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Moderna, J&J Boosters Now Available after CDC Recommendation; Fauci Confident Booster Age Limit Will Drop Soon; Pfizer: Vaccine Is 90% Effective Against Symptomatic COVID 19 in Kids Ages 5 to 11; FBI: Remains Found in Florida Reserve Were Brian Laundrie; Laundrie Attorney: Talks Held Weeks Ago with FBI on Charges; Authorities: Woman Raped on Train, Riders Didn't Intervene. Aired 1:30-2p ET
Aired October 22, 2021 - 13:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Boosters for Moderna and J&J COVID 19 vaccines are now available for tens of millions of Americans.
The CDC recommending what the FDA authorized. That means, for Johnson & Johnson, anyone at least two months past their first shot shut get a booster.
For Moderna, a half a dose is recommended at least six months after the second shot for people 65 years and older or at least 18 and at high risk of severe disease or exposure to infection.
Now, Moderna's age guidance is the same as Pfizer's. But Dr. Fauci thinks those age limits will drop soon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY & INFECTIOUS DISEASES: I would be rather confident that, as we get further and further over the next weeks to months, that the age limit of it is going to be lowered.
And you might soon fall into the age category where you can get eligible for a booster.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: With us now is Dr. Saju Mathew, a primary care physician and public health specialist.
Dr. Mathew, good to see you.
When do you think younger, healthy Americans should be eligible for boosters?
Dr. SAJU MATHEW, PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN & PUBLIC HEALTH SPECIALIST: Well, hopefully soon, Ana. I think that if we keep listening to the dialogs amongst the
scientists, there's definitely a concern, that, yes, if you're fully vaccinated, there could still be a risk of breakthrough infections, although most of them are mild.
But I think it is important that we protect as many people as possible, not just the elderly, not just people in nursing homes.
So I definitely have always been one to stand behind protecting the fully vaccinated, while at the same time, encouraging people to get the first shot.
CABRERA: The FDA and CDC are saying mix-and-matching booster dosage is fine, is safe and effective. Would you recommend a patient get a booster that is different than the one that he originally got?
MATHEW: You know, Ana, I actually created a quick video on my Twitter account, @drsajumathew, because so many people are confused.
It's actually fairly simple. If you got Moderna and it's been at least six months, go ahead and get Moderna. If you've had Pfizer and also it's been at least six months, get Pfizer.
There's not much benefit for interchanging Pfizer or Moderna so stick with that vaccine.
Now here's what I consider the biggest deal. If you're a J&J vaccine recipient, Ana, I think the booster shot should be an mRNA.
And the reason for that is very simple. We see a much higher protection in terms of antibody levels. And for women younger than age 50, there's a small but fatal risk of that blood clot.
So for J&J vaccine recipients, talk to your doctor. I would highly recommend one of the two mRNA vaccines as your booster shot.
CABRERA: That's good information.
The vaccines for kids under 12 are currently under review. And just today, some good news it seems like.
Pfizer says its vaccine is more than 90 percent effective against symptomatic COVID 19 in that 5-to-11-year-old age group.
So what does that mean for beating this pandemic once that group, that age group is authorized to get a vaccine?
MATHEW: You know, as we add more and more people to that eligible population of getting vaccinated, like the 5-to-11-year age group, Ana, that's 22 million in the U.S. That's a huge group of kid.
If the parents allow these kids to get vaccinated, we can absolutely cut down on the transmission. So once again, I encourage parents, if you have any hesitations, talk
to your doctor. Because this is a safe vaccine. Just like you said, over 90 percent protection against symptomatic infection.
And let's not forgot, Ana, that kids can be reservoirs. So they may not have a bad outcome but they can transmit the virus and infect people that they life with and at schools as well.
CABRERA: Dr. Saju Mathew, good to have you with us. Happy Friday.
MATHEW: Thank you, Ana.
