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President Biden Announces Donation of 500 Million Vaccines Globally; Investigation Launched Into Tasing of Migrant Teen in Texas; Interview With Jeffrey Toobin; California Appeals Overturn of Assaults Weapons Ban; FDA Examines COVID Vaccine For Younger Kids. Aired 2:30- 3p ET
Aired June 10, 2021 - 14:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: You know, we have talked a lot about children and teens getting vaccinated for COVID-19. We have not talked a lot about the other vaccinations.
And I know that you and Alisyn had a conversation at the start of the pandemic that there was likely -- the likelihood of a reduction of all of those other childhood vaccinations and the drop-off.
The CDC just released a report -- let's put it up -- where we're seeing these double-digit, like, significant drop-offs based on age groups, 71 percent for teenagers of the HPV vaccine rates down, 63 percent for MMR vaccines.
The significance of this today -- I mean, these are the March to May of 2020 -- what that means today, and can these kids, these families catch up?
DR. EDITH BRACHO-SANCHEZ, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY IRVING MEDICAL CENTER: Yes, so this data is extremely concerning. And we saw it coming.
Alisyn and I talked at the height of the pandemic here in New York City. Parents were so scared of bringing their kids in. And when they didn't bring them in, they fell behind.
So, now we're trying to catch up with these vaccines. And we are in a really tough place, because offices are not fully back to full capacity, right? And we're doing the best we can. We're calling parents to say, your child is behind, please bring them in. We're doing Saturday vaccination clinics to try to get everyone up to speed and up to date with their vaccines.
And we can do this, but we have to work together. And the problem is, if we don't, we're going to see outbreaks of these illnesses, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, measles, things that we haven't seen in a long time. And not only are they very serious for children. They would come at a time in which kids need to feel safe, and they need to go back to school, and families need to feel like we can do this now.
So, it would just be so unfortunate. And we need to work together.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: When you're chasing parents down and making those phone calls, are they receptive?
BRACHO-SANCHEZ: They are so receptive, Alisyn. They truly are. They want to come back to see us.
The problem is, they have so many competing priorities right now. Things are opening back up. We think, it's just a pediatrician visit that they're behind on. Parents are trying to figure out how to catch up on rent, how to get back to work. It's a lot that we're asking parents to do right now.
So, I mean, bottom line, we have to work together.
BLACKWELL: So, Moderna, we know that it's filed for emergency use authorization for its vaccine for 12 to 17. We remember theirs was initially for 18 and up.
We know the Pfizer approval or authorization, I should say, for that age group was pretty quick. Are you expecting the same for Moderna?
BRACHO-SANCHEZ: We hope so.
I think, at this point, we have a lot of information about these mRNA vaccines in teens. And we have a lot of experience with the Pfizer vaccine. So, hopefully, yes, it will come quickly. I think we have to remember we have an option in the market, right?
If you are the parent of a teenager, and you want to vaccinate them today, there is an option for you to go ahead and schedule that appointment for that Pfizer vaccine. And we can give it at the same time as those other vaccines if you happen to have fallen behind. And, yes, hopefully, Moderna will soon be another option.
CAMEROTA: Dr. Bracho-Sanchez, thank you. Great to have you here in studio.
BRACHO-SANCHEZ: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: Thank you.
BRACHO-SANCHEZ: Thank you.
All right, so there's new developments today in the battle over assault weapons, the governor of California announcing new legal action -- what that could mean for the gun violence in the U.S.
We're going to talk about that with Jeffrey Toobin. He's here. And we have a lot to discuss with him next.
CAMEROTA: California Governor Gavin Newsom and the state attorney general announcing they are appealing a controversial decision by a federal judge to overturn the state's three-decade-old assault weapons ban.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): What frauds. They are. Frauds.
They are not serious about violence if they're not serious about gun violence.
Look, I'm a son of a judge. I am very cautious when it comes to attacking judicial decisions. But I sat back and watched decision after decision after decision with Judge Benitez. He's unserious.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: You will remember the judge, Roger Benitez, compared AR-15 rifles used in countless mass shootings to Swiss army knives.
Let's bring in CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin to talk about this and more.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: Hello, Alisyn.
CAMEROTA: It's been a while.
TOOBIN: It has been a while, indeed.
CAMEROTA: I feel like we should address what's happened in the months since we have seen you, since some of our viewers may not know what has happened.
