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Actor Alec Baldwin Accidentally Shoots And Kills One Person And Injures Another With Prop Gun On Filming Set; Some Analysts Say Supply Chain Issues And Resulting Higher Prices May Continue For Foreseeable Future; FDA Report Finds Benefits Of Pfizer's COVID-19 Vaccine Outweigh Risks To Children Ages Five To 11; Remains Of Gabby Petito's Fiance Brian Laundrie Found; Former President Barack Obama Campaigns For Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Terry McAuliffe In Virginia. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired October 23, 2021 - 14:00   ET




FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: Hello again, everyone. Thank you so much for joining me this Saturday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

Right now investigators are back on the set of an Alec Baldwin movie in New Mexico collecting evidence in a shooting that left one person dead and another wounded. According to an affidavit, Baldwin fired what he believed to be a safe prop gun, not knowing actual live rounds were inside. The shot killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza. In a statement to CNN, a cast member for the movie says sets are by nature dangerous environments, though they had no direct knowledge of the events that led up to the shooting.

CNN correspondent Lucy Kafanov is in Santa Fe where the investigation is under way. Lucy, what more are you learning?

LUCY KAFANOV, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, sheriffs tell us that they will not be updating the public before Monday. We know that they are combing through the scene, trying to gather evidence. The affidavit indicates that they seized a lot of the film material, cell phones, cameras, anything that could shed some light on what exactly took place that fateful Thursday afternoon.

And we are getting more details from the affidavit. We understand that the team, the crew was on the film set of "Rust" at the Bonanza Creek Ranch early on Thursday afternoon. Alec Baldwin was wearing his western-style costume. He was inside the church looking structure, presumably preparing to film a scene.

We understand according to the affidavit the assistant director was outside of the building. Three prop weapons were laid out on a cart, prepared by the armorer, the person in charge of the prop weapons. The assistant director grabbed one, walked inside the structure, handed it to Alec Baldwin and shouted "cold gun," which in the industry is supposed to indicate that there are no live rounds in that prop weapon. And that's, of course, when this tragedy took place. We understand

that Alec Baldwin, at least according to the affidavit, took the gun and fired. Miss Halyna Hutchins, 42-year-old, the director of cinematography was shot in the chest.

She was pronounced dead upon arriving to the hospital where she was airlifted to. The director of the film, 48-year-old Joel Souza, was shot in the shoulder. He was taken by land ambulance to a local hospital. We're not sure about his condition, but presumably he is recovering in hospital.

Alec Baldwin's western-style costume was covered in what appeared to be blood, according to the affidavit. He changed out of those clothes and then, according to the sheriffs here, he has been cooperating fully, but of course no charges have been filed as of yet, Fred.

WHITFIELD: And then, Lucy, we're hearing from the armorer, who is generally the person who handles the weapons on the set for the movie, and the armorer in this movie spoke previously about another production. What are you learning?

KAFANOV: That's right. The affidavit names her as Hannah Gutierrez. We understand that she's quite young, just 24 years old. She was trained by her father, who was a legendry gunsmith. Thell Reed is his name. He started training her from when she was 16 years old.

We understand based on this podcast that she worked previously in another production with Nicolas Cage, a movie called "The Old Way" where she served for the first time in her career as head armorer. And she shared doubts she had about her ability to do a job in that production. Take a listen.


HANNAH GUTIERREZ: Dad has taught me everything, but a lot of things I kind of just caught on by myself and everything.


GUTIERREZ: Yes, just observation, watching him do things or just knowing how the firearms work. I think loading blanks was the scariest thing to me, because I was, like, oh, I don't know anything about it. But he taught me that. And eventually by the time I was trying to figure out how to make a specific blank go when you want it to, rather than it hitting the empty cylinders and everything.


KAFANOV: Now, being inexperienced or young or nervous about the job by no means indicates that her job wasn't performed well in this case. We still don't know what happened, whether this was a freak accident, what other factors contributed to this fatal shooting.

We simply don't have those details. But what it does speak to is some of the concerns the production members had about safety on the set, COVID protocols, as well as gun safety. This is according to news reports including in "The L.A. Times," Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right, still lots of questions. Thank you so much, Lucy Kafanov, appreciate that.


