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Parents Struggle to Find Newly Approved RSV Vaccines; Interview with Rep. Jake Auchincloss (D-MA), House Passes Resolution Condemning Antisemitism; NCAA President Proposed New Framework to Pay Athletes Directly. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired December 05, 2023 - 15:30   ET



MEG TIRRELL, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: In clinical trials it was shown to reduce their risk of severe disease by about 75 percent and so there was a real hope that this would keep babies out of the hospital with RSV this season. It cost about $500 per shot. Public health experts have been very excited about it -- Boris.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: Meg, why is it so hard for parents to get their hands on it?

TIRRELL: Yes, this is so disappointing to a lot of people in the field. Initially it was approved in July by the FDA for babies and with that price tag about $500. The initial concern was essentially that hospitals and pediatricians may not stock it because they weren't sure they would get reimbursed for it. Then by the time October came around the fall season and RSV was starting to pick up. One of the manufacturers actually said that demand was outpacing supply. It was higher than anticipated. And the CDC started recommending that infants under six months of age and those medically vulnerable be prioritized for the -- or the shots. And so, really, we're in a situation now where a lot of doctors and parents feel like we're in a shortage.

SANCHEZ: So demand outpacing supply. How bad is RSV this year?

TIRRELL: Unfortunately, we are off to another big RSV season. We are hearing about babies filling hospital beds. And you know, parents had really hoped that they could get this in order to prevent hospitalization of their babies with RSV. We spoke with one mom who is looking for the shot, couldn't find it and her baby was actually hospitalized. And so, while it's not quite as bad as last season, as you can see there, it still is not a great season for RSV and the hope of this shot has not been realized this fall at least -- Boris.

SANCHEZ: And so, Meg, if parents can't get their hands on a dose, what can they do to protect their kids from RSV?

TIRRELL: While late in pregnancy, there is actually another maternal RSV vaccine. So, pregnant people can get that in pregnancy to protect babies in the first six months of their lives. So that is one option. For babies and little kids otherwise, you know, it's just the stuff we all try to do. Washing hands as much as we can, staying home when we're sick. Anything you can do during respiratory season. Although as parents, we all know. It's very hard.

SANCHEZ: Yes, very difficult for parents. Meg Tirrell, thanks so much for the reporting.

Still tracking a ton of stories at NEWS CENTRAL, including razor wire along the U.S. southern border, there to stay, at least for now. We have details on a new court ruling that keeps it from being cut down.

And new details on a shark attack killing an American woman in the Bahamas. Stay with us. We'll be right back.



BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: The U.S. House has just passed a Republican led resolution condemning antisemitism in the United States and globally. The measure, introduced by Jewish Republican lawmakers, contains language that is concerning to some Democrats and it includes this line. This is why it concerns some.

Quote, "clearly and firmly states that anti-Zionism is antisemitism."

Joining us now with his perspective, we have Democratic Congressman Jake Auchincloss of Massachusetts. Congressman, I understand that you voted yes on this, is that right? Can you tell me about your vote and how you decided to support this?

REP. JAKE AUCHINCLOSS (D-MA): Good afternoon. Thanks for having me on. I voted yes, I'm a Jewish member of Congress. I represent a big, diverse Jewish constituency who since October 7th are feeling increasingly afraid and alienated. So as their voice and vote, it's important that I use every opportunity to condemn antisemitism. However, this resolution is duplicative. Congress did this last week in a overwhelming bipartisan fashion. The time now is to move past resolutions and towards action, and that means Speaker Johnson needs to put a bipartisan bill to support Israel on the House floor so that we can send our ally the support it needs as it fights against terrorism.

KEILAR: You do have some colleagues I should say, including Congressman Nadler, Goldman and Raskin. So, there are other colleagues of yours who are Jewish as well, and they have called -- they did call ahead of this vote on your caucus to vote present on this resolution.

They said that this was the, quote, latest unserious attempt by Republicans to weaponize Jewish pain and the serious problem of antisemitism to score cheap political points.

Can you just tell us why you decided to vote yes instead of present, and what you think about what their point was here?

AUCHINCLOSS: I have great respect for those members. I know how thoughtful they are on this issue and how passionate they are in helping to combat it. This is for every member's conscience and how they best think they can be a voice and vote for their constituents. In my town halls and my conversations with my Jewish constituents, I think they continue to want to see unequivocal action and statements against antisemitism, but where I strongly agree with my fellow members on the Democratic caucus is this is duplicative -- this resolution. And we really need to be focused on supporting not just Israel, but Ukraine, Taiwan and humanitarian aid to Gaza as well. That is what the President has asked Congress to do. We have the votes to do that in the House and the Senate, but Speaker Johnson in particular is obstructing this measure to defend democracy overseas.

KEILAR: What do you say to your Democratic colleagues who say the U.S. should impose some conditions on aid to Israel?


They have concerns that Israel is not executing this war as carefully as it should.

