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At This Hour

Fauci: We Should Encourage, Not Require Children to Vaccinate; Cheney: Trump Willing to Unravel Democracy to Get Back Into Power; Soon: President Biden Speaks on Gas Shortages, Pipeline Hack. Aired 11-11:30a ET

Aired May 13, 2021 - 11:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[11:00:08]

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: This hour, a big question about wearing masks. Finally and clearly may be once and for all settled.

(VIDEO GAP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: If you're vaccinated, you don't have to wear a mask outside. We are very unusual situation. If you are going into a completely crowded situation, where people are essentially all over each other, then you wear a mask. But any other time, if you're --

(VIDEO GAP)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: So, there you have it, a clear sign of the hope on the horizon as more and more people are getting vaccinated.

But Fauci's statement also comes at a time when the CDC is under increasing pressure to offer really the same level of clarity on the guidelines and guidance that they put out for what vaccinated and unvaccinated Americans can do right now.

CNN's Elizabeth Cohen has new reporting on this very topic. She's joining me now.

Elizabeth, does Fauci's statement today put even additional pressure on the CDC?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: It does, Kate.

And, actually, he said some things on Sunday as well. They did -- you feel like he is trying to telegraph or push the CDC. Come on, guys. Let's get with the program. Let's be more lenient and more clear about mask usage.

And one of the reasons that he is doing that is because the CDC hasn't been entirely clear. If you take a look at their mask guidelines, they're actually very similar to what Fauci just said.

But look at this. It's not very clear. You have to three different colors. This is only part of it, too. The difference situations, greens and yellows and masks and not masks, it's hard to see which one -- it was not sort of the greatest public health communications effort ever. I think everyone would agree with that.

And so, what Fauci did he is gave incredible clarity. He just said it. A lot of pressure on the CDC to do the same about both indoor and outdoor mask usage for those who have been vaccinated -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: And, Elizabeth, Dr. Fauci was also asked and weighed in on the question of whether children, if he thinks children should eventually be required to get vaccinated. What did he say?

COHEN: He basically in keeping with many, many decades of tradition in the United States. We don't require children to be vaccinated for the most part. Yeah, schools will sort of require it. But there is always a way to wiggle out of it, philosophical regions, religious reasons.

Anyway, let's listen take a listen to what Dr. Fauci said on this topic.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FAUCI: Whenever you talk about requiring something that is always a charged issue, I'm not so sure we should be requiring children at all. We should be encouraging them. But you got to be careful when you make a requirement of something. That usually gets you into a lot of pushback -- understandable pushback.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COHEN: Understandable pushback, Kate, especially when you're talking about children.

Let's take a look, actually, at what the latest data says about how parents feel about vaccinating their children. These are parents of children 12 to 15, that new group that can now get the Pfizer vaccine. Only 30 percent said they want to immediately, you know, get in line and get it for their children.

One in four said they wanted to wait and see, maybe see how other children do with it. Eighteen percent said only (AUDIO GAP) four said definitely not (AUDIO GAP) children that age -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: Yeah, if you add the wait and sees to the definitely immediately, that will get you over, you know, half of parents depending on how long the wait and see is.

It's good to see you, Elizabeth. Thank you very much.

COHEN: Right. Good to see you.

So in Ohio, if you get vaccinated, you now have a shot of winning $1 million. And that is not a joke. The state is going to hold five weekly million dollar lottery style drawings to try to give boost their vaccine effort right now.

And wait, there's more, if I feel like I have to say, because students who get vaccinated in the state also have a shot now of winning five full scholarships to a state university.

Ohio's Republican Governor Mike DeWine, he -- I want to play for you what he said about this whole effort to John Berman this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. MIKE DEWINE (R), OHIO: I know people are going to say hey, DeWine's lost his mind. You know, this is a waste. But what I think is a waste is now to have the vaccine that can save people's lives and to have someone die of the COVID-19 because they didn't get vaccinated.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: Joining me right now is Dr. Jonathan Reiner, CNN medical analyst, as well, he, of course, at George Washington University Hospital as well.

Jonathan, Doctor, do you think he lost his mind? It just kind of rolls off the tongue pretty well. What do you think of this incentive program to try to get people to get vaccinated?