So safety measures on film sets can be the difference between life and death. Earlier I spoke with Ben Simmons, who is a firearms instructor on movie sets, and asked him to break down what those protocols are generally. And here's what he had to say.


BEN SIMMONS, FIREARM INSTRUCTOR FOR ACTORS: Usually, you would try and avoid using a real gun with blanks ammunition, unless you have to. And it would be a discussion between those in charge on the set, between the director, the actor, the stunt coordinator, if there is one, the armorer, who is the person who is providing the gun and responsible for safety.

You would have a discussion and a rehearsal about where the gun would be pointing. And you rehearse and the actor through it so the actor would be able to point the gun in the right direction at the time.

There would be various checks that the armorer would do to make sure that the gun was clear, to make sure the right ammunition was being used. When a gun is being handed from person to person, generally what should happen is the gun should be checked each time. So those are the kind of safety rules that are normally brought into place on sets.


WHITFIELD: Still lots of questions today about the safety measures taken on the "Rust" set there in New Mexico, the Alec Baldwin movie. "The New York Times" reporting that hours before the deadly shooting, at least a half dozen camera crew workers walked off the set to protest working conditions, including gun safety procedures and other concerns from where they were staying in the proximity to the shoot.

So in a statement obtained by the entertainment news site "Deadline" Rust Movie Productions said, I'm quoting now, "The safety of our cast and crew is the top priority of Rust Productions and everyone associated with the company.

Though we were not made aware of any official complaints concerning weapons or prop safety on set, we will be conducting an internal review of our procedures while production is shut down. We will continue to cooperate with the Santa Fe authorities in their investigation and offer mental health services to the cast and crew during this tragic time."

CNN has reached out to the production company for comment, but we have yet to hear back.

Joining me right now is Jeff Harris. He's an attorney who represented the family of Sarah Jones, a camera assistant who was killed while filming "Midnight Rider" back in 2014. Jeff, so glad you could be with us today.


WHITFIELD: So what are your initial thoughts in terms of how this investigation will be carried out? What are some of the questions that are going to be asked? What are likely some of the discoveries that need to or will be made as it pertains to this "Rust" fatal shooting incident?

HARRIS: Well, my initial thought when I first heard about this, and I feel the same way now, is there is literally no way that this can happen if the crew is following standard safety protocols that have been in the movie industry since at least the 80s. Attached to the call sheet is a safety bulletin any time you use firearms on set, and it outlines exactly what you're supposed to do. And you can't have an accidental discharge like this if the safety policy is being followed.

So that's obviously the first question, why wasn't it followed. And there can be a myriad of reasons why, but most of the time on a movie set when safety protocols are not being followed, it's because there's a sense of complacency. People get into a mode where they keep doing things over and over again and they've got this sort of attitude that, hey, we've got this, we deal with firearms every day, and then mistakes get made.

So that's really the first question I have, is, why weren't these protocols followed. They're clear, they're simple, they're straightforward, and they would have been attached to the call sheet.

WHITFIELD: So when you said protocols that were put into place around the late 80s, are some of those protocols that are being respected today a direct result from the 1993 Brandon Lee shooting death on set? Have there been, I guess, a more stricter set of protocols put in place involving firearms, weapons on sets, particularly because of what happened to Brandon Lee?

HARRIS: Yes. And it happens any time there's an incident on a movie set. Labor gets together, management gets together, and they work together to figure out -- stuntman, the same thing happens after that. And so what the industry tries to do is learn from experience. And if something bad happens on a movie set, implement whatever protocols or procedures need to be implemented to ensure that it doesn't happen again.


And since we've had two firearms related incidents in the movie industry many years ago, I believe that the safety protocols and procedures that the industry has in place are good ones. They're effective. There are hundreds of movie shoots that take place every day where people are using firearms, shooting blanks, and it is extraordinarily rare for an incident like this to take place.

And so we know when something like this happens, when we have good policies, if it happened it's because people weren't following them. And sometimes that comes from the top down.

