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Don Lemon Tonight

Governor Cuomo Finally Stepping Down; President Biden Waiting To Sign His Infrastructure Bill; President Biden Calling Out Disingenuous Governors; Americans Waiting For FDA Approval For Children To Get The Vaccine; Senator Rand Paul Suspended By YouTube. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired August 10, 2021 - 22:00   ET



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST (on camera): Look at that, house after house, store after store destroyed. Gone. Governor Gavin Newsom calls it a, quote, "smashed mouth example of the climate crisis."

Temperatures in the west are expected to stay in the 90 through the week with the risk of thunderstorms. The news continues right now. Let's turn things over to Don for "DON LEMON TONIGHT." Don?

DON LEMON, CNN HOST (on camera): Hello, everyone. This is DON LEMON TONIGHT. Thank you for joining us.

We've got news tonight on multiple big stories beginning with Andrew Cuomo. New York's embattled governor and his seismic announcement that he is resigning his office effective in 14 days. His decision coming just one week after a report by the state attorney general that found he sexually harassed 11 women and by stepping down, the governor avoiding almost certain impeachment by the New York State legislature, the writing essays say was on the wall.

And then a lot of justifications was thrown out of wall, alternation with apologies and denials.


GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): There is a difference between alleged improper conduct and concluding sexual harassment. The attorney general did a report on complaints made against me by certain women for my conduct. The report said I sexually harassed 11 women. That was the headline people heard and saw and reacted to. The reaction was outrage. It should have been. However, it was also false.

Now, don't get me wrong. This is not to say that there are not 11 women who I truly offended. There are. And for that, I deeply, deeply apologize. I thought a hug and putting my arm around a staff person while taking a picture was friendly. But she found it to be too forward. I kissed a woman on the cheek at a wedding and I thought I was being nice. But she felt that it was too aggressive.

I have slipped and called people honey, sweetheart, and darling. I meant it to be endearing. But women found it dated and offensive. My sense of humor can be insensitive and off putting.

I do hug and kiss people casually. Women and men. I have done it all my life. It's who I've been since I can remember. In my mind, I've never crossed the line with anyone. But I didn't realize the extent to which the line has been redrawn. There are generational and cultural shifts that I just didn't fully appreciate. And I should have, no excuses.


LEMON (on camera): There's a lot to what he said. And a lot of what he said is right. And a lot of people think that way and feel that way. And the governor has a right to his own defense, and the right to question the investigation that led to this.

But the bottom line here is accountability for one's actions. Perhaps -- it didn't have to end this way. Perhaps, if he would have said some of these things months ago, taken responsibility, learn from it, moved on, it might have changed things. He could have said, I've got to learn from this, my behavior isn't just a cultural difference. I have, it is outmoded.

Heck, in the Me Too era, he didn't really have to look far to see examples of how the times have changed and change his behavior. And not done that in the first place, especially at the workplace.

And had he done that, well the governor, Governor Cuomo didn't call it cancel culture today when he resigned, but here was his defense when the allegations first came to light this spring.


CUOMO: There is an intelligent discussion to be had on gender-based actions, on generational and cultural behavioral differences, on setting higher standards and finding reasonable resolutions. But the political environment is too hot and it is too reactionary for that now. And it is unfortunate.

Now, you know me. I'm a New Yorker born and bred. I am a fighter. And my instinct is to fight through this controversy, because I truly believe it is politically motivated.


I believe it is unfair and it is untruthful, and I believe it demonizes a behavior that is unsustainable for society. If I could communicate the facts through the frenzy, New Yorkers would understand. I believe that.


LEMON (on camera): Let me correct something. That was not the soundbite that we intended to run. So, I want to get it right, and we are going to run the correct soundbite. Governor Cuomo didn't call it cancel culture today when he resigned, but here was his defense when the allegations first came to light this spring. (BEGIN VOICE CLIP)

CUOMO: People know the difference between playing politics, bowing to cancel culture, and the truth. Let the review proceed. I'm not going to resign, I was not elected by the politicians, I was elected by the people. Part of this is that I am not part of the political club. And you know what? I'm proud of it.


