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The Lead with Jake Tapper
Biden Calls For More Employers To Require Vaccinations; Pfizer Seeks FDA Authorization Of COVID Vaccine For Kids 5-11; Democratic Leaders Announce Deal To Avoid Economic Catastrophe; Brian Laundrie's Father Joins Policed Manhunt For His Son. Aired 4-5p ET
Aired October 07, 2021 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STASTES: And I know -- look, for them, you don't quite under- you all understand it in a different context, but this a busman's holiday for them, to have to come hear another politician speak. You know what I mean?
Not a joke, folks. I appreciate it. I genuinely appreciate it. I appreciate it.
And I know they wanted to be here, but there's others who are in Washington and can't be here. Dick Durbin and Tammy, who I've both spoken to, they're in Washington and hopefully -- hopefully will be voting soon.
And also, we've got state leadership here. Lieutenant Governor Juliana is here -- Stratton. And the Ohio-Pennsylvania -- the Ohio- Pennsylvania -- I'm from Pennsylvania. The Illinois president, Don Harmon; State Senator Laura Murphy; State Rep. Martin Moylan.
And we've got great labor leaders here, too. Tim -- where's Tim? There you go, Tim. Thank you. Thank you, pal. AFL-CIO State President.
And Jeff Isaacson, United Brotherhood of Carpenters. And Don Finn, IBEW. And Robert Riter -- Reiter -- R-E-I-T-E-R -- Reiter -- of the Chicago Federation of Labor.
And, folks, that's how we beat COVID-19: by working together.
We have an expression in that little town of Claymont I was from: You all brung me to the dance. Labor, you're the -- you're the reason I'm standing here. Not a joke. Not a joke. I got elected when I was 29 years old to the United States Senate, 17 days before I was eligible to be sworn in. I had to wait around to be sworn in -- not a joke as well. And I won by 3,300 votes.
And labor -- labor, including the police unions as well as the firefighters, stood up and endorsed me.
And because -- I kid with the governor. I said, "I grew up in a town called Claymont, Delaware. From third grade on, I went to a little Catholic school called Holy Rosary. And across the street from Holy Rosary was a -- was the fire station.
And the guys I grew up with, you became either a firefighter, a cop, or a priest. I wasn't qualified for any of them, so I had to be president.
But, look, it's been a month since I laid out a six-part plan to accelerate the path out of this pandemic: One, vaccinate the unvaccinated. Two, continue to keep the vaccinated protected. Keep children safe and schools open, which the Gov. is doing. Increase testing and masking. Protect the economic recovery. And improve the care of the people with COVID-19.
We've made real progress across the board. More than 185 million Americans are now fully vaccinated. More than 75 percent of eligible Americans have gotten at least one shot.
We've made great progress on equity as well, and closing gaps in racial -- the gaps in race, as well as ethnic vaccination rates. Recent data shows that Latino Americans, Black Americans, Native Americans, and Asian Americans have now gotten vaccinated about the comparable rate as white Americans. That's not happened before. And our work on equity isn't done, but it's an important piece of progress.
We're also starting to see less than 19 -- less COVID-19 cases in a vast majority of communities around the country. Cases are down, this past month, by 40 percent. Hospitalizations are down by 25 percent. We're headed in the right direction if we don't -- if we keep our eye on the ball here. We still have a long way to go.
The fact is, this has been a pandemic of the unvaccinated. Unvaccinated. The unvaccinated overcrowd our hospitals, overrunning emergency rooms and intensive care units. The unvaccinated patients are -- are leaving no room for someone with a heart attack or in need of a cancer operation and so much more because they can't into the ICU. They can't get into the operating rooms.
The unvaccinated also put our economy at risk because people are reluctant to go out. And think about this: Even in places where there is no restriction on going to restaurants and gyms and movie theaters, people are not going in anywhere near the numbers because they're worried they're going to get sick.
I've tried everything in my power to get people vaccinated. First thing I did when I was sworn into office back on January 20th is I bought enough vaccine -- right off the bat -- to vaccinate every single American. There were only 4 million Americans who had been vaccinated up to that point, even though the virus had been around.
Second, we made everyone eligible to get a vaccination and made it easy and convenient for them to find a place to get vaccinated -- over 80,000 places around the country. Third, we gave everyone ample time and information to deal with their
concerns. We developed hundreds of million -- we'd -- millions of dollars in incentives -- you did here in the city and the state of Illinois and cities and community organizations to encourage vaccinations.
Governor Pritzker, you've done one hell of a job, in terms of encouraging people before we even get to the mandate.