And I don't know enough about this shoot to know, but we are sort of anecdotally hearing there were complaints from the crew was under a great deal of stress and pressure. We'll have to get to the bottom of whether that contributed to this failure to follow these policies.

WHITFIELD: Yes. And then now from your legal hat, do you feel like, based on what is being publicized thus far, that you see that there will be a legal case to follow, a criminal case that might follow, a civil case to follow?

HARRIS: I absolutely believe that there will be a civil case. I don't know that anybody could look at this and not conclude that there was negligence on the part of someone, because you don't hand an actor a weapon and the actor thinks it's a cold weapon, it actually has a blank in it.

And then there's also reporting that it may be what people are describing as a live round. I'm not sure exactly what they mean when they say that. Generally speaking, in the movie business, if it's a live round it's a blank.

And there's been reporting that maybe it's a ballistic round, a bullet. and there's zero reason why you would ever have a live ballistic round on a movie set. So if that happened, then you're transcending into the levels of criminal negligence, which is a higher standard than civil negligence. It's inexplicable to me how you have a bullet on a movie set.

WHITFIELD: Do you see it as helpful or potentially damaging, Alec Baldwin tweeting out his thoughts, and saying, yes, this was a tragic accident in a statement, and that he's fully cooperating with investigators? What are your thoughts about hearing from Alec Baldwin himself at this stage publicly like this?

HARRIS: I don't fault him for that. I think he's doing what anybody who is compassionate would do. He's concerned about the family. It sounds to me, at least, from the initial reporting, that he was handed a gun that he thought was a cold weapon, and there's got to be an explanation of how that happened.

I never fault people for being compassionate human beings, but at the end of the day, if he has any civil culpability, if he did something wrong, that will be sorted out both in the criminal investigation and the subsequent civil investigation.

WHITFIELD: And to the case that you were involved in back in 2017, a jury issued a multimillion-dollar verdict for the death of Sarah Jones for negligence involving multiple parties. You represented her family. Are you looking at this from the point of view of similarities? Very different circumstances, but similarities meaning putting a magnifying glass on the potential dangers that come with any moviemaking?

HARRIS: Yes, I have a special place in my heart for the folks on the crew. It's a tough job. I think people who don't understand the movie industry think it's more glamorous than it is. But they work long hours under sometimes tough conditions. Sometimes they have people yelling at them to do things quickly. So I worry that incidents like this are caused by putting these young, overworked, sometimes underpaid crews under way too much pressure.

And the industry right now, there's constant clamoring for more content, and you have a lot of young crews out there working really hard. And there has to be a focus on safety, because they're doing dangerous stuff. You're blowing up cars and you're fake shooting people, and you're doing things that are inherently dangerous.

And so the industry itself has to continuously, constantly focus on safety to make sure that things like this don't happen. And that's really been my focus, and it's been the focus of the clients that I've had. The Bernecker family and the Jones family families are both very much focused on safety in an industry that they love.

And it's just tragic that another bright light has been shut out by another on set incident. And I wish it wouldn't happen, and we've got to learn from it, and we've got to do whatever we need to do to make sure it never happens again.

WHITFIELD: So terribly sad, whether it was 1993, 2017, your case, and of course, this week. Jeff Harris, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

HARRIS: Thank you. Take care.


WHITFIELD: Coming up, the discovery of Brian Laundrie's remains is only prompting more questions. How did he die? What did his parents know? And what's inside a notebook found near his remains? More on the investigation coming up next.

Plus, the supply chain crisis is leading to a spike in prices for some products. Why economists warn they may be here to stay.


WHITFIELD: First it was wildfires that had the wine industry concerned about supply demands. Now glass shortages are adding to the mix. One winemaker telling "Business Insider" that a shortage in glass bottles has some wineries aging their wine in wooden barrels too long, giving it a sawmill kind of taste.

And my next guest says shifting to alternative packaging isn't a solution for everyone. Stephanie Honig joining me now. Good to see you, Stephanie. So you told KCBS Radio that options like cans and boxes may not work for all wineries. Explain.