LEMON (on camera): So that was on March 12th, initially. So, let us be perfectly clear here, clear on one thing. This is in no way an example of so-called cancel culture. And maybe the governor knew that, wouldn't fly, because today he did not mention it, use that term in his speech at all.

Governor Cuomo is not being cancelled. He is being held accountable for behavior and actions that he has admitted to. And amid the apologies and thanking the women for coming forward, he offered this defense.


CUOMO: There is an intelligent discussion to be had on gender-based actions, on generational and cultural behavioral differences on setting higher standards and finding reasonable resolutions. But the political environment is too hot and it is too reactionary for that now. And it is unfortunate.

Now, you know me. I'm a New Yorker, born and bred. I'm a fighter. And my instinct is to fight through this controversy, because I truly believe it is politically motivated. I believe it is unfair, and it is untruthful. And I believe it dominates is a behavior that is unsustainable for society. If I could communicate at the fact through the frenzy, New Yorkers would understand, I believe that.


LEMON (on camera): Now, listen. I'm not in his head. I'm not sure what the soon-to-be former governor means here about this investigation demonizing behavior that is unsustainable for society.

You cannot continue to act in an antiquated way when the society has evolved. Governor Cuomo signed into law a sweeping anti-sexual harassment bill just two years ago. At the time, he said, quote, "there has been an ongoing persistent culture of sexual harassment assault and discrimination in the workplace, and now it is time to act, by ending the absurd legal standard that sexual harassment in the workplace needs to be severe and pervasive and making it easier for workplace sexual harassment claims to be brought forward. We are sending a strong message that time is up on sexual harassment in the workplace."

So how does this investigation which found a pattern of similar behaviors demonized behavior in a way that is unsustainable to society? Clearly, he believes that is what happened to him, and what happened to him, he believes is unfair, politically motivated. OK, I'm sure, it's politics.

And he doesn't take into account all the good that he did for the state of New York and what he believes is in his heart. OK. But it is a fact of where we are right now that women no longer have to put up with that or stay silent about behavior from powerful men.

President Biden saying resignation is the right thing to do, and laid out a standard that is more than the slogan, believe all women.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I respect the governor's decision, and I respect the decision he made. Women should be believed when they make accusations that are able to on the face of it makes sense, and investigated, if they investigated, and the judgment was made, what they said was correct.


LEMON (on camera): That is what happened in this case. And speaking of the president, the president speaking to reporters after the Senate passed his landmark trillion- dollar infrastructure bill by a wide bipartisan majority of 69 to 30.



BIDEN: I want to thank the group of senators, Democrats and Republicans, for doing what they told me they would do. They said they were willing to work in a bipartisan manner. And I want to thank them for keeping their word. It's just what they did.

After years and years of infrastructure week, we are in the cusp of an infrastructure decade that I truly believe will transform America.


LEMON (on camera): But there is a long way to go before the president ever signs an infrastructure bill, if it ever reaches his desk.

Next up, the White House or the House, I should say, which is in recess for the next few weeks. And there are barriers there. But there have been a lot of people, including me at times that question whether this bipartisan path would even work. Question whether the president could get it done. So, let's see. For today, at least, it pays off -- it has paid off.

So, I want to talk about now the governors, those governors in red states. Red states of Florida and Texas, putting unvaccinated kids at risk of contracting and spreading the coronavirus by banning mask mandates. The president's message essentially, you're hypocrites.


BIDEN: When I suggest that people in zones where there is a high-risk, wear the masks like you are all are doing, I'm told that government should get out of the way. And not do that, they don't have the authority to do that.

And I find it interesting that some of the very people who are saying that who hold government positions are people who are threatening that if a schoolteacher asks a student if they've been vaccinated, or if a principal says that everyone in my school should wear a mask, or the school board votes for it, that governor will nullify that. That governor has the authority to say, you can't do that. I find that totally counterintuitive and, quite frankly, disingenuous.


LEMON (on camera): The White House press secretary Jen Psaki calling out Governor DeSantis directly, and repeating what the president said last week. That if he doesn't want to help in the fight against COVID, get out of the way.


JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: If you are not interested in following the public health guidelines to protect the lives of people in your state, to give parents some comfort as they are sending their kids to school, schools are opening in Florida this week, I know in many parts of Florida. Then get out of the way and let public officials, let local officials do their job to keep students safe.