But even after all those efforts, we still had more than a quarter of people in the United States who were eligible for vaccinations but didn't get the shot.
And we know there is no other way to beat the pandemic than to get the vast majority of Americans vaccinated. It's as simple as that.
And to spread to our children, to spread throughout society and at our hospitals the risk of other variants - it's all dangerous and obvious, but we're still not there.
We have to beat this thing. So, while I didn't race to do it right away, that's why I've had to move toward requirements that everyone get vaccinated or I had the authority to do that. That wasn't my first instinct.
My administration is now requiring federal workers to be vaccinated. We've also required federal contractors to be vaccinated. If you have a contract with the federal government, working for the federal government, you have to be vaccinated.
We're requiring active duty military to be vaccinated. We're making sure healthcare workers are vaccinated, because if you seek care at a healthcare facility, you should have the certainty that the people providing that care are protected from COVID and cannot spread it to you.
The Labor Department is going to shortly issue an emergency rule which I asked for several weeks ago, and they're going through the process -- to require all employees with more than 100 people, whether they work for the federal government or not -- this is within a -- in the purview of the Labor Department -- to ensure their workers are fully vaccinated or face testing at least once a week.
In total, this Labor Department vaccination requirement will cover 100 million Americans, about two thirds of all the people who work in America. And here's the deal: These requirements are already proving that they work.
Starting in July, when I announced the first vaccination requirement for the federal government, about 95 million eligible Americans were unvaccinated. This was mentioned a little bit earlier. Today, we've reduced that number to 67 eligible Americans who aren't vaccinated. And today we released a new report outlining effective vaccination requirements that are already proving their worth. This report shows three key things:
First, vaccination requirements result in more people getting vaccinated. In the past few weeks, as more and more organizations have implemented their own requirements, they have seen their vaccination rates rise dramatically. For example, the Department of Defense has gone from 67 percent of
active-duty forces being vaccinated to 97 percent as of tomorrow. Vaccination just six weeks into this vaccination requirement -- that's how quickly it's moved.
We're also seeing this at colleges and universities across the country. More than 95 percent of students at colleges and universities, like Northwestern and University of Illinois-Chicago, are vaccinated.
And we're going to see it health systems around the country as well. Rush University Medical Center, here in Chicago, has gone from 72 percent to more than 95 percent of its employees fully vaccinated under its requirements.
These requirements work. And as the Business Roundtable and others told me when I announced the first requirement, that encouraged businesses to feel they could come in and demand the same thing of their employees. More people are getting vaccinated. More lives are being saved.
Let's be clear: When you see headlines and reports of mass firings and hundreds of people losing their jobs, look at the bigger story.
I've spoken with Scott Kirby, the CEO of United Airlines, who's here today. United went from 59 percent of their employees to 99 percent of their employees in less than two months after implementing the requirement. Ninety-nine percent.
And, by the way, Scott, I want you to know I've instructed the Justice Department to make sure that we deal with the violence on aircraft coming from those people who are taking issues. We're going to deal with that.
In the last days of their implementation, they cut the remaining number of employees left to get vaccinated in half. They went from 67,000 United employees to 66 -- of 67,000, 66,800 complied. People chose to get vaccinated. That's why we're seeing more companies signing up.
I recently met with the CEOs of Disney, Microsoft -- who you're familiar with here -- Walgreens to hear about their requirements.
The Business Roundtable represents 200 of the largest businesses in the world and has championed vaccination requirements to keep businesses open and workers safe.
America's largest aerospace companies - Lockheed Martin; Raytheon, who I met with yesterday, the chairman of the board; Northrop Grumman - they all just announced plans to implement vaccination requirements. Even -- this I always get a kick out of -- Fox News.
Fox News requires vaccinations for all employees.
Give me a break. Fox News.
And over the past week, we've seen American, Southwest, Alaska, and Jet Blue Airlines all announce requirements.
The leaders in Chicago are stepping up. As I've said, the mayor of -- Mayor Lightfoot, Governor Pritzker are requiring vaccinations for state and city workers, healthcare workers, and teachers.
The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce here, Jack Lavin, who's here, has called for all members of his -- of the -- of the Chamber to require vaccinations for their employees going back to work in person.
And I came here to Clayco to thank this company for doing the right thing. Today, Clayco is announcing it's going to require all employees to be fully vaccinated or test once a week. It matters.
I know these decisions aren't easy, but you're setting an example and a powerful example.
The second thing I'd like to say: Today's report shows that vaccination requirements are good for the economy -- not only increasing vaccination rates, but to help send people back to work. Back to work.
