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Don Lemon Tonight

President Biden Goes To Cincinnati For A Town Hall After Six Months Into Presidency; Senator Rand Paul Clashes With Dr. Anthony Fauci In Senate Hearing; Tom Brady Visits The White House; Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) Is Interviewed On President Biden's Performance. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired July 20, 2021 - 22:00   ET




ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: The news continues. I want to turn things over now to Don who is in Ohio tonight ahead of his town hall tomorrow with President Biden. Don?

DON LEMON, CNN HOST (on camera): This is DON LEMON TONIGHT. Welcome, everyone. I am here broadcasting live to you from beautiful Cincinnati. That's where tomorrow I'm going to be moderating CNN's town hall with the president of the United States, Joe Biden. Coming to you from the iconic Union Terminal Train Station. Isn't it beautiful? It's an art deco masterpiece that in its 88-year history, 88-year history, has hosted presidents, vice presidents and candidate like then candidate Joe Biden himself during the campaign.

We're so happy to be here. The president is coming back to town to face voters six months after taking the oath of office, in an America that can really do amazing things like go to space, you saw that today, like create miracle vaccines, we've witnessed that. But we cannot bridge the political divide that is tearing us apart.

Billionaires taking to their own rockets way up into space. Amazon's Jeff Bezos built a company and built his own rocket ship and took off for space. He did that today. Bezos telling our very own Anderson Cooper that he is looking to the future.


JEFF BEZOS, CEO, AMAZON: We have lots of problems on Earth and we have poverty, we have hunger, we have all kinds of problems. We have climate disasters, we have pollution. We have to work on the here and now. And we have to look to the future. And we as a society, as a civilization, as humanity, we've always done that.


LEMON (on camera): So, we can go to space. We can create amazing vaccines, safe, effective and ahead even the most ambitious schedules. Vaccines that save lives that even when it is life and death, we can't bridge the political divide and convince more people to get vaccinated. Cases are sadly on the rise all across this country. An average of more than 34,000 new cases every single day.

Ninety-seven percent of patients in hospitals are unvaccinated and 99.5 percent of people who die are unvaccinated. President Biden urging the holdouts to get the shots.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have to stay vigilant especially with the delta variant that's out there. While COVID-19 cases are rising, virtually all of the COVID deaths, virtually all of the COVID deaths and hospitalizations are from unvaccinated people. Let me say it again. Virtually all are from unvaccinated people.

And that means the safest thing to do is to get vaccinated. Get vaccinated. And that's why we're focusing on our next phase on getting the unvaccinated vaccinated. I know it seems like a constant uphill climb, but gradually we're making progress, but we got way to go yet.


LEMON (on camera): The reality is most of the cases we're seeing now, 83 percent, the delta variant. But the fact is it's not a serious threat to people who are vaccinated, but it is a threat to the unvaccinated. Yet here we are. With miracle vaccines and far too many people refusing to take them, far too many people buying in to the misinformation that is literally killing us.

A majority of vaccine holdouts say that they're not at all likely to even get the shot, no matter what anybody says. Only a quarter or less say that they'd be likely to change their minds. That's according to a new Axios-Ipsos poll.

Nothing seems to be making a dent, not even the deaths of children too young to be vaccinated. The CDC director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, pushing back on people who try to argue that not that many children have died.


ROCHELLE WALENSKY, CDC DIRECTOR: One thing I just want to note with the children is, I think we fall into this flawed thinking of saying that only 400 of these 600,000 deaths from COVID-19 have been in children. Children are not supposed to die and so 400 is a huge amount for a respiratory season.


LEMON (on camera): But the misinformation keeps spreading even or especially on Capitol Hill. That's where the delta variant has been detected, prompting the Capitol doctor to urge members to get vaccinated and to consider masking up.

That is one of the chief vaccine deniers, Senator Rand Paul. He tried to make Dr. Anthony Fauci into his personal punching bag today as they went head to head over the senator's bogus claims that the National Institutes of Health somehow played a role in funding research that led to the origins of the pandemic. And Dr. Fauci was definitely not having it.


SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY): Dr. Fauci, knowing that it is a crime to lie to Congress, do you wish to retract your statement of May 11th where you claim that the NIH never funded gain of function research in Wuhan?


ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: Senator Paul, you do not know what you are talking about quite frankly and I want to say that officially. You do not know what you are talking about. This is a pattern that Senator Paul has been doing now at multiple hearings based on no reality.

He keeps talking about gain of function. This has been evaluated multiple times by qualified people to not fall under the gain of function definition. I have not lied before Congress, I have never lied, certainly not before Congress.

You are implying that what we did was responsible for the deaths of individuals. I totally resent that. And if anybody is lying here, senator, it is you.


LEMON (on camera): What is wrong with Rand Paul? Seriously. I know that's what you at home are thinking because I'm thinking the same thing. What's wrong with him? What is he trying to prove? There is nothing to prove there and he keeps embarrassing himself. Rand Paul, stop it. You look like an idiot.

The lying, the misinformation. It's why we can't bridge the political gap even though our lives are at stake and you still have people who are acting like Rand Paul. Here's what a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll found, that 45 percent of Republicans were unlikely to get vaccinated. Only 6 percent of Democrats were.

So it's no surprise that the White House is trying to fix this, trying to bridge the gap by reaching out to -- wait for it -- the Fox propaganda network, yet the home of vaccine hesitancy and the outright hostility from the likes of Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingram. Though some hosts, some, have talked about the positives of the vaccine. The White House press secretary Jen Psaki saying this today.


JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We understand also the importance of reaching Fox's audience about the COVID-19 vaccines and their benefits, and like we are with all of you here today, we, of course, are in regular contact.


LEMON (on camera): And Sean Hannity who previously downplayed the pandemic but has been in favor of vaccines, calling on his audience to take COVID seriously.


SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: Please take COVID seriously. I can't say it enough. Enough people have died. We don't need any more deaths. Research like crazy. Talk to your doctor, your doctors, medical professionals you trust based on your unique medical history, your current medical condition, and you and your doctor make a very important decision for your own safety. Take it seriously.

You also have a right to medical privacy, doctor-patient confidentiality is also important, and it absolutely makes sense for many Americans to get vaccinated. I believe in science, I believe in the science of vaccination.


LEMON (on camera): Let's see if this sticks, if he sticks to that message. We'll see. Mr. McConnell today urging anybody listening to get vaccinated.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): If there's anybody out there willing to listen, get vaccinated. These shots need to get in everybody's arm as rapidly as possible or we're going to be back in a situation in the fall that we don't yearn for that we went through last year.


LEMON (on camera): Steve Scalise vaccinated with his first dose over the weekend reportedly because of concerns about the delta variant.


UNKNOWN: Are you telling constituents to get vaccinated?

REP. STEVE SCALISE (R-LA): Sure, yes. I've been vaccinated again, and I have high confidence in the process that was used to bring these vaccines. In fact, it's not only saving lives in America, but it's saving lives worldwide through American ingenuity.


LEMON (on camera): Yes. Just so you know, our government officials had the opportunity to be vaccinated a long time ago before everyone. So now, we'll see. I hope this works, this new turn of events, change of heart of attitude.

But that may not be enough to get across the political divide. I hope it is, but it may be enough to come together as Americans, to do amazing things, to get things done together.

President Biden's bipartisan infrastructure deal teetering on the brink tonight with a key vote tomorrow afternoon. And then there is a division over the big lie that fueled the attack by a Trump supporting mob trying to overturn our free and fair election.

We all saw it with our own eyes, yet far too many deniers in the GOP are trying to whitewash what happened, trying to stop the January 6 select committee from getting to the truth.


REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): We know what this is about. This is about the Democrats attacking the president again, President Trump again, like they've done for what, now, five years?


LEMON (on camera): No, this is not about attacking the former president at all. This is about the attacks by his supporters, beating hero police officers attempting to defend the seat of our government. The DOJ releasing new video tonight from police body cameras. I need to warn you, because what you're about to see and hear is truly disturbing, but it is the truth of what happened on that terrible day.


