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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Teen Suspect In Michigan School Shooting Being Arraigned; First Case Of Omicron Variant In U.S. Identified In California; Biden Admin Weighs Mandatory COVID Testing For All Travelers Coming Into U.S. One Day Before Flight. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired December 01, 2021 - 16:00   ET




LT. TIM WILLIS, OAKLAND COUNTY, MICHIGAN SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: Did make an assault upon Elijah Muller (ph) with the intent to commit the crime of murder.

KARNIAK: And count 11?

WILLIS: Did make an assault upon Kiley Osage (ph) with the intent to commit the crime of murder.

KARNIAK: And count 12?

WILLIS: Did make an assault upon Aiden Watson (ph) with the attempt to commit the crime of murder.

KARNIAK: Thank you. And it looks like the remainder of the counts, counts 13 through 24 are possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony that attach to all of the prior felony counts. So anything further?

WILLIS: No, Your Honor.

KARNIAK: Based upon the information that you provided to the court under oath, I do find probable cause to believe that a complaint and warrant should be issued. Count one terrorism, causing death, count two, three, four and five, homicide, murder in the first degree, count six, seven, eight, nine, 10, 11 and 12, assault with intent to murder. And as it relates to each of those felony charges, count 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 and 24, possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony to attach to each of those above indicated felony charges.

If you want to come forward and sign the complaint and warrant, is there anything further regarding to swear to, Mr. Keast (ph)?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not regarding the swear-to, Judge. Thank you.

KARNIAK: Ok, thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: May I approach, Your Honor? KARNIAK: Of course.


KARNIAK: I think that's it. You signed the complaint. I'll sign the warrant. Thank you.


KARNIAK: Okay. It's my understanding that we may be able to arraign Mr. Crumbley today. I'll ask my law clerk if we can -- oh, it looks like children's village will have him brought in.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because the defendant is a juvenile under MCR 6.907, the prosecuting attorney must make a good faith effort for the juvenile's parents to be notified of the arraignment. I do believe that Ms. Nadine Catmin (ph) was initially appointed to this case. He has made contact with the juvenile's parents.

Can I see in the Zoom screen indication that the defendant's parents are, in fact, attending this arraignment?

KARNIAK: That is correct. I do see -- I'm not sure that that is them but they are identified as Mr. and Mrs. Crumbley, parents, so I assume they are in the courtroom. Their video is not on. I don't know if their audio is on. I assume that it is. So, yes, thank you for bringing that to the court's attention and making a record of that.

And it does -- I can indicate that they actually -- Mr. and Mrs. Crumbley, this is Judge Karniak. You are the parents of Ethan Crumbley is that correct?



KARNIAK: Thank you. If you could just state your full names, that would be great.

JENNIFER CRUMBLEY: I'm Jennifer Crumbley.

JAMES CRUMBLEY: James Crumbley.

KARNIAK: Thank you very much.

Anything else from the people before we bring Mr. Ethan Crumbley in and start --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, Judge. I would like to speak as to bond. And I have a motion to make at the appropriate time.

KARNIAK: Thank you. All right. So for arraignment purposes and client case of people

versus Ethan Crumbley, case 216611. Again your appearances, Mr. Keast and Mr. Kozak.


MARC KEAST, PROSECUTOR: Thank you, Judge. Marc Keast on behalf of the people.

SCOTT KOZAK, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Scott Kozak on behalf of Mr. Crumbley.

Judge, before we continue, full disclosure, it was a last-minute call to bring me in as part of the arraignment purposes. I know Ms. Hatton and I have an immense amount of respect for her. May have had a chance to review his rights with him, I have not. I would appreciate it if the court would provide me with an opportunity to review his rights with him, go over his -- the entire situation at least as far as we know before we conduct the arraignment just to make sure that we conduct everything in an appropriate manner.

KARNIAK: Absolutely. We'll put you in a breakout room with Mr. Crumbley and just let us know whenever you're ready.

NADINE HATTON, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Your Honor, Nadine Hatton (ph).