You know, when I first started the vaccination program and we got all that vaccine enough for everyone -- we're vaccinating 3 million people a day -- we were getting very close before things began to slow down -- the economy is growing in leaps and bounds, 6 percent, the fastest- growing major economy in the world.
In fact, increased vaccination coverage results in as many as 5 million American workers going back to work, because they feel safe they can go back to work. There will be more economic demand to drive people back to the workforce.
But don't take it from me. Not from some, you know, liberal think tank this comes from. But here's what Wall Street is saying: Goldman Sachs, quote: Vaccinations will have a positive impact on employment. It means less spread of COVID-19, which will help people return to work.
Moody's on Wall Street: Vaccination means fewer infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. In turn, it means a stronger economy.
One economist called vaccine requirements, and I quote, the single- most powerful -- he didn't say "single" -- the most powerful economic stimulus ever enacted, end of quote.
The third point I'd like to make: The report shows that vaccination requirements have broad public support. Yes, some object, and some object very strenuously. And some are making a political statement out of this issue.
But a strong bipartisan majority of Americans support vaccinations. They know it isn't about politics; it's about life and death. That's what it's about. It's about looking out for one another. It's about being patriotic, doing the right thing.
Folks, vaccination requirements work, and there's nothing new about them. They've been around for decades. We've been living with these requirements throughout our lives. Students, healthcare professionals, our troops have been required to receive vaccinations for everything from polio to measles, to mumps, to rubella.
And the reason most people in America don't worry about polio, measles, mumps, rubella is because they've been vaccinated. I don't quite get this, you know, why it's a matter of -- no violation of your right to be able to go to school or get a job, to have -- et cetera. But now it's a great cause celebre.
So, today, I'm calling on more employers to act. My message is: Require your employees to get vaccinated. With vaccinations, we're going to beat this pandemic finally. Without them, we face endless months of chaos in our hospitals, damage to our economy, and anxiety in our schools, and empty restaurants, and much less commerce.
Look, I know that vaccination requirements are a tough medicine -- unpopular with some, politics for others -- but they're lifesaving. They're game changing for our country. We're in a position to leap forward in a way that we haven't for a long, long time economically. Businesses have more power than ever before to change the arc of this pandemic and save lives, and protect and grow our economy.
So, as President, I'm going to continue to do everything I can to get us out of this pandemic. I look forward to more businesses joining that effort.
And for folks who haven't gotten vaccinated, get it done. Do the right thing. It can save your life. It can save the lives of those around you.
You know, if I can digress for just a second: Last night, I was on the television -- on television -- I was on the telephone with a person at an emergency hospital ward in Pennsylvania, because a good friend had called and he had rushed his significant other to the emergency room because this woman was having trouble breathing, had a high fever, and could not really catch her breath. And they got her into the hospital, but the waiting room was so crowded, things were so backed up, they couldn't even get her to be seen initially.
So, because I knew this person, I called. I called the desk, the receiving nurse, and asked what the situation was and has anyone even -- and, by the way, I wasn't complaining because they're getting the living hell kicked out of them, by the way. Doctors and nurses, some of them are just -- they're running dry. I really mean it. They're getting the living hell kicked out of them, and sometimes physically.
And to make a long story short, it took a while because all of the -- not all -- the vast majority of the emergency rooms and the docs were occupied taking care of COVID patients.
I'll bet every one of you can name somebody who got sent to the hospital with something other than COVID and couldn't get it taken care of. How many people do you know -- I know -- who've had to put off elective surgery, surgery they need done, but they couldn't get a hospital room? It didn't mean they were going to die, in many cases, but some places in the world, that's happening. You can't even get to the -- do the elective surgery that's necessary, particularly for a lot of cancer patients.
So, look, things are changing, and we can end this. We can end this thing. It's easy, it's accessible, and it's free to get the vaccine.
Test your ZIP code to 438829 -- 438829. Text your ZIP code there or visit Vaccines.gov to find a vaccination location near you. I promise there's one within 5 minutes of where you -- 15 minutes from where you are. And it's free.
Let me close with this: We have a plan. We have the tools. We're using them and we're making progress. We just have to finish the job. Finish the job. So, for God's sake, for your own sake, for the sake of your families: Get vaccinated. We can do this. We can do this if we do it together. And we can literally change the circumstances, the health, the camaraderie, the employment, and the access to a growing economy if we step up and lead the world.
And one last thing I'd like to mention, which is not directly -- it's not part of what I was going to say today. But I've made a commitment that -- just like World War Two, we were the arsenal of democracy, providing the means by which the Allies could fight and win the war -- we're the arsenal of vaccines.