AUCHINCLOSS: Well, every country is bound by the Law of Armed Conflict, as is Israel, and they have adhered to it in their operations to date. The United States is in daily contact with both Israeli's war cabinet and IDF senior leadership to help them adjust strategy and tactics. So, there's really not a huge need to condition aid. What's most critical is that we support Israel as it tries to win this war, which means dismantling Hamas and rescuing the hostages. And then we support the Palestinian people as they win the peace. And that means working with their Arab neighbor states, not just Israel. Places like Egypt and Saudi Arabia and UAE and Qatar to help transition the civil administration of services so that the Palestinian people can help realize their equal measure of security and dignity and prosperity.

KEILAR: Do you think that this ratio of -- I mean at this point we're talking about more than 15,000 Palestinians who have been killed. And, you know, Israel is saying about a third of those are Hamas militants or militants that two civilians to one combatant. Is that acceptable? Does Israel need to do better? Because there is a perception, we are learning in our reporting that Israel is not receptive to U.S. suggestions that they need to do better.

AUCHINCLOSS: War is a nightmare. Some series of bad choices and this war, I think in particular. Every civilian death is a tragedy, and Israel is required to uphold distinction, necessity, and proportionality as it engages in this conflict. But unless it is able to destroy Hamas, there will be future suffering in this region. There will be future suffering by the Palestinian people as Hamas governs them sadistically. And there will be future suffering by the Israeli people as Hamas continues to terrorize them. And so, while this war is a nightmare, Israel needs to finish the job and ensuring that Hamas has no part in governance going forward.

KEILAR: I listen and I know, I know that you certainly of all people, know that war is a nightmare. You served in Afghanistan and we should not lose sight of what Israel has been through in the attack that they suffered on October 7th. I do wonder though, from your perspective, having served in Afghanistan, knowing what the ratio was when it came to noncombatants and combatants there. You know what we're seeing in Gaza far surpasses what you saw in Afghanistan. And I don't mean to argue points of degree because the U.S. faced a lot of criticism and skepticism about civilians who were killed in that conflict as well. Is that an acceptable ratio, though? And it is just so big and there are questions about whether it's just creating more terrorists.

AUCHINCLOSS: Israel, of course, has to be mindful of that equation. It's important to stress though, that the Law of Armed Conflict when it talks about proportionality, it doesn't put forward an equation. What it says is that any military target needs to be sufficiently valuable that civilian collateral damage can be justified in a court of law. And Israel is subject to that. Destroying Hamas's ability to wage terror, not just against Israel but against the Palestinian people as well, is a high value and legitimate military object.

And while Israel should certainly be under pressure to continue to abide by LOAC. We should also be putting pressure on Hamas. Because Hamas is the only entity in this entire universe of conflict that could instantly end this suffering with a simple statement. And that simple statement would be Hamas agrees to abide by the Law of Armed Conflict. If Hamas did that, and by the way, that would not require that it lay down its arms or announce its charter. But if Hamas agreed to abide by LOAC, it would have to free the hostages and would have to stop using Palestinians as human shields. It could engage the Israeli defense forces as combatants but would have to do so in a way that is in accord with the Law of Armed Conflict. Hamas is the one that can end all of this suffering right now.

KEILAR: Yes, look, it's very clear that Hamas is not abiding by that, that they have committed war crime after war crime. There are experts who are split on how Israel is prosecuting its war as well. And I know, as you said, it's not specific when it comes to numbers, but when you look at that number. Knowing having been someone in war. Is that an acceptable number? Two civilians for every combatant.

AUCHINCLOSS: Trying to quantify the suffering of this war, I think is the wrong approach here. This war is a nightmare for all involved. It is a tragedy. Every civilian who was killed Israeli and Palestinian, is a tragedy. Those individuals, those families, had hopes and aspirations. What is a certainty from an objective standpoint is that Hamas cannot be allowed govern --

KEILAR: Well, let me let me ask you this. Let me ask you this then.


You said -- you said the trying to -- that Hamas can't be allowed to govern. You need to get rid of Hamas. Do you worry that something else as bad as Hamas, worse than Hamas, is being created when this many Palestinians are being killed.

AUCHINCLOSS: Which is why it is so critical that the United States not just help Israel win the war, but that we help Palestine win the peace. And what that means is working with the Abraham Accord and Abraham Accord adjacent countries like Qatar and UAE and Saudi Arabia and Egypt, to transition to competent civil administration. Maybe the Palestinian Authority, as part of that, maybe they're not. If that remains to be seen. But the Gazan people deserve governance that helps them manifest and realize their destinies and helps them have a better future for their children. That cannot happen until Hamas is destroyed. Nobody wants Hamas to have to be dismantled to this kind of bloodshed. But Hamas is the one who's deciding that that is how it has to be.

KEILAR: Congressman Auchincloss, we very much appreciate you being with us. Thank you so much.


KEILAR: All right, you too.

And still to come a potential major shift in college athletics. The NCAA is proposing a rule that would allow some higher revenue programs to directly pay athletes. We'll have some new details ahead.



