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Don Lemon Tonight
Trump Allies Given A Subpoena; GOP Wants To Move On; Travis Scott Facing Lawsuits After Eight People Died; Aaron Rodgers Facing Backlash For Lying; Justice With Two Faces. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired November 08, 2021 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST (on camera): And we'll follow the trial, we'll follow the verdict, and we'll cover the ramifications. That's our job. And I promise you will do that and I wish you strength during that process. I'm sorry for your loss.
WANDA COOPER JONES, AHMAUD ARBERY'S MOTHER: Thank you so much.
CUOMO: All right. God bless. Counselor, thank you. Thank you for watching. Don Lemon Tonight starts right now with D. Lemon.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: A strong woman and for -- can you imagine any mom going through that. Your heart has to go out. And I can understand why she avoided the video for so long. But, much like in the -- and she said that, much like in the George Floyd case. This is the center really of this case of getting that on video tape.
CUOMO: I mean, if it hadn't been on video tape, look, even what they had on video tape was twisted to try to make the story something that it wasn't early on. And --
LEMON: And remember, that wouldn't -- there wouldn't be an arrest. Remember you and I were trying to get this video tape on the air, you remember the beginnings of this. This is before George Floyd.
And having Mrs. Cooper, Wanda Cooper Jones on and family members and the attorneys bringing light to this case and then we were going with Ahmaud Arbery. I remember you had the man on who was the neighbor, right? Remember that?
CUOMO: Roddie, the guy --
CUOMO: -- who made the video.
LEMON: Right. Right.
CUOMO: With his lawyer who basically said, you know, my client is the village idiot and he's not sophisticated enough to answer --
CUOMO: -- any questions about this. I don't even know why he put the guy on TV. I mean, he couldn't -- he couldn't have made him look any worse. But the situation has always been painfully obvious. There were no --there was no move on it because it was a home job on the investigative side early.
And that has become part of an extension of the justice process here but you have to see it through because even the I.D. of what they want to use as a defense here. So, they are going to use, you know, basically a law that's not on the books anymore about citizens arrest. And that's why the prosecutors early on are putting witnesses on to battle what they assume will be an affirmative case by the defense.
Defense doesn't have to put on a case. But if it does, it will be self-defense and they'll say you know, there were a lot of crimes in the area and this guy was coming and we were told he had committed a crime. So might have been a mistake of fact but we are acting in good faith. And then when that falls down, they there to say yes, but he tried to kill us.
LEMON: Yes. Look, we're dealing with two cases now of people basically taking the law into their own hands, right? Dealing with a case in Kenosha, Wisconsin someone who came across state lines with a gun too young to really carry a gun legally to carry a gun legally. Now he's on trial.
And then you have these two gentlemen who take the law into their own hands. You can call them vigilantes. And in both cases, lives are lost and we're dealing with it right now. We can see -- we'll see the limits of our justice system and to see if justice is really served in these cases but the narratives are -- when you see the narratives played out in the media, when you just read them and look at them, it's very different often times what to -- what plays out in a court of law and what a jury sees and what actually what they get to see and the evidence that they can even bring in is an amazing insight into our justice system I think.
CUOMO: Well, look, our culture is about crowd sourcing consequences right now on social media, --
CUOMO: -- which is about fervor and feel. You only know what you show in a court of law and there is a burden of proof that is literally a universal way from what we deal with culturally. The signature standard very simply explained is that no explanation makes more sense than what the prosecution just told you.
CUOMO: That it is beyond any reasonable doubt. So that even if you have a little doubt, well, you know, the way the guy moved --
CUOMO: -- maybe I would have felt that way.
LEMON: But is that reasonable?
CUOMO: That's enough.
LEMON: Yes, yes.
CUOMO: So, it's very high. Because that's the way our justice is supposed to be. Don't forget, Don, we have a third case where people took lives into their own hand and somebody died. That's January 6th.
LEMON: And that's what I'm going to get to.
CUOMO: The ultimate manifestation. I know I was giving you the segue.