I've not only purchased enough vaccine to make sure every single American can get a vaccine shot, get the full dose and a booster, but provide -- already we've put out a million eight hundred thousand doses of vaccines to other parts of the world. And we're going to end up doing over a billion two hundred million doses between now and the end of the first quarter of next year.
Because, you know, it's not just being decent and honorable about what we can do, but it's in our own naked interest. If we haven't learned before, you can't build a wall high enough to keep out -- you can't -- a virus. You can't do it. You cannot do it.
So, we have an obligation in our own naked self-interest to help other countries. And, by the way, I travel the world. I've met with all the major world leaders, and I'm going to continue to meet with them.
And guess what? Other countries are making like they're really doing a great deal. We have provided more vaccines around the world than every other country in the world combined. Combined.
And guess what? Unlike China and Russia and others, we're not asking a single thing. Not a single thing in return. Nothing. Nothing. And it's having a profound impact on how we're viewed.
So, those of you who haven't gotten vaccinated who may be listening to this broadcast, please get vaccinated. Please.
God bless you all. And may God protect our troops. Thank you so very much.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.
We've been listening to President Joe Biden speaking outside Chicago talking about the importance and effectiveness of COVID vaccines and, also, the COVID vaccine mandates, how they have been working he's been arguing.
I want to go straight to CNN's Jeff Zeleny who's been traveling with the president in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, right outside of Chicago.
And, Jeff, this wasn't just about praising companies who already instituted mandates such as United Airlines but also the president calling on more employers to do the same, to follow their lead.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Jake, explicitly the president calling on employers of all varieties and stripes, big companies and small companies to follow the lead of really a litany of examples that he gave. United Airlines, of course, headquartered here in Illinois has 99 percent employees now vaccinated because of those vaccination requirements. The president using them as an example saying this is the only way out of this pandemic. This is the only way to move forward economically.
So striking the degree to which he is using that economic argument to try and propel other companies to follow suit. Jake, the history of this is fascinating. At the beginning of the year and really throughout the winter and spring and early summer months this president was not in favor of vaccination mandates. In fact, he said today it was not his first instinct.
This is something that has worked unlike anything else has. This is something that really has affected the bottom line of employees and companies as well. So this is turning the corner. The president clearly said we're not there yet.
TAPPER: All right. With the president outside Chicago in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. Also today, Pfizer has announced it is seeking FDA emergency use
authorization for its COVID vaccine for young children. That's ages 5 to 11.
And as CNN's Omar Jimenez reports for us now, that news comes as all of the COVID stats in the United States are right now headed in the right direction.
OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's the beginning of a new phase in the fight against COVID-19. As Pfizer officially requests emergency use authorization from the FDA for vaccinating 5 to 11-year- olds.
The White House COVID response coordinator says they're ready.
JEFF ZIENTS, WHITE HOUSE COVID-19 RESPONSE COORDINATOR: We're working with states to set up convenient locations for parents and kids to get vaccinated including pediatricians' offices and community sites so we'll be ready pending the CDC and FDA action.
JIMENEZ: It could mean shots in young kids' arms as soon as the end of October. But even now the U.S. is getting better. Still averaging over 100,000 new COVID-19 cases a day according to John Hopkins but that is more than 11 percent down from last week's average and a 26 percent decrease from last month. Deaths and hospitalizations also down. All driven by the vaccine, yet many are still skeptical.
DR. PETER HOTEZ, PROFESSOR & DEAN OF TROPICAL MEDICINE, BAYLOR COLLEGE OF MEDICINE: Remember, we've lost now 100,000 Americans over the summer from COVID-19 overwhelmingly here in the south despite the availability of safe and effective vaccines. We know what this is. This is defiance. I don't even call it misinformation or disinformation anymore. I call this anti-science aggression.
JIMENEZ: And on masks currently more than 99 percent of the U.S. population lives in a county where people should be wearing one indoors according to CDC guidance including cook county and the Chicagoland area where President Joe Biden is visiting today.
DR. GREGORY HUHN, COVID-19 VACCINATION COORDINATOR, COOK COUNTY HEALTH: Since September we've seen a decline in delta. That is encouraging. As we scale up our vaccination and hopefully get to the 80 percent range we'll see a decrease in the intensity. The disease spectrum will become more mild. People won't die.
JIMENEZ: Despite improvements countrywide the pandemic has created sobering realities. COVID-19 has taken the parents or grandparent care givers of 140,000 U.S. children. Minorities at a higher rate according to the CDC and other researchers.
