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At This Hour

House Panel Subpoenas Organizers of January 6 Trump Rally; Sotomayor Says, There Will Be a Lot of Disappointment in the Law; United Airlines Touts Mandates Success, Almost All Workers Vaccinated. Aired 11:30-12p ET

Aired September 30, 2021 - 11:30   ET

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


DR. CARLOS DEL RIO, EXECUTIVE ASSOCIATE DEAN, EMORY UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE AT GRADY: -- significantly high risk of dying from the flu and ending up in the ICU.

[11:30:04]

So, this is now new, this is not a COVID thing.

Pregnancy compares certain degree of immune deficiency. Your body has to somewhat turn down its immune system because there's a baby inside, it's foreign person, there's somebody strange inside of you, and the body needs to be able to tolerate that in order not to reject that foreign body. In order to do that, it turns down your immune system to a certain levels. So, pregnant women, in a way, have a naturally induced immune suppression that allows to have their pregnancy. And that puts them at particularly high risk of diseases, and many of them are respiratory diseases, like influenza and in this case like COVID, as we're learning.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN AT THIS HOUR: Yes, it's a good point.

Very different aspect of the pandemic, Broadway shows. Aladdin canceled its performance last night 30 minutes before opening a curtain after a case was reported among members of the company. It's the first cancelation for COVID since Broadway reopened.

All Broadway cast and crews are required to be fully vaccinated, which is an important to remember here. What do you think the protocol can and should be going forward in an industry like that or many other industries if infections will happen even among the vaccinated?

DEL RIO: Well, you know, we need to remember that we will see infections among the vaccinated. There are going to be breakthrough infections. The good thing is if you're vaccinated, your chances of getting infected and passing it to others are much lower than if you're not vaccinated.

So, first of all, I that think with boosters, a lot of people that are working in industries like this, will probably get a booster, will decrease the risk of getting infected or transmitting to others to a significant level, but you can also incorporate other measures, right, like routine testing, regular testing, so you detect cases but you don't have an outbreak. And if you do things like that, you can have shows, you can have music, you can have concerts go on, but you need to be aware that you have to establish and put in place public health, you know, recommendations, public health practices in order to avoid, as I said, having an outbreak. Having cases is going to happen and we need to realize that that's going to be sort of the new norm.

BOLDUAN: Yes. It's good to see you, Doctor. Thanks for your time.

DEL RIO: Good seeing you, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Coming up for us, the House committee investigating the Capitol insurrection, issuing new subpoenas. Find out who the panel wants to hear from and why, next.

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[11:35:00]

BOLDUAN: House lawmakers investigating the Capitol insurrection now issuing another round of subpoenas. The panel wants to hear from nearly a dozen people, including the organizers of the January 6th pro-trump rally, which happened right before rioters stormed the Capitol.

CNN's Paula Reid is live for us in Washington for us this hour. Paula, who is on this latest list and what do lawmakers want to know?

PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, in looking at this list, lawmakers are targeting 11 individuals affiliated with Women for America First. That's the group that organized the January 6th rally on the Ellipse.

Now, among these names are the group's founder and chairwoman, Amy Kremer, in addition to Katrina Pierson. She's a former Trump campaign official, we've all seen many times on television. And lawmakers allege that she had been in touch with the former president about these rallies.

Now, the subpoenas are specifically looking for any information connected to the organizing, the planning or the funding of these events. Now, they're also looking for any communication with Trump administration officials or lawmakers.

And Representative Jamie Raskin, he weighed in on why these details are so critical to the investigation.

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REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): Well, Donald Trump would certainly invite us to believe that it was a spontaneous eruption of hugs and kisses towards the officers. That's pretty divorced from reality. There was obviously a lot of coordination and planning that took place and we are going to reconstruct it.

(END VIDEO CLIP) REID: This was, of course, the second round of subpoenas from investigators. The first went to a very small group of Trump advisers who were not expected to cooperate. They have until next Thursday to reply to those subpoenas. Kate?

BOLDUAN: Paula, thanks so much.

Coming up for us, Justice Sonia Sotomayor's blunt warning days before a new Supreme Court term begins. We'll be right back.

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[11:40:00]

BOLDUAN: Days before the Supreme Court begins its new term, Justice Sonia Sotomayor is making headlines with a warning to an audience of law students. The justice during this talk said, quote, there is going to be a lot of disappointment in the law, a huge amount, she says.

This comes after the deeply divided high court allowed a Texas law banning most abortions to remain in effect and also in much bigger abortion case, consequential abortion case, is about to be considered by these justices this upcoming term.

Joining me now, CNN Chief Legal Analyst, former Federal Prosecutor Jeffrey Toobin, on this. Jeffrey, what did you think of this kind of public warning coming from the justice?

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it's unusual for a justice to talk that way. They sometimes slip and talk in a little more explicit terms about what's going to happen in the court. But, traditionally, they really don't say much about the future. But I think, you know, she's just facing reality. The court by, 5-4, let the Texas law go into effect, which effectively bans abortion in the state. And there is this Mississippi case, which you mentioned, which is upcoming, which bans abortion all together in Mississippi. That 5-4 majority looks like it's ready to change the law of Roe v. Wade, which women and men have expected to be the law for 50 years in this country. And she's just telling people, get ready.

BOLDUAN: Let's talk about -- you mentioned the Mississippi case. The term is about to begin. What are the cases in the upcoming term that she's alluding to? The Mississippi case is definitely probably top of mind.

TOOBIN: That's certainly the biggest one. And what makes that one even more controversial is that the court, which really usually doesn't do much over the summer -- I think most people know that the court begins on the first Monday in October and ends towards the end of July -- over the summer allowed this law to go into effect instead of putting the law on hold, which is what they certainly would have done in recent years.