This is serious. And we are talking about people's lives. And we know, based on public health guidelines, that even though kids under a certain age are not yet eligible, masks can have a huge impact.


LEMON (on camera): The problem for Governor DeSantis is this is politics. So, he has got no intention of getting out of the way. He is going to risk his political fortunes on a brutal COVID outbreak in his state, packed emergency rooms and kids at risk in classrooms. Because?


GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): We believe in empowering the parents. They obviously don't want the government to force and to use coercion. Our policy, based on the parent's bill of rights is, this is the parents decision under Florida law at this point.


LEMON (on camera): Those parents will have another decision down the road next year at the ballot box. Governor DeSantis is banking his future on taking the stand, a year is a long time in politics. Maybe this issue will matter, maybe it won't. I don't know.

This is -- I don't know what's going to happen though. In the end, between now and then, we can only hope that no Florida children will pay the price for this political posturing and misguided idea of freedom of liberty. So, then the question is, can President Biden force the governors of

Florida and Texas to put mask mandates in place in schools? To protect children from the spread of COVID? We are going to talk about that right after the break.


BIDEN: They are getting it from unvaccinated adults. That's what is happening. And so, my plea is, that for those who are not vaccinated, think about it.




LEMON (on camera): President Biden going after Republican governors in states like Florida and Texas who are trying to ban mask mandates. He says those efforts are disingenuous, especially as it relates to kids in schools. And he is looking into whether he has the authority to intervene.


UNKNOWN: Do you have presidential powers to intervene in states like Texas and Florida, where they are banning mask mandates?

BIDEN: I don't believe that I do, thus far. We are checking that. We -- but there are on federal workforce, I can. And I think that people should understand, seeing little kids, I mean, four or five or six years old in hospitals and ventilators, and some of them passing, not many, but some of them passing -- it's almost, I mean, it's just -- well, I should not characterize beyond that.


LEMON (on camera): I want to bring in now CNN medical analyst Dr. Jonathan Reiner, and CNN political commentator Amanda Carpenter.

Good evening to both of you. Thanks for joining.

Amanda, you're up first. Biden is calling GOP governors like Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott disingenuous, pointing out the hypocrisy of the way that they are acting and the fact that they are risking kids' lives.

I know you have been watching what is happening closely. Why are they doing this?

AMANDA CARPENTER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I've got to say, number one, I fully support Biden in leading into this issue extremely hard. But I think it shows his frustration, because he is getting a little bit off his winning playbook.

I mean, Joe Biden was successful in 2020 because despite everything that Donald Trump threw at him, he didn't make it petty, he didn't make it personal. He stuck to the policies. And here he is on much stronger ground talking about the policies of vaccination.


Why masks work, why we need to all go in on this together, to protect children then calling Ron DeSantis disingenuous, hypocritical. I don't necessarily think that Joe Biden is wrong in doing so. But the emotions around this are so hot right now. I think a lot of people, especially suburban parents like me who are so anxious about schools need someone to guide this into a safe port. And feeding into this DeSantis frenzy doesn't make things better.

LEMON: Dr. Reiner, the president making it clear how dire this is as cases skyrocket everywhere, kids are at risk. But he is not sure what he can do about the actions of these governors. Were you glad to see him call them out?

JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Absolutely. There's a lot of precedent for states like Florida telling families and students what they have to do to go to school. You know, throughout the state of Florida, for instance, counties and school boards have dress coats, for instance. And when you look up these dress codes, the first line basically says the dress code is designed to ensure the health and safety of students.

The state of Florida requires that students in K through 12 receive 10 vaccines, 10 vaccines. They're taking these decisions away from the parents because these are in the interest of the health and safety of students.

So now we're in a pandemic. And it's pretty clear that with a respiratory pathogen like the coronavirus, masking all students is in the health and safety interest of all the students. This is pretty clear. We just need to take the politics out of this and simply state, this is for the health and safety of the students.

LEMON: Yes. Well, but Amanda, this is nakedly political. DeSantis is thinking about 2024.


LEMON: He is all in on talking about freedom, but this is downright selfish. Does freedom involve putting kids' lives at risk?