The information that you have been provided, and I apologize for interrupting. I was the attorney assigned to Ethan Crumbley on the juvenile matter. If Mr. Kozak does not mind, I would like to join the breakout room with him. I've had an opportunity to advise Ethan of his trial rights. I spent over an hour talking with Ethan. So, I want to make sure that he's comfortable and understands everything with Mr. Kozak.

So, if the court would allow me to join the breakout room if Mr. Kozak doesn't have any objection, I appreciate it.

KOZAK: Certainly no objection.

KARNIAK: I think it's appropriate under the circumstances and we'll put the three of you in a breakout room. Just let us know when you're ready.

HATTON: Thank you, Your Honor.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Welcome to THE LEAD. I am Jake Tapper.

And we start with breaking news in our national lead. Moments ago, the 15-year-old suspected gunman in the Michigan high school shooting appeared in court. Prosecutors have charged Ethan Crumbley as an adult in the killing of four students in Oxford, Michigan. Prosecutors are considering charging his parents as well.

Let's go straight to CNN's Adrienne Broaddus live for us in Oakland, Michigan.

And, Adrienne, moments before the court hearing, the sheriff released new details about how exactly the shooting unfolded. Tell us what you can.

ADRIENNE BROADDUS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Jake, moments ago, the sheriff revealed that school officials met with the parents of Ethan Crumbley the morning of the shooting for what they called, quote, behavior in the classroom they felt was concerning. The sheriff also told us that the day before the shooting, staff here at the high school also met with that 15-year-old suspect for behavioral issues -- Jake.

TAPPER: And, Adrienne, today, we're also learning more about the victims of this horrific crime.

BROADDUS: We are. We learned that those victims were shot in the hallway, according to the sheriff. The sheriff made it clear surveillance video shows the 15-year-old suspect in the hallway. The sheriff said the suspect did not enter the classroom. And we were with a family when they learned another teen, a student at this school, died.


BROADDUS (voice-over): Another community devastated from a deadly shooting.

KAREN MCDONALD, OAKLAND COUNTY PROSECUTOR: I'm going to confirm the name of the suspect just one time only during this press conference. It's Ethan Crumbley, age 15. We want to keep our focus on the victims.

BROADDUS: The prosecutor laying out the charges today.

MCDONALD: We are charging this individual with one count of terrorism causing death. Four counts of first-degree murder, seven counts of assault with intent to murder and 12 counts of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony. We have charged four counts of first- degree murder which requires premeditation. And I am absolutely sure after reviewing the evidence that it isn't even a close call. It was absolutely premeditated.

BROADDUS: An Oxford, Michigan, student shot 11 people, killing four. 17-year-old Madisyn Baldwin, 16-year-old Tate Myre, 14-year-old Hana St. Juliana and Justin Shilling, just 17 years old, died earlier today.

A few miles from the school, the Pittman family grieves.

JAVON PITTMAN, SENIOR, OXFORD HIGH SCHOOL: I can't see Justin. I can't see two of my closest friends.

BROADDUS: During the shooting, JaVon Pittman hid under a desk and called his dad for help.

JAVON PITTMAN: I was whispering because I didn't want the shooter to hear me and my classmates. And my dad was just asking me what's going on, what's happening.


And I told him it's a shooting. Somebody is here shooting up the school. And he told me, he said, okay, I'm on my way.

BROADDUS: Why your dad? Is he your superhero?


JAMAR PITTMAN, FATHER: You can't save your kids. That's devastating. I'd rather been the one that got shot than my kids.

BROADDUS: This is the training the students never wanted to use.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sheriff's office. It's safe to come out.

BROADDUS: Teens sheltered in their classroom, barricading the entry.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not taking that risk right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Okay. Come to the door and look at my badge, bro.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He said bro. He said bro.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He said bro. Red flag.


BROADDUS: Students escaped through a window running for their lives. Deputies soon let them know they were safe.

SHERIFF MICHAEL BOUCHARD, OAKLAND COUNTY, MICHIGAN: We know by witnesses, he, you know, was tugging on doors and we know from physical evidence that he shot through doors.

BROADDUS: Authorities say the alleged shooter used a gun his father purchased four days prior. The prosecutor also announcing she is charging the 15-year-old as an adult.