You're going to see a rioter taking a swing at police with an American flag. Officers shoved and writhing in pain.


UNKNOWN: Get back!

UNKNOWN: Get back!


LEMON (on camera): That is the truth of what happened. The truth far too many in the GOP are trying to bury. We just can't seem to bridge the political divide, the divide over the pandemic that is killing us. The divide over the big lie that is threatening our democracy. But like I said, we can still do amazing things. President Joe Biden making that clear today.


BIDEN: I'm making it absolutely clear that democracy is more capable, more capable, and America is back, whether it's helping vaccinate the world -- we're not just vaccinating ourselves. We get into it. We're going to vaccinate -- help vaccinate the world. We're building back, ready to create jobs and grow the middle class not just at home, everywhere.


LEMON (on camera): The stakes could not be higher for the president, for President Biden, and the clock is ticking with the midterms on the horizon next year and his majorities in Congress on the line. Can he push through his agenda? Can he overcome the resistance from Republicans and his own party, quite frankly? (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


LEMON: And we're back now live from Cincinnati. You know, high stakes for President Joe Biden, six months into his presidency with COVID cases surging and his massive bipartisan infrastructure bill facing its first big task on the Hill tomorrow.

Senate Republicans expected to block a vote that would advance the legislation although both sides say talks will continue with the goal; of trying to advance it next week. Lots to discuss now.

I'm so happy to have CNN's political director, Mr. David Chalian here, and also senior commentator John Kasich, the former governor of Ohio who is not joining us here in Ohio, but John, we're happy to have you. I just have to warn you and our viewers we have a very long delay, sir. Please be cognizant of that.

JOHN KASICH, CNN SENIOR COMMENTATOR: You are such -- you're our big -- you are -- you know, Don, you are big time. Your mother has got to be, I mean, I know she's proud of you big time. You're going to be doing a town hall with the president. Can you believe it, Lemon? It's unbelievable.

LEMON: Yes. I think my mom already knows that, thank you very much so, John Kasich. I appreciate that.

KASICH: I'm saying she's proud of you. She's proud of you.

LEMON: I'm going to start with David, though.

KASICH: I'm always proud of you.

LEMON: I know. Thank you very much. I appreciate it. I'm just having fun with you. But I got to get to the business at hand. Talk to me about where this country is right now when it comes to the president. You know, his significant accomplishments early, COVID is back. At first we thought it was over, right? But he's got a lot on his plate. Much of his agenda is stalled. Where -- so, what do we do?

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Well, I mean, I think that the state of this moment six months in for Joe Biden is that he is a president presiding over a country that is extraordinarily divided. And while he talked a lot in the campaign and his inaugural address about breaking through those divisions, I think we see six months in how hardened a lot of those divisions are.

Now, that being said, on COVID, Don, that is the thing that the country has actually rallied around Joe Biden on. It is by far his highest approval rating in all the polls, is his handling of COVID. We'll see if that holds with this resurgence we're seeing primarily among unvaccinated Americans right now, but that has been his strong suit.

So, he is dealing with a moment in time right now where this virus is not fully behind the country. Clearly, it's not, and he's going to need to keep that front and center while his major legislative packages, the infrastructure, the hard infrastructure, roads and bridges, and the soft human infrastructure are sort of facing this do or die moment on Capitol Hill.

LEMON: Well, you say that's his highest approval rating, but I mean, is it fair to blame the misinformation of the people who are not getting vaccinated on the president? He and his administration quite frankly have been out there every day telling people to get vaccinated. There is resistance and hesitancy in the country. I'm not sure -- I'm sure there is something he could do, but I don't know what that is, what more the administration could do.

CHALIAN: You know, by no means am I blaming the misinformation that's out there on the vaccine, Joe Biden and all. In fact, I think even among some people who didn't vote for Joe Biden, they approve of the way he's been handling the COVID crisis in this country. Clearly, the president has to keep doing what he's doing in the sense of on the vaccine every day, hammering away and urging Americans to get vaccinated.

