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At This Hour

Spotify To Add Content Advisory To Fight COVID Misinformation; Former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst Dies At 30; Rafael Nadal Clinches Record 21st Grand Slam. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired January 31, 2022 - 11:30   ET




JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You. And already 27 states have announced they're using over $14 billion in the American Rescue Plan funds to get a head start on rebuilding our nation's infrastructure. As you said, Gov, you know how to build roads and bridges, well, we got a hell of a lot to build and we're going to -- and we're going to build a bunch of them. And also clean water imports and a whole range of things.

We have a lot of opportunities to build back a lot better. And I think it's really important, it's equally important to make sure we have well trained and diverse workforce, ready to fill the jobs and careers that my infrastructure -- our infrastructure laws going to help open up wide.

And that means using the Rescue Plan funds to support union-based apprenticeships, community college partnerships, on-the-job training in key areas like advanced manufacturing and clean energy, which some of you're doing, and construction. And we're seeing the states like Wisconsin, Colorado, Connecticut, North Carolina, Maine, Massachusetts, all doing that already.

We have dozens of examples of how important the creative work that is underway is resulting and we providing a hell of a lot more flexibility than you all required. I think we've done that. If you haven't, I like to hear it today if you don't have enough flexibility. It's good to work you're doing, it's a good start and we need you to do even more to retain train and hire workers. We need to serve our people and expand our economy.

And so because of this is a chance for us to not only come together and get through this pandemic, it's a chance for us to come through it stronger and ready to build on our progress and deal more Americans into win the competition in the future. We are doing better than any nation, any major nation in the world, we got to keep that, we got to pick it up and I can think of no better group of people to pick it up with and take state leaders, federal business labor.

I've not -- I've never seen as much cooperation that is across the board. There are differences I know, but there's been a hell of a lot of cooperation across the board, including business and labor pulling together accelerating efforts and trying to do a lot more to make sure we get out of this hole.

And so I want to thank you all for being here and I know you spoke today with the CDC had -- not the CDC, but you had the head of my COVID team in here. We got a way to go in that in my view, but we're moving. And so I think it's all about making sure we have the same standards we're applying across the board.

And you know, as you said, Gov., we're going to try like to double to keep schools open because we do know study after study, as all of you know, and you've done -- great universities in your states have done them is that you know losing a semester can put a kid back a year and a half. And so there's a whole lot we can -- have to do, in my view to focus and I think that keeping schools open is a big part of that.

And border security, Gov., we're working a lot with the neighboring countries, a lot to do. There's a lot, I think one of the fundamental things we got to do, in addition to some of the changes we'll make we don't get into today, but is that if we figure out why they're leaving in the first place, it's not like people sit around and say in Guadalajara -- I got a great idea, let's sell everything we have given to him, Coyote, take us across the border, leave us in a desert in a country doesn't want us to know, speak the language, won't that be fun?

You know, the gangs we're working on where there's a whole lot of illegal movement, but there's also a way to begin to deal with the reason they're leaving in the first place and we can get it. I'd love to talk with you personally about that a little bit if I may. But having said that, why don't I stop and take any questions you all may have and they tell me, I'm supposed to call on Governor Cox first.





KATE BOLDUAN, CNN HOST: All right, we're listening in to President Biden speaking with a group of the nation's governors at the White House touting and promoting the efforts by the Congress and his administration and trying to help states through the pandemic to this point. We're going to continue to listen to what happens there. You could see lots of reporters trying to ask questions, not happening today. We'll continue to monitor that and bring you the news when it comes in. [11:35:00]

BOLDUAN: Coming up. Still for us, for fans of Spotify's most popular podcast, the next time they listen in it might sound a little different. How's the company's responding now to criticism they gave a platform to COVID misinformation? Next.



BOLDUAN: At this hour, music streaming giant Spotify is responding to public pressure saying it will add a content warning to its most popular podcast. The new policy will warn listeners of The Joe Rogan Experience about potential COVID misinformation on the podcast. This comes after several artists, starting with Neil Young moved their music off the platform in protest. CNN's Brian Stelter joins me now with more on this. Brian, what is Spotify doing here, and is this all because of Neil Young?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: I think it's because of Neil Young and Joni Mitchell and other artists. And we don't know how many complained privately. We also don't know how many subscribers either canceled or threatened to cancel over the weekend. But clearly, Daniel Ek, the CEO of Spotify was under enough pressure, they took these very urgent actions on Sunday afternoon.

Here are three of these examples, Kate, of what the company says they're doing. They're publishing the rules they already have in place for podcasts, they are working toward adding a content advisory around any pockets episode involving COVID-19, and they're going to test the ways to highlight the rules.

So basically, they're doing what Twitter and Facebook, and other platforms did two years ago. This is nothing original, nothing novel, they are belatedly responding to the pressure from artists and subscribers. But here's what Ek said in a statement. "

It is important to me that we don't take on the position of being content censor while also making sure there are rules in place and consequences for those who violate them." You can hear the tension right there in that quote. He doesn't want to be a censor, but he needs to have rules in place to protect his audience.