LEMON: I know. I'm going to get to that. But I wanted to -- we took a lot of time and I have to go. I wanted to get to. You know what I want to talk about. Because we were wondering the last time you and I spoke, right, if Aaron Rodgers, if it was true if he was vaccinated, immunized --
CUOMO: I kept telling you he wasn't vaccinated.
LEMON: He lied.
CUOMO: Yes. Yes.
LEMON: He lied.
CUOMO: There is my boy.
LEMON: Chris, hey, Chris, are you vaccinated? I'm immunized. What?
LEMON: He lied. And listen.
CUOMO: You know, Don, I'm good. I got secret sauce.
LEMON: Ok. It's laughable. It's not even funny because of the amount of people that he put in jeopardy and then he lied. Look, if he didn't want to do it, all he had to do is say I don't want to do it.
CUOMO: Listen, look, I touched all the bases. I talked to Joe Rogan.
CUOMO: I talked to Rogan. I'm good. You know, I talked to Joe Rogan. I got a medical, yes, I'm good to go. LEMON: OK. Yes, look -- look, with all due respect to everyone and Joe Rogan, the next time Aaron Rodgers God forbid he gets hurt on the field, let's see who they will call in. Are they are going to call in Joe Rogan, are they going to call in some person who is, you know, believes in homeopathic treatments for COVID? Or are they going to call in a real doctor who can help in, a medical expert. That's where the rubber meets the road.
CUOMO: I'll tell you what.
LEMON: The next time he says if I'm hurt on the field, let's go Joe Rogan, Joe Rogan, come in and he'll fix me up. And --
CUOMO: Aaron Rodgers is doing off the field something he never does on the field, he's making bad choices.
CUOMO: He's doubling down on them --
CUOMO: -- and he's going further and further behind his own line of scrimmage to --
LEMON: And he's not helping with the whole thing. This is cancel culture and the woke mob. And he's not -- he lied. I got to go. I got to go.
CUOMO: I love you, D. Lemon.
LEMON: Not as much as I love you. By the way, listen to The Handoff. We talk about all of this. Chris and I actually --
CUOMO: Telling me to listen to it?
LEMON: No, I'm telling the audience to listen to it.
CUOMO: I was going to say, I was here, I don't want to listen to it again.
LEMON: It's a good one. It's a good one. Because we have basically, we don't get that heated usually, or maybe we do.
CUOMO: You always get heated.
LEMON: All right. See you later, bye, bye.
CUOMO: You get heated talking to yourself.
LEMON: All right. See you. This is DON LEMON TONIGHT.
So, as we mentioned, six new subpoenas that for players in the former president's inner circle six people helping to spread the big lie, from campaign manager Bill Stepien who was in charge as the campaign morphed into the stop the steal effort, to Jason Miller who even before the election claimed Democrats would steal it. To John Eastman the man behind the scheme for Mike Pence to overturn the election, Michael Flynn who talked about seizing voting machines and declaring martial law.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL FLYNN, FORMER U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: If he wanted to, he could take military capabilities and he could place them in those states and basically rerun an election.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): No, he couldn't. Nope. Not without destroying our democracy and there is more. Angela McCallum part of the efforts to pressure state legislatures -- legislators and Bernie Kerik reportedly in the Willard Hotel, the so-called war room there with Rudy Giuliani, with Steve Bannon and with John Eastman the day before the insurrection.
What was going on? Six key players added to the growing list of the former president's insider's target by the January 6th committee. They know a whole lot. But the question is will they cooperate or will they stone wall like Steve Bannon?
That is happening as President Joe Biden's approval rating is upside down in our brand-new CNN poll. Take a look at your screen now. Fifty- eight percent say that he's not focused on the right issues. And the issue the American people care about the most, that's the economy. By far.
Remember, it's the economy, stupid. Still is. You see it in the polls. You saw it in last week's election. People care about soaring gas and energy prices right now that's what they care about and it's going to take time to feel the effects of that $1.2 trillion or trillion bucks for infrastructure.