DR. JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: You know, Kate, when I first heard this yesterday, I thought it was really good idea.

[11:05:03]

Let's get more people to get shots in their arm. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought how entitled and foolish we are as a country. Only in the United States where we have this massive surplus of vaccines, lifesaving vaccines, do we have to bribe people to take them.

Look, we know that if you are vaccinated in this country, you will not die of this virus. We lost almost 600,000 people to the virus. Yet, we have to bribe them?

Look, let's look around the world. In India yesterday, there were over 4,000 deaths, over 2,500 deaths in Brazil. And those numbers almost certainly are vast underestimates.

But in at the United States, we have to get people to take these vaccines by broadening them with million dollar lotteries? I'd rather see that money go to local food banks.

BOLDUAN: I have to say --

REINER: So many people have been hurt economically. I'd rather see that money go to food banks in Ohio.

BOLDUAN: I have to say, I'm with you. At first, I really like, you know, whatever it takes. You know, we're kind of in that place when they're so important. But when as you point out, when people in other parts of the world and leaders in other countries are literally begging for vaccines right now, I wonder why it is that people here have to be begged themselves or even paid to get these shots.

REINER: Because vaccines like masks last year have been politicized. You know, people identify sort of a political allegiance with a decision that should basically only be based on science. The truth of the matter is these vaccines work incredibly well. Better than we hoped them to work. And they're very, very safe.

But yet, politics has got in the way. I would love to see the former president of the United States, the person who is holed up, you know, on the golf course, do a vaccine tour around the United States.

And maybe there are some followers that can't be reached. I'd like to see him do a tour around the United States to get the holdouts vaccinated. We really can get to herd immunity in the United States unless basically 50 percent of Republican men who right now say they will not get vaccinated until they get the shot.

So, let's see -- let's see Republicans stand up and convince the supporters why this is important.

BOLDUAN: I have to say, you know, as we get more and more people vaccinated and protected from serious illness, there's kind of this new -- I don't know if it's a question or just a phase that is kind of popping up about -- can you still get COVID at all even if it you don't get sick?

The reason I bring this up is the Yankees yesterday kind of present an interesting test case. The club announced that there are seven members among coaching and support staff who've tested positive for the virus. All of them fully vaccinated. And six of seven of them zero symptoms. What does it tell you?

REINER: Well, it tells us that the vaccines are not perfect against acquisition of the virus, but are remarkably great about preventing you from getting sick. We want the vaccines to do two things. We want them to stop the spread, in which they will do that.

But even more importantly, we want these vaccines to stop people from getting sick. So, if we get a yearly COVID-19 vaccination and we turn COVID-19 into a mild cold that, is a huge victory for the world. That is what it looks like infection after vaccination really is, really a relatively mild illness.

There have been really just a couple of handfuls of deaths in people that have been fully vaccinated in the United States. None of the people dying now have been vaccinated. None of the people who are dying -- 600 plus folks who are dying in the United States every day, a number that is still way too high, none of those people have been fully vaccinated. That is the message to people. That should really be the carrot to get people vaccinated not the promise of a million bucks.

BOLDUAN: It's good to see you, Dr. Reiner. Thank you so much.

REINER: My pleasure.

BOLDUAN: Also at this hour, we're tracking the continued fallout from Congresswoman Liz Cheney being expelled from House Republican leadership.

Cheney in a new interview, she has no regrets. She is forging ahead, declaring in no uncertain terms that she will do whatever it takes to make sure Donald Trump never becomes president again. And Cheney says silence is simply not an option.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: What does it say about former President Trump that he will not accept this loss?

REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): That he's unfit, you know? That he never again can be anywhere close to the Oval.

[11:10:01]

GUTHRIE: Do you think the president could be or should be criminally charged?

CHENEY: I think that that is something the Department of Justice will decide. I think it's very important that the investigation that the Department of Justice has under way be allowed to go wherever it leads. I think the American people have to know.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: It really was a fascinating window into her thinking around all of this.

Manu Raju joining me now for more on this from the Hill.