MCDONALD: There are crimes the legislature has said are so serious that a person who commits them can automatically be charged as an adult. There are facts leading up in the shooting that suggest this was not just an impulsive act.

BROADDUS: The families left with a nightmare that for some will never end.

VONTYSHA PITTMAN, MOTHER: I'm turning off the light and I have my kids, but Sherry and Buck don't have Tate. There are some parents that that room is going to be empty.


BROADDUS (on camera): The Pittman family is grateful their boys returned home, but they are still concerned about the other parents, knowing they will now have to plan funerals for their children. And they said to me today, no parent should outlive their child. In the last few minutes while that story was airing, we learned videos

on the suspect's phone talked about shooting and killing students here at Oxford High School. That was according to a lieutenant who presented evidence just moments ago at the virtual arraignment for the 15-year-old suspect happening now -- Jake.

TAPPER: Adrian Broaddus in Oxford, Michigan, thank you so much.

The first case of the new Omicron coronavirus variant has been detected in the United States officially. What do you need to know about it? That's next.

Later, even the tiniest amount of this drug can kill users. Now there is a new way, however, to detect it. Stay with us.



TAPPER: We have some breaking news for you in our health lead. The inevitable has been confirmed. The new coronavirus variant Omicron has been detected in the United States, identified by health officials in California. This as the variant spreads around the world. Now, clearly identified in nearly 30 countries.

CNN is covering this new variant on multiple fronts. We have Dr. Sanjay Gupta with medical analyst, David McKenzie in Johannesburg, South Africa, where this new variant was first detected.

But we're going to start with CNN's Stephanie Elam in California, where the first case in the U.S. has now been confirmed.

Stephanie, what do we know about the patient?

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What we know is that this is a person who traveled back from South Africa on November 22nd and then tested positive on the 29th. Went ahead and got tested and then let the contact tracers know about their travel history and where they had just come from. What they are doing in San Francisco County is they have a very robust testing system. And everyone who tests positive, they then send it to the University of California San Francisco who then checks those positive tests to see what variant they are.

In fact, take a listen to one of the doctors from UCSF about how quickly they moved on this.


DR. CHARLES CHIU, UCSF PROFESSOR OF LABORATORY MEDICINE AND MEDICINE, DIVISION OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES: I heard about it actually yesterday at about 3:00 p.m. and we were able to receive the sample in the laboratory by 8:00 p.m. we ran a very fast molecular test which looks for what we call spike gene dropout. We were able to confirm the detection of Omicron within five hours, and we had most of the genome within eight hours.


ELAM: It's also worth noting we know this passenger has mild symptoms and is recovering and is fully vaccinated but did not have a booster shot. They also said the people around this traveler have tested negative but the contact tracing here is key to actually getting on top of this and identifying this person and the fact it was Omicron -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Stephanie Elam, thank you so much.

This new case comes as the Biden administration is weighing tougher international travel rules. Instead of the current three-day rule to show a negative COVID test before coming to the U.S., the CDC is considering making international travelers, including U.S. citizens get a COVID test one day before flying to the United States and to get tested again after arriving in the United States.

CNN's David McKenzie has more for us now from Johannesburg, South Africa.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The U.S. was far from alone in finding its first case today. Norway, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, all now say they've detected cases of the variant.

TEDROS ADHANOM GHEBREYESUS, W.H.O. DIRECTOR-GENERAL: It should not surprise us. This is what viruses do. And it's what this virus will continue to do as long as we allow it to continue spreading.


MCKENZIE: While scientists await data, South African doctors still say that most cases they see are mild and among younger patients and the unvaccinated. The CDC says it will tighten testing requirements for international arrivals in the U.S. from Southern Africa. They may soon have to provide proof of a negative test taken just one day before departure, and will have to share names of passengers entering the U.S. on flights from southern Africa with government departments.

It comes as FDA advisers voted to recommend authorizing the use of a pill made by Merck to treat people who already have COVID-19.

India had been due to restart international flights in two weeks. The government has now called that off because of Omicron. Japan already banned foreigners yesterday. Now they are telling airlines not to take any new international arrival reservations, even from citizens.