So, I guess I'll recap. I'll do the honors.
TOOBIN: Help yourself.
CAMEROTA: In October, you were on a Zoom call with your colleagues from "The New Yorker" magazine. Everyone took a break for several minutes, during which time you were caught masturbating on camera. You were subsequently fired from that job, after 27 years of working there. And you since then have been on leave from CNN. Do I have all that right?
TOOBIN: You got it all right, sad to say.
CAMEROTA: OK, so let's start there.
CAMEROTA: To quote Jay Leno, what the hell were you thinking?
TOOBIN: Well, obviously, I wasn't thinking very well or very much. And it was something that was inexplicable to me.
I think one point -- I wouldn't exactly say in my defense, because nothing is really in my defense -- I didn't think I was on the call. I didn't think other people could see me. So...
CAMEROTA: You thought that you had turned off your camera?
TOOBIN: Correct. I thought that I had turned off the Zoom call.
Now, that's not a defense. This was deeply moronic and indefensible. But, I mean, that is part of -- that is part of the story.
And I have spent the seven subsequent months, miserable months in my life, I can certainly confess, trying to be a better person, I mean, in therapy, trying to do some public service, working in a food bank, which I certainly am going to continue to do, working on a new book about the Oklahoma City bombing.
But I am trying to become the kind of person that people can trust again.
CAMEROTA: I'm sure you have replayed that embarrassing moment over and over many times.
Have you ever thought about what it must have been like to be on the receiving end of that Zoom call?
TOOBIN: Well, I haven't just thought about it. I have spoken to several of my former colleagues at "The New Yorker" about it.
And they were shocked and appalled. I think they realize that this was not intended for them. I think they realize that this was something that I would immediately regret, as I certainly did.
And it was then, it was that day that I began apologizing. And that is something that I have tried to continue to do, both publicly and privately. We have covered a lot of political scandals. And we have heard what I like to think of as the politician apology, which is, "I'm sorry if you were offended," which always sounds to me, like: "I have said the words. Now get off my back."
That's exactly what I have tried not to do. I mean, I have tried and I'm trying now to say how sorry I am sincerely, in all seriousness.
Above all, I am sorry to my wife and to my family. But I'm also sorry to the people on the Zoom call. I'm sorry to my former colleagues at "The New Yorker," I'm sorry to my current, fortunately still colleagues at CNN, and I'm sorry to the people who read my work and who watched me on CNN who thought I was a better person than this.
And so I have got a lot to rebuild. But I feel very privileged and very lucky that I'm going to be able to try to do that.
CAMEROTA: I mean, one of the ironies of this whole incident is that, for decades, you have covered the bad judgment and sexual proclivities of public figures and politicians, like Bill Clinton and Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer and Donald Trump. And I could go on.
And so, of course, it begs the question, why didn't you have better judgment?
TOOBIN: Because I didn't have better judgment. Because I'm a flawed human being who makes mistakes.
And I -- there is no defense for my conduct. The only issue is, what should be the consequences? And "The New Yorker" made one decision about the consequences. CNN made -- made a different decision, fortunately, for which I'm very grateful.
But I am not going to come up here and, like, split -- split hairs and try to come up with justifications or explanations. It was wrong. It was stupid. And I'm trying to be a better person.
CAMEROTA: I do want to get to what the "New Yorker" decision was and the consequences.
CAMEROTA: So, after you had worked there for 27 years, you were fired, they said after an internal investigation.
And, in an internal memo, one of the executives there said: "I am writing to share with you that our investigation regarding Jeffrey Toobin is complete. And, as a result, he is no longer affiliated with our company."
Do you know what else they found?
TOOBIN: I do, actually.
I was told very specifically by the people involved that they looked at my entire career at "The New Yorker," 27 years, and found that there had been no complaints about me, no issues, no other -- this was not the straw that broke the camel's back. It was just this incident.
And I was certainly relieved, though not surprised, that that's what they found. And -- but yet, nevertheless, they made the decision to get rid of me, which, needless to say, was heartbreaking for me.
CAMEROTA: So, you're saying there will be no surprises after this that will come out?
TOOBIN: There are no surprises out there about my conduct that I am worried that there is like a -- there's a skeleton that's going to be found.
I -- look, I live in the world. I know social media, what the reactions are likely to be. I assume, I hope they will be at least mixed. But -- and so people can claim what they want. But I don't think there is any -- anything further that's going to come out.
