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House Select Committee Puts Pressure On Two Trump Allies; Interview With Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA); Alec Baldwin Was Told The Gun Was Safe; Brian Laundrie Found Dead And Questions Remain; Release Of JFK Assassination Files Postponed; Rep. Jim Banks Claims Twitter Is Silencing Him; Stocks Profit From Corporate America; Atmospheric River And Bomb Cyclone Hits Northern California. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired October 24, 2021 - 17:00   ET




JIM ACOSTA, CNN HOST: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Jim Acosta in Washington. Days after a deadly accidental shooting on the set of Alec Baldwin's latest film, CNN has obtained some of the first photos of the aftermath, showing Baldwin with husband and son of Halyna Hutchins, the cinematographer Baldwin accidently shot and killed with a prop gun. Now new details about two key crew members could shed more light on how this fatal mistake happened. We'll bring you the latest on that tragedy.

Also today, Dr. Anthony Fauci says 28 million young children could be eligible for the COVID vaccine very soon. The FDA's vaccine advisers meet Tuesday on the Pfizer dose for kids ages 5 to 11. This morning, Dr. Fauci laid out the time line.


ANTHONY FAUCI, CHIEF MEDICAL ADVISER TO PRESIDENT BIDEN: So if all goes well and we get the regulatory approval and the recommendation for the CDC, it's entirely possibly if not very likely that vaccines will be available for children from 5 to 11 within the first week or two of November.


ACOSTA: And in Washington, two Trump allies feel the pressure from the January 6th probe. The Justice Department is weighing criminal charges for, one, Steve Bannon, after he refused to cooperate. The other, Jeffrey Clark has agreed to testify. Clark is a key architect of Trump's behind-the-scenes efforts to overturn the election, and he'll be grilled by the House Select Committee on Friday.

The committee is also ramping up efforts to follow the money behind the massive "Stop the Steal" campaign that culminated in the January 6th rally and insurrection.

And joining us now to talk about this, Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell of California. Congressman, thanks so much for being with us. We appreciate it on this Sunday. I'm sure you've heard this more than once. Republicans say it's time to move on from January 6th, but Democrats warn that this threat to our democracy is nowhere near over.

And you recently shared a voicemail that a Trump supporter left for you after watching Fox News. I want to play just a portion of that for our viewers.


UNKNOWN: You people are a disgrace to God, our country, and our people. You're the enemy of the United States People (BLEEP). You atheist, communist (BLEEP) are the threat to our democracy, our constitution, and our way of life, and as for these foreign invaders that you're letting in this country, I hope they chop you and your family up and feed them to your dogs, you pig. You (BLEEP). And there's your free speech for today (BLEEP). From Trump nation! Write it down, you little (BLEEP). Trump nation, baby!


ACOSTA: Now, some of the expletives are bleeped out, the N-word, as well as homophobic slurs. But in your view, what does this say in this phone call say not just about the person who left the phone call message, but also about Fox News?

REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA): This is the Tucker Carlson effect, Jim, where you see a straight line from Tucker Carlson lying about me, inciting his viewers, and then aiming them at me where this caller references Tucker Carlson from the very get of this call that he was just watching Tucker Carlson.

And I have confronted Tucker a number of times about this. I've told him that his lies have led to death threats against me, against my family. And the fact that he continues to lie about me and so many others shows that this is what he wants, that he wants his viewers to unleash this type of venom at his targets.

And I'm just afraid, Jim, we're going to see more and more political violence in this country as long as Donald Trump and Tucker Carlson are unleashing, you know, their hateful propaganda out into the ether.

ACOSTA: And as somebody who was in the capitol during the insurrection, let's talk about January 6th. What did you make of the former president this week saying that the real insurrection happened on Election Day and that January 6th was a protest? I mean, it's a two -- it's a double-edged sword, congressman, putting his statements out there.

They're so toxic and dishonest and poisonous. But at the same time people need to understand the lies behind them. What did you think when you saw that statement?

SWALWELL: Again, Donald Trump is trying to erase history and reframe the debate. This is what he did with the Russia investigation where it was so clear that he had worked to collude and expected help from Russia. This is what he did with the first impeachment. And, Jim, the Republican Party led by Donald Trump and Kevin McCarthy,

they don't believe in voting anymore. They believe in violence. And right now they are setting the stage with what they're encouraging in Arizona and Florida and Georgia and Texas with the voting rights changes. They're an anti-majority party. They are an anti-majority party.