Due to host a major U.N. peacekeeping summit next week, South Korea now says it will be held entirely online as the country detects its first cases of the Omicron variant.

The World Health Organization is again scolding countries for the blanket travel bans.

GHEBREYESUS: Blanket travel bans will not prevent the international spread of omicron, and they place a heavy burden on lives and livelihoods.

MCKENZIE: South Africa's president agrees.

PRES. CYRIL RAMAPHOSA, SOUTH AFRICA: This is a global pandemic and overcoming it requires that we collaborate and work together as a collective.

MCKENZIE: Research suggests that quarantines are more effective than blanket bans, which only had some impact when implemented at the very beginning of the pandemic.


MCKENZIE (on camera): If anything, those bans are being strengthened, Jake, and Dr. Fauci said what happens here in South Africa over the next two weeks, two to three weeks to see whether hospital admissions spike and what happens to vaccinated patients with Omicron will be key to understanding what might happen in the U.S. -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right. David McKenzie, reporting from Johannesburg, South Africa, thanks so much.

Let's bring in CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta to talk about all of this.

Sanjay, let's start with this first case of the Omicron variant identified in the U.S. in the San Francisco area. Dr. Fauci says this person was fully vaccinated although did not get a booster, travelled to the U.S. from South Africa last Monday, tested positive a week later. This past Monday, November 29, we're told this person's symptoms are mild as of now.

So what do you make of what we learned today?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think this was expected, Jake. We live in a very globally interconnected world, and air travel is happening. As you point out, this happened even before Omicron was named. I mean, we didn't know anything about this variant at the time this person traveled. There were no travel restrictions in place.

We do know the person got the Moderna vaccine, fully vaccinated with that. But as you mentioned, did not receive a booster. All the context of this person so far have been negative. That's going to be an important point as well.

How transmissible is this virus? It's a big question mark still. This will be some of the early clues, at least here in the United States about how transmissible this is.

You know, we look at what's happening in South Africa. What David was just describing. And we know they've gone through these various surges over time. But as Omicron was sort of starting in South Africa, there wasn't a lot of virus spread at that time.

So, Omicron really didn't have anything to compete against at that time, different situation in the United States and much of Europe where delta is still predominant. Will Omicron outcompete delta? That still remains to be seen. I think what happened so far was entirely expected.

TAPPER: So, the Biden administration is proposing COVID tests for all international travelers, including American citizens, including those who are vaccinated --

GUPTA: Right.

TAPPER: -- down from three days before the trip to one day before the trip.

Do you see this as a sign the government, the Biden administration is increasingly worried about Omicron? Do you think there may be overreacting given how little we know about it?

GUPTA: I think this is an indication of their concern. I don't know whether it's overreacting or just trying to be very proactive here.

But, you know, on the CDC's Website right now, still, there is this quote that says basically there's limited advantages to shortening the time period for testing for fully vaccinated air travelers. So they have talked about this issue before and they said, look, we don't see there's much benefit here. That's still on the website.

When we crunched the data, let me show what we found, if you look at unvaccinated people, they have to have a test within 24 hours of travel. And if you look at the overall impact on the risk reduction, it does make a difference between 72 hours and 24 hours.


That's the left side of the screen.

For vaccinated, it's -- yeah, there's a little bit of a benefit but not much. So for not much benefit, they're considering doing this, which I think to your point, Jake, sort of speaks to their level of concern on this.

TAPPER: Same day PCR or antigen tests. They're not cheap. But are they reliable given how long it can take to show COVID symptoms?

GUPTA: This is a very interesting point. So, PCR tests are still the gold standard. And they're reliable for answering the question, do you have virus in your body? Symptomatic, not symptomatic, is there presence of virus? That's the gold standard.

Antigen tests which again are these rapid tests you get back the same day, within 15 minutes. They're answering a different question which is, how likely are you to be contagious?

So the scenario there is, hey, I feel fine. I don't think I have the virus but I'm about to go and be in some situation. I want to make sure. So I take the antigen test to see if I'm contagious. And they are really good at that. They may miss virus, presence of

virus, but they're highly accurate at determining whether someone is contagious.