Available data through June showed racial and ethnic minorities accounted for 65 percent of those who lost a primary caregiver while white children accounted for 35 percent even though minorities make up just 39 percent of the U.S. population. (END VIDEOTAPE)
JIMENEZ: As serious as those inequities are overall things do seem to be headed in the right direction. Plus, the possibility of an antiviral pill against COVID-19, along with the prospects of having vaccinated 5 to 11-year-olds, have some including the former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb optimistic they could be book-ends to this pandemic at the very least a light at the end of what has felt like a very long tunnel -- Jake.
TAPPER: All right. Omar Jimenez in Chicago, thanks so much. Appreciate it.
Joining us now to discuss, CNN chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta. He's also the author of the brand new excellent book "World War C: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic and how to Prepare for the Next One."
Sanjay, let's stick with this pandemic for now. And start with Pfizer seeking FDA emergency use authorization of the COVID vaccine for kids 5 to 11. Walk us through this process and when parents of kids that age can expect to take their kids for a shot.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, also Pfizer feels like they have the data. That is the bottom line and why they're submitting it. We've been following these clinical trials for a while. They've done this a few times throughout this pandemic for different age groups' vaccines. And so, they feel like they have it. October 26th is when this advisory committee to the FDA meets. They'll look at this data and then meet and make a recommendation.
So it could be by October 27th that the FDA then potentially weighs in and says, yes. We authorize or we don't. Remember with authorization the metric they're using is do the rewards outweigh the risks? That is what they're trying to answer at that committee meeting. Then if it all goes the way it has gone in the past the CDC then officially recommends it. That's sort of the time course.
Remember, Jake, it's two shots, right? So, this is a single shot and then three weeks later another shot and then two weeks after that is when someone would actually be considered vaccinated. So, even if let's say by Halloween it's authorized it does take some time for those children to actually be considered vaccinated with what is ultimately smaller dose, 10 micro gram dose of the vaccine as opposed to the 30 micro grams everyone else is getting.
TAPPER: With adults vaccines were distributed in tiers. Certain subgroups were prioritized over others. Understandably people that were more vulnerable were prioritized.
TAPPER: What will rollout of this vaccine look like if authorized? GUPTA: Yeah, so this is an interesting question, Jake. There doesn't
seem to be any indication it is going to be sort of stratified by risk factors, you know, people who may be at increased risk of developing serious illness among 5 to 11 years, kids who have underlying illnesses for example. This is going to sounds like it is going to go out obviously not to places like nursing homes but more to pharmacies and pediatricians' offices. So, that is primarily where it looks like it is going to be given.
And they've been putting in place -- pediatricians have already started requesting allocations of the vaccine at that dose in case this gets authorized. So, the expectation is, the hope is that by the end of October many of these offices will have the doses in place.
TAPPER: Earlier, Sanjay, you talked about the FDA advisory committee and the FDA itself deciding whether or not the benefits of this vaccine, the smaller dose for kids 5 to 11, whether the benefits outweigh the risks. What are the risks? Should parents anticipate any side effects in their kids from this vaccine?
GUPTA: So these trials in this age group started in March. They've been following along looking for side effects or anything that is sort of unusual for a few months now. What they have found is that the side effects are very similar to what they saw in adolescents that were a bit older, 12 to 18 -- sore arm, fever, headaches, lethargy, some things like that, that could last a day or two typically.
They didn't see anything else that sort of I think made them concerned about safety overall. What is interesting is that they did decide to go with a significantly lower dose again, 10 micrograms instead of 30. And that was interesting, I think the thinking behind that was that even with 10 micrograms the smaller dose they were still getting the same amount of antibodies as people who were older were getting when they took 30 micrograms. And it'll probably reduce the side effect profile because it is a smaller dose. They're likely to have fewer side effects. But that is overall the same thing they were saying with the older kids.
TAPPER: Once the vaccine is available for kids 5 to 11, potentially how much of the United States population will be vaccinated? Because we know, unfortunately, it's still a minority of people 12 to 18 who are vaccinated. Their parents are not taking them in the numbers the United States needs and these kids need for protection to get vaccinated.
GUPTA: Well, you know, I think if you look at the overall polling about one-third of parents say they will go do this right away. About one-quarter say they will never do it. And then everyone else is sort of in the middle. You know, so it depends. I think the numbers do change a bit when the FDA actually officially authorizes something it does give affirmation there.