Meanwhile, Republicans in the wake of their election high last week are facing a moment of truth right now. Will a disgraced twice impeached one-term former president be their standard bearer?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: I think the answer is people are in the present and want to vote on what they see going on now. I think the election will be about the future, not about the past. SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): Is president Trump part of that discussion? Of
course, he is. And those voices that want to silence him I think are ridiculous.
FMR. GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-NJ): We can no longer talk about the past and the past elections.
CHRISTIE: No matter, no matter where you stand on that issue. No matter where you stand. It is over.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): Wow. Liz Cheney showing the courage that got her kicked out of her leadership post by thankless Republicans saying her party can only go forward putting the former president in the rearview mirror and rejects his big lie.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): The only way the Republican Party can go forward in strength is if we reject the lie, if we reject what happened on January 6th, if we reject the efforts that President Trump made frankly to steal the election.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): And here is something that you don't hear every day. And that is one former president speaking out against another on the world stage. The 44th president taking a swipe at the 45th for what he went on to call four years of active hostility on climate and his speech in Glasgow. Now, but listen to what former President Barack Obama has to say about protests and persuasion in the Twitter verse and in the real world.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Protests are necessary to raise awareness. Hast tag campaigns can spread awareness. But to build the broad base collisions necessary for bold action, we have to persuade people who either currently don't agree with us or are indifferent to the issue. We have to do a little more listening. We can't just yell at them or say they're ignorant. We can't just tweet at them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): Well, and that's where we are tonight. The climate crisis. The investigation of January 6th. We need to get the truth of all of it. So, let's get to the bottom of the truth now. Let's get right to January 6th, the committee issuing six new in subpoenas that.
I want to bring in CNN contributor John Dean, the former Nixon White House counsel. The perfect guest to have on regarding this. Thank you, John, good to see you.
JOHN DEAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Good to see you, Don.
LEMON: We're talking about people who were reportedly in the Oval Office in those meetings or working to overturn the election on various fronts. You know the stakes. Your testimony in the Watergate investigation toppled a president. With the January 6th investigation we're talking about an ex-president here, will anyone in Trump's inner circle show some backbone and testify or turnover documents or do you expect all of them just to stone wall and do what Steve Bannon is doing?
DEAN: I have no idea. I have from what I've learned about all those players over the years, I think there is one that might. Bill Stepien might be the kind of person to stand up and tell the truth about what happened. He's basically a data guy, but I'm also told he's a very normal human being and not a wing nut, not a crazy and a very sound person and he might well decide the truth will set him free and he's absolutely right if he chooses that route.
LEMON: You know, Bernard Kerik who was a former police commissioner of the New York City by the way, he participated in a meeting at the Willard Hotel and put out a statement tonight saying that he was not hired to overturn the will of the people and then says this. I will not be threatened, intimidated, forced into bankruptcy or silence at the hands of this committee who are now looking for the truth -- or not, excuse me, looking for the truth but targeting patriots and members of the president's legal team.
OK. So, is Kerik in any position to play hardball with this committee?
DEAN: Not really. Not really. He does enjoy a pardon from Trump that eases life up a little bit. But he really can't bully this committee. They have every right to get these facts. It's one of the most important things Congress does is information gathering and there couldn't be more important information, Don, than an insurrection to overturn a legitimate election.
So, getting to the bottom of this, he has no basis and all he has to do is cooperate and it won't cost him anything. It won't bankrupt him. Show up for his deposition and tell the truth.
LEMON: What key questions do you have for all these Trump aides or people like attorney John Eastman or Michael Flynn and the other big lie promoters?
DEAN: Don, I think to be maybe to draw on a little history, a question that got posed to me one time is what did he know and when did he know it I think is really very central. We want to know what Trump's role was, it really won't come to rest until we get that sorted out and we're -- all the surrounding evidence shows that Trump certainly had more than we know at this point and certainly had a very central role.
This was all done in his behalf and until we get those answers, we really don't have the full report on these events. LEMON: John, let's talk more about Steve Bannon because Steve Bannon
because there's a -- Steve Bannon has a criminal contempt case. Why are attorney general Merrick Garland and the Justice Department taking so long on that?