CARPENTER: No. Listen. No, and this is I think one of the under talked about aspects of this. Because I hear from a, a lot of right leaning people that, you know, it's my right not to get vaccinated. Don't worry about me. This isn't my decision. I don't impact anybody.

And that's where I think the Biden administration could be more helpful on explaining why this does impact everybody, and maybe, you. I mean the hospitals are overloaded, and you get in the car wreck and you can't get into the E.R. or the ICU, that's a problem for you.

And this is where I just think they're on much stronger ground talking to people about the policy and why it is good for them, good for the economy, good for their families to get through this. And the messaging, like, I understand it, I'm fed up as much as everybody. But going in and saying, get out of the way, the big federal government is coming in, is the exact opposite message for the DeSantis type of voter.

LEMON: Dr. Reiner, CNN is learning that the federal government has sent hundreds of ventilators to Florida in recent days. DeSantis told reporters today that he was unaware of the request. Listen to this.


DESANTIS: I would honestly doubt that that's true. But I will look. Because we have a lot of stuff that we stockpiled over the last year and a half through the Department of Emergency Management. I've not had any requests across my desk. I've not been notified of that.


LEMON (on camera): So, doctor, he's talking about freedom, but he doesn't even know his state had to request ventilators from the national stockpile. Is this complete negligence?

REINER: Or denial. So, Florida is currently averaging about 27,000 cases per day. It's about a fifth of all the cases in the United States. In fact, Florida and Texas together account for about a third of all the cases in the United States every single day.

And this is what happens when you fill your hospitals. You run out of ventilators. And when you run out of ventilators you have to reach out to either nearby hospitals, nearby states where the federal government to get more ventilators. When your hospitals start to fill, you need to find nurses to take care of these patients, and nurses are hard to come by.

You need to start canceling elected surgeries. You run out of supplies. You run out of PPE. And this is starting to happen in states to places throughout the south. And it looks like it's starting to happen in Florida.

And you can deny this all you want, and you can say that this is just a sort of a hoax or a political ploy, but the reality on the ground in Florida is that they have the highest rate of the coronavirus on the planet right now. It is -- it is a hot zone. And the governor of Florida is doing nothing to put that fire out.

LEMON: But he is trying to claim that this is about parents deciding what's best for their kids. But I want you to listen to what one parent said at the school board meeting today in Broward County.



UNKNOWN: My child is 14 years old. She is vaccinated. She had a liver transplant so she's immune suppressed. My child needs to be protected. All she wants to do is go to school and learn. Learn science, ironically. Learn science. And she wants to live.


LEMON (on camera): Dr. Reiner, it's what's been true for the entire pandemic, it's about protecting our citizens, older Americans in the beginning, the rest of us this year with vaccinations, and now children with Delta.

REINER: Our children, in particular our kids, less than 12 years old are now our most vulnerable citizens. You know, when the pandemic began, our most vulnerable citizens were the elderly. And now about 90 percent of folks over the age of 65 are vaccinated and very well protected.

Our kids are the most vulnerable, about 220 kids every single day are being admitted to hospitals in the United States. This is -- this is a crisis. Children's hospitals are filling. We owe our kids everything we can do to protect them, and asking parents to put a mask on their child just so that they can protect both their child and their classmates, is a very small price to pay.

Look, this country needs to pull together. If we had this kind of schism at the start of World War II, we would all be speaking German now. We have to get past this.

LEMON: Amanda, you mentioned your kids. What ages are they?

CARPENTER: Eight and nine.

LEMON: So, they are school age kids. How do you feel about this?

CARPENTER: I am very -- I'm mad. We -- I mean, you know, we have it good, right? But a lot of families stayed home for a year and a half not doing activities to keep everyone safe. And now we are almost at the end of this, and it's more -- it's more transmissible to children than ever. And I have -- I have friends who say, don't worry about it, it doesn't affect kids.

And the big x-factor for me is what are the long-term effects? Like, listen, we are lucky, we are blessed, we are healthy for the most part. I think we'd be OK. But I don't know what the long-term effects are, and I have other parents who have kids, who have -- who have all kinds of medical issues. We don't know what's going to happen to them. And it's like we're almost there.

We are almost there, Don. We can get the vaccines for kids probably in a few weeks, a few months. Can we just hang on and do this the right way for a couple more months so we can get kids back to school and get this over with? Like, that's just all I want.