Cheney's out, as you have reported and we know, Manu, because she called out the big lie. You have really important new reporting on how broad and deep the problem really is among Republicans that she is calling out.

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, across the spectrum. We're talking about from the most swing district members to the most conservative, what you're hearing from Republicans who I have spoken to in the Republican Conference in the House is either a full- on embrace of what Donald Trump is saying that the election was somehow rigged or at least some concerns about irregularities, many of whom refuse to acknowledge that Biden won legitimately, saying that there needs to be further investigation.

And also, just simply, a number of them would just want this issue to go away, and don't want to address this. And that's one big reason why Liz Cheney lost her job because of the concerns that her being in there and continuing these issues will bring these issues back in the fore and have to address it and potentially say the election was not stolen and then get on the other side of Donald Trump which is where they do not want to be.

But even some members from swing districts made clear that they have -- they may believe what Trump is saying, including Claudia Tenney. She won one of the closest races in the country in New York. And I asked her yesterday after the Cheney vote and I asked her about these election claims.

She said: We don't know if it was stolen or not. Cheney doesn't know. I don't know. The president doesn't know. But what I know is we need to fix it.

She then went on to say she is creating an Election Integrity Caucus in the House among more than two dozen house Republican members that want to investigate problems with the 2020 election.

Others also even go further. One of them is Jody Hice. He is running for Georgia secretary of state against Brad Raffensperger. Of course, he's the one that has come under fire from Donald Trump.

And Hice told me, I asked him if Donald Trump won the 2020 election. He said, I believe it was fair, if it was a fair election. I'd say, I believe absolutely.

So that is just a sampling of what I was getting across the spectrum yesterday, Kate, an embrace of Donald Trump or simply saying, we need to look into this further -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: Yeah, and that is why when Liz Cheney says, I'm not the one looking into the past. This is ongoing and a current threat, she is not wrong.

It's good to see you, Manu. Great reporting. Thank you, man.

Coming up for us, soon, we're going to hear from President Biden on the massive cyber attack that forced a major pipeline to shut down. What this all means for gas prices right now.

Plus, exclusive new video, the January 6th riot from the perspective of a police officer defending the Capitol. The body camera footage as he brutally attacked and fighting for his life.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:17:24]

BOLDUAN: Very soon, President Biden will be speaking. His focus today on the massive cyberattack that forced Colonial Pipeline to shut down its operation for several days now. The pipeline which supplies nearly to half of all fuel to the East Coast is finally back online, but company officials are warning that it will still take a few more days for the service to return to normal.

And we're seeing the ripple effects continue along the East Coast and Southeast. Drivers facing big gas shortages still this is morning. In North Carolina, 71 percent of stations are without fuel. Virginia, the latest report was 55 percent of stations there are dry. And in Georgia, it's at 49 percent. That's just a snapshot of what we're looking at.

CNN's Jeremy Diamond is joining me now from the White House for more on this.

We're waiting to hear from the president. But also, Jeremy, when he takes to the microphone this hour, he is really facing headwinds on multiple fronts this morning. What are you hearing about it?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, he certainly is. That's a big reason why we're going to hear directly from the president of the United States focusing on the situation with the Colonial Pipeline. I'm told that president is going to provide an update on where things stand. But also this is designed to show the American people that the president and his administration have been all over this situation.

It's not the first example of this. We've seen over the last several days top administration officials including cabinet secretaries marching out to talk in interviews and at the podium here at the White House, to talk about what the administration is doing to try to alleviate some of the supply concerns that have happened as well as the rush on gas in some of these key states where you're seeing one gas station after the next running out of gas.

This administration is very sensitive to the fact that gas prices are, of course, something that hits Americans in a widespread fashion and immediately, and it can often spill over very, very quickly into politics.

And as you mentioned, Kate, it is just one of several headwinds that the president is facing. There is growing risk of inflation with consumer prize index rising last month at the fastest rate it has in more than a decade.

And then, of course, you have the situation in terms of foreign policy. This conflict between Israel and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip, the worst escalation of violence in he seven years. And there is no question that Republicans are seizing on the different headwinds. They call them crisis at times to try and point the finger at the president.