TAPPER: And, Sanjay, as David McKenzie noted in the piece we just aired, most Omicron cases in South Africa have been mild, among younger patients, among the unvaccinated. What do you read into that combo?

GUPTA: I think the most optimistic thing we've now heard from South Africa and from Israel is that most of what they've seen in terms of cases and illness has been in the unvaccinated which speaks to the efficacy of the vaccinated. We still got to get more data on that, but so far, the signals have been good on that. It's too early to tell how severe the illness will be in people in larger populations.

If you look at Gauteng province where, you know, in Johannesburg -- Johannesburg is located and look at hospitalizations over the last three weeks, they've gone up. They're starting at a very quiet time. This is late spring for them, Jake.

So not a lot of respiratory pathogen pathogens, but they have gone up. Is this related to Omicron or not? That's one of the questions they have to answer.

TAPPER: We'll know a lot more in two weeks, I guess.

Let's turn to some good news. We could soon see the first oral education in the U.S. to treat COVID. An FDA advisory panel just voted 13-10 to endorse the Merck pharmaceutical antiviral pill. Now up to the FDA to decide yes or no on whether to grant emergency use authorization. A yes vote would be significant.

GUPTA: Yeah. I think it would be significant, but, you know, I think it's always important to show this data here. You mentioned 13-10 was the vote. So this was not a slam dunk.

Let me show you what the data actually showed. Median age of the people getting the pill, 43 years old. Biggest risk factor was obesity.

The scenario is someone has been diagnosed. They are at high risk of needing hospitalization. They would take these pills. If they got a placebo, 59 people in this trial were hospitalized, 9 died. They got the medication, 47 were hospitalized, 1 died.

In terms of hospitalization, that's a 30 percent risk reduction. So it's significant. But it's not a slam dunk. Monoclonal antibodies, which are sort of designed for the same thing but require an infusion, have about a 70 percent reduction in risk of going to the hospital.

So, yeah, it's important. It's an oral pill. You can take it at home. That's a big deal. But hopefully, there's going to be more effective oral antivirals coming down the pike.

TAPPER: All right. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thanks so much. Good to see you. And you can hear more from Sanjay tonight in a special CNN global town hall along with Dr. Anthony Fauci. That's tonight at 9:00 Eastern here on CNN.

President Biden making big promises about holiday shopping but with Americans get what they want?

Stay with us.



TAPPER: In our money lead, today, President Biden addressed the nightmare before Christmas supply chain issues and a brand-new COVID variant.

CNN's senior White House correspondent Phil Mattingly asked President Biden about his predictions on the economy to find a mixed bag.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Those shelves are going to be stocked.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With price increases sitting at a three-decade high, President Biden finally touting progress on one of the driving factors: supply chain bottlenecks.

BIDEN: The CEOs I met with this week reported their inventories are up, shelves are well stocked and they're ready to meet the consumer demand for the holidays.

MATTINGLY: It's been an urgent issue inside the White House for weeks as officials scramble for ways to ease inflationary pressures that carry significant economic and political repercussions.

BIDEN: I've used every tool available to address the price increases. And it's working. We've seen the price of oil and gasoline on the wholesale market comes down significantly.

MATTINGLY: All as a new COVID variant now detected in the United States carries the potential to undercut it all in just a matter of weeks.

What's your level of concern that the new variant will exacerbate the very issues on supply chains your team has been working on the last several months?

BIDEN: Well, look, you know me. I'm an optimist. What we have seen so far does not guarantee that's the outcome. Am I concerned? Of course I am, until we get the final answers.

MATTINGLY: The Omicron variant driving a roller coaster four days in the stock market with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell raising alarm.


JEROME POWELL, FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRMAN: The recent rise in COVID-19 cases and the emergence of the Omicron variant pose downside risks to the employment and economic activity and increased uncertainty for inflation.

MATTINGLY: It's a perfect storm of uncertainty both economic and in public health. At a critical moment for Biden on Capitol Hill. As a crush of deadlines face lawmakers with no clear pathways forward just yet.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): We need to come together and keep the government open.