LEMON: This seems really personal for you.

CARPENTER: It is, it's been a long year and a half. I mean, I love my kids, I've seen a lot of them, but I want them to go to school. I want them to have friends. I want them to be able to go to an overnight sleepover party. You know, as we went to an event the other day, an adult was asking my

son a question, and it was like he didn't, he kind of didn't know how to talk to adults because he hasn't. He's only been talking to us for so long, you know?

LEMON: And lord knows you are not an adult. You're not an adult! You're mom and dad!

CARPENTER: Yes, yes, yes, yes.

LEMON: I get what you're saying. I understand what you're saying. Interacting with other people and really reemerging in society. People are having, if adults are having issues with it, imagine what kids are going through when they, you know, they haven't socialized as much as old folks.

Thank you both. Good luck. Amanda, I feel you, I really do. I'm sorry that you -- all parents have to deal with it. Thank you, doctor, I really appreciate it.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will be out of office in two weeks. What does this say about where we are in the post-Me Too era? More on that, next.



LEMON (on camera): New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announcing his resignation will take effect in two weeks. The governor stepping down a week after a damning report by the state attorney general, laying out sexual harassment accusations from 11 women.

Joining me now is CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash, and CNN senior political analyst Kirsten Powers.

Good evening to both of you.

Hi, Dana. You know, as a fall from grace it doesn't get any bigger. What does this say about where we are politically and culturally, especially four years into the Me Too movement?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I'm actually I've been thinking a lot about this today. I'm not sure it actually means much. I don't know that there is a real marker that we can put on this. What we can do is look at the totality of, frankly, if you just on the politics of this, of the Democrats.

For the most part, it has been the Democrats who have, if they have been accused, and in this case, after this independent investigation that the governor asked for himself, found to have been guilty of these allegations, of course not in the court of law but just according to the attorney general -- the Democrats are eventually pushed out, not so much with Republicans.

And it seems to me in watching and observing Governor Cuomo, I'm not the first person to make this observation, but it's worth noting that he was trying to follow the Donald Trump track. And the Donald Trump playbook, which is just keep persevering and keep pushing on.

But very few people are Donald Trump. And he is not a Republican and he is somebody who set parameters and guidelines and even new laws on this very issue. And so, at the end, it was very, very hard for him, impossible for him to stay in office.


LEMON: What do you think, Kirsten?

KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I mean, I think one of the big differences was, of course, between the Donald Trump and Andrew Cuomo situation is the fact that Andrew Cuomo lost pretty much all the support you could have in the Democratic Party.

When you have the president of the United States saying that you should step down, that that's very different than what ever happened to Donald Trump. Right? He typically didn't have the party turning against him in quite a massive way. And so, I think in that way it became untenable.

I do think if you -- we can't forget, I guess, if we pull the lens back and think about what have happened pre-Me Too, then we have to say, in that way, it is a big deal. I think Dana is right, I don't know that we can say that this means we've turned a corner. We can't predict what will happen in the future.

But they are certainly was a time, and it wasn't that long ago, that these kinds of things would have just been shrug that. I don't think they would have been taken seriously, and certainly somebody like Andrew Cuomo, who is not just the governor of New York, he's from a political dynasty -- and that somebody like him would be pushed out of office, based on these allegations, I just don't -- I don't think pre- Me Too, it just -- it wouldn't have happened. It wouldn't -- I don't think people would have taken it seriously. And I don't know that people would have turned against him --


BASH: That's just fair. Very fair point.

POWERS: -- in the way that they have. So.

LEMON: I want to play something before, because, you know, first his lawyer came out and attack some of his accusers, and said that the A.G. investigation was biased. And then the governor said this.


CUOMO: The report said I sexually harassed 11 women. That was the headline people heard and saw and reacted to. The reaction was outrage. It should have been. However, it was also false.

This is not to say that there are not 11 women who I truly offended. There are. And for that I deeply, deeply apologize.


LEMON (on camera): So, Dana, Cuomo says that he takes responsibility, but he also says that the allegations are false. He apologized and thank the women but also insisted that he wasn't aware that his behavior was a problem. Do you think he understands what's happened and why?