DEAN: You know, I've been thinking long and hard about that. In fact, today, this afternoon I dugout his full testimony before the Senate judiciary committee on October 18th where he had an exchange with Senator Whitehouse and ask if, was pressing him did he have any restrictions on the investigation and he said no, no, no restrictions at all. He said it's sensitive, I can't talk about it.
It was a very enlightening exchange and I went back to see if he was really focusing on the January 6th investigation because the clips didn't show that. I went -- the written transcript shows that's exactly what he was focusing on and he was trying to say listen, just let me run this. I have an investigation going on and there are no restrictions and he sort on it.
So that to me was kind of heartening and I think it should encourage people.
This is a man who is a career justice official, the Justice Department took great offense when the first Watergate special prosecutor was appointed because they thought they could handle it internally. They might have been able to. I'm not sure they would have or could have but they might have and they certainly had in the professional ranks the ability to do so. And they do today.
So the normal course of procedure is to not create a special counsel and to keep it as a normal investigation quietly proceed in front of a grand jury and get the job done. Let's hope that's what is happening.
LEMON: John Dean, I appreciate it. Thanks so much.
DEAN: Thanks, Don.
LEMON: So, listen, you have to stay tuned for an amazing hour where my colleague Jake Tapper, he has a CNN special report and it aired on Friday but if you -- you've got to see this if you haven't seen it. Amazing reporting here, "Trumping Democracy, An American Coup" that's next hour at 11.pm Eastern only here on CNN.
So, in other news one fan describing pure chaos at Astroworld, the crowd packed so tightly fans were crushed and trampled to death. Who is responsible and why did this happen?
LEMON (on camera): So, rapper Travis Scott and his concert promoters are facing multiple lawsuits tonight after his Astroworld concert turned deadly. Officials says the crowd of 50,000 surged towards the stage as Scott was performing, leaving dozens of concertgoers crushed, trampled and gasping for air.
It turned into a mass casualty event but that didn't stop the concert. Someone even appears to be dancing on top of an emergency vehicle. Here is what Scott said when he seemed to notice what was happening.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRAVIS SCOTT, RAPPER: What the (muted) is that?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): So here is what we're learning, that Houston's police chief met with Travis Scott and his head of security before the concert due to public safety concerns. Eight people were killed, more than 300 were treated for medical issues at the venue. Travis Scott says that he is devastated and will cover all funeral costs for the victims who died at his concert.
But I want you to check out this video. It's video promoting the concert and it shows people jumping fences and moshing, is this the kind of atmosphere that they were trying to sell? That is the promotional video.
This is the first time one of Scott's concerts got out of control. The rapper has faced criminal charges twice for inciting his crowds. Back in 2018 according to the Arkansas Democrats Gazette Scott pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct. Police say he encouraged the concert crowd to rush the stage in a 2017 show in Rogers, Arkansas.
And in 2015 the Chicago Tribune reported that Scott pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor reckless conduct charge for urging a Lollapalooza crowd to climb over security barricades. Kyle Green was at Travis Scott concert that became one that became so chaotic. He later fell from a third story balcony and was left paralyzed. We reached out to Scott's team for comment but we haven't heard back.
Now Green is now suing Travis Scott. His attorney Howard Hershenhorn joins me now. Mr. Hershenhorn, thank you very much. I really appreciate you joining us on this subject. It's terrible and it's very sensitive. Appreciate it.
HOWARD HERSHENHORN, KYLE GREEN'S ATTORNEY: My pleasure, Don. I'm sorry I'm here under these circumstances but I'm happy to be with you.
LEMON: Your client was severely injured at a Travis Scott concert, this is back in 2017. So, tell us about that. And what were you thinking when you saw Friday's concert turn into a mass casualty event?
HERSHENHORN: Yes, Kyle was severely injured back in April of 2017 at Terminal 5 here in New York City when he was on the third floor balcony of that venue and Travis was urging, as he always does, urging everybody to push forward and creating the bedlam and mayhem and havoc that he always does and as Kyle was up front on the third floor, he got pushed by the surging crowd behind him and unfortunately, he fell what's the equivalent of three stories. And, Don, after he fell, believe it or not, he was on the ground and Travis' security team instead of rendering first aid, his security team actually picked him up, and at that time, he already had a significant fracture of his leg and he had a neck injury, which would not have caused him paralysis until they picked him up.