They are setting the stage to make sure that even if they come up short with the votes that they could overturn future elections. That's a very scary place to be for a democracy that's on life support right now.


ACOSTA: And we ask Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene about her confrontation with Congresswoman Liz Cheney during that vote to hold Steve Bannon in contempt. Let's play that.


ACOSTA: And what about that confrontation with Congresswoman Cheney? Why did that happen?


ACOSTA: She's a traitor?


ACOSTA: How can you say that?


ACOSTA: This traitor talk, throwing that kind of stuff around is just so dangerous. What's your reaction?

SWALWELL: It's unsettling to hear. And you remember when Donald Trump was president, he talked about what we should do with traitors when the whistle-blower complaint came out. He talked about that we used to handle traitors the old-fashioned way. Again, when you define Liz Cheney as a traitor, all you are going to do now is you're going to aim venom and violence at Liz Cheney.

But that's the intent. That's what they want. That's why they do it, Jim. And that's why it's all the more important that we get to the bottom of what happened on January 6th. That we make sure a day like that never happens again in the Senate

And I hope the president is listening because I think he's the most persuasive person here. They have to break the filibuster to make sure that we have voting rights restored once again in this country.

ACOSTA: And yesterday we were talking to the "Daily Show's" Jordan Klepper about all of this bizarre imagery, that cult-like imagery that you see at Trump rallies. He was showing us some stuff from a recent rally. There were drawings of a Trump on a tank, Trump riding a velociraptor carrying a machine gun. There was QAnon merchandise, confederate flags despite this being in Iowa.

You know, have we already lost half of the country to this disinformation universe that so many people live in and do you get the sense that you can get any of these folks back?

SWALWELL: Well, as an Iowan, Jim, it was hard to watch a lot of that. I was born there. My dad was a police chief there. And I do think we have to work as hard as we can to make sure that truth still matters in this country and that we recognize that talking to folks and not demeaning folks is very important.

Recognizing that they believe in this country if you work hard you should do better for yourself, dream bigger for your family and that the Build Back Better agenda, which we're trying to pass in Washington aims to do that. It's a pro-family, pro-worker agenda.

And so it's important for us, I think, to, as I said, reframe the debate, get it around policies that people should vote on, and not violence that fires people up. But this party right now, the Republican Party, they are cruel, they believe in violence. They don't have a policy agenda. They don't value families one bit, and that's more and more clear every day.

ACOSTA: Well, speaking of the president's agenda, Mr. Biden was meeting with Senator Schumer and Manchin today about the spending bill. Speaker Pelosi says Democrats will reach an agreement this week on a framework for it.

As you know, congressman, there's an important governor's race in Virginia coming up. Are you running out of time to get something done with respect to this legislation? And do you think it's time to just at least get that hard infrastructure bill passed so President Biden has something to show voters in places like Virginia?

SWALWELL: Jim, it's Sunday so I'll say this. We need to clap our hands, come out of the huddle and put the football in the end zone. It's time to show the voters why they gave us a democratic majority that on infrastructure we're going to invest in clean, green jobs across the country to reduce emissions, that we're going to invest in paid family leave, that we're going to have a childcare tax credit, that we're going to have free community college, things are going to help people.

And wherever we come up short, to my progressive friends, let's go tell the voters in 2022 that this was a down payment and we can do a lot more with a larger majority. And to moderates who are worried about the price tags, I'll just say this.

The Republicans are never going to tell the truth about you in the elections. They're going to lie and say that you're for open borders, socialism, de-funding the police. So if we can do something that makes a difference in American lives, let's find that compromise and put that ball in the end zone.

ACOSTA: But, to use the football analogy, what does the clock say right now. SWALWELL: Yes. First in goal with about one second left.

ACOSTA: Are we two minutes -- two-minute warning. One second left. Okay.


ACOSTA: What does that say about the situation that you're in right now, that the party is in right now?

SWALWELL: The speaker recognizes that. She worked all week and she worked the whole weekend and I think we're going to come out this week with progress that you can actually measure and that's going to make a difference. I'm optimistic about that.

And then, Jim, we have to get back to telling the voters what's at stake once we deliver for them if we were to turn over the keys or the playbook to continue the analogy to Republicans because as we are seeing in-fighting on our own side, Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and Kevin McCarthy are circling the capitol with gas cans dowsing the place and getting ready to drop the match to torch our democracy.