SANCHEZ: A new proposal from NCAA President Charlie Baker would allow top Division One schools to pay their athletes directly for the first time. In a letter obtained by CNN, Baker outlined how the highest resource schools would be put in a new tier or subdivision requiring them to offer compensation to at least half their student athletes. Let's discuss now with senior sports legal reporter for Sportico, Michael McCann. Michael, thanks so much for sharing part of your afternoon with us. This this is largely a response to some of the problems that have been generated by the name, image and likeness rule, the NIL. Let's take a step back and walk through what those issues are and what this tries to address.

MICHAEL MCCANN, LEGAL ANALYST, SPORTICO: Sure. So, for a long time, Boris, the NCAA didn't allow college athletes to enjoy a right they already had, which is the right of publicity. The idea that you can do an endorsement deal and make money. The NCAA shifted course in 2021, allowing that to happen. And since then, some college athletes have done very well. And the NCAA believes though, that some schools are basically directly paying, or perhaps through boosters NIL money.

So, this policy change is significant because it involves, as you mentioned, direct payment to athletes. It involves partnering between schools and athletes for their NIL. It's a more transparent process. It's also a more -- it's a more equitable process and that the athletes are getting paid. And it also separates these top schools from the rest, which might help those (INAUDIBLE).

SANCHEZ: Michael is the breakdown included in the proposal over how much certain student athletes would earn.

MCCANN: Now it's -- there's a minimum part of it in terms of $30,000 a year, but there isn't a maximum. And of course, the max is going to really come down to recruiting. These top schools are going to be recruiting with each other and they're going to be bidding against each other. Now some might feel troubled by that. To say, well, I thought this is college sports, this is amateur sports. But remember, some of these coaches are making over $10 million a year. You could argue why shouldn't these schools compete as they compete for coaches, competing for college athletes? That it's fair that the labor is getting some money from this.

SANCHEZ: Yes, I mean the students are putting their lives potentially or their health at least at risk by playing this sport that generates enormous money for the school itself. In terms of other students' recruitment, tuition, et cetera. Michael, I'm wondering, what if a school decides it doesn't want to be part of that new subdivision? A top tier school that says we want to stay with the rest of D1. What happens then?

MCCANN: Yes, this this is the best part of it, you could say, is that the school doesn't have to be part of it. The school doesn't have to pay anything to athletes. If it wishes to adopt a more traditional model, it can leave that subdivision or not enter it. And it gives the school discretion.

Now, many schools cry that they're poor, that they can't pay athletes. It will be really interesting to see if, in fact, schools adopt that more traditional approach and not pay athlete. The cost to them would be leaving this more marketable division and I think many would say they're going to be skeptical that schools would actually do that because they're making so much money through college sports. As you noted, Boris, it's not just TV money, it's also impact on donations, alumni, admissions. Some high school students want to go to a school with big time sports. The impact is huge. Will schools actually forego that? I think that's going to be a really interesting question to answer in the years ahead.

SANCHEZ: I guess the counter argument would be that student athletes essentially become school employees, though they're not being called that, right?

MCCANN: Yes, well, you could argue they are employees. I mean, there are other college students who are employees. There are work -- work study students who are employees. At Dartmouth College, which is in my neck of the woods, the students and dining services are employees of the school, and they've also unionized. And they've negotiated a CBA. You can be an employee and a student at the same time. That concept in college sports is considered very controversial, but it may be less controversial now going forward.

Michael, I'm going to put you on the spot. Very quick, yes or no answer. Did FSU get snubbed, not being included in the College Football Playoff?


MCCANN: Yes, they got snowed. But I don't think it's a legal harm.

SANCHEZ: Take that, Kaitlan Collins. Michael Mann, thank you so much.

It's time to check your couch cushions, that drunk drawer, potentially your purse. There's an unclaimed lottery ticket out there in Florida that's worth millions and millions of dollars, and time is running out to claim it. We'll have the details that could make you a millionaire straight ahead.


Being a journalist is the best job in the world asking challenging questions. Of the folks. Who run the world? Is Ukraine going to? Win this war. Yes, of course.

You ready?

The lead with Jake Tapper? CNN next.

What's going on in America? We're tired of the.

BS This is our unfiltered take on the biggest stories of the.

KEILAR: All right, it's time to check out those old lottery tickets that may be collecting dust somewhere in an old purse. Maybe a jacket pocket.


Because time is running out for one lucky winner to claim their $44 million lottery jackpot.

SANCHEZ: 44 million bucks is just out there. And over the summer one customer purchased a winning lottery ticket. A quick pick from a gas station in Kissimmee, Florida. But they never claimed the prize. That ticket set to expire December 11th, just a few days from now. If nobody claims it, 80 percent goes to education. The rest put back into future prize pools. I was just telling, Brianna, Kissimmee is a place people like my family stayed when we used to visit Disney World when I was a kid. Somebody went to visit Disney World and won the Lotto and doesn't know.

KEILAR: Boris's sister, check your purse.

SANCHEZ: Leslie, check your purse, since right now.

Thank you so much for joining us. "THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper starts right now.