STEPHANIE HONIG, PARTNER, HONIG VINEYARD AND WINERY: That is absolutely correct. For a number of reasons, the wine manifests differently and tastes different in different types of environments and packages. So if we were to produce a wine to be bottled or put in a can, we would have to change some of our wine making practices. Also from a practical and business standpoint and infrastructure, we

have a bottling line that's for glasses and our glass bottles. So just switching that on the fly just doesn't work.

WHITFIELD: Oh, my gosh. And it's already a tedious process. It is quite the science for any winery for their product. So it's not just glass, apparently, the shortage of such that's a big problem, but some wineries are also dealing with wood shortages? And what does that mean for their product?

HONIG: Well, we use wood in a number of applications, but the most visible and apparent challenge are oak barrels, especially in an area like Napa Valley where oak is necessary to make some of the best wines in the world. And we're very fortunate, we have a production team that plans very far out and had the foresight in terms of glass.

For wood, we had a blessing in disguise because we had those devastating fires in 2020, which, in turn, made us not make wine in 2020, but we had barrels that we had for 2020, and now we're able to use them in 21. So the wood shortage that would have impacted this year didn't just because we had those barrels left over from last year that we couldn't use.

WHITFIELD: My gosh, for so many wineries, Stephanie, this is bad coming from all angles. So no bottles or a shortage of bottles, a shortage of the wood for these wood barrels, and explain to me how difficult it would be for any winery to make adjustments on a dime.

This is going to be a lot of money to make other adjustments. If you're without those two vital resources, spanning what amount of time would it take for any winery to make other adjustments? And what are the other alternatives when you're without those two critical things?

HONIG: From a glass perspective, it is a challenge. What's going to happen with a lot of wineries is they will have to -- when they can get glass, they will just have to take bottles that aren't funneled (ph), or the packaging will have to be different. So what I foresee happening in at least the near to medium future is that wineries will have fewer options in terms of packaging.

So in terms of turning on a dime, we can't do that. So when we plan far out, like our winemaking team did, we were protected and we had the glass we needed. They bought in advance. I had an idea of doing some special holiday packaging. I wasn't able to do that because that was six months out. So really unless you plan 12 to 18 months out, sadly we don't grow bottles on our vines. We grow grapes, but sometimes we forget that.

And then pricing. Pricing has gone up in what you can get. Glass has gone up. Even, if you think about wood, it's not just the barrels. It's the pallets that ships everything. So all of a sudden all your costs are going up, and that goes right into your bottom line.

WHITFIELD: And so how much is it going to cost for that bottle of wine for Thanksgiving or Christmas or wherever this weekend? HONIG: Oh, gosh, it depends on who you ask. Our philosophy is always

to overdeliver, and that's what we do. But you will see some increases in prices across the board, for sure, because margins are really getting eaten up from all sides.

WHITFIELD: All right, these elements are critical to the making of your wine.

HONIG: It's important. You still need wine.

WHITFIELD: You still need wine. Everybody still needs their wine. I'm just drawing on my visits to Sonoma Valley and observing how meticulous the wine making is, so I can't imagine how much more difficult it is being made without these very critical ingredients. Stephanie Honig, all the best to you. I still want to say cheers, though.

HONIG: Thank you so much.

WHITFIELD: It's going to get better, right? Cheers.

HONIG: It will. It will get better. Only up from here. It will be great. But thanks so much for having me. I appreciate it.

WHITFIELD: Try to be the optimist. Always glass half full.

HONIG: Yes. Come and see us in Napa Valley one of these days.

WHITFIELD: I look forward to it. Thank you so much, Stephanie Honig, appreciate that.

HONIG: Thanks for having me.

WHITFIELD: Prices of products across the U.S. are skyrocketing as the global supply chain crisis intensifies. Grocery items, gas, all getting more expensive as demand outpaces supply.


CNN'S Alison Kosik reports consumers may not get any relief for a while.


ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Sticker shock continues at the supermarket as just about everything is getting more expensive. Unilever, the maker of Ben & Jerry's and Dove soap, announced it had to raise prices four percent over the summer and warned that increases would continue into next year to deal with costs of the supply chain chaos.