CAMEROTA: Do you think, given that, that the punishment fits the crime?
TOOBIN: You know, I am the worst person to ask that question.
I mean, I know -- I mean, obviously, I loved "The New Yorker." I loved working there. I felt like I was a very good contributor to that magazine for a very long time. And I thought this punishment was excessive.
But, look, that's why they don't ask the criminal to be the judge in his own case. I mean, I thought it was an excessive punishment. I am incredibly grateful to CNN for taking me back. But I -- other people are going to weigh in about whether it was appropriate for them to get rid of me and for CNN to keep me.
CAMEROTA: Other people have weighed in.
TOOBIN: Yes, indeed.
CAMEROTA: Late-night talk shows have had a field day.
TOOBIN: You know what? How about two segments on "Saturday Night Live" about me? That's like -- anyway, I'm sorry. Go ahead.
CAMEROTA: How unpleasant was that? Or whatever.
TOOBIN: It was...
CAMEROTA: Did you see it? Do you watch that?
TOOBIN: I actually did not watch it. I sort of read transcripts, and I guess I saw a little YouTube of it.
I try -- I have -- one thing about all this is, I have never thought of myself, even when I was a prosecutor, as someone who was a particular hard-ass, who was someone who was -- like, wanted to punish everyone to the maximum extent of the law. And also, as a journalist, I have been aware that not every crime deserves the death penalty.
So, I don't think there's a lot of hypocrisy involved in a claim for leniency on my part.
But it is true that people had fun with this. And I am enough a person in the world to know people were going to have fun with it.
CAMEROTA: Well, I mean, on that note, even O.J. Simpson took a swipe at you.
And I think that it could be unpleasant to be the butt of jokes, obviously. And so I'm wondering if you think that that will somehow color your legal analysis in the future.
TOOBIN: I really don't think so.
You know, my dad used to say something. He used to say, you can judge a person by their enemies. And if my enemy is O.J. Simpson, that is OK with me.
CAMEROTA: Well, Jeffrey, on that note, should we move on to the news?
TOOBIN: Sure. Let's go.
CAMEROTA: OK. Let's do that.
CAMEROTA: You heard me talking about that the judge compared the use of the AR-15 to a Swiss army knife.
What's next in this case? Is this headed for the Supreme Court?
TOOBIN: Well, one of the weird things about gun law in the United States is that, in 2008, the Supreme Court issued its famous decision saying there is a constitutional right under the Second Amendment to have a handgun in your home.
But they have not really addressed the Second Amendment in any detail since 2008. So, what is the status of gun control constitutionally? The only time we -- they have now taken a big case from New York next term about gun registration, about permits.
I mean, there are now three Donald Trump supporters -- three Donald Trump appointees on the Supreme Court. And one of the things Trump said from the very beginning is: I am going to appoint strong Second Amendment supporters to the Supreme Court.
So, can you ban assault weapons? Can you ban large-scale magazines? Can you require carry permits? Can you ban machine guns? All of that is up for grabs now.
And the court is a very different place than it was in 2008. So I think this judge's decision, notwithstanding Governor Newsom's outrage, it may well be held up -- upheld by the Supreme Court, because it's a very different Supreme Court now.
CAMEROTA: OK, so let's talk about the Supreme Court.
Justice Breyer, 82 years old, there is some pressure on him to retire. And it sort of reminds me of the Ruth Bader Ginsburg situation, which is, I don't think he wants to retire. And so will the pressure change his way of thinking?
TOOBIN: You know, I have covered Justice Breyer for a long time. I don't have access to his innermost thoughts.
He has a very different approach to the Supreme Court than even Ruth Ginsburg did as a political matter. He gave a speech at Harvard recently along these lines. He thinks the court should be seen as a nonpolitical institution.
He's told me: I hate it when you say the Democratic appointees say this and the Republican -- we're all just judges.
Democrats are beside themselves with rage about that attitude, because they see how Donald Trump, how Mitch McConnell, in a very intentional way, used their power to move the Supreme Court to the right.
And here's Breyer saying: Well, maybe I will just leave when the next president comes in, or maybe I will leave when there's a Republican Senate. I mean, he's not saying that explicitly, but he's saying it implicitly.
And Democrats are saying, how can you do that, when everything you stand for is up for grabs now in the Supreme Court?