ACOSTA: And what about this risk that you run that voters will get the message that you had the House, you had the Senate, you had the White House and you couldn't get these key things done? If all of these items are popular with the voters, Democrats might say, you know, why can't our party get this done?

SWALWELL: Yes, that's a fair question. And 98.7 percent of all Democrats in Congress have to agree to get anything done.


Franklin Roosevelt passed the new deal with 310 plus democrats. We have a very thin margin. So that's why everyone needs to be reasonable and recognize where we come up short. I'm confident we can define the Republicans as an anti-voter, pro-violence party and that with the bigger majority we can do more in 2022, but doing nothing is the surest way to putting this democracy that's on life support, it's effectively pulling the plug for our country.

ACOSTA: All right, Congressman Eric Swalwell, thanks so much. We appreciate it. We'll have to call a time-out on this interview --

SWALWELL: My pleasure.

ACOSTA: -- but thanks for joining us.

SWALWELL: That's right.

ACOSTA: Thanks a lot. All right, coming up, new details. CNN learning that the crew member who handed Alec Baldwin a prop gun was the subject of safety complaints, some about firearms dating back years. That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ACOSTA: New details today about that deadly movie set shooting involving Alec Baldwin.


Sources tell CNN the assistant director, Dave Halls, who handed Baldwin the prop gun and told him it was not loaded was accused of several safety complaints dating back to 2019 including disregard for safety protocols around weapons.

One source says Halls even complained about having a gun cleared, meaning ensuring it wasn't loaded for a scene where an actress would aim the gun at her own head and pull the trigger.

I want to bring in CNN chief media correspondent Brian Stelter and CNN senior legal analyst Elie Honig. Brian, all of it -- Elie, this is all so heartbreaking. And we're seeing pictures today of Alec Baldwin with the victim's family. What are we hearing from the actor, and what happens to a film project like this when something just terrible happens on a set, Brian?

BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Well, this film is off. I think we can say that confidently, at least for now. Baldwin was a producer of this film. It was on a relatively small budget. People are wondering whether the relatively low-budget nature of the film contributed to the safety hazards.

But for now, this off and all attention is on the police investigation. And most of what we've learned so far, Jim, is from court documents, from police documents as they interview witnesses and try to get to the bottom of this. We've heard very little from Baldwin since Friday when he issued a statement expressing his condolences.

The one thing we've heard here over the weekend notably and that was a tweet where he shared a news article. And he shared a news article that was titled "Baldwin was told the prop gun was safe." So as you're pointing to, this suggestion that Baldwin was under the impression that this gun was safe. They were only blanks. That he was okay to go ahead and use it in production.

And then you had to lead the trail backwards from Baldwin to whoever had that gun in possession before Baldwin took possession of it. And of course that's where it does lead to this prop master.

ACOSTA: Right. And Elie, is there a potential for criminal charges here of negligence for anybody involved? We were talking to an expert in the last hour who said that this case just screams negligence.

ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, Jim, there absolutely is that possibility. Now, we have an important starting point here. We know that the sheriff's office has executed a search warrant. In order to get a search warrant, a prosecutor or police have to write out what we call probable cause.

You have to put it in a document and say to a judge, we have probable cause, meaning 50.1 percent belief that a crime was committed. Now that's not all way to what a prosecutor's going to want for a charge, but it's a part of the way there.

Under New Mexico law, there is a crime involuntary manslaughter, meaning assuming nothing was done intentionally, it can still be a crime if something was done recklessly. And Jim, that conversation that you had with the firearms expert last hour, those are exactly the questions that a prosecutor is going to want to ask.

How did this go down? Who was responsible for handling it? Was it in fact a blank or was it a live round that was shot? How could that have been? And the expert that we heard from last hour I think was fairly clear, in his opinion at least, that this was negligence. So that's the kind of questioning that's going to be happening in prosecutors' and police offices in New Mexico.

ACOSTA: And Brian, Alec Baldwin is being trolled online unfortunately by some people including Congresswoman Lauren Boebert. She re-tweeted the actor from 2014 where Baldwin said I'm going to make bright yellow, bright banana yellow t-shirts that say -- read, "My hands are up. Please don't shoot me. Who wants one?" Boebert tweeted, "Are these still available? Asking for a movie producer." I mean, Brian, shame on Lauren Boebert for this. Anybody who tries to troll people and troll Alec Baldwin over this tragedy is just awful.