CABRERA: Up next, the attorney for Brian Laundrie's parents revealing his clients have talked to the FBI about potential charges. Those new details, next.
CABRERA: The only person of interest in the killing of Gabby Petito and now the FBI has confirmed through dental records that Brian Laundrie's remains have been found.
His death means that questions only he may have been able to answer could forever remain a mystery.
Back with us now is former federal prosecutor, Jennifer Rodgers.
Jennifer, now that it is confirmed Laundrie is dead, what's likely happening behind the scenes right now? Is this case closed?
JENNIFER RODGERS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, there's a few different things happening, Ana.
First of all, there's Gabby Petito's murder. I don't know whether or not the authorities are convinced that Brian Laundrie killed her. If they are, then that matter is closed.
There's Brian Laundrie's death. Again, we don't know enough to know whether his death was deemed to be by suicide or by some sort of natural causes having to do with exposure or an encounter with an animal.
But if not, if they think another person is involved, there's that aspect.
And then there's the notion of the parents and whether there was any indication that the parents, when they were searching for Laundrie and searching for evidence about Petito's murder, whether they lied to authorities or had any tampering with evidence or hiding evidence.
So I think they are probably looking certainly at that aspect of the case now.
CABRERA: And the Laundrie family attorney was asked about the potential for charges. Let's listen to what he told NBC News.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED NBC NEWS ANCHOR: There has been some speculation out there -- and, again, I understand you don't like to talk about speculation -- that maybe some type of deal was cut, that they promised to cooperate with investigators to get some type of immunity.
Any truth to that?
STEVEN BERTOLINO, LAUNDRIE FAMILY ATTORNEY: I can tell you no. There's no truth to that.
What I can tell you is that conversations were had several weeks ago with the FBI with respect to certain charges.
When questioned and when communications were had between myself and the FBI, I think it was realized that charges were not appropriate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Jennifer, what's your reaction to that?
RODGERS: Well, it's interesting. I think the lawyer was cautious and properly so.
You know, in my experience, when authorities go to speak to people in the position of Laundrie's parents -- Laundrie is missing. He's a person of interest in a murder. They want to find him and they also want to find evidence.
So it would not be at all unusual and, in fact, I would expect authorities to say to the Laundries, listen, I have to warn you, if you lie to us, you could be charged with a crime.
If you hide evidence or tamper with evidence, you could be charged with a crime. So don't do that.
And that's different from saying, we know you did something. You did something wrong. And we'll give you immunity if you come clean.
So maybe all the lawyer is saying is that that kind of standard warning was given. I wouldn't be at all surprised at that.
But we just don't know enough yet. And there are a lot of questions around the timeline here. So we'll have to see how that develops.
CABRERA: The family attorney also said the family has discussed the possibility Laundrie killed himself.
But when asked whether Brian told his parents about what happened to Gabby, though, he said he couldn't comment.
So kind of getting into what you are saying, if, at any point, Laundrie maybe confessed to his parents that he was responsible for Petito's death, and they didn't report that to police, would be a crime?
RODGERS: It would not. You know, no one has the obligation to speak to police or authorities. You have a Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate yourself. There's no reason you need to incriminate someone else either.
But if you do choose to talk, you have to tell the truth. So they could be sitting there and, if the police asked them that question, they can say, you know, no comment, we don't want to say.
But you can't lie. So that's really where that line is drawn.
You know, they are in a difficult position with these loyalties to their son, of course.
And, you know, also, I'm sure they -- they have, you know, some loyalty to Gabby Petito and are sad about what happened to her, you know.
So they probably took their lawyer's advice. Any criminal lawyer in that circumstance will tell you just to be quiet.
CABRERA: Jennifer Rodgers, thank you so much. You've been such a great resource today on both stories, the Alec Baldwin story and this one as well. Really appreciate it.
RODGERS: Thanks, Ana.
