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At This Hour

Soon: Senate To Vote On Abortion Rights Bill, Expected To Fail; Journalist Shot And Killed During Israeli Raid In West Bank; 911 Captures Former Corrections Officer's Call With Police. Aired 11:30a- 12p ET

Aired May 11, 2022 - 11:30   ET



KATE BOLDUAN, CNN HOST: You see data, and it is showing something pretty interesting, which is since vaccines became an available way back when it was -- there was this very clear wide gap in deaths between the vaccinated and unvaccinated. That was the whole success of these vaccines as we know. It was keeping people from -- keeping people from dying. But that is now shifting a bit again.

In the second half of September, the data shows the height of the Delta wave, less than 25 percent of COVID deaths were among vaccinated people. But then when you move into January and February, and this is amid the Omicron surge, more than 40 percent of COVID deaths were among vaccinated people. I mean, a majority of those had not gotten a booster, which is the key, I think in all of this. I saw this and I thought this might be the clearest case yet for the need for booster shots. So what do you think of this?

DR. MEGAN RANNEY, EMERGENCY PHYSICIAN: That is exactly right. Omicron changed the game in terms of boosters. It really meant that if you are more than four months out from that initial two shots series, getting the third shot matters deeply. And I'll add one more thing here, Kate, which is that we're seeing increasing evidence that for older folks, people who are 65 plus, people who have multiple chronic conditions, a fourth shot is also really important for protecting from that severe disease.

We need to be really clear, I'm making sure that everyone that lives in a nursing home, all of our elderly folks in senior housing, all of our elderly folks who are living in multigenerational homes have gotten their third shot, and now they're fourth. And we've got to work on making sure that that's available across communities, across the United States, or else we are going to see continued waves of death going forwards.

BOLDUAN: Yes. I mean -- and look, the government's definition of fully vaccinated, it still hasn't changed, though. It does not include a booster at this point. I mean, fully vaccinated -- I -- it just doesn't seem like it's in line with the idea of being fully protected at this point. Why do you think they haven't changed that definition?

RANNEY: This is a huge area of debate. I think there are two big reasons why they haven't changed. The first is those first two shots still do provide significant protection over no vaccination. That's really the baseline, right? You need to get those first two shots. The other reason I think that they haven't changed it is because we don't yet know what is still to come.

And so I don't think it looks good for us to say, well, now fully vaccinated is three shots, now it's four shots, we're still waiting and figuring things out. My expectation in that of most of the public health community is that eventually, full vaccination is going to be three shots with yearly boosters, but this virus is still so new. It's tough to say.

BOLDUAN: Yes. And it's -- in the interim, it puts everybody, every medical doctor and every family who's needing to make these decisions and you know, in this kind of limbo area of what's right, what's fully protected and where do you go next. But it's good to see you, Doctor Ranney. Thank you so much.

RANNEY: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: Coming up for us, the Senate today we'll be voting on abortion rights. With that -- with the fact that it is expected to fail, what are Democrats really trying to do? I'm going to speak with a lead sponsor of the bill next.



BOLDUAN: A vote today in the battle over abortion rights. This afternoon, the Senate will be taking up a bill aimed at protecting a woman's right to choose but that effort is expected to fail because it will not likely be getting the 60 votes needed according to Senate voting rules. It comes as the Supreme Court is appearing still poised to overturn Roe vs. Wade. Let's get over to the Capitol. CNN's Manu Raju is live on Capitol Hill. He's been talking to a lot of people about where this is headed and what this means. What are you hearing, Manu?

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we just spoke to Senator Joe Manchin. He just told us moments ago that he plans to vote no on his party's bill to advance this bill to essentially codify abortion rights in the aftermath of that leaked Supreme Court opinion showing that a conservative majority is prepared to do away with Roe versus Wade, but he told a group of us just moments ago that he believes that the Democratic bill goes too far. He believes it's an expansion of abortion rights. Even as he opposes abortion rights, he said he would support a narrower version of that bill, potentially just a codification of Roe v. Wade, but he says this goes even further than that.

So what does that ultimately mean here, Kate? That means that there will be a bipartisan majority opposing this bill is expected to go down today 49-51. And as you said, it needs 60 votes to advance, showing just how far short Democrats are from overcoming a filibuster attempt, which will be successful this afternoon. So where does this leave Democrats going forward? There's some talk among liberals the gut changed the Senate filibuster rules to allow an abortion rights bill to pass on a simple majority basis. But not just Manchin but also Kyrsten Sinema opposed that idea.