And not only did they pick him up but here is Travis on the stage calling for them to bring Kyle to the stage. And so, there is video of Travis' people juggling Kyle around like literally like a sack of potatoes walking him up toward the front where Travis attempts to give him a ring, and then where they finally take him out and he finally gets the medical care he needed.
But by all the jostling that occurred to his neck, which was completely and utterly they failed to put on a neck brace or back board or anything like that, he wound up being severely paralyzed as you saw in some of those photographs. He has made a somewhat partial recovery on the right side of his body but the left side remains almost entirely paralyzed.
LEMON: Well, let me -- let me ask you this and we certainly hope that he makes a full recovery but in the short time that I have you here, the big question is, really, I'm sure you don't want this to happen again. Your client, as well to anyone. What can be done to prevent another tragedy like this, Mr. Hershenhorn?
HERSHENHORN: Well, Travis has to learn from what just occurred. And the truth is, and what's so hard for Kyle about this circumstance and quite frankly for me as his attorney. What's so hard for us is that he should have already learned. You already talked, Don, in your introduction about how he was arrested in Chicago, arrested in Arkansas constantly causing mayhem and disorder and lawlessness.
That's his thing and he's got to stop that. We would have hoped by virtue of our lawsuit that we brought here in New York that would have gotten into his head, hey, look, here is a kid that got paralyzed. I got to stop egging the crowd onto the point that they are totally enraged.
And as you know, what happened on Friday at the concert at Lollapalooza, he ordered them, he told them he cajoled them into making the earth shake and that's when all the reports are that the massive rush was up towards the stage.
And as you've seen on video, they're pulling out bodies and Travis is looking at the bodies and he's not wondering whether or not these are dead people, the bodies are blue. They're pulling them out and he's just continuing with his show literally put himself up on a pedestal as you've seen while they're dragging bodies out.
And for 40 minutes after they declared it a mass casualty situation, for 40 minutes, Don, he continued to sing and he continued to play the music that he was playing and that's where all the havoc was wrecked.
HERSHENHORN: And so, we're heartbroken for, heartbroken for what happened but it's so unfortunate and what makes it even more unfortunate is that he didn't learn his lesson from these prior concerts where all these other incidents had occurred.
LEMON: Yes. Well, listen. We're -- listen, we're sorry for what happened to your client and for everyone whose involved in all of these incidents. We appreciate you joining us. And I need to tell our audience we reached out to Travis Scott's team. We have not heard back from them but we would want to hear back from them. He's not responded. So.
Next, disappointed deceptive wrong national embarrassment just some of the criticism coming from the biggest name in sports directed at Aaron Rodgers. You know who is next? One of the biggest names in sports. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar right after this.
LEMON (on camera): Backlash growing against star Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers who defended not getting the COVID vaccine after telling reporters this summer that he was immunized. Rodgers getting slammed by big names in sports and even by former NFL players and coaches.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIMMY JOHNSON, NFL HALL OF FAMER: I respect his attitude toward being an individual, but this is a team game and all honesty, I'm disappointed in his play on words for his explanation. I'm disappointed in some of his selfish actions.
TERRY BRADSHAW, NFL HALL OF FAMER: I give Aaron Rodgers some advice, it would have been nice if he'd come to the Naval Academy and learn how to be honest. Unfortunately, we got players that pretty much think only about themselves and I'm extremely disappointed in the actions of Aaron Rodgers.
MICHAEL STRAHAN, NFL HALL OF FAMER: There are times to quote Martin Luther King and this is not one of them.
STEPHEN A. SMITH, SPORTS COMMENTATOR, ESPN: You came across as a national embarrassment. There is no other way around it. It was the most embarrassing performance of Aaron Rodgers' career, period. There is no denying that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): Joining me now to discuss NBA legend Kareem Abdul- Jabbar. So glad to have you here. Thank you very much for appearing to talk about this. You wrote a piece --
(CROSSTALK) KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR, NBA HALL OF FAMER: Nice talking to you, Don.