But what we've seen here, there is only so far that we'll go. I don't know how much of this is in Joe Biden's control to get a lot of people that tune out Joe Biden or in information echo chambers that do not sort of convey the president's message of what he's trying to do on the vaccine. It's going to be very hard for Joe Biden to reach those. Other folks are going to need to reach those Americans.

LEMON: Governor, I want to bring you in now because you're the former governor of this state. Biden and you both believe that he could work with Republicans. But even more importantly, you both believe that Republicans would work with him. Were you right or were you wrong?

KASICH: Well, look. I mean, two things. First of all, the mood and the tone in our country is much better. I mean, people aren't waking up in the morning trying to figure out what the heck just happened down there in the White House, and that's been a really good positive.

But I will tell you, Don, I think that Joe Biden is frankly afraid to offend the left wing of his party, and that stops it. I mean, great, look, you might have an infrastructure bill. The minute they negotiate an infrastructure bill, the left goes crazy and then he goes, well, we're not going to do this if we don't get the $6 trillion package.


And, you know, and then he had to walk that back. At some point a leader has to be willing to say to the members of his own party, particularly those that are not in the middle of this country, those who are on the extreme, you got to say, sorry, we're not going to go there.

And the problem he has, of course, is some Republicans, no matter what he does aren't going to cooperate with him, but look, we're getting close to this infrastructure package, infrastructure as I know it. When they talk about soft infrastructure, that's a new term that just got invented by some people.

There are parts of that that are good, but you can't just shove it down everybody's throat. You need to break it up in pieces and see what you can get done. So, a number of things going on here but people are not waking up saying, hey, honey, did you hear what the president did? And that's a positive for our country.

LEMON: All right, David, I got to ask you that, you know, sort of what he said because, I mean, Democrats and even progressives like Bernie Sanders, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, so far they have hung with the president. I mean, is it fair -- do you think it's fair what John is saying that he's offending -- he can't offend the left wing of his party? They have seemed to have stood by him. Is the resistance really coming from the left wing of his party?

CHALIAN: Actually, I think one of the big surprises of this first six months of the Biden administration is how much the left has stayed on board. I mean, I really think we expected and anticipated those divisions that exist inside the Democratic Party to really come to a fore.

Now, I think COVID, Don, kept a lot of that at bay initially because they were so unified in getting the relief package passed and getting their arms around this virus that that was mission critical number one. But now, I don't see this is a president that is fearful of the left.

I actually think this is a president putting together some of the most progressive initiatives that we've seen in decades in this country put forward in this democratic only reconciliation bill, the soft infrastructure, if you will.

There is some sort of historic investments that Joe Biden is making that had been on the progressive wish list. I don't know that that's fearful of the party. I think he is investing in a way that AOC and Bernie Sanders are eager to see.

LEMON: Go ahead, John.

KASICH: He just made my point. He's doing the bidding of the left. The problem he's going to have with this soft infrastructure package, this additional $3 trillion in spending with we don't even know all the taxes, but a lot of them. Look, Larry Summers, the former Democrat guy who was running, you know, the Treasury Department is worried about inflation.

We're seeing inflation today which hurts everybody. But what we know is that there are many Democrats who are not on the left. We have Democrats who are more conservative who are worried about getting re- elected. And so David made the good case. Yes, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, they're all happy, but that's not where the party is.

And, frankly, that's not the way that Joe Biden ran for president. He ran for president to pull people together and not be ideological. LEMON: But David, with all due respect, you seem to be making two

different arguments -- your argument seem -- you seem to be making two different arguments here. You're saying that he's getting pulled by the left, but the party is actually more centrist.

KASICH: He is. Yes.