That follows Procter & Gamble, which makes Pampers diapers, Tide detergent, and Gillette razors, saying it's raising prices on certain grooms, beauty, and oral care products to combat its own rising costs. Also hiking prices, Nestle, the world's biggest food and beverage company which sells everything from Nescafe Gerber baby foods to Cheerios.

The company's CEO says prices will rise about two percent to offset the rising costs of transportation. You're also seeing higher prices at the gas station. The national average for a gallon of gas is well above $3.30 per gallon.

This is all happening as the global economy recovers from the pandemic. Prices are going up because demand is surging and there isn't enough supply. Our supply chain, the actual movement of products from point a to point b, is under huge pressure. The raw materials that go into the stuff that we buy aren't as plentiful. Production slowed during the pandemic, causing a shortage, and higher prices for producers. That's just as consumers all at once are demanding more stuff.

There's also a shortage of workers along the supply chain, so it's hard to keep up with the extreme high demand for the products that we're ordering online. For example, there aren't enough truck drivers to move the goods, so cargo ships packed full of stuff on just sitting, lining up at ports, waiting to unload. That means higher shipping and delivery costs for companies. And now companies are passing down those higher costs to consumers.

How long will these higher prices stick around? We may just have to get used to it for a while. Moody's Analytics warned this week that stress in U.S. supply chains is only intensifying and shows no signs of fading any time soon.


WHITFIELD: Alison Kosik, thank you so much.

Still ahead, the manhunt is over for Brian Laundrie, but the questions remain.



WHITFIELD: The manhunt for Brian Laundrie has ended, but now that his remains have been found in a Florida nature preserve, questions continue. Law enforcement experts say items, including a notebook and backpack discovered near Laundrie's remains, may be key pieces of evidence. Authorities hope those items can shed light on the circumstances surrounding his disappearance and the death of his fiance, Gabby Petito.

For the latest now, let's bring in Polo Sandoval with more on this. Polo, you're there outside of the family's home, the Laundrie family home. What are you learning?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fred, it's all about a flurry of unanswered questions here. Here we are about six weeks since Gabby Petito was reported missing, of course her body found about a week later. And then on the week that that manhunt for Brian Laundrie officially came to a close with the discovery of his remains here in Florida, and yet there are many critical questions that are left unanswered.

Just one of them is, of course, exactly how Brian Laundrie died. We learned just yesterday from officials here on the ground that the skeletal remains that were recovered in Florida, Laundrie's remains, have been handed over to a forensic anthropologist for further analysis to hopefully provide more details here. There's also, as you mention, there was some evidence that was recovered at or near the site, including a backpack and notebooks and clothing as well that authorities are hoping to take a closer look at.

Then there's another very critical question, which is exactly what Brian Laundrie's parents have been able to share with investigators here. They have expressed, at least told officials, at least their attorney, that they were concerned when he left this house in the middle of last month that he seemed upset at the time.

The attorney didn't say exactly why, but that was about six days before Gabby Petito's body was found some 2,300 miles away here. So there's still a lot of pieces that are missing in this puzzle, Fred, and they are certainly hopeful that Brian's parents will be able to provide some of those.

Now, we have seen Mr. Laundrie step out of his home a couple of times here only to set up a couple of no trespassing signs, not answering any questions publicly. But the Laundrie family attorney, Fred, assuring folks that they have been cooperating with this investigation since day one.

WHITFIELD: All right, Polo Sandoval, thank you so much.

Happening overnight, a shooting near a college campus leaves one person dead and seven others injured in Georgia. It happened at a party near Georgia's Fort Valley State University, and officials say the person killed was not a student at the school, though some of the wounded were. The school was on lockdown today, and its homecoming parade was canceled. The lockdown has since been lifted.

Soon we will hear from former President Obama on the campaign trail in Virginia. We'll bring that to you live as it happens.

Plus, a gamechanger in the fight against COVID, when younger children have access to a vaccine.



WHITFIELD: The high stakes governor's race in Virginia is getting a big boost from former President Barack Obama today. This is a live picture right now where you have the candidate himself who is speaking, and then soon President Obama will be coming out to stump for him.