But I think it is going to be a lot of conversations happening between pediatricians and parents and kids over the next few weeks and months basically saying, you are at much lower risk of getting sick. You are much lower risk of having a problem with COVID. But there is still a risk and risk of getting sick and having persistent symptoms but also to your point, Jake, the benefit to the collective that you'll be able these holidays to more safely visit with grandparents and things like that if you are a child who is now vaccinated.
This is an opportunity for people to really normalize their lives in some way for themselves but also for the population. The trend line looks good, Jake, right now. Cases coming down, hospitalizations coming down as you mentioned. This could hopefully kind of help extinguish some of the embers that will still remain at that time.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: If anybody is wondering, Sanjay, has three daughters. I have a daughter and a son. They are all vaccinated.
GUPTA: That's right.
TAPPER: My son just turned 12. We took him for his first shot and will get the second in three weeks.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thanks so much. Appreciate it.
GUPTA: You got it.
TAPPER: Sanjay's new book, "World War C" is out right now.
Lawmakers announced a deal to avoid economic doom but they could be fighting about it again before Christmas. And are authorities closing in on Gabby Petito's fiancee? What police are now saying as his dad even joins the search? His dad?
Stay with us.
TAPPER: In our politics lead, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer just announced there will a vote tonight, a vote to keep the United States from an economic catastrophe at least for a few more weeks. We're talking about a vote to raise the debt ceiling which sounds complicated maybe even boring until you realize this action will allow the United States government to pay its bills and Congress failing to act would harm millions of our fellow Americans and send the U.S. economy and possibly others spiraling.
As CNN's Ryan Nobles reports, the final details are still being ironed out right now behind the scenes.
RYAN NOBLES, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We have a deal.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): We have reached agreement to extend the debt ceiling through early December. And it's our hope that we can get this done as soon as today. NOBLES: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announcing a bargain
with Republicans to raise the federal debt ceiling before the government was set to crash through it next week. The deal means Republicans will allow a vote on the measure but only for a short amount of time, meaning the stand-off isn't over, just delayed.
REPORTER: Are we having this entire conversational all over again in December?
SEN. CHRIS COONS (D-DE): Yep.
NOBLES: It gets the Treasury Department through the first week in December. Secretary Janet Yellen stresses a long-term solution is critical.
JANET YELLEN, TREASURY SECRETARY: Default will call into question the full faith and credit of the United States. Our country would likely face a financial crisis.
NOBLES: Yellen's warnings paint a picture of an economic catastrophe that could impact millions of Americans leading to things like job losses, including the stoppage of pay checks to federal workers and members of the military, shutting down the flow of cash to states in unallocated COVID relief funds. Americans would lose out on tax refunds, some Medicare benefits, and Social Security payments.
There could be a near freezing of the American credit market making it harder to obtain things like mortgages or car loans. And a massive hit to the U.S. gross domestic product that could take months to overcome. The stand-off comes as Democrats are still negotiating over a path forward on President Biden's domestic agenda.
Key Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia is tangling with the Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders who wants Manchin to state specifically what he wants cut from the package.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): It's not good enough to be vague. You want to cut child care? How much? You want to cut climate? Cut climate. How much? Tell us with some specificity what you want.
NOBLES: Manchin was at the White House today and says they are making progress but he isn't offering much detail.
SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): The president has his priorities. Okay. And he knows I have mine. And he's my president and I want him to succeed and I want our country to succeed.
NOBLES (on camera): And there is a series of votes scheduled to solve this debt ceiling crisis at least in the short term set for tonight at 7:30 but nothing in the United States Senate comes easy. Of course, it just takes one Republican to force a filibuster that would require 60 votes in order to get this to the floor. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas has said he is willing to do that. So, right now, Mitch McConnell is scrambling to find 10 Republicans
willing to take this vote so that the debt ceiling is not crashed into next week. Jake, we're confident, at least he is confident that is going to happen but we won't know until the votes are cast later tonight -- Jake.
TAPPER: Here to discuss -- thank you so much, Ryan.
Here to discuss, Democratic Congressman Mondaire Jones of New York. He's a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
Congressman, we're hearing some gripes from conservative Senate Republicans like Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham who are upset that Mitch McConnell made this deal with Chuck Schumer. You're on the other side of this with the progressives in the House.
Are you okay with Senate Democrats accepting this compromise from McConnell to temporarily increase the debt ceiling?
SEN. MONDAIRE JONES (D-NY): Well, Jake, great to be on.