MATTINGLY: Lawmakers scrambling to fund the government before a December 3rd deadline as a potential default looms if the debt ceiling isn't raised by December 15th. With Biden and Senate Democrats targeting a Christmas deadline to pass Biden's sweeping $1.75 trillion economic and climate package.

BIDEN: Now it's time to build on our success and cut costs further for families. That's what my Build Back Better plan does.

MATTINGLY: Leaving the White House at the center of a high stakes moment on Capitol Hill and in the battle with the pandemic, with advisers planning to tighten travel restrictions in the event of a worst case scenario with the new variant.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: We may not need a variant specific boost. We're preparing for the possibility that we need a variant specific boost.


MATTINGLY (on camera): Jake, for a White House that's been on defense for months, as it relates to inflation, the signs of some easing of those supply chain pressures coincided with a shift in message from the president himself, a sharper tone trying to really attack Republicans to some degree as just standing in the way of things.

It's been something Democrats on Capitol Hill have been quietly asking the White House to shift towards for several weeks. Now, the president clearly trying to parlay that message of progress into political messaging as well, Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Phil Mattingly at the White House for us, thank you so much.

Let's discuss this with Democratic Senator Tim Kaine from the commonwealth of Virginia.

So, Senator, there are some positive economic signs in terms of joblessness, but as I'm sure you hear from your constituents, Americans feel pessimistic about the economy. They're dealing with inflation. How do you reconcile that?

SEN. TIM KAINE (D-VA): Well, Jake, I think there's still a lot of uncertainty. You are right. You're seeing joblessness come down. That's great. The new unemployment claims very, very positive. The administration is created record numbers of jobs during this year.

But people still are uncertain. The news about the pandemic worries them as it should. My belief is, as vaccines continue to accelerate and now, we're doing boosters and we're vaccinating America's young people, that will enable us to get safer and safer. And here on the Hill, the best thing we can do is show the American public that we're taking action that can have a direct positive impact on their lives.

TAPPER: President Biden today tried to temper concerns about gas prices. He said, quote, I have not been content to sit back and wait.

Are you concerned that Democrats are running out of time when it comes to dealing with these significant economic issues out there ahead of the midterms?

KAINE: You know, Jake, I'm actually not worried about the timing. These are big, tough issues, but my belief is this -- if we do the four sort of must-pass things we have before us. The defense bill, funding government, debt ceiling and the Build Back Better plan, the combined effect of Build Back Better with the infrastructure bill will create some real economic tail winds that will be positive for the country going into the early part of next year.

And I think that, plus again the continuing acceleration of vaccines plus boosters plus children getting vaccinated, that could put us in a position as we get into spring, for example, where people are really feeling a sense of both health and economic uplift after two very difficult years.

TAPPER: Democratic Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney told Dana Bash yesterday that he agrees with the sentiment that's been expressed that Democrats need to improve your messaging about these big pieces of legislation that you have passed or are about to pass. And if not, it could cost your party control of the House and the Senate.

Republicans, however, as you know, they say this is not just a messaging issue, that Biden policies are making things worse when it comes to economic uncertainty and inflation and more.

KAINE: Well, look, I do agree with Sean. We've got to get better on the messaging.

It's much easier to message the things you have passed than the things you're hoping to pass. So give you an example, Jake. I've been going around Virginia talking about the infrastructure bill, had a speech before county officials two Mondays ago.

And county officials in Virginia, there's more Republican counties than Democratic counties, so it was a heavily Republican audience. They are absolutely thrilled at this infrastructure bill because they can see whether it's road, rail, bridges, you know, electric transmission, broadband roll out, ports, airports. They've got critical need in their communities. We're going to be able to do the same with the Build Back Better bill.

And to the extent folks are worried about costs and inflation, Build Back Better will bring down prescription drug costs, bring down health care premiums. It will make college more affordable. It will bring down child care costs which is a huge concern for working parents, both because they want high-quality child care for their kids but affordable child care makes it easier for them to rejoin the workforce.

So, this Build Back Better bill which is fundamentally about education and workforce has significant cost reductions that will help Americans who are concerned about prices right now.