LEMON: And so I don't understand your argument there because as David has just said --

KASICH: My argument --

LEMON: -- the real story here is that the left has stood by him. It doesn't seem -- quite honestly, it doesn't seem that your argument is making sense. If you look at the Democrats who are elected across this country, if you look at the mayor who --

KASICH: Don, he --

LEMON: Hang on, let me finish my point, John, and we have a delay. I'm going to --

KASICH: Go ahead, I'm listening. I'm getting it.

LEMON: -- even the mayor who is elected in New York City -- okay, we have a delay so, yes, okay.

KASICH: I'm listening.

LEMON: So, when -- if you look at the people who are actually elected among Democrats, it is moderate Democrats. It's not the left.

KASICH: Correct. Correct.

LEMON: The left may be getting maybe the most media attention. Maybe the media has somehow bought into the Republican narrative of what the Democratic Party is, but that's not what the actual party is, and perhaps that is not what Joe Biden is. Perhaps Joe Biden is doing the leading instead of the left leading him.

KASICH: You see, that's where I disagree. I think he is -- listen, the reason why those on the left are happy is because Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are really happy about it. Eric Adams, the new mayor of New York, it looks like he's going to be terrific, he is moderate. And what I'm saying to you is, when it comes to this big package of spending and taxes, you're going to see the conservative Democrats sort of say, oh, no, I don't think we can go for that.

So what I'm suggesting to you is, Biden should be more in the center. He ran as a centrist. He didn't run for $6 trillion in spending and all these taxes. He never uttered any of that on the campaign trail. He was to the right of Elizabeth Warren. He was to the right of all those other candidate, but I don't think he's governing that way.

[22:24:56] Now, look, he's doing a good job on the infrastructure. I hope that

becomes a habit and the mood and the tone is better and I welcome all that.

LEMON: David, I'll give you the last word.

CHALIAN: Well, I just think what Governor Kasich is saying is actually making the case for why Joe Biden is approaching these two legislative pieces the way he is on this dual track, that he is making this all- out effort for bipartisanship, Don, not only because he thinks that's the way the country is best governed, but also it's because what Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema sort of demand.

They want a full-out effort for bipartisanship in order to join with all the Democrats on these other priorities. He's got to work both of those at the same time. That's why tomorrow is so critical because if it falls apart, it's all going to get collapsed into one big package and that is going to be a tough sell to keep all the Democrats on board with.

LEMON: I lied. I said I was going to give you the last word out, but I'll take the last word. Happy birthday to you --

CHALIAN: Oh, thanks, man.

LEMON: -- David Chalian -- 25 again.

CHALIAN: Appreciate it.

LEMON: Thank you, John. I appreciate it.

KASICH: Good luck tomorrow, Don.

LEMON: Up next --

KASICH: Hey, Don, good luck tomorrow. Good luck.

KASICH: Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Thank you, John.

The next time Dr. Fauci is on Capitol Hill, he's not going to take anymore nonsense especially from, guess who, Senator Rand Paul.


FAUCI: Anybody who is lying here, senator, it is you.




LEMON (on camera): So just in case you missed it, we have tense exchange we want to play for you between Dr. Anthony Fauci and Senator Rand Paul. It happened on Capitol Hill today. Paul suggesting Fauci is lying to Congress prompting Dr. Fauci to angrily tell the senator that he doesn't know what he is talking about.

Paul pushing unfounded claims that the National Institutes of Health played a role in funding research that led to the pandemic and suggesting without evidence that the NIH, the National Institute of Health funded so-called gain of function research. That's where works done on viruses to make them grow better or make them more infectious. Here's how it went down.


PAUL: Dr. Fauci, knowing that it is a crime to lie to Congress, do you wish to retract your statement of May 11th where you claimed that the NIH never funded gain of function research in Wuhan?

FAUCI: Senator Paul, I have never lied before the Congress.

UNKNOWN: Your microphone.

FAUCI: Senator Paul, I have never lied before the Congress, and I do not retract that statement. This paper that you're referring to was judged by qualified staff up and down the chain as not being gain of function. What was -- let me finish.

PAUL: You take an animal virus and you increase the transmissibility to humans, you're saying that's not gain of function?