And -- but this is just one person's decision. He's 82 years old, which is not the new anything. And he's in good health, as far as we know. But 82 is still 82. There's a Democratic majority, barely, in the current U.S. Senate. If historical trends continue, it will not be -- last for more than the -- until the midterm elections.
Patrick Leahy is in his 80s, not in the best health. If he leaves even before the midterms, a Republican governor in Vermont could appoint his successor. So, the window for Breyer to leave under a Democratic Senate may be very short, but it's all up to him. No one's going to tell him what to do.
CAMEROTA: In our remaining seconds, what should we expect for the end of this Supreme Court term?
TOOBIN: Big Obamacare decision, yet another case where the coverage of Obamacare could be restricted.
But the real story at the Supreme Court is next term. Next term, the one that starts in October of this year, is going to have a huge abortion case, where Roe v. Wade really may meet its fate eventually, this big gun control case which I mentioned, very likely a huge affirmative action case about whether race can be used in admissions.
Next term, the Supreme Court is going to be the center of the political universe, I predict.
CAMEROTA: Jeffrey, many of us have really missed having your legal analysis to guide us on our programs.
So, let me be the first to welcome you back.
TOOBIN: Well, thank you, Alisyn. It is good to be back. And I hope to be a better person off camera, as well as on camera.
CAMEROTA: Well, it sounds like you are -- have some work to do and are doing the work.
And it's been really nice to see you.
TOOBIN: I'm trying. Thanks.
BLACKWELL: Officials are now investigating after a migrant teenager in Texas was Tased by law enforcement -- that disturbing video and the latest response.
And as we head to break, here's a look at what else to watch.
CAMEROTA: Now to a disturbing incident inside a San Antonio shelter housing migrant children.
A 16-year-old boy was Tased last year by a sheriff's deputy after the teen reportedly became angry and aggressive. An investigation is now under way.
BLACKWELL: So, this video was obtained and released by a nonprofit investigative news outlet. It shows the deputy giving commands to the boy after staff members allegedly tried to calm him down and remove him from a bathroom.
Now, we want to warn you that the video that you're about to watch is disturbing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stand up. Stand up. (EXPLETIVE DELETED) Turn around. No, turn around.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Turn around now!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now.
(SCREAMING) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stand up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: Oh, my goodness, the length of time that lasted.
BLACKWELL: Yes, that that trigger was pulled.
CNN's Priscilla Alvarez is here following this investigation.
So, tell us more about how all this started.
PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN REPORTER: So, this is an incident from May 2020 at a facility in San Antonio.
So, before that occurred, staff at the facility for unaccompanied children had been calmly talking to the 16-year-old who had reportedly become angry and uncooperative.
That discussion happens for several minutes, until law enforcement is called in, where the deputies and staff continue to engage with the boy. And then that Taser is deployed. He was Tased for more than 30 seconds.
Now, this incident is now the subject of an internal affairs investigation by the Texas Sheriff's Office. It has also received a response from Congressman Joaquin Castro, who represents San Antonio, where this shelter is located.
In a statement to CNN, he said -- quote -- "The footage is horrendous and a clear example of excessive force and overpolicing."
He also said that he is urging a full investigation by the Health and Human Services inspector general. Now, we have sent requests for comments to the Health and Human Services Department, and they have not responded to our requests.
BLACKWELL: All right, Priscilla Alvarez, from D.C., thank you.
Brand-new hour. Good to be with you. I'm Victor Blackwell.
CAMEROTA: And I'm Alisyn Camerota.
President Biden says, "We just want to save lives." That's his message from the U.K. today. He announced that the United States will be donating half-a-billion doses of the Pfizer vaccine to poorer countries around the world. And he stressed the vaccines come with no strings attached.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our vaccine donations don't include pressure for favors or potential concessions. We're doing this to save lives, to end this pandemic. That's it, period. (END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Now, before those remarks, President Biden met with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to set the tone for one of the biggest goals of his international trip, reestablishing a strong alliance with other democracies.
CNN senior White House correspondent Phil Mattingly is in Falmouth, England.
Phil, the president, the prime minister signing this new Atlantic treaty, the original signed, FDR and Churchill, 80 years ago. Explain the significance of what they are doing today.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think the symbolism is extraordinarily important and certainly intentional from both the U.K. and U.S. side of things.
If you think back to the original Atlantic Charter signed by Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Churchill back in 1941, fascism was on the rise. And that charter helped solidify the bonds