STELTER: Not everything's about politics. It's as simple as that, right. We should make that into a bumper sticker, not everything is politics. Not everything is red versus blue. Not everything is liberal versus conservative.

So I get Baldwin's an outspoken liberal actor. Lots of people love to hate him. But Boebert should have better counsel. She should have better P.R. people to stop her from doing something so foolish. Not everything's about politics. And this story is certainly not about politics. And as much as we are from the rooftop, Jim, I don't think (inaudible).

ACOSTA: Better morals might help, too. Better manners.

STELTER: Better -- it is often about morals. You're right. It's often about morals. That's the word we leave out of this (inaudible), morals. It's not about politics. It's about morality. Just be a good person.

ACOSTA: Yes. She failed that test clearly. And, Elie, Alec Baldwin was handed this gun, told it wasn't loaded with live rounds when in fact it was and ended up killing a crew member. Does he have a case here? Should he decide to sue? I mean, I suppose he's getting this kind of legal advice. What do you think?

HONIG: Yes. Alec Baldwin's in a really complicated legal position here. First of all, I expect that we will see civil lawsuits filed by the estate of Ms. Hutchins and perhaps by Mr. Souza who was injured. In order to win a civil suit for money damages, you have to show negligence, a slightly lower standard than in the criminal context and of course, you only have to prove your case by 50 percent, not beyond a reasonable doubt. Baldwin's in an interesting position. He could well get sued in his

capacity as producer because he may have some legal responsibility for who he hired if he hired someone who was inexperienced, who was unqualified for the job.


There are some indications, we've heard that podcast of the prop master, firearms master sort of saying that there were some issues. So he could end up on the defendants' side. Theoretically, he also perhaps could sue as well.

Now, he would have to show damages, what damages has he sustained. He would have to show emotional loss or damages. I think that's a terrible look. I think it's very unlikely Alec Baldwin will be filing suit. I think he's more likely to end up on the defendant side of a civil suit.

ACOSTA: Well, either way, I mean, it's just a terrible, horrible situation. Elie Honig, thanks so much as always. Brian, you'll be back a little bit later in the show so we appreciate you pulling the double duty today. Thanks so much for that. We'll see you soon.

With the only person of interest in Gabby Petito's murder now confirmed dead, the hope of getting answers is dimming. Right now, just a few potential sources of information remain. A waterlogged notebook that was found near Brian Laundrie's remains and what the last people believed to have seen him alive, his parents, are saying. CNN's Polo Sandoval is following this for us from North Port, Florida. Polo, what's the latest?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jim, pressure certainly still remains on authorities to find some of those crucial answers that they have been looking for not only for them but also two grieving families, one here in Florida and then of course, the Petito family up in New York, right.

And as you mentioned, there were various personal items that were discovered along with Brian Laundrie's body last week. And among them that heavily damaged notebook that had been soaked. According to a source close to the investigation that spoke to our colleague, Randi Kaye, they say that it is possibly salvageable.

And then just recently we also heard from the former deputy director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, who said that they do have, at least the agency has, folks who specialize in the recovery of that kind of evidence of drying paper evidence.

So they're certainly hopeful that if they are able to do that, then they could recover some evidence including fingerprints or perhaps some of Brian Laundrie's writing that could tell us a little bit more about his feelings about Gabby Petito after she went missing. So that certainly could be crucial (inaudible).

We have heard from one expert after another that have really looked at all the pieces here of the puzzle, and it's very obvious that there are many pieces that are still missing in this puzzle, and ultimately these families are still searching for those answers and they won't get them until they can definitively say, authorities that is, until they can definitively say who killed Gabby Petito. Jim?

ACOSTA: All right, Polo Sandoval, thanks for that update.

Coming up, why the White House is now delaying the release of secret files related to JFK's assassination.



ACOSTA: The long-awaited release of the U.S. government's secrets in the JFK assassination files, that is not going to be happening in the coming days as planned. The White House is citing the COVID pandemic as the reason to postpone the release of the controversial documents. CNN's Arlette Saenz is following this for us. Arlette, what's the pandemic have to do with getting these documents? People have been wanting to see these documents for decades now.

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Jim. Well, the White House isn't detailing exactly how the pandemic has affected the release, but they did say in a memo released late Friday night that the national archivist said that the pandemic caused a significant impact on those agencies that were reviewing these documents.