CABRERA: Up next, officials say not a single passenger tried to intervene or even call 911 as a woman was assaulted and raped for more than 30 minutes last week on a Philadelphia train. How? We're going to talk to a psychologist who has studied the so-called "Bystander Effect.".
CABRERA: It's a horrendous act. A woman reportedly raped on a Philadelphia train earlier this month. And now CNN is learning the passengers who witnessed but failed to intervene will not be prosecuted.
The details are troubling here. Here is what happened according to police.
The victim was harassed for about half an hour. And during that time, she tried pushing the suspect away as he starts touching her.
The affidavit states, quote, "Throughout this time, the victim is obviously struggling with trying to keep him off her."
According to police, he eventually rapes her, which lasted for six minutes before a transit police officer pulled the suspect off the victim.
Joining us now is Dominic Packer. He's a professor of psychology at Lee (sic) University. He's also the co-author of "The Power of Us, Harnessing Our Shared Identities to Improve Performance, Increase Cooperation, and Promote Social Harmony."
Dominic, you just co-wrote a piece titled, "What Motivates Bystanders to Intervene in an Attack?" Now you research human behavior.
In a situation like this, why wouldn't someone intervene, especially when there could be strength in numbers?
DOMINIC PACKER, PSYCHOLOGIST & ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHIATRY, LEHIGH UNIVERSITY & AUTHOR: Right. I mean, these are extremely distressing and disturbing situations, which happened with surprising frequency.
Where we hear of the stories about someone in real need of help and people passing by and not offering assistance.
Starting in about the 1950s, I became interested in this phenomenon and hypothesized, sort of ironically, what is called the Bystander Effect, which is, that the more people who are around, the less likely it is that anyone will step forward to help.
And there's a couple of reasons for this. One has to do with, in a situation that is an emergency, it is not always entirely clear what going on.
And people look to each other to figure out, is this an emergency? Should I intervene. Should we help?
And if they see that other people aren't doing that, they themselves might come to the conclusion, I guess it is not a problem.
In addition, with more people being around, they might assume that somebody else will step forward. I don't need to do anything. Someone else will take care of it.
And this is known as the Diffusion Responsibility.
CABRERA: Wow. It is so disturbing to think that that is how we behave as human and that is more of our human nature.
But in this case, not only did witnesses not intervene, it also appears they didn't even alert authorities. Does that surprise you?
PACKER: That does surprise me. I think it is shocking. Again, you could infer the same sort of psychology. Someone could assume somebody else has already done it or they might assume, since nobody else is reacting, it is not a problem.
But I think this is somewhat shocking that no one called the authorities in this case.
CABRERA: Police say two people may have actually videotaped this assault using their cell phones. What do you make of that?
PACKER: Well I find that horrendous.
If it ends up being confirmed, certainly, I think it is, again, hard to wrap your head around how this could be -- a plausible or a potential explanation is that people do sometimes think that by recording an event they are, in fact, helping in a way.
There can be times when having a record of something is useful. I obviously don't know whether that would apply in this case.
And first things first, if somebody is in need of help, you should offer them help, either directly or by calling the authorities, before choosing to then record it perhaps for later criminal charges.
CABRERA: And hopefully, now they're asking witnesses to come forward. Hopefully, any kind of recording will be useful in prosecuting this case.
Dominic Packer, I appreciate your time, again, from Lehigh University. I think I messed that up on the front end. Really appreciate it.
CABRERA: Thank you, Ana.
CABRERA: We have some breaking news now. The Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments on Texas's controversial abortion law for November 1st. The court will allow it to stay in effect for now.
This law blocks abortions once a fetal heartbeat could be detected, which is before many women even know they are pregnant.
A quick programming note for you. Princess Diana's popularity reaches new heights but her public success makes her private life a lot more difficult. Watch a new episode of the CNN original series "DIANA," Sunday night at 9:00.
That does it for us on this Friday. Thank you for being with us today and all week long. And join me on Twitter over the weekend, @AnaCabrera. See you back here on Monday.
The news continues right after this.