important. And so, this is going to be a time where we have to come together to pass the President's agenda. And let me just be clear, 3.5 is not just a number that was pulled out randomly, it is actually what we need, if we are going to deliver on these priorities.
And remember Anderson, we're not talking about all the tax you know, the tax fairness pieces that are going to be in this package at the end, which generate enormous amounts of money from the wealthiest individuals and biggest corporations to pay for these investments in working families live so that they can wake up and have a better future.
COOPER: Are you concerned about the level of trust or lack of trust between the progressive and moderate wings the Democratic Party. Because CNN is reporting the moderate House Democrats are considering withholding their support for the budget reconciliation measure unless Speaker Pelosi brings the Senate's bipartisan infrastructure bill up for vote first, she said, in a move to reassure progressive that she won't consider the infrastructure bill unless Senate Democrats first push through the reconciliation spending package.
JAYAPAL: I'm not concerned about trust. I'm just concerned about momentum and making sure we deliver everything together. There are going to be things in the bipartisan bill that progressives don't like, they're going to be things in the reconciliation bill that moderates don't like. But listen, we're a big team.
We ran on and won the House, the Senate and the White House on a vision that got laid out through the jobs and families plan. These two are integrally intertwined. We can't create jobs Anderson and then stop women from being able to come back and obtain those jobs (INAUDIBLE) --
COOPER: But some Democrats that you have to deal with Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema are in states that are actually Donald Trump is very popular in and obviously, Joe Manchin has real political considerations about how far he can move to the left door out of the center of the Democratic Party.
JAYAPAL: Well, the great thing about every single thing we're talking about in this reconciliation bill and the Jobs and Families Plan, it is unbelievably popular, including with Trump Republicans. People want childcare, they want paid leave, they want health care, these are critical things that make their lives better, whether you're in West Virginia, Florida, or Washington State.
COOPER: But they're not so popular with all Republicans, otherwise they would have been in the other bill which had more bipartisan, which, you know, clearly had enough bipartisan support to pass in the Senate.
JAYAPAL: Well, I can't speak for the Republicans because not a single Republican voted for the American Rescue Plan, which is one of the most popular bills that we have ever passed in recent history. It delivered money in people's pockets, shots and arms. I'm not sure there are a lot of Republicans that are looking out for their constituents interests. But listen, we're happy with the bipartisan bill. We're going to deliver on what Democrats said, we deliver and we're going to deliver on President Biden's agenda.
COOPER: Congresswoman Jayapal, I really appreciate it. Thank you very much.
JAYAPAL: Thank you, Anderson.
COOPER: Ahead, another GOP lawmaker in trouble for spreading COVID misinformation on social media. The question is, well, the punishment matter in the fight to stop the spread of misinformation, that's next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
COOPER: Tonight, baseless claims about COVID by two members of Congress are catching up with them at least to a point Republican Senator Rand Paul's YouTube channel suspended for a week after his account posted a video claiming masks are not effective. That punishment came Tuesday the same day the Twitter suspended Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene for what it labeled a misleading tweet. She falsely claimed vaccines are quote failing.
But by this time next week, both of them will have access to their accounts once more. Neither of them are close to being the largest spreaders of COVID disinformation.
Our Donie O'Sullivan is with me now. So, let's talk about the suspensions what Rand Paul said was about cloth mask being not effective.
DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right Anderson. Yes, I mean, what we heard there was that Marjorie Taylor Greene, was saying that vaccines are failing, whereas, Rand Paul, was just saying that cloth masks were not working. What happened was they both got a seven- day suspension from these platforms. But of course, you know, this is barely scratching the surface of the real problem.
This will get headlines, it will get attention, the platforms will be able to point to this and say that they are cracking down on COVID misinformation. But we know that many of the super spreaders of misinformation about this virus are still on these platforms and are still out there spreading, you know, very dangerous misinformation about the vaccine and about the virus.
And of course, these temporary suspensions can actually work out quite well for Republicans, they can fundraise off it, they can say that this is an example of silicon bias -- Silicon Valley's bias against them, rather than of course, Silicon Valley cracking down on dangerous COVID misinformation. Anderson.
COOPER: You're in South Dakota, you've been talking with Trump supporters about misinformation, vaccines, what are you hearing?
O'SULLIVAN: Yes, that's right. You know, one thing that is quite striking Anderson is even though Trump, you know, rightly can take some credit for this vaccine, many, many of his supporters, people who follow him will literally almost do anything for him love the guy. For them the vaccine is a red line, have a listen.
O'SULLIVAN (on-camera): Have you been vaccinated?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
O'SULLIVAN (on-camera): Why not? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not going to.
O'SULLIVAN (on-camera): Any particular reason?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: God gave us natural immunities to everything.
O'SULLIVAN (on-camera): See --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why would you want to interfere?
O'SULLIVAN (on-camera): You're an older man than I am. You're probably in the -- what that government would say is the risk category.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, who come up with that?
O'SULLIVAN (on-camera): The scientists and the doctors.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who told them to say that?
O'SULLIVAN (on-camera): Even though it's the Trump vaccine, the doctors, the scientists.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That ain't a Trump vaccine. He did it to please, everybody that put the pressure on him.
O'SULLIVAN (on-camera): He got the shot himself.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who says he got the shot, he got fixed up.
O'SULLIVAN (on-camera): He got the shot. He got up in January, I think before he left the --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't think he got the shot. I think he got some stuff to make him better.
O'SULLIVAN: And, you know, I think this is really telling Anderson right, because I think this is an example of the base sort of controlling Trump. You know, Trump has been very, very quiet about the vaccine in many ways. You know, even we didn't learn that he got the vaccine until well after he left the White House. Because I think he knows that by pushing this vaccine by encouraging his supporters too are to get it that he could alienate that base.
I should mention Anderson, we are here in South Dakota and we're speaking to that gentleman at an event that is being organized that is currently taking place here a three-day events by the MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell who has come here to South Dakota to try and prove his so far baseless claims that the election was hacked by China and stolen from Trump. We will have more details on that tomorrow night.
But I can tell you as of now, we're two days into this three-day convention here and we haven't seen any evidence to support Lindell's claims.
COOPER: Well, enjoy the next day or two. Donie O'Sullivan, appreciate it. Want to hear more of what you find.
A programming note, be sure to join CNN later this month for star field celebrations. New York tries to rebound from the pandemic. Bruce Springsteen, Jennifer Hudson, Paul Simon, many more taking part of the stage in Central Park. We Love You NYC The Homecoming Concert airs Saturday, August 21st here exclusively on CNN.
Ahead, the expected COVID vaccine announcement that could impact millions of Americans. Dr. Sanjay Gupta and a top infectious disease expert join me to look at why the FDA is likely to soon allow them a booster shot. What changed? That's next.