Now, Ek did not mention Joe Rogan at all. But Rogan is at the center of this because of the guests he's had on this podcast, and the anti- vaccination narratives coming out of this popular podcast. Here's what Rogan said in an Instagram video overnight.


JOE ROGAN, HOST, THE JOE ROGAN EXPERIENCE: My pledge to you is that I will do my best to try to balance out these more controversial viewpoints with other people's perspectives so we can maybe find a better point of view. I don't want to just show the contrary opinion to what the narrative is. I want to show all kinds of opinions. (END VIDEO CLIP)

STELTER: Which sounds great, but not all opinions are created equal. You think about major newsrooms like CNN that have health departments and deaths and operations that work hard on verifying information on COVID-19, and then you have talk show stars like Joe Rogan, who just swing it, who make it up as they go along. And because figures like Rogan are trusted by people that don't trust real newsrooms, we have a tension -- a problem that's much bigger than Spotify, much bigger than any single platform, Kate. But that's what -- is the heart of this right now.

BOLDUAN: Yes. But you're right, it is getting something bigger that isn't going to be solved in one Joe Rogan video or one statement from Spotify. That's for sure.

STELTER: That's right.

BOLDUAN: It's good to see you, Brian. Thank you so much. Joining me now is Dr. Megan Ranney. She's a professor of Emergency Medicine and the Associate Dean of Public Health at Brown University. Dr. Ranney, it's great to see you.

So bouncing off of what Brian was explaining there, I mean, two years into this pandemic. What do you think, I'm kind of wondering, the impact is of a continued spread of misinformation? Does it have the same impact now as this stuff is happening on Joe Rogan's podcast? Is it have less of an impact now that we're so far into this I mean, more so -- more than when this was also new, so scary, so uncertain?

DR. MEGAN RANNEY, ASSOCIATE DEAN OF PUBLIC HEALTH, BROWN UNIVERSITY: So I actually think that the impact of disinformation and misinformation such as is being spread on Joe Rogan's podcast is cumulative. Every time that another lie or twist of the truth is spread by someone like Joe Rogan, or by any social media star or influencer, it has an additive effect.

I'm now getting e-mails from people who are fully on board with the science, people with PhDs, teachers, folks who understand how to evaluate evidence who are tremendously pro-vaccine seem to me, oh, have you heard of so and so, or so and so, people that have been featured on Joe Rogan's podcast, it is spreading, and the problem is, is that once it takes hold, it becomes so much more difficult to combat.

The impact of this narrative is difficult to overstate and it's going to make it much more difficult for us to get the remaining Americans who have not yet gotten vaccinated to finally show up and get their shots in arms.

BOLDUAN: So interesting. You know, one measure, as you're talking about shots and arms, one measure of kind of the state of things is vaccination rates. And the numbers are dropping off again. When you look at two weeks ago, there were roughly 1.2 million new doses administered a day. Now, it's six -- just over 600,000. Booster doses admitted two weeks ago, 690,000, now, 548,000. What story does that tell you?

RANNEY: This is such a shame because let's be clear that the data is only accumulating about the success of vaccinations. People who have received two doses are approximately 12 times less likely to be hospitalized from COVID compared to people that have received no doses. People that have received their initial vaccine series plus a booster are 45 times less likely to be hospitalized and that affects all growth for people who are aged 50 plus or who are immunocompromised.


RANNEY: So the success of these vaccines is tremendous. But because of the misinformation campaigns, people are saying, oh, well, maybe the vaccines don't work, maybe they don't actually protect me, and the knock-on effect of this is going to be, A, our surges are going to last longer. B, our health care systems are going to continue to be overwhelmed. And then C, most dangerously, we're setting the stage for more variants to emerge.

And so by not vaccinating folks, both within the United States and, of course, globally, we have set the stage for more resurgence of COVID in the future, which of course, is the opposite of what any of us want.

BOLDUAN: Exactly. Dr. Ranney, it's always great to have you, thank you.

RANNEY: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Coming up for us. A former Miss USA, who's also an Entertainment correspondent, has died. What did Cheslie Kryst posted before her tragic death? That's next.



BOLDUAN: Now to another tragedy in New York. Former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst was found dead after police say she jumped from a high-rise building. She was just 30 years old and she was a Correspondent for the entertainment show, Extra. CNN's Jean Casarez is joining me now with more on this. Jean, the police are investigating this now. What are you learning?

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. The NYPD is saying that they have launched an investigation. This would be a death investigation, looking at the facts, looking at any evidence, even some forensics but they do have just told us the prevailing theory is still that she jumped to her death and it would have been yesterday morning, it's a little after 7 a.m. They are telling us.

Now, this is a young woman that is so accomplished. I mean, she won Miss USA in 2019. I mean that is huge. Beyond that, she was and is an attorney. She did her undergraduate at the University of South Carolina, got a business degree, went on to Wake Forest in North Carolina, got her master's degree in business administration, and then her law degree, she was practicing civil litigation.