And I think I'm with the American people not just progressives, but with the American people who are tired of this gamesmanship. I mean, who would have thought we'd find ourselves in a situation where the party of Donald Trump is threatening to default on our obligations? We heard the secretary of the treasury talk about how the full faith and credit of the United States of America would be called into question. What she may not have said is that millions of people would lose their jobs as well were we to default according to a number of experts who have studied this issue.
It is so shameful especially given that so much of the debt that we have is because of the spending that occurred under the presidency of Donald Trump. Spending that was not paid for unlike the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill which is entirely paid for proposed by the president of the United States
TAPPER: I agree it is good we're not going to default because it would cause economic calamity and hurt lots of people, innocent people not involved with this. It would be something else if this only hurt the people who are responsible on Capitol Hill.
But some Democrats don't want this deal. They say it is just kicking the can down the road and we're again going to be on the verge of economic collapse at the end of November when this is back up for debate.
JONES: Well, I share those concerns. I will note that I have a lot of faith in the Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and people like Elizabeth Warren who have said, you know, Mitch McConnell caved and this is the best we could get in this moment.
But long term, we've got to do something about this. We shouldn't be having to even raise the debt ceiling every year or so. This is something that should be taken care of permanently.
And that is something that you'll see myself and others pushing to do. For the time being it would appear this is the best we can get from our friends on the other side of the aisle but it is really shameful Republicans would play these kinds of games.
TAPPER: This deal does give Democrats time to negotiate this deal on the build back better act which expands social welfare programs like child care, like elder care, expands Medicare, spends money on climate change programs, et cetera. You were part of a call with President Biden on Monday.
He says that the Build Back Better act needs to come down in order to pass the Senate from about $3.5 trillion to roughly $2 trillion, somewhere between $1.9 trillion and $2.2 trillion. If that is the only way to get it through the Senate and it seems like it might be, would you support that?
JONES: You know, Jake, what you call social welfare I call strengthening our economy. When we talk about high quality, affordable child care in this country, the expansion of Medicare to include dental, vision, and hearing, which is a reminder to me of my having watched my grandmother work well past the age of retirement just to pay for the high cost of prescription drugs and medical procedures not fully covered by Medicare, and, of course, planet saving climate action.
This is nonnegotiable when it comes to whether we can have a vibrant economy moving forward deep into already this 21st century economy. And, of course, we'll make -- we'll create millions of good paying jobs in the process.
This is something that obviously is under negotiation. I appreciate Senator Sanders for calling out the intellectual laziness of Senator Manchin when he said that, you know, I think $1.5 trillion should do it and we don't want to move toward what he called an entitlement society.
I thought we had advanced beyond such outdated notions. And, of course, companies, the biggest corporations in America get the most entitlements when we look at tax breaks and subsidies given to the coal industry in West Virginia, for example.
So I'm focused on the merits. Let's see what we can include, what has to be included in this reconciliation bill, and how much it adds up to. I'm not going to give a number specifically. But I am optimistic given Manchin and Sinema finally coming to the table in response to the progressive strategy of insisting upon this original agreement that both bills pass rather than the bipartisan infrastructure bill pass first.
TAPPER: So, I know progressives are frustrated with moderate Democrats wanting to shrink the overall price tag of the Build Back Better act although of course obviously it would be paid for with corporate and income and tax increases on the higher bracket. But is it not also the case that without moderate Democrats such as
Joe Manchin in West Virginia, Democrats would not control the House and Senate. Isn't this part of what it means to be in the majority? That you have people in a bigger tent than the Republicans do right now?
JONES: Well, I appreciate the ideological diversity within the Democratic Party. I think it is a beautiful thing. I would note that we're not dealing with moderates who are trying to obstruct President Biden's broadly popular economic agenda. We're dealing with conservative Democrats to be more precise.
And the fact is these conservative Democrats ran on things like lowering the cost of prescription drug, expanding Medicare to include dental, vision, and hearing, making child care high quality and affordable for every family in America. And so I don't think it's robbery to then ask these people who ran on these things, who ran on these broadly popular ideas when you do the polling among both Democrats and Republicans, to stay true to their word and help deliver for the American people who are urgently in need of support from a federal government that far too often has failed them.
TAPPER: There is a poll out -- I'm sorry, that is all the time we have. Democratic Congressman Jones of New York, your first time on THE LEAD. We really appreciate it. Thanks for coming. We hope to have you back soon.
JONES: Thanks for having me.
TAPPER: Tonight, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen joins CNN's Erin Burnett. Please tune in at 7:00 p.m. Eastern. That is a must watch.
Coming up next, why Brian Laundrie's father has now joined the search for his missing son. Hum. Curious. Stay with us.