FAUCI: Yes, that is correct. And Senator Paul, you do not know what you are talking about quite frankly. And I want to say that officially. You do not know what you are talking about. Okay, you get one person --


FAUCI: Madam Chair, can I answer the question?

PAUL: It speaks with the NIH definition of gain of function. This is your definition that you guys wrote. It says that scientific research that increases the transmissibility among animals is gain of function. They took animal viruses that only occur in animals and they increased their transmissibility to humans. How you can say that is not gain of function?

FAUCI: It is not.

PAUL: It's a dance and you're dancing around this because you're trying to obscure responsibility for 4 million people dying around the world from a pandemic.

UNKNOWN: And let's listen Dr. Fauci.

FAUCI: I have to -- well, now you're getting into something. If the point that you are making is that the grant that was funded as a sub- award from EcoHealth to Wuhan created SARS CoV-2, that's where you are getting. Let me finish. Well, wait a minute. I can --

PAUL: We don't know. We don't know if they did something in the lab, but all the evidence is pointing that it came from the lab and there will be responsibility for those who funded the lab including yourself.

FAUCI: I totally resent --

UNKNOWN: This committee will allow the witness to respond.

FAUCI: I totally resent the lie that you are now propagating, senator, because if you look at the viruses that were used in the experiments that were given in the annual reports that were published in the literature, it is molecularly impossible --

PAUL: No one is saying those virus caused it. No one is alleging that those virus caused the pandemic.

FAUCI: It is molecularly --

PAUL: What we're alleging is the gain of function research was going on in that lab and NIH funded it. You can't get away from it. It meets your definition and you are obfuscating the truth.

FAUCI: I am not obfuscating the truth. You are the one.

UNKNOWN: Senator Paul's time is expired but I will allow the witness to --

FAUCI: Let me just finish. I want everyone to understand that if you look at those viruses, and that's judged by qualified virologists and evolutionary biologists. Those viruses are molecularly impossible to result in SARS CoV-2.

PAUL: No one is saying they are. No one is saying those virus caused the pandemic.

UNKNOWN: Senator Paul --

PAUL: We're saying they are gain of function viruses because they were animal viruses --

FAUCI: They're not.

PAUL: -- that became more transmissible in human and you funded it. Admit the truth.

FAUCI: And you -- and you are implying --

UNKNOWN: Senator Paul, your time has expired and I will allow witnesses who come before this committee to respond. Dr. Fauci.

FAUCI: And you are implying that what we did was responsible for the deaths of individuals. I totally resent that --


PAUL: And it could have been -- and it could have been.

FAUCI: -- and if anybody is lying here, senator, it is you.

UNKNOWN: Senator Smith.

SEN. TINA SMITH (D-MN): Thank you, Dr. Fauci. And thanks to all of our panelists for being here today and thank you, Chair Moran and Ranking Member Burr. I just want to say, Dr. Fauci, is there anything more that you would like to say to counteract these attacks on your integrity that we've all just witnessed?

FAUCI: Well, Senator, thank you. I don't think I have anything further to say. This is a pattern that Senator Paul has been doing now at multiple hearings based on no reality. He keeps talking about gain of function. This has been evaluated multiple times by qualified people to not fall under the gain of function definition. I have not lied before Congress, I have never lied, certainly not before Congress. Case closed.


LEMON (on camera): You know, this is the first time that Dr. Fauci has rebuked Senator Paul over unsubstantiated statements, and it may not be the last, sadly.

So, what was that all that about?



LEMON: Welcome back everyone to beautiful Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Union Terminal. We are live here. You know, the Senate is holding a hearing today, held a hearing today that was supposed to be about the federal COVID response, but GOP Senator Rand Paul using it to attack Dr. Fauci in a fiery exchange in what has become a very familiar pattern during COVID hearings. We played it for you just in the last segment.

So joining me now to discuss, CNN's medical analyst, Dr. Jonathan Reiner. He is the director of Cardiac Cauterization Program at George Washington University Hospital. It's always a pleasure to have him on. Thank you, doctor. I appreciate it. Doctor, you know, this is not the first time the two men have gone at it. Listen to this and then we'll talk.