LEMON: You wrote a piece today on your Substack titled "Aaron Rodgers didn't just lie." And you're not holding back. You say that he is hurting all athletes with his vaccine antics. Why do you say that?
ABDUL-JABBAR: Well, Rodgers deliberately misled his team and the public with a liable mission and those type of lies really are the type of things that destroy confidence. So as a liar, how can he be trusted to endorse products? Worse, he's damaged the image of professional athletes as role models and potentially hurt their financial opportunities as spokespersons.
Just think about this, a product that may have been considering hiring an athlete may now be recon -- may now reconsider in favor of an actor or pop star or at least someone who is more trustworthy.
LEMON: You mentioned, you said, you know to endorse products a Wisconsin based health company Prevea Health has cut ties with Rodgers but sponsors like State Farm are sticking with him. Are you surprised by that?
ABDUL-JABBAR: Yes, I am. I'm surprised the ones sticking with him because, you know, just the way he used the word immunized instead of vaccinated. That shows his lack of understanding of the whole science of immunology. He doesn't get it.
LEMON: If you look at, Kareem, if you look what happened to Colin Kaepernick, right, he was blacklisted for calling out the systemic racism. He didn't risk anyone's health. You said Rodgers will likely continue to play, he's getting a paycheck. Is there a double standard here?
ABDUL-JABBAR: I think there is a double standard. You know, Rodgers is very valuable to the NFL and has a lot of fans and I don't think they're going to do anything of a serious nature to discipline him. His lack of responsibility you know for his friends, family, team, staff and friends that he lied to and exposed to COVID-19 it shows the lack of moral character that can't be ignored.
LEMON: What do you say, it's happened a lot with some folks but hearing athletes say it's cancel culture and the whole woke whatever and he's blaming that -- he's blaming it on that. What do you think of that, Kareem?
ABDUL-JABBAR: I think his ignorance, like I said before, his ignorance regarding the science of immunology brings back old stereo -- stereotypes like the big dome athlete that doesn't know what is going on in medicine. I think he's done a great job of bringing that stereo type back to people's minds and that's not going to be a good thing.
LEMON: Invoking Dr. King? ABDUL-JABBAR: This isn't a place to invoke Dr. King. This is a place
to do the things that you need to do to save lives and keep people well and Aaron has, you know, he missed the boat entirely.
LEMON: He is long considered to be a thoughtful guy hosting "Jeopardy" not long ago, he seems like he could cross over from football into a high profile -- high-profile second career. Do you think that's been thrown away?
ABDUL-JABBAR: Well, I think he's definite recalled into question his integrity so where do you go from there?
LEMON: Yes. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, thank you so much. He wrote an article he said, Aaron Rodgers didn't just lie and it's a fascinating article. We're so glad that you're here to speak about it. Thank you, Kareem. I'll see you soon. Be well, OK?
ABDUL-JABBAR: Will do, Don, have a good one.
LEMON: You, too.
Ted Cruz found the real coronavirus culprit, he's going after, take this, big bird. What?
LEMON (on camera): So, take this. Conservatives are outraged that Big Bird got vaccinated. The six-year-old became eligible for the shot after the FDA approved the Pfizer vaccine for 5 to 11-year-olds. On CNN-ABC's up COVID vaccine's town hall Saturday Big Bird talked about getting the shot.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNKNOWN: Well, I feel OK. My wing hurts a little bit, but that's OK. You know, I was scared but it did go by really quickly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): I love Big Bird. And then came the unhinged reaction from conservatives over all over, OK? So first up, of course, Senator Ted Cruz calling Big Bird's public service announcement propaganda for your 5-year-old.
Far-right Newsmax TV host Steve Cortez saying it was evil and minimizing the risks from the virus for our children. GOP state Senator Wendy Rogers going further accusing Big Bird of being a communist.