TAPPER: You talked about four bills that you need to pass and one of them is the government funding bill. But the government as you know is going to shut down in just two days if that isn't passed. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said this afternoon that some Republicans are using, quote, obstructive tactics that will make a government shutdown almost a certainty. What specifically is happening is that there are Republicans in the House and Senate who say that the Biden administration needs to drop the COVID vaccine mandates on private businesses if they want the government to be funded.

What do you think is going to happen?

KAINE: Well, Jake, Senator Schumer is right. I -- we're in the middle of a debate on the defense bill that we should have finished before Thanksgiving. Republicans delayed it, claiming that they want more votes on amendments although the amendments that we're offering them are already larger in this one defense bill than the amendments they allowed in all four years of defense bills under the Trump administration.

So, it appears to some of us that they are taking even something like the defense bill and stretching it out to delay. We're going to stay in over the weekend and get this government funding bill done as you point out. It runs out on the 3rd. We're going to work through the weekend and get it done.

But you're right, there are a couple of Republicans who are content not to vote against a vaccine mandate. They're saying unless they can, you know, even if they lose that vote, they're still going to stonewall funding the entire government of the United States because they didn't get what they wanted on one vote.

That's bad faith. We've got to fund this government and we're going to stay around until we do.

TAPPER: Who are the couple of Republicans? You want to tell our viewers?

KAINE: Well, you know, I would rather not speak for those, but let those speak for themselves. But I think you'll see as we get into this debate on the continuing resolution later in the week, they'll come to the floor and make their case.


KAINE: And again, let them vote no. But if they vote no and overwhelmingly their colleagues aren't with them, they shouldn't stand in the way of keeping the doors open of the United States government.

TAPPER: Senator Tim Kaine from the great commonwealth of Virginia, thanks so much.

KAINE: Absolutely.

TAPPER: It is deadlier than heroin. We'll take a look at a key tool to prevent overdoses from the deadliest drug in America.

Stay with us.



TAPPER: Today, part three of our series "United States of Addiction."

While the U.S. has been in the throes of the pandemic, drug overdose deaths hit a record high and often times the drugs people think they are taking are a dangerous mix of something else altogether.

CNN Sanjay Gupta is back with a close look at testing methods growing in popularity to keep more users alive.



DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tanya, who didn't want us to use her last name, has been using heroin off and on for more than 20 years. Lately, she says each time feels like a real gamble.

TANYA, HEROIN USER: Put it in the cup, yes. And then you just pour it on to the dope. I use the end to stir it up.

GUPTA: What you are watching is Tanya testing for the presence of the deadliest drug in America.

TANYA: And it just takes a small amount and you just dip it in.

GUPTA: Between may of 2020 and April 2021, more than 100,000 people died from drug overdoses in the United States. That's the most ever for a 12-month period. But dig deeper and you will see that this tragic story is almost entirely about fentanyl.

TANYA: People dying. What's scary is it's the smallest amount of fentanyl. It's such a tiny amount that we have seen people go out.

GUPTA: When you say go out, I mean -- TANYA: Overdose.

GUPTA: The reason? Fentanyl is faster acting and more powerful than heroin. And not just a little bit, up to 50 times more potent. And because it's significantly cheaper to produce, it's an attractive cutting agent. That means dealers will mix it in, giving a small amount of heroin a bigger punch, juicing up fake prescription pills. Nowadays, fentanyl is mixed with just about any drug.

The problem is this, if someone isn't expecting fentanyl, they can easily overdose.

TANYA: But it's instant. I mean, as soon as they hit, most of the time the rig is still in their arm, if not, you know, they're tied off or something. It happens fast.

GUPTA: From alive to dead within seconds.

Louise Vincent has heard too many of these stories, too. She's the director of the North Carolina Urban Survivors Union and has dedicated her life to harm reduction, trying to make the use of drugs safer. Like Naloxone or Narcan which can rescue someone from an overdose, as you are watching, in this extraordinary video.


Even better, though, preventing the overdose in the first place.

LOUISE VINCENT, NORTH CAROLINA URBAN SURVIVORS UNION: It's just a little test strip. They're really easy to use them.

GUPTA: Why are people testing them?