So, for the time being, the president has said that he will release these documents in two batches. The first they're calling an interim release which will happen on December 15th of this year. And then they are expected to release more of these documents in December of next year.

But this all comes as there has been so much public fascination around the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. It raised questions about some of the secrecy around government and the handling of that assassination, and also led to some conspiracy theories including one that was espoused by former president, President Trump, as he was running for president in 2016.

Now, this release has been a long time in the making. In 1992, President George H.W. Bush signed a bill into law that required the release of these records by 2017. When that year came, some of the documents were released. President Trump then postponed that to 2018 and again postponed it until 2021. So we will have to wait a few more months and then another year until more of these documents are into the public view.

ACOSTA: And Arlette, there's news about the Biden infrastructure bill. What can you tell us? Are we getting closer to some kind of an agreement?

SAENZ: Well, it seems that way. It seem that things are getting a bit closer to an agreement. And our colleague, Manu Raju, reported just a short while ago that House Democratic leaders are hoping to hold a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure package on either Wednesday or Thursday of this week, and then send that bill to President Biden's desk.

The other question is they believe that they will be able to reach an agreement on the framework of that larger spending package. But right now one big question is exactly how big that will be. Now, Senator Joe Manchin and Senator Chuck Schumer went up to Delaware today, met with President Biden, and as sources have said that Manchin headed into that meeting being open to a $1.75 trillion price tag.

So we are still waiting to learn some of the details of that meeting, whether any other details towards this agreement were ironed out as this White House is really hoping to secure an agreement and a deal as the president's heading abroad later this week.

ACOSTA: So, Arlette, it sounds like that hard infrastructure package, that's what's being talked about in terms of a vote this week.

SAENZ: Exactly.


And then, at the same time, Democrats are hoping to have some sort of framework agreement that will entice those progressives to stay on board that this human infrastructure package as it is sometimes called will get passed.

SAENZ: Yes. And there are still many details that need to be worked out with that larger spending package. We know that there was still discussion about what the Medicare expansion would look like, what paid parental leave would look like. So there are still details that need to be ironed out as they are trying to get closer to an agreement there.

ACOSTA: All right, Arlette Saenz, thanks so much for that. We appreciate it.

A Republican congressman says Twitter is trying to censor and cancel him because they temporarily locked his account. And he's claiming he's being silenced while freely tweeting from his second personal account. Congressman Jim Banks writing, "Twitter has suspended my official account for posting a statement of fact. I won't back down."

Twitter says it temporarily locked Congressman Jim Banks' account for violating its hateful conduct policy. It says it will unlock the account once the tweet in question is deleted. And the tweet at the center of all of this, Congressman Banks refers to the assistant secretary of health, Dr. Rachel Levine, a transgender woman as a man. This is what Banks is refusing to back down from.

And I want to bring back our chief media correspondent Brian Stelter to talk about this. Brian, Congressman Banks claiming he's being silenced on Twitter by tweeting. It's almost like, yes. It's almost like they want to be canceled, some of these members of Congress.

STELTER: Right. I think you nailed it. You just revealed the name of the game. It's about creating this opportunity for a political stunt. Banks said in a statement, if you silence -- if they silence me, they will silence you. We can't allow big tech to prevent us from telling the truth.

So he portrays himself as a bold truth-teller when the real truth is that he's transphobic. That's what he's revealing through this comment about Dr. Rachel Levine. He says he's been banned. He's only been temporarily locked. Twitter does this a lot to different users including even members of Congress because he's in violation of Twitter's hateful conduct policy.

By all means, people don't like the policy. Then let's debate it. Let's argue about it. But what he's revealing through his seemingly bold truth-telling tweet is just that he is engaging in transphobia.

ACOSTA: Right. Be a human being. People are people. I mean, why tweet stuff like that? That's the thing I don't -- I don't understand. And you're a member of Congress. I mean, you shouldn't be doing that sort of thing.

And let's sort of stay on this same theme because I want to talk about Fox. Something extraordinary happened this week on that channel, something you don't hear very often. Anchor Neil Cavuto who is immunocompromised because of his battle with multiple sclerosis talked about the importance of getting the vaccine after coming down with COVID himself. Let's watch.


NEIL CAVUTO, FOX NEWS HOST: And I know it's going to get me in trouble. I hear from a lot of people (inaudible) and I've gotten a lot of nasty e-mails. The same ones: you're a never-Trumper, you're this, we don't trust you, we don't believe a word you're saying and that's just coming from my family.