BASH: It doesn't appear that he does. I mean, it just, the things that he says about I'm sorry, and I slipped, and things like that, seem to me the things that you say when you need to, when you are a politician in this case. And when you are a father and when you are a son and when you are a family member, that you have to say those things because he is a human.

But it was very clear just from the way that he was fighting, and also the way he spoke today, that he still, by and large, doesn't think that what he did was wrong. And if, just I'll take one allegation, the one allegation that we heard from his executive assistant, that he put his hand up her blouse.

I mean, on wet planted is that not wrong? Even pre-Me Too, never mind from somebody who looked into the camera and said, I'm going to help change the world by making the laws even tighter, maybe the tightest in the state of New York surrounded by champions of women as part of the Time is Up movement.

And he knew better. And so, that is what is so baffling and so mind- blowing, and a reminder that, Kirsten, you are so right, this would not have happened pre-Me Too.


BASH: But it is a reminder that the power dynamic in politics or in a local business is the same. And it is still out there. And it is also a reminder that if a woman wants to come forward, it is -- you know, you need to be brave because you are going to take a lot of heat, but in the end, you could have a situation like what happened today, where some of the women said that they felt vindicated.

LEMON: And he is denying the pen up the, you know, the blouse and whatever, and some of the things. But Kirsten, I'll give you the last word, what do you think?

POWERS: Well, yes. So, I think he would deny that. But I think given the things that he is not denying, you know, rather than what happened is a lot --


LEMON: He's not denying that some of the things happened and he apologized and said --

POWERS: Right, right.

LEMON: -- apologized to those women. Yes.

POWERS: But he doesn't -- I don't think he understands how problematic they are. And I think he is probably not the only man out there, and I think that this is one of these things that we care about a lot of times.


And it happens when something racist happens, it happens when something sexual harassment happens, we hear a lot about intent. Right? And intent matters in the way that intent manners for punishment. Intent might make the person more merciful if he didn't intend to do something.

But intentions don't really affect the harm that was caused. The harm happened. And when you talk about intents, it's sort of minimizes the harm that occurred. And so, because it doesn't change the experience that the women had, then if he is saying it wasn't his intention when he had these conversations or he said these things to them.

And so, I think that we still have a little ways to go to get, frankly, a lot of men, I don't think he is alone in this, to understand that there are certain conversations that there are certain things, that there are certain power dynamics, right, that have to be understood and boundaries that can't to be crossed, and just how intimidating and frightening it can be for a woman who is in that situation.

LEMON: Yes, thank you both. I appreciate it.

BASH: Good to see you, Don.

POWERS: Thank you.

LEMON: Good to see you. Hurry up, that's what the American Academy of Pediatrics is saying to the FDA. We'll look at why kids still cannot get the vaccine. That's next.



LEMON (on camera): The Delta variant raising new concerns about kids and coronavirus. Last week children accounted for 94,000 cases of COVID, 15 percent of all new cases. Tonight, the American Academy of Pediatrics urging the FDA to speed up the authorization of COVID vaccines for kids under 12 who still can't get the shot.

Joining me now is Dr. Lee Beers, she the president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the medical director for Community Health and Advocacy at Children's National Hospital.

We're so happy to have you here. And we have a lot to cover so let's get into it, doctor. I just summed up the uptick in cases we have been seeing within kids. All before most schools even open. The clock is ticking closer and closer, we -- the closer and closer we get to fall. Why haven't we seen FDA authorization of the vaccine for kids yet? How concerning is this?

LEE BEERS, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS: Well, you know, and thank you for that, and thank you for pointing out the increase in the number of cases for children that we're seeing. I think, you know, we're grateful that children are less likely to get severe illness from COVID than adults, but they still can get really sick. And we're seeing many more kids get sick right now particularly with the increase of the Delta variant.

And so, you know, I think you know what we really want to communicate to the FDA and to others is that we really need to be approaching the authorization of the COVID vaccine for children under 12, really with the same urgency that we approached it when we were looking to develop and authorize it for adults.

We, you know, of course we want to make sure that we've got, you know, good data, that we've look at it very carefully, but we really believe that data is there and so we urge the FDA to take a look at it very soon.

LEMON: Doctor, the fact is that the Delta variant has been a game- changer. So, doesn't the FDA need to change their game plan maybe?