VINCENT: Drug users care about their health because people don't want to die, because people don't want to be sick. Contrary to what everyone says, people that use drugs are human beings. And they want the same thing that every other human being wants.

GUPTA: Giving users a chance to use safely has a long history of controversy. Is it saving lives or enabling even more drug usage?

In the 1980s and '90s, it was often a debate about needle exchanges. More recently, it's been about consumption sites or safe spaces to use. Like this bathroom in New York. And lately, it's about fentanyl test strips.

Researchers will tell you that the evidence shows harm reduction works.

The question that will always come up is, does this actually save lives? Does this prevent deaths? Do we know that?

JON ZIBBELL, RTI INTERNATIONAL: We don't know that yet, but what we are seeing is that people are using more safely. They are more aware of what's going on.

GUPTA: Jon Zibbell studies the impact of fentanyl test strips.

ZIBBELL: What our study found is that people that with a positive test result after they tested their drug were five times more likely to change their behavior.

GUPTA: Like using less of the drug. Doing a test shot ahead of time. Or maybe using with someone else who can watch them.

Tanya credits the fentanyl strips for keeping her from overdosing as the drug supply has become progressively more and more dangerous.

TANYA: I think I use them more now than I did two years ago. We're at a greater risk for having unknown substances put into the drugs.

VINCENT: With COVID came a treacherous, treacherous drug supply.

GUPTA: And with that, technology has had to keep up as well. It's why Louise and her team are now working with Nabarun Dasgupta from the University of North Carolina to use infrared spectroscopy. It's a tool from the world of forensics that can help distinguish specific components in the drug.

VINCENT: It's rare to find a sample of heroin that's just heroin. We may call it heroin, we may refer to it as heroin, but it usually isn't. Sometimes fentanyl analogues Mannitol, other cutting agents and sometimes very dangerous chemicals.

NABARUN DASGUPTA, EPIDEMIOLOGIST, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA, CHAPEL HILL: What we've seen more recently, especially during COVID is big supply chain disruptions of the established cartels. And so you have a lot more experimentation. A lot more -- a lot of new chemical synthesis puttings being used to manufacture the same end product that's all being called heroin or fentanyl but what actually is in them has really changed.

GUPTA: These machines may represent the future, but for now, they are costly. Just a handful of groups like Louise's around the country even have access to them, which is why fentanyl test strips are so important right now.

What do you see there?

VINCENT: That's your one line. You see where it's turning purple?

GUPTA: So what does one line mean?

VINCENT: It's positive. And if another line is not there, it's a negative.

GUPTA: So if this has fentanyl in it?

VINCENT: Absolutely. This is fentanyl.


GUPTA (on camera): So, these strips, Jake, cost about $1 a piece. That's what it costs. You can even buy them on Amazon. But at the same time in some states around the country, they're still considered drug paraphernalia. Such is the gray nature of harm reduction.

But that's where we are. People trying to make sure their drugs are safe.

TAPPER: Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thanks so much.

Donald Trump's top lieutenant spilling the beans on the former president, lying about having tested positive for COVID before the first presidential debate. Another former Trump insider will join me next to talk about what she knew.

Stay with us.



TAPPER: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.

This hour, a new report. His former chief of staff revealing Donald Trump tested positive for COVID days before his first in-person debate with Joe Biden and before Trump announced it to the world. We're going to talk to one top Trump White House official who was there.

Plus, the U.S. secretary of state warning Russia that there will be severe consequences if Russia takes even more aggressive action against Ukraine. And leading this hour, a case that could lead to the overturn of Roe versus Wade. The Supreme Court today hearing oral arguments over a Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The 1973 landmark decision by the Supreme Court, of course, had legalized abortions nationwide prior to viability, around 23 weeks of pregnancy, according to the most recent legal precedent.

Hundreds of protesters gathering outside the court today and inside the arguments are leading experts to believe that the conservative- leaning court will not uphold Roe v. Wade. This case could lead to the biggest Supreme Court decision in decades.

As Jessica Schneider reports, the questions asked by the justices could provide hints as to what happens next.


JUSTICE BRETT KAVANAUGH, SUPREME COURT: The reason this issue is hard is that you can't accommodate both interests. You have to pick.