The test for the president, though, will be how he handles the situation and how he can show the public that he's on top of things and that's part of what we're going to see within the hour.

BOLDUAN: Yeah, looking forward to hearing what he has to say on all those topics later this hour.

It's good to see you, Jeremy. Thank you.

So one of the states that is being hit very hard by these gas shortages we're talking about is North Carolina.

[11:20:04]

The governor declared a state of emergency after more than a thousand stations, gas stations ran out of fuel.

Joining me right now for a look at where things are and where things are headed is North Carolina's Attorney General Josh Stein.

Attorney General, thank you for being here.

The governor has said, I heard that he thinks at least some of the shortage is driven by panic-buying.

What do you see as driving this shortage in North Carolina?

JOSH STEIN (D), NORTH CAROLINA ATTORNEY GENERAL: Well, obviously, the primary cause is the cyber criminals that held not only Colonial Pipeline hostage but all of us. And then that shortage has certainly been compounded by panic-buying.

We're urging people, if you do not need gas, don't fill up. The gas will come, the supply will come in the next two, or three, four days. Just be patient and wait because panic-buying can worsen shortages.

We -- remember how last year nobody could find any toilet paper because people bought a year's worth of supply of toilet paper.

Just wait. If you got gas in your car, don't top off.

BOLDUAN: The energy secretary said today that things will be, as you mentioned, two, three, four days. I think it is back to normal in a couple of days.

How long though do you think the problems are going to linger here? I mean what should people prepare for?

STEIN: Well, the idea should be, do not fill up your gas tank if you don't need it. There are so many people who need gas in order to get to work. We need it for our economy. So, people just need to be patient.

It really will, just in the next few days, the supply will come back in. There are other ways to get gas other than the pipeline. It can come by ship to sea. It can come by trailer truck.

So there are other ways for it to get here. Folks just need to be patient.

BOLDUAN: Price gouging. We're told that between just North and South Carolina, there have been almost a thousand complaints of price gouging since this disruption started. What are you hearing from people? I think most importantly, what are you doing about it, Attorney General?

STEIN: We've received 622 complaints so far here in North Carolina, and that's essentially a two-day period of time.

North Carolina's price gouging law comes into effect when the governor declares a state of emergency. And what it prohibits is sellers taking advantage of people's desperation to make a quick buck. So if a gas station has their supply in their underground storage tank

that they paid X dollars on, they can't raise the price on that just because folks are desperate. If, however, they paid more money to resupply, they are entitled to pass on those costs to consumers.

So, each complaint will require us to do an investigation, and we will do that investigation. If I find price gougers, I will hold them accountable.

BOLDUAN: More than 70 percent of stations in the state have been without fuel. That was like the latest estimate I believe. I'm just kind of curious. Do you have a sense of why North Carolina is running out of gas faster than other states along the pipeline?

STEIN: We have a big storage facility in Greensboro. I don't know why North Carolina is worse than South Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia.

Panic buying, once it triggers --

BOLDUAN: Yeah.

STEIN: -- it then takes off like wildfire. Of I think we've had a lot of panic buying in North Carolina. I just hope folks know to just calm down and realize that gas will become and resupply this weekend.

BOLDUAN: Yeah, I will say, when you brought up toilet paper, I think a lot of our panic triggers are pretty tight, right, because of everything that everyone lived through from the pandemic.

STEIN: We're human beings.

BOLDUAN: We are human --

STEIN: We're human beings.

BOLDUAN: -- even though we forget about it sometimes.

Thank you, Attorney General, for coming on. I appreciate it.

STEIN: Thanks, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Coming up for us, exclusive new video we have from the Capitol insurrection. A D.C. police officer fighting for his life and pleading with rioters himself to stop as he was violently attacked.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[11:28:56]

BOLDUAN: New video obtained exclusively by CNN shows a new perspective of the brutal violence that police officers face defending the Capitol on January 6th. It's video from D.C. Police Officer Michael Fanone's body camera as he was attacked by rioters and fought for his life. A warning, this video is disturbing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got one.

(INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've got you.

(SCREAMING)

(INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't hurt him. Don't hurt him. Don't hurt him.