TAPPER: In our national lead, a new addition to the search team and the manhunt for Gabby Petito's missing fiancee, Brian Laundrie. Brian Laundrie's dad, he is helping investigators narrow down the weeks long search in the Florida nature preserve by pointing out his son's favorite trails is what we're told anyway. Police hope it might help them piece together where Laundrie's fiancee who was found dead in Wyoming last month, what happened to her and where he is, Brian Laundrie.
And as CNN's Leyla Santiago reports, the Laundrie family just shifted their story of when they say they last saw their son.
LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Today, Brian Laundrie's father, Chris Laundrie, assisting authorities in the search for his son. After leaving his house alone this morning, Chris is seen entering the Carlton reserve with police. Laundrie reportedly told his parents he was heading to the reserve when they say they last saw him mid September. The attorney for the family telling CNN Brian's parents believe he's still there, adding the parents see no reason to make a public call for Brian to surrender to authorities because he says, quote, in short, the parents believe Ryan was and still is in the preserve. So, there was no reason to issue a plea on media that he, Brian, does not have access to.
The attorney also explaining to CNN why Brian's father is out in the reserve assisting in the search saying, quote, Chris was asked to point out any favorite trails or spots that Brian may have used in the preserve. Although Chris and Roberta Laundrie provided this information verbally three weeks ago, it is now thought that on site assistance may be better.
Police are now denying a recent camp site was found at the reserve after a source close to the family reported one Wednesday holding off Chris Laundrie from the search for a day while police investigated. North Port police telling CNN, quote, is it possible they thought there might be a camp site out there or something they may have seen from the air but when they got on the ground that is not what it turned out to be? Sure. I think that's a possibility. But he also says, quote, bottom line is that investigators are telling me that no camp site was found out there.
All this coming as the parents changed their recollection of the day Brian went missing telling CNN in a statement the Laundries were basing the date Brian left on their recollection of certain events. Upon further communication with the FBI, and confirmation of the Mustang being at the Laundrie residence on Wednesday, September 15th, we now believe the day Brian left to hike was Monday, September 13th.
Meanwhile, Gabby Petito's parents and step parents grieving her loss and speaking out to Dr. Phil about how they hope to find Brian Laundrie alive
JOE PETITO, GABBY PETITO'S FATHER: I just hope he is found. I really do. I mean, like alive. I want to see him in a jail cell the rest of his life where if he is an outdoorsman being in that concrete cell that he can't go see those trees and smell the fresh air like that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An outdoorsman, that would be a cement box.
SANTIAGO (on camera): And we know that Chris Laundrie, Brian's father was in that reserve several hours today. We talked to the attorney for Laundrie's parents and he told us that he was able to get into areas that were more accessible today because water had gone down. They went to areas Brian was known to frequent but bottom line, no discoveries today -- Jake.
TAPPER: All right. CNN's Leyla Santiago, outside the Laundrie home in Florida, thank you so much.
A new report detailing just how far President Trump went to try to overturn the presidential election and disenfranchise you. The details next.
TAPPER: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.
This hour, soon our grade school kids could be protected from the virus. A vaccine maker now asking the FDA to allow the shot for children as young as 5. So how soon could that start?
And after the Biden administration deported thousands of Haitian migrants, the special envoy for Haiti who quit the Biden administration in protest, well, he speaks to Congress today.
And leading this hour, breaking news in the investigation into the capitol insurrection. "The Washington Post" reporting just moments ago, a lawyer for former President Trump has instructed former Trump advisers to not cooperate with congressional investigators, ahead of a key deadline tonight.
I want to bring in CNN's Jessica Schneider.
And, Jessica, this news could have a major impact on how the Select House Committee which is bipartisan, how it moves forward.
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: It absolutely could, Jake. You know, the president and his legal team are starting now to set up major road blocks that could lead to lengthy litigation. So, tonight is the deadline for four former top Trump officials to comply with congressional subpoenas. That includes former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, former chief strategist Steve Bannon among two others.
But as "The Washington Post" now reports, they are being told not to comply and Trump's team is also indicating that he will exert executive privilege to prevent the committee from getting any of this information out. All of this is happening as a new massive Senate report adds to the damning details of Trump's attempted coup.
SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Former President Trump relentlessly sought to overturn the election and today the attempted coup is key detailed in this nearly 400-page Senate report. Trump directly asked Justice Department officials nine times to undermine the result.
And when the former president considered replacing then acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen with loyalist Jeffrey Clark, a DOJ lawyer who supported the election lies, White House counsel Pat Cipollone threatened to quit.