He's returning, talking about Obama, returning to the campaign trail to help give a boost to Terry McAuliffe's campaign. He is in a very tight race, and both parties view this race as a real barometer of what is heading down the pipeline for the country politically.


CNN's Dan Merica is there for us. So Dan, what are the expectations today?

DAN MERICA, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: Terry McAuliffe just took the stage here speaking behind me. President Obama is up after him. And I'm told according to a source close to the former president that he intends to tell voters here, this is a tight race, that they should not take anything for granted, that there is a chance that this will come down to the wire.

Polling certainly shows that with a neck and neck race between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin. And Obama is also intending to tell voters that the reason that they came out and supported him in 2008 and 2012, and supported Obama in 2020, the same things are on the ballot in this election.

And that's a real concern from Democrats. Democrats are worried that their base, their voter base, is not as engaged, is not as enthused about this election as they were as the elections over the last decade in Virginia, especially the last election when Trump was on the ballot. That is a concern among Democrats.

And McAuliffe, who is speaking behind me, is leaning on top Democrats to come out and try and boost that engagement. That is not what you're seeing on the Republican side where Youngkin has not leaned on Trump. Trump has not come to the state to rally for Youngkin. He has called in to a rally for Republicans. But he has not come to this state.

And there's a real reason for that. Trump is unpopular here. He lost this commonwealth by 10 points in 2020. So you don't plan to have Trump here, but that is a vast difference between what Democrats are doing. They are nationalizing this race, and Obama intends to do that again today as he takes the stage in just a few minutes, Fred.

WHITFIELD: We'll check back with you. Dan Merica, thank you so much. Of course, the candidate right now speaking, and then soon the former President Obama will be taking to the stage. We'll take it live to you.

Coming up, a Miami private school is making bogus claims about the vaccine, and it's now warning vaccinated children to stay away.



WHITFIELD: Tens of millions of kids could be eligible for COVID shots as soon as the first week of November. That would be a massive breakthrough in the drive to vaccinate the country and beat back the pandemic. Nadia Romero joining me with more with all of this. So there are a lot of parents who are super looking forward to it, and then there are a lot of households who are a little nervous, have a lot of questions. NADIA ROMERO, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right, right, and you're

going to have that mix, right, because we had that when we were talking about the vaccine for adults. Now you're talking about kids, specifically kids ages five through 11. That's what the Pfizer folks are excited about. They say that there's a 90 percent effectiveness of their vaccine for kids in that age group, which is incredible.

And so they believe that if you look at the research that they released just yesterday that this should get pushed through, that kids should start being able to get their vaccine. They're talking about a needle that's much smaller than the ones they would use for adults, and also only a third of the dose that they would normally give to adults. So the smaller the dose, the fewer the side effects. That's the science there.

But there are, of course, still parents who are very concerned about giving their kids the vaccine. We just saw a study that was released that said about a third of parents asked say that they will wait and see, they'll have a wait and see approach.

Another third of parents say they'll do it right away. And that's pretty much what you would expect when you're talking about the COVID- 19 vaccine as people have their differing views. But listen to what some experts say about this vaccine and why they believe it should be safe.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, CHIEF MEDICAL ADVISER TO PRESIDENT BIDEN: We outreached to the parents with trusted messengers, particularly some of the most trusted messengers are the family pediatrician, who most parents have a good teal of confidence in. And we're trying to get people to realize it is for the benefit of the children, as well as the entire family unit, to get the child vaccinated. The vaccinations and the vaccines in question are highly, highly effective and safe.


ROMERO: So you heard that from Dr. Anthony Fauci, who believes that this is a good move for the country as a whole. We also heard the same, Fred, from the CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, the doctor there, saying that she believes that if they talk to pediatricians, parents trust their pediatricians. You know them. You trust them with your kids. And if your pediatrician is on board, then maybe more parents would be on board, too.

WHITFIELD: And what kind of timeline are we talking about potentially?

ROMERO: Some parents are so excited, they were hoping that their kids could start getting vaccinated before Halloween, before trick or treating.