But not only that, she was working with prisoners who felt that they had been sentenced to excessive amounts of time in prison for free of charge. She was doing it to look at whether there was any justification for leaving them in the federal system for that long, doing an amazing thing. She was also a correspondent at Extra.

Now, we want to show what her family has said because they have spoken out and they said. In devastation and great sorrow, we share the passing of our beloved Cheslie. Her great light was one that inspired others around the world with her beauty and strength. She cared, she loved, she laughed, and she shined. And that is from her family.

Now there was one final Instagram post that she issued Sunday before this all happened. Let's look at that. She said may this day bring you rest and peace. We don't know who she's talking to. If it's herself, if it's her others, if it's people she does not know, we do not know. One of the things the NYPD told us which I think is interesting, Insta-story that she posted very early Sunday morning congratulating Miss USA and Miss Teen USA.

BOLDUAN: Jean, thank you so much for bringing that to us. I really appreciate it. It's just so sad. This also is an important opportunity and an important reminder, if you or someone that you know is struggling, there is help. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can see it right there on your screen, 800- 273-8255. We'll be right back.



BOLDUAN: Super Bowl 56 is officially set. The LA Rams and Cincinnati Bengals will face off after an incredible championship weekend. And while legendary quarterback Tom Brady was not playing, he managed to steal some of the spotlights still. Reports are surfacing that Brady was planning to retire, but there's now a whole bunch of confusion about how firm that decision really is. Joining me right now is CNN Contributor Patrick McEnroe. He's a former pro tennis player commentator for ESPN. OK, so Patrick, still no official word from Brady himself on this. What do you make of all of this?

PATRICK MCENROE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, what I make of this, Kate is that Tom Brady is extremely upset because the reason why he's a greatest NFL player, the greatest quarterback is because he's been a great team player, he's been able to control the narrative amongst his teammates and lead his team to seven Super Bowl championships in his 22-year career.

So clearly, someone is -- in his inner circle reveals this information to someone at ESPN. They went with this story over the weekend. And I'm sure, Kate, that Tom Brady did not want this news to come out especially as these two amazing games took place yesterday. The NFL playoffs have been phenomenal.

Brady, of course, had an unbelievable comeback just over a week ago to almost keep his Buccaneers alive. So I'm sure he's livid about this getting out there. But again, it's this race for journalists and some people at ESPN to try to get this story out first, and sometimes when you're first you're not necessarily correct.

BOLDUAN: I'm going to stand by to see exactly when that announcement was made and see where this all heads. But I do want to ask you about another greatest of all time because there's a lot to discuss. You covered the amazing Australian Open final between Nadal and Medvedev. And you told me on Friday, and I do -- I'm not going to shame you and roll the tape that you did not believe that he could pull it off but I just want the record to show that you didn't say that. But how did he do it? It was amazing to see.

MCENROE: Well, for the record, Kate, I actually said in the middle of the match that I didn't think he could pull it off when it was two sets two love down and two, three love 40. But I guess I never should underestimate Rafael Nadal. Listen, Kate, his win over Roger Federer, his first win at Wimbledon was arguably the greatest tennis match ever played. And for him, that was a dream to win Wimbledon to beat Federer at center court at Wimbledon.

But this was his greatest comeback victory ever. He was down and out after two and a half hours into the match. I saw no way that he could come back. But yes, he did. In over five hours, he's able to find the A-game when he needed it. And this is without a doubt his most incredible comeback victory and that would put some 21 major titles. That's one ahead of a guy named Roger Federer and that other guy named Novak Djokovic, who must be wondering what if I have just gotten that vaccine shot, it could have been me winning the 21st Major title.

BOLDUAN: Now, you know, Nadal has earned this in so many ways now. What a sweet victory for him. You tweeted another memorable moment from the Open, people wearing these where's Peng Shuai T-shirts and you're trying to keep the intention on questions about her safety. Do you think they can keep up this drumbeat? I mean, through the Beijing Olympics, it's just about to begin.

MCENROE: While the Olympics, you're right, Kate, just around the corner starting on Friday with the opening ceremonies. I hope that we can keep this out there and keep this story alive because it's incredibly important. And we still don't know how Peng Shuai is doing. We'd like to say we're waiting for this meeting to happen between the IOC and Peng Shuai this possible dinner, it'll be another stunt -- a media stunt that will happen probably in the next couple of days, so let's see how that pans out.

But as far as a Women's Tennis Association, which is the only governing body that's taken a strong stand, as far as I know, they've still not heard anything from her personally. So we're going to stay on top of this and find out just how she's doing. But this issue clearly is going to be part of the Olympics not to mention what else they have to deal with, with the COVID restrictions, and all that's going on as well. So there's a lot to happen with these Olympic games coming up in addition we hope to see some amazing performances from some winter sports athletes as well.