FAUCI: Let me just state for the record that masks are not theater, masks are protective, and we ask --

PAUL: If you have immunity there theater. If you already have immunity, you're wearing a mask to give comfort to others, you're not wearing a mask because of any science.

UNKNOWN: Senator Paul, you're (inaudible) and I would like Dr. Fauci to be able to --

FAUCI: I totally disagree with you.

PAUL: Dr. Fauci, do you still support funding of the NIH funding of the lab in Wuhan?

FAUCI: Senator Paul, with all due respect, you are entirely and completely incorrect.

PAUL: Dr. Fauci, knowing that it is a crime to lie to Congress, do you wish to retract your statement of May 11th where you claimed that the NIH never funded gain of function research in Wuhan?

FAUCI: Senator Paul, you do not know what you are talking about, quite frankly, and I want to say that officially. You do not know what you are talking about.


LEMON (on camera): OK, so, Dr. Reiner, you're a doctor. Rand Paul is supposedly a doctor and yet he is picking these fights. Why does he continue to beclown himself and how is this helping the federal COVID response?

JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Well, it obviously doesn't help the COVID response, Don. Look, from the -- almost from the outset, Senator Paul has been trying to, you know, deflect or sort of mask the prior administration's disastrous response and sort of throw blame on others and particularly Dr. Tony Fauci.

And what he did dishonestly today was really conflate two issues. You know, he raised this issue of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease support for a research lab at that Wuhan Institute, and he tried to basically link that to the SARS CoV-2 virus.

He tried to make it sound like the research that was occurring under the support of NIH led to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and that's what enraged Dr. Fauci, you know, understandably so. You know, he's really, you know, Senator Paul is the person who, while he was waiting for his COVID lab results to come back, decided it was a great idea to take a swim in the Senate pool.

He's the person that during the hottest days of the virus in January refused to wear a mask on the Senate floor. And to this day, he has refused to be vaccinated, claiming that he has all the immunity that he needs. Look, he picks a fight with somebody who, you know, is perhaps the world's expert on this topic and something that he really knows very little about.

LEMON (on camera): A pediatrician group finding 23,000 children caught the coronavirus last week and I just want you to listen to what the CDC director is saying about that today. Here it is.


WALENSKY: One thing I just want to note with the children is I think we fall into this flawed thinking of saying that only 400 of these 600,000 deaths from COVID-19 have been in children. Children are not supposed to die, and so 400 is a huge amount for a respiratory season.


LEMON (on camera): Dr. Reiner, I know a lot of parents seek comfort earlier in this pandemic that kids weren't getting sick, but she is making a very good point there. Children is still in danger, right? I mean, how do people -- how should people be thinking about this?

RIENER: Well, I mean, 400 fatalities in children is an enormous toll. The worst year on record for flu was two years ago and 188 children died, and that was unacceptable. So the way to think about it is this, Don.


Even though the case fatality rate for COVID in children is very low, if you multiply that very low number by a very large number of infections, we'll see a completely unacceptable tragic number of children dying. So even if only, you know, .001 percent of children die, if millions of children become infected, we'll see a, you know, tragic, horrible number of children getting very sick and dying. That's the point that Dr. Walensky was trying to make.

LEMON: Again, and the CDC director, Dr. Walensky, saying today that the highly transmissible delta variant now makes up 83 percent of new COVID cases. That's up from 58 percent earlier this month. This variant is clearly highly transmissible. What do both vaccinated and unvaccinated people need to know, doctor?

REINER: So, vaccinated people need to know that they are very well protected. It is extraordinarily unlikely that they will become ill. It's actually unlikely that they will become infected. It's much more likely that they will become ill and almost impossible for them to die.

The unvaccinated need to know that you can die from this virus. It is much more transmissible and you can very well die. All of the people in hospitals now essentially are unvaccinated around the country. There was 7,000 new cases in Florida today.