BEERS: Well, I think, you know, one of the things that the FDA considers when it's thinking about when it's going to look at their data, and this is true for all things, is what the risk is. And what we are seeing now is that there is an increase risk to children as, you know, simply because there is just an increased number of cases.

And so, we are seeing, you know, as you are hearing earlier, children who are quite ill. And so, you know, we want to make sure that they have the same preventive measures available to them that our teens and our adults do.

LEMON: Yes. You know, it's interesting because, you know, what are you going to do, you want the FDA to be speedy and whatever, but then you don't want them to undermine what the process and the procedures are so that to make sure that things are safe.

I understand that the need to be cautious with children, do you think though the FDA is taking too much time because of any known political -- excuse me, potential side effects to worry about? More with kids?

BEERS: Yes. No, I mean, and I think your point is great, which is that actually in all stages, you know, we always are more cautious and careful when it comes to younger kids. You know, we do hold it to a higher standard.

And I think when our experts have looked at the data that's there, that it's publicly available and sort of what we know about, I think, what I think of it is about the guardrails, about what, you know, what we -- the type of data we need to be able to make this decision. You know, we think that it's pretty close to being there. And we would really urge them to take a look at it.

But your point is exactly right. Is that, that the system is built to be more cautious with the young kids. And it is, and it's doing that but it's, you know, we think time for us to approach this with little more urgency.

LEMON: Yes. Listen, I've to ask you about this, because there are some people who are saying well, you know, they have a different view on this. Author Andrew Sullivan he's got a vlog have called let it rip. How I learn to stop worrying about -- about worrying and live with the virus.

He's actually arguing to just let the virus rip, to create herd immunity. I want you to listen, this is what he told my colleague Anderson Cooper earlier tonight.


ANDREW SULLIVAN, AUTHOR, OUT ON A LIMB: The risk is really very small to children, if you are 18 times more likely to drown if you are age one to five and to die of COVID, I think putting it in some sort of perspective for children, which is it's not that serious a disease at all. It's like a bad cold.



LEMON (on camera): So, kids don't have the option of protecting themselves with the vaccine right now, though. So, what's your response to people who say that, I'm not sure his words were just let it rip, but, you know, what do you say to that?

BEERS: Yes. You know, I think we talk about this a lot, actually. Which is, which is the vaccines are safe and effective. And you know, children are at less risk for more serious disease than adults are, but if we can prevent even one serious illness or even one death from, you know, with a safe and effective intervention, then we should absolutely do that.

Because if you are a parent who has a child who is ill from COVID, who is very ill. We are hearing from, you know, we know this from the data, we are also hearing from our doctors on the ground that they are seeing children who are -- who are intubated, they are in ICU, and it infects your child. And there is a safe and effective thing that could be done to prevent that illness, we absolutely want to make sure it's available to them.

LEMON: Especially when the illness or the virus is transmitted through the air. That is a whole different transmission than other viruses like HIV, it's a completely different way it's transmitted.

So, you know, you don't know who has it and how much they have, so one should be protecting themselves in any way that they can.

Thank you, doctor. I appreciate it.

BEERS: Thank you very much. And if I could also -- if I could also just add the other really important thing is for all of us to make sure we are getting vaccinated, --

LEMON: Right.

BEERS: -- because that also does protect the little ones.

LEMON: Amen, thank you.

BEERS: Thank you.

LEMON: A senator pulled off YouTube for a week. We are going to tell you who, that's next.



LEMON (on camera): So, we have this news just from CNN moments ago. Republican Senator Rand Paul is suspended from YouTube for a week over a video where he claims masks are ineffective in fighting COVID. According to YouTube, examples of the offending content in the video include the senator saying, quote, "most of the masks you get over the counter don't work, they don't prevent infection."

That's, of course, not true. The senator, who, I'll remind you, is also a doctor, falsely claimed, quote, "trying to shape human behavior isn't the same as following the actual science, which tells us that cloth masks don't work." Again, not true.

Senator Paul tweeting tonight that the suspension is a badge of honor, masks work.

Next, infrastructure. Decade, the president says. President Biden taking a victory lap on his way to getting one of his biggest goals done. Stay with us.