These people. I mean, come on. Facts first. Eight hundred ninety-seven children have died of COVID in this country. Thousands more have been hospitalized and now that children can get the vaccine, it's one more way families can protect each other and eventually get back to normal life. Here is the real thing that people need to know about just in case you
just met Big Bird recently. For those of us that are old enough to remember "Sesame Street" always had important conversation with children about their health. When you go to back 1972 when Big Bird got the measles vaccine. Nineteen seventy-two. Now why wasn't that communism and politicized?
And you can bet that kids will continue to learn about important -- the importance of getting vaccinated even if it takes an eight-foot- tall fine feathered friend to do it if certain adults won't -- won't do it. Ignorance.
Next, the whole country was obsessed with Gabby Petito when she went missing, but what about the missing people of color who don't get that kind of attention? CNN looks into that after this.
LEMON (on camera): Thousands of Americans go missing every year, the FBI reports 40 percent are people of color. And those some get headlines and lead stories, other families are forced to take actions into their own hands to find their loved ones.
Here's CNN Sara Sidner.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): At the break of dawn in the middle of the Arizona desert a crowd of strangers meet for one purpose.
DAVID ROBINSON II, DANIEL ROBINSON'S FATHER: You guys coming out here to help me out, I really appreciate that from the bottom of my heart.
SIDNER: To help another stranger, a father desperately searching for his 24-year-old son Daniel Robinson.
ROBINSON: Since he was a child, he liked to challenge everything.
SIDNER: He was born with a challenge.
ROBINSON: I wanted to introduce him to prosthetics because he's born with one hand. We quickly learned that is something he doesn't want. He let nothing stop him. He decided to be a geologist once he got into freshman year in college. He excelled that, you know, he graduated with honors.
SIDNER: Daniel's first job is checking the viability of water wells in the Arizona Desert.
ROBINSON: He loved this area of course because it's rough. As a geologist, this is the best place to be.
SIDNER: But the terrain became a hellscape for his dad when Daniel went missing back in June from his job site.
And what number search is this?
ROBINSON: This is search number 14.
SIDNER: Navigating the dangers in the desert, the army veteran knows firsthand time is of the essence.
ROBINSON: When I called the Buckeye Police Department, they told me that I had to wait actually three hours because they had a 12-hour I guess report time where you can say a person is missing. Then I called them back and put in a missing person report.
I got their word. That's when I got their word, I asked the Buckeye Police Department to go out and search that area. The officer told me that they were going to send a vehicle out there, a helicopter out to search for him. I was relieved. Then he called back an hour later and said no, it was a no go.
I'm his dad. And he's my son. I lost all sense of reality at that moment. I said you know what, they're not going to look for my son, I'll do it myself.
SIDNER: Before he arrived, police did decide to search on foot and with helicopters. This is the last place your son was seen?
ROBINSON: The last place.
SIDNER: What do you think happened, David?
ROBINSON: I think a lot happened here. I'm very suspicious.
SIDNER: But he doesn't know what. A month in there's a break in the case and police call Robinson.
ROBINSON: I got afraid, actually that it's going to be some bad news. He said no, we just found his vehicle.
LARRY HALL, POLICE CHIEF, BUCKEYE, ARIZONA POLICE DEPARTMENT: Some ranchers found it and at that point we conducted our investigation and additional searches.
SIDNER: What was the condition of the car, if it had rolled over, it sounds like it was pretty bad.
HALL: Yes, the car was on its side. The sunroofs was kicked out at that point so he might have exited through the sunroof.
SIDNER: His wrecked car in the ravine both air bags deployed. Daniel's cell phone, cloths he was wearing that day and a case of water all found at the crash site but not Daniel. People don't just disappear into thin air.
HALL: True. SIDNER: Does that sort of feel like what's happened here?
HALL: Yes, yes. It very, very challenging case.
SIDNER: No matter how much the family asks for this to be a criminal investigation, can you make that happen?
HALL: We can't make up evidence. Absolutely suspicious circumstances related to the case.
SIDNER: Frustrated and heart broken, Robinson hired a private investigator. Where are we going?
UNKNOWN: Down here is where the vehicle was recovered from.
SIDNER: Is that the glass from the car?
SIDNER: When you looked at this accident, what are the discrepancies that you noticed right away?