In two weeks, we're going to start to see, again, unacceptably high levels of death coming out of the south and southwest and up through the Midwest in this country. It doesn't have to happen. This is happening in unvaccinated people. We have the answer. It's just the shot. Get the shot.

LEMON: Yes, get the shot. During the height of the pandemic, we need to say Dr. Reiner was our nightly house call and here we are back with our nightly house calls again with Dr. Reiner. It's a pleasure to see you, but I wish it was under better circumstances, doctor. Thank you so much for joining us. Really appreciate it.

REINER: Me too, Don. My pleasure.

LEMON: So the former president likes to tout him as a friend, but I want you to take this. Tom Brady is taking shots at Trump. That's next.



LEMON (on camera): So, take this, everyone. We all know that Tom Brady can throw touch downs, but did he throw some shade today? The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback visiting the Biden White House today to celebrate his team's Super Bowl win and cracking jokes about the former president's election lies.


TOM BRADY, QUARTERBACK, TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: Not a lot of people, you know, think that we could have won. And in fact, I think about 40 percent of the people still don't think we won.

BIDEN: I understand that.

BRADY: You understand that, Mr. President.

BIDEN: I understand that.

BRADY: We had a game in Chicago where I forgot what down it was. I lost track of one down in 21 years of playing and they started calling me Sleepy Tom. Why would they do that to me?


LEMON (on camera): I love all the aviator glasses. It's like back to the '80s with those glasses. Very cool. Brady trolling Trump with Joe Biden certainly can't sit well with the former guy, especially since he has repeatedly talked up his friendship with the football star.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Tom Brady, great guy. Great guy. Great guy. Great friend of mine. Great, great champion. Unbelievable winner. And I want to tell you, this guy is a champ, and he is a winner and he is a great person.


LEMON (on camera): Miss that? No. That is the same Trump who according to the "New York Times" has joked that he could have had Tom Brady as a son-in-law, but instead he got Jared Kushner. The truth is, the relationship between the two has always looked more complex than how Trump has described it. Brady did keep a MAGA hat in his locker ahead of the 2016 election, but he also skipped White House visits under Presidents Trump and Obama.

And he hasn't publicly said who he has voted for. As for Trump's response, none yet. Not the greatest, nothing, best friend ever, nothing yet. You know, we are in Cincinnati, Ohio tonight, getting ready for a big town hall with President Joe Biden. That is tomorrow night so make sure you tune in for that. The president is set to face the country as some of his biggest

initiatives are still at a standstill. There you are. That's looking inside the auditorium tomorrow where we're going to be. I'm going to talk to Ohio's Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown. That's next.



LEMON: President Biden marking six months in office by addressing multiple challenges facing his presidency during his second full cabinet meeting touting what he called the historic economic progress that's been made since he took office, thanks in part to his COVID stimulus package.

Joining me now, Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio. Senator, thank you so much for joining. I appreciate it.


LEMON: Let's talk about what the president is doing. He is taking up his American Rescue Plan and the impact on the economy. A lot of focus has been on the expansion of the Child Tax Credit, which I know you're very passionate about. The president says this is how he is going to show that democracy can still work for people. So how would you describe it, Senator?

BROWN: Well, first, you're exactly right. He's coming to Cincinnati tomorrow to talk about that and to make sure the people signed up -- 65 million American children, 92 percent of children in my state are eligible. The parents will get close up to or exactly $250 a month starting this past week and then monthly up through the end of the year and then beyond if we extend it or $300 a month if their child is under six.

And it will lift 40 percent of American kids out of poverty. It makes a big deal. I mean, I did a bunch of round tables around Ohio a couple weeks ago and you hear these stories. First time a mother said I can take my -- I can send my son to a summer camp. A father said I can buy softball equipment for my daughter to play fast pitch softball.

Others have said, you know, I'm anxious every month, the last week of the month just to figure out how to pay my rent. This makes a huge difference to those families. And the good part about it, Don, is these families, they choose.


We don't -- Don Lemon, Sherrod Brown, we don't make the decision about how they're going to spend their money. They do.