That's a little too soon. If everything lines up with the timeline that we're looking at, Tuesday would be the day that the FDA vaccine advisers would hear from Pfizer and could vote to recommend emergency use authorization, but it wouldn't be until the first week of November that the CDC would take a look. So we're talking about November, but by the winter holidays, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa. Kids could be fully vaccinated on their way to see grandma.

WHITFIELD: Those family gatherings. That's going to be pretty encouraging. Nadia Romero, thank you so much. Appreciate that.

So as more parents may soon be vaccinating their children, one Miami private school is doing everything it can to discourage shots. They say any student who gets vaccinated has to stay home for 30 days out of an irrational fear that they could be a danger to the unvaccinated kids. Gary Tuchman went to go check out this academy, and this is what he found.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Oscar Ascanio has a son who goes to Miami's Centner Academy.

OSCAR ASCANIO, CENTNER ACADEMY PARENT: Everything is a family decision, and we should respect everybody's privacy.


TUCHMAN: It is a family decision, but it makes everyone safer. Because so many people have gotten the vaccinations, tens of thousands of people are not dying.

ASCANIO: There's a lot of people who get the vaccine and is dying right now.

TUCHMAN: That's not true.

ASCANIO: No, it is true. FOX News says the truth.

TUCHMAN: FOX News says it true, but that's definitely not true. That's false. That's the problem.

ASCANIO: FOX News is the one that you can get you know, like --

TUCHMAN: Let me just tell you, sir. The greatest scientists in the world know that this vaccine is saving lives. So my question for you --

ASCANIO: Fauci is not the best scientist in the world. That's just one opinion.

TUCHMAN: You're hearing bad information, sir, but with all due respect, I wish you good health.

ASCANIO: Thank you so much. Same to you. Have a great day.

TUCHMAN: Alex Cerrano (ph) has three children who go to the school.

When you got the letter that said that children would have to stay home for 30 days if they got the vaccine, did you say to yourself I'm glad they sent that out? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. And I sent an email to the owners of the

school saying that I'm in complete support of the policy and thanking them for it.

TUCHMAN: Parents here say the letter banning vaccinated children from returning to school for 30 days also declared that children who get the vaccine could potentially transmit COVID to other children, which is certainly not true. The school released a statement saying the policy is a prudent, precautionary measure. The owners of the school are a woman named Leila Centner and her husband David Centner. This spring, after Leila Centner sent out another e-mail declaring that teachers who get vaccinated can't come near the students, she told CNN --

LEILA CENTNER, CO-FOUNDER, CENTNER ACADEMY: There were all sorts of stories that came out that said potentially unvaccinated people are being impacted by being around vaccinated people.

TUCHMAN: There is no such evidence.

The Centner Academy has one building for preschool students and kindergartners, a separate building for first through eighth graders. Most of the students aren't yet eligible for vaccines, but they soon will be. One child who soon will be is the daughter of this woman.

You are very relieved she's not in that school anymore?


TUCHMAN: Iris Acosta Zobel and her husband pulled their first grade daughter of the Centner Academy last spring without getting any of their tuition back because they got more and more scared of the increasing anti-vax and anti-mask views at the school.

ZOBEL: The school encouraged the students to take their masks off.

TUCHMAN: And they told your daughter, your six-year-old take your mask off?


TUCHMAN: And did your daughter tell you about that?

ZOBEL: She told me. She says, why are you teaching me this, but the school is saying this?

TUCHMAN: You must have been infuriated.

ZOBEL: It was a very stressful time.

TUCHMAN: The academy is a nondenominational school. Records from the Federal Election Commission do show that both Leila and David Centner donated very large amounts of money to Republican candidates and organizations. For example, both of them made separated donations to the Trump Victory Committee in 2030. Their donations, a half million dollars apiece. Leila Centner is

active on social media, conspiracy theories on her Instagram account, including this strange one, declaring "They told us the sun will give you skin cancer, but in reality, the sun prevents skin cancer." Of course, that's untrue.

Neither Centner would agree to talk to us this time around, but some of the parents we talked to at the school say they respect and admire her. However, many parents have pulled their children out, their respect, if it ever existed, gone.