That was such a dramatic act and that really sets the stage for this Mississippi law, which is a straight-up challenge to Roe Versus wade. A case that says -- and the Mississippi briefs have already been submitted. And they say, look, Roe v. Wade is bad law, it should be overruled.

Donald trump said when he ran for president, I am going to appoint justices who will vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. It looks like that's what he's done. And when you combine the three Trump justices, Gorsuch, Kavanagh, and Barrett with Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, who have already said they want Roe overturned, that looks like what's going to happen.

The other big case that's coming is a challenge on gun control. You know, in 2008, the Supreme Court said there is a constitutional right to own a handgun in your home. But they haven't really expanded that right. They haven't really said what about a gun outside the home, what about a concealed weapon, what about a bigger than a handgun?

[11:45:05]

That's what's before the court. And it really looks like they may be limiting gun safety laws in a very big way. I think those are the two cases and they're both very big cases that most people are going to be paying attention to.

Thanks for laying it out for us, Jeffrey. Thank you.

TOOBIN: All right, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Up next for us, the CEO of United Airlines joins me to share why he thinks his company's vaccine mandate is success and the lessons he says other companies can and should learn from their experience.

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[11:50:00]

BOLDUAN: It was a first in the industry test, and it seemed to have worked. United Airlines says their vaccine mandate for employees is a success story other companies should learn from. According to the airline, nearly all of its 67,000 U.S. workers are now vaccinated, 99 percent of their workforce, if you exclude employees who requested medical and religious exemptions.

Joining me now for more than is the CEO of United Airlines, Scott Kirby. Scott, thanks for coming back in.

SCOTT KIRBY, CEO, UNITED AIRLINES: Thank you, Kate. Glad to be here.

BOLDUAN: Thank you. The numbers really tell a story of success, and I heard you say that this vaccine requirement has become a recruiting advantage for United Airlines. How so?

KIRBY: Yes. I mean, it is amazing that when we've had job fairs recently, we've had people showing up to the job fairs saying they came to United Airlines because they want to work for a company that puts employee safety first and stands for doing the right thing. And that wasn't obviously the reason that we did it. We did it for safety, but it's been a nice icing on the cake.

BOLDUAN: For sure. I mean, do you now see this requirement as a competitive advantage for United?

KIRBY: Well, I've said from the beginning I don't want this to be a competitive advantage. Anything that's about safety, I want to encourage everyone to go to the highest standard and do the same thing. I mean, it is turning out to be a competitive advantage, but I hope and I'm doing everything I can, I've had some calls in the last 24 hours with other airlines encouraging now. We're sharing our experience. I really want everyone to do the same thing. It is right just for saving livings and never want to compete on safety.

BOLDUAN: Do you see United, Scott, extending requirements to other vaccines, other health measures, like flu shots?

KIRBY: Well, you know, we do have requirements and historically have requirements for vaccines to travel to certain locations around the world, as we all do. I don't see it expanding beyond that, to something like the flu shot just because the severity has not been as high historically and hopefully never will be. But, you know, we'll follow science. We'll follow the data.

And, look, maybe we'll all learn something from this while we're on the other side of that that on the back side of it, perhaps things like that will happen. And we can create a society that's safer because the reality is there are some years as many as 50,000 people die from the flu, and while we haven't thought about that yet. Perhaps all of us as a society will get better at having requirements and having the data and science and just be safer as a society.

BOLDUAN: Definitely leading to big conversations, right? I mean, one thing it's also brought that we've had more conversations about are the effectiveness and success of mask-wearing. So, masks are still required for all air travel, and that's coming from the government. That's not even from the airlines. What do you think it will take? What's the measure that you're looking at of when you think masks are no longer needed on flights?

KIRBY: Yes. Well, United Airlines in April of last year was the first airline to require masks on board airplanes. So we followed the data and science close. I think that we need to get cases down, and, frankly, we need to get vaccination rates across the country up. We need to get 80, 90 percent of eligible people vaccinated.

And once we get to that point, we really will be close enough to herd immunity that this will be endemic to our society, I suspect, but it won't be the life-threatening illness where it's killing thousands of people that it is today.

So I think we really need to get to a high vaccination rates which will cause the case counts to come down and at some we'll be able to get back to a lot closer to normal, including not wearing mask everywhere when we're around other people.

BOLDUAN: Another part of this, what we've at least seen during the pandemic, is United Airlines reported this week it has banned 1,600 people from flying this year, Scott, due to belligerent, aggressive behavior, these unruly passengers, if you will. Delta is calling on you and other airlines to share your internal no-fly list for these unruly passengers to make a kind of national ban on unruly passengers. Is that something United will do or is interested in?

KIRBY: We certainly would support that and share. Right now, we're legally allowed to share them. So if the federal government ever allows us to share that, we'd be happy to do that. But the reality also is that 99.99 percent our customers are doing the right thing on airplanes, and at least on United Airlines, our flight attendants are amazing professionals and have done a great job of de-escalating. And while we've banned customers, preventing that in-flight rage and some of the incidents, really haven't been happening at United. But we'd be happy to share if the government lets us share.

BOLDUAN: I'll say, the next case study you can take on is really what is at the core of why we've seen such a spike in this belligerent, aggressive and dangerous behavior in some circumstances. You can take that one on and report back.

[11:55:00]

Scott, thank you very much. I appreciate your time. Thank you, as always.

KIRBY: Thank you, Kate.

BOLDUAN: All right. Thank you all so much for joining us at this hour. Much more to come. A huge day in politics, in policy and a huge day for Joe Biden's economic agenda as it hangs in the balance. What will happen today is very important. I'm Kate Bolduan.

Inside Politics with John King begins after a quick break.

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