Other top Democrats like Dick Durbin and Angus King and independent caucuses with Democrats are leery about going that route. So, Kate, really no legislative path for Democrats here but their only path, they believe, elect more Democrats they say and things could change after November, Kate.

BOLDUAN: That's really -- is really interesting, Manu. Thank you so much. Let's get some reaction to this right now. Joining me right now is Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin. She's a co-sponsor of this bill we're discussing here that the Senate is going to be voting on this afternoon. Senator, thank you for being here.


BOLDUAN: Joe Manchin is now going to be a no and is -- and as Manu stated, this is now going to be -- there's going to be now a bipartisan majority opposing your bill. That's clearly not what you want, but is that even the message that you want to come from this afternoon?

SEN. TAMMY BALDWIN, (D-WI): Well, I think voters need to know where every senator stands on this important constitutional right that the Supreme Court appears poised to strip away from women. The first time constitutional right has been taken away, rather than expansion of our rights.

And at its core, we want to emphasize over and over again, that this is about women's freedom to control their healthcare, their bodies, their family, and they need to know where their senators stand. The overwhelming majority of the American public believes that Roe v Wade should remain in place, but a very small percentage of those polled recently believe that it should be overturned.

And I am obviously disappointed that the entire Republican Party is willing to strip away this freedom for women. And by leaving it to the states, it means depending on where you live, you might have a very different set of rights. In Wisconsin, I --

BOLDUAN: But it also now it isn't all -- it isn't just Republicans now. It is your democratic colleague, Joe Manchin, who's going to be voting against your bill. He says it goes too far. I mean, is this a surprise to you?

BALDWIN: Yes, let me -- let me talk about -- I am a co-sponsor, as you mentioned, of the Women's Health Protection Act. And what it does is first codify Roe v Wade. But then, because we've seen hundreds of bills introduced and many passed in states across the country that restrict access to abortion care and full reproductive freedom for women, we also take the step of making it clear that a state cannot impede this constitutionally protected right as so many have.

And that's all it does. And so, I think we're been very clear that we're on the side of fighting for women's freedom and constitutional rights. And again, I want to say if you let it revert to the states, Wisconsin has a statute on the books, it was passed in 1849, that's how old our abortion law is, that makes it illegal, would imprison doctors and we shouldn't be sent back to the mid-1800s.

BOLDUAN: Can you also -- can you speak to Joe Manchin's concerns on his no vote then because that's not a good look for Democrats if you're looking for unity to stand up in the face of this?

BALDWIN: Yes. Well, I think his interpretation of the bill is incorrect when he says it goes a lot further. Actually, it keeps the states from interfering with Roe v Wade and restricting access, that's the additional provisions of the Women's Health Protection Act. And they need to be there because look how many states have taken action like the Texas law that allows vigilantes to go out and try to find anybody who aided or abetted an abortion.

BOLDUAN: You've said that you support -- we know that this vote is going to fail. You want to get people on the record on this vote. You have said though, also that you support opening up the filibuster to codify abortion rights nationally, and Dick Durbin, your fellow Democrat was on this morning and he suggested that a change in the Senate's voting rules at this point is not going to happen. How serious are you about this? I mean, are you taking this up with leadership?

BALDWIN: I certainly believe that it is high time when we're dealing with fundamental constitutional rights, whether that be the right to vote, or a woman's freedom to control her own body and her health care and choose when or whether to have a family, that those are so fundamental to our democracy that we should be either reforming or doing away with the filibuster. I understand the math and know that it's very unlikely to happen given our attempts around voting rights to have a talking filibuster. We didn't actually try to repeal it outright. But I believe that we ought to be changing the Senate rules when it comes to fundamental constitutional rights.

BOLDUAN: Senator Tammy Baldwin, thank you for coming in.

BALDWIN: Thank you.


BOLDUAN: Thank you very much. Coming up for us, a journalist is killed in the West Bank. The Israeli and Palestinian -- the Israelis and the Palestinians, they're blaming each other. A live report on what we have learned now about this next.


BOLDUAN: Now to a developing story in the Middle East. A Palestinian- American journalist for Al Jazeera was killed during an Israeli raid in the West Bank. The Palestinians are blaming Israel for her death but the video analyzed by CNN appears to show that the Israeli are -- that the Israeli military was firing in the area where the journalist was gunned down. Now, CNN's Hadas Gold is live in Jerusalem with more.


BOLDUAN: Hadas, is -- the Israelis and the Palestinians are pointing blame at each other here so what are you learning?

HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, Shireen Abu Akleh was a veteran correspondent for Al Jazeera, so well-known across the world and also here in the journalism community here. She was shot this morning while she was on assignment covering an Israeli military option -- operation in the West Bank town of Jenin. Her producer Ali Al-Samudi was also shot but he's in stable condition. And in a very disturbing video, we are seeing in the direct aftermath of that shooting, you can clearly see that Shireen is wearing a protective vest and protective helmet and on her vest, it very clearly says that she is a member of the press.

Now, as you noted, Al Jazeera is placing the blame fully on Israeli forces. They say that they call on the international community to condemn and hold the Israeli forces accountable. They say for the -- what they say is deliberately targeting and killing their colleague Shireen Abu Akleh.

Now, the Israeli Defense Forces say they were operating in Jenin as part of a counterterrorism operation. The military has been stepping up its operations and raids in the West Bank, specifically Jenin. And as a result of a series of attacks in Israel that have killed at least 18 people, the Israeli military says several of those attackers came from the Jenin area. The Israeli military says that this morning while they were conducting that operation, they came under heavy fire and returned fire.

Initially, the Israeli military put out a statement saying that it is paused very likely or possible that Shireen and her producer were struck by crossfire. They say was shot by Palestinians. Now, they are saying that at this stage, it is not possible to determine from which shot she was hit, and that they regret her death. They're saying that they're setting up a special team that will clarify the facts and presents them in full. But, Kate, this is a terrible day for journalists here and journalists around the world. Journalists killed while just covering a story, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. Hadas, thank you so much for bringing us that story though. Also, new this morning, CNN has obtained new audio of former Alabama corrections officer Vicky White on the phone with police dispatchers moments before she and escaped convict, Casey White, were captured in Indiana.


VICKY WHITE, FORMER ALABAMA CORRECTIONS OFFICER: God, the airbags are going off, let's get out, run. (INAUDIBLE)


BOLDUAN: So just after that call, U.S. Marshals ran the pair's car off the road. CNN's Nadia Romero is live in Alabama with the very latest. Nadia, what more are you learning today? NADIA ROMERO, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, this really gives us a look inside the mindset of Vicky White in the final moments. We know that she was used to being on the other side of law enforcement, having spent some 17 years as a corrections officer but this time she was the focus of a nationwide manhunt. And in those 911 tapes, we now know that she was reported to be having held a gun to her head. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, get her hand -- finger on the trigger. She got her finger on the trigger. Gun's out of her hand. It's out of her hand. Grab the gun and reach over --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to grab it.


ROMERO: And we know that Vicky White later died from her injuries on Monday night. As far as Casey White, well, he was brought from Evansville, Indiana back here to Lauderdale County, Alabama to the courthouse late last night around 11:00, he had his first chance to talk face to face with his attorney since his escape and then he went before a judge for his arraignment.

And we know that his capital murder trial that was already scheduled to begin this summer is still on track but his lawyer says he will likely ask for a change of venue. That, Kate, of course, is because of all of the international attention that his escape has caused. Kate.

BOLDUAN: Nadia, thank you so much for that. Appreciate it. We want to end this hour with a truly incredible story. This is the unbelievable moment that we're going to show you when a passenger with no flight experience safely lands -- you see right there. That is a passenger with zero flight experience safely landing a plane in Florida after his pilot suffered a medical emergency. Listen to the air traffic controller guiding him through this really terrifying moment.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've got a serious situation here. My pilot has gone incoherent, and I have no idea how to fly the airplane but I'm maintaining at 9100.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Caravan 333 Lima Delta Roger, what's your position?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have no idea. I see the coast of Florida in front of me and I have no idea.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What was the situation with the pilot?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is incoherent. He is out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 33 Lima Delta, Roger. Try to hold the wings level and see if you can start descending for me. Push forward on the controls and descend at a very slow rate. (END AUDIO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: So, air traffic controller, Captain Robert Morgan. He's also a flight instructor thankfully, and he told CNN this morning that his entire focus really was on keeping the passenger calm.



ROBERT MORGAN, AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER: I knew that if we could get him close enough to the runway and have the power back on the plane, that he'd be successful one way or another they'd be OK. I felt like I was going to cry then because I had so much adrenaline built up, but I was really happy that it worked out with nobody got hurt.


BOLDUAN: What a sweet guy. What an amazing man. And thank goodness for his previous training as a flight instructor in all of this. Emergency crews, they met the plane on the tarmac. There are pictures of them meeting afterward. The pilot's condition at this moment is still unknown, but an amazing moment to see for sure. Thank you all so much for being here. I'm Kate Bolduan. INSIDE POLITICS with John King starts after this break.