ZOBEL: You don't indoctrinate. You educate. And much of what is happening there is indoctrination that follows her beliefs.

TUCHMAN: The mother says when her daughter started at the school, it was owned by someone else. She says the Centners took over shortly before the pandemic begin, and it took a while to understand the scope of their troubling viewpoints.

Gary Tuchman, CNN, Miami.


WHITFIELD: All right, the cause of death of a couple and their baby daughter who died on a hiking trail has been released. Officials say hyperthermia with possible dehydration from environmental exposure led to the family's tragic deaths. Hyperthermia refers to heat related conditions from abnormally high body temperature.

They were found on a trail near Yosemite National Park in August, the sheriff noting an empty 85 ounce water bladder was found with the couple. The family's dog was also found dead. Its cause of death is still undetermined.

We're going to take you to Virginia now. In fact, there is the former president, Barack Obama, who has just walked out on stage there in Richmond. He is stumping for Terry McAuliffe, with a little elbow bump there. Terry McAuliffe in a tight race, gubernatorial race there. We're going to listen in to the former president right now.



OBAMA: It is good to be back in Virginia!


OBAMA: Although I have to say that unlike some other states, I'm in Virginia all the time because it's pretty close by to where I live.



[14:55:07] OBAMA: It is good to see you all on this beautiful day. I am so grateful to the young Democrats at BCU for hosting us today.


OBAMA: It's good to see some young idealism at work, young activists getting out and doing the work. I could not be prouder of you. It's thanks to extraordinary young people like you that I was able to get elected to the U.S. Senate. You helped deliver Virginia twice for me. I'll always love you for it.


OBAMA: You delivered for Terry McAuliffe, and now I'm asking you to do it one more time by electing Terry the next governor of the commonwealth of Virginia.


OBAMA: In fact, I love you, too.


OBAMA: I do. Over the years, actually, you guys have come through for a lot of great leaders, many of whom are here today. Your outstanding governor, Ralph Northam.


OBAMA: Your next lieutenant governor Hala Ayala.


OBAMA: Your current and future attorney general, Mark Herring.


OBAMA: My dear friend, first person outside of Illinois to endorse me for president of the United States, your great senator, Tim Kaine.


OBAMA: Congressman Donald McEachin is here, Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates Eileen Filler-Corn. The great Mayor of Richmond Levar Stoney.


OBAMA: These are leaders that you've come through for multiple times. And in 10 days, you've got to chance to do it again. You've got a chance to elect Terry and Hala and Mark, and to keep Virginia moving forward.

And before we start anything else, I want to remind you and everybody who's watching, you don't have to wait until November 2nd to cast your ballot. You can vote early right now, either by mail or in person. If you don't -- don't, don't be lollygagging.

Don't be sitting on the couch saying, I'll get to it later. You can vote early right now. If you've got a ballot at home, you can return it by mail. Or you can hand it in at your local registrar's office, or you can take it to a drop off location today. Don't leave it on your desk.

If you're like me, your desk is cluttered. You end up spilling stuff. You're like, oh, man, I got to start all over again, get another ballot. Do it now. You'll feel good. You'll feel good about exercising the franchise.

Or you can vote early in person today. Just go to to make your plans. Millions of Virginians voted early last year. Let's do it again this year. Don't wait. You agree, don't you? Yes, you do.


OBAMA: All right, now, now that we've got that very important piece of business out of the way, let me tell you a little bit about Terry. And why I know he will be a fantastic governor again. First thing to know about Terry is, as you just witnessed, he's very persuasive. Let me tell you, if I told Michelle I wanted to run for the same office after a few years away, she would have said something I cannot repeat.


OBAMA: The rough translation would have been no. Now, I don't know the conversation that Terry had with Dorothy, but Dorothy, thank you, because I could not be happier that Terry's back on the ticket. He's persuasive.

And the reason I couldn't be happier is because I know he will make you proud as governor because he's already done it. He did it the last time. There are times where you don't know. Let's face it. When you elected Barack Obama, you're like, I don't know.