UNKNOWN: I believe it was in more than one collision.
SIDNER: What is the data from the black box of the car tell you?
UNKNOWN: That there was 11 additional miles on the vehicle since the air bags came out.
SIDNER: What does that tell you?
UNKNOWN: That tells me it was crashed somewhere else.
SIDNER: Does that sound suspicious? What explains that?
HALL: Well, we had the national expert they came in and provide us his finding and then they ended speaking to an expert at Jeep and the expert says yes, sometimes that happens and it's not unusual.
SIDNER: But the data also shows someone tried to start the car 46 times after the crash.
HALL: That's something we can't explain.
SIDNER: It begs the question, again, the family is saying it's criminal. It got to be. He's in danger. Do something.
HALL: Right. Right. No, I agree. But we need information. We need evidence.
SIDNER: He's got a lot of theories. His words I think were I don't think they cared. What do you say to that?
HALL: It would be furthest from the truth.
SIDNER: Losing hope, Robinson began pleading for media coverage. ROBINSON: It literally took three months.
SIDNER: While Robinson searched for his son, the country became riveted by media coverage of another missing person's case, the case of Gabby Petito.
ROBINSON: In masses where the people thank God (Inaudible) less or something, or they (Inaudible).
SIDNER: In 2020 more than 543,000 missing persons records were filed. More than 480,000 were cleared, and 40 percent of the missing are people of color.
DERRICA WILSON, CO-FOUNDER, BLACK AND MISSING FOUNDATION INC.: There are a lot of Gabby Petitos and Natalie Holloways in the black and brown community.
SIDNER: That's why former police Derrica Wilson co-founded Black and Missing Inc and says too often their cases go unfold. Eventually, local stations did stories and citizens began helping search. Did you know Daniel?
UNKNOWN: No. I just wanted to help.
SIDNER: You're just helping out a stranger --
SIDNER: -- on a Saturday?
UNKNOWN: You know what, I can't imagine what that man is going through.
SIDNER: As the search for Daniel goes into its fifth month, another family is in the midst of a terrible mystery for a fifth year. The family of Nicky (Ph) and Arianna Fitts.
CONTESSA FITTS, ARIANNA FITTS' AUNT: Ariana is a very energetic, very happy.
SIDNER: Two-year-old Arianna went missing under the most suspicious of circumstances in the San Francisco Bay area in 2016. Her mother Niki Fitts was found in a shallow grave in San Francisco's McLaren Park but Arianna was gone.
FITTS: It one, breaks my heart that Arianna is not with her mom and Arianna is not with my -- with her family, but it also breaks my heart even more is that I know that Nicky wants nothing more than Arianna to be with us, to be home.
SIDNER: Tess Fitts says she is convinced her niece Arianna was taken by people close to Arianna's mother. San Francisco police searched for weeks; they had some leads but no arrests. A digitally altered photo was made of what she may look like now.
FITTS: She's eight now. I don't want to see this in a picture. I want to see her face in person.
FITTS: Should Arianna Fitts be a household name like JonBenet Ramsey?
WILSON: Absolutely. Why is her case any different than Kayleigh Ramsey? I can tell you. The color of her skin is the only difference.
SIDNER: For five desperate years the family has continued searching using flyers, social media and Black and Missing Inc.
SIDNER: Do you think it has anything to do with color?
FITTS: I try not to put myself in the mindset of the race issue with the media coverage. All I want is for there to be the media coverage for her. I think she deserves that.
SIDNER: The Fitts and the Robinsons want only one thing, with hugging their missing children once again. Do you think that Arianna is still alive?
FITTS: I do believe that Arianna is still alive and it would mean everything to me to know where she is and to find her. I wait for that day every single day. I believe that day will come.
SIDNER: How long will you search?
ROBINSON: Until I find my son. I have to. I mean, he's my responsibility.
SIDNER: Sara Sidner, CNN, Buckeye, Arizona.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON (on camera): Sara, thank you so much. And thank you for watching, everyone. Our coverage continues with Jake Tapper, a CNN special report "Trumping Democracy, An American Coup."