But having said that, I just want to stress here this is not really about me, it's not about people's political positions on this. I get that. No one likes to be ordered to get a vaccine. But I can tell you right now, those who are vaccinated are in far better position right now to survive this and even handle cases where's they come down with this.


ACOSTA: I mean, does Cavuto's message make him a man on an island at Fox News do you think?

STELTRE: It does a bit, and he's been a man on an island there for years because he was never all full MAGA the way many of his colleagues were.

ACOSTA: Right.

STELTER: But that's what makes him unique and important at Fox. And it's good to see that he only has a mild case of COVID. He's able to be back on television. He said very bluntly to the Fox viewers, stop the deaths, stop the suffering. Please get vaccinated, please.

However, on the same network this weekend, Lisa Boothe went on the air and proudly talked about she's not vaccinated and she did it because she doesn't think she's in danger, but then she said I'm doubling down on being unvaccinated as a giant middle finger to Joe Biden's tyranny in America.

You know, some of these Fox stars think they are in some kind of revolutionary war against vaccines.

ACOSTA: Right.

STELTER: And, unfortunately, that's more the norm than Neil Cavuto's honest statement today. So, you really do have a tale of two foxes. And unfortunately, the Cavuto side is losing although thankfully he is winning his fight against COVID.

ACOSTA: Yes. It's always red dawn for some of these guys over at Fox.


ACOSTA: But good for Neil Cavuto. I mean, we need more of that. Be like Neil. In a world at Fox News, be more like Neil. All right, Brian Stelter, thanks so much for that. We appreciate it.

STELTER: Thanks.

ACOSTA: Coming up, a private school in Florida where students who get a COVID vaccine shot are told to stay home for 30 days. And yes, experts say that makes no sense at all.



ACOSTA: It may be the only vaccine mandate that is actually unhelpful. A private school in Miami telling its students they have to stay at home and quarantine for 30 days if they get a COVID vaccine shot. That's right. You heart that right. The policy is based on completely bogus claims, yet people believe it.


ALEX SERRANO, CENTNER ACADEMY PARENT: Yes, and I sent an e-mail to the owners of the school saying that I'm in complete support of the policy and thanking them for it.

OSCAR ASCANIO, CENTNER ACADEMY PARENT: There is a lot of people who get the vaccine and are dying right now.


ASCANIO: No, it is true.

TUCHMAN: No, it's not true.

ASCANIO: Fox News says the truth.

TUCHMAN: Fox News says it's true but that's definitely not true. LEILA CENTNER, CO-FOUNDER, CENTNER ACADEMY: There were all sorts of

evidence and stories that came out that said potentially unvaccinated people are being impacted by being around vaccinated people.



ACOSTA: And joining me now, CNN medical analyst and professor of medicine and surgery at George Washington University, Dr. Jonathan Reiner. Dr. Reiner, when I listen to that I feel like I should tell you I'm suffering from a headache right now. How does this sound to you what some of these parents were telling our Gary Tuchman there, who did another great report?

JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Well, first of all, as it pertains to that school, they just don't seem to understand how vaccines work. That's not how vaccines work. So, first of all, this particular vaccine, the COVID vaccine, is not a live attenuated vaccine where you have to worry about viral shedding and trying to isolate people who may somehow shed the virus.

All of these vaccines impart a little bit of genetic material, not the entire virus, not attenuated virus. So they just don't seem to understand how it works. Its 180 degrees off. It's just wrong. But schools like that and information like that in the public spreads this remarkable disinformation.

People think you can get sick, really sick from the vaccine. These vaccines have been given to about 4 billion people on this planet. There's no data to support that. There are all kinds of really insane conspiracy theories that the vaccines contain some sort of tracking chips or they make you magnetic. You see people walk, you know, trying to show that spoons stick to their forehead.

It's all nonsense. But it really clogs the bandwidth and interferes with the simple message that these vaccines will save your life. And they will prevent you from getting sick, and they will save your life and they will save the lives of people that you love. And that's really the simple message. Everything else is just noise.

ACOSTA: It really is. And if you look at these areas and, you know, and for example around Washington, D.C., suburban Maryland, areas where you have almost 99 percent vaccinated populations, and COVID has been basically crushed in those areas. It's remarkable.

REINER: Right. So, I live in Montgomery County just outside of D.C., and it's probably one of the most vaccinated parts of the planet now. So, right now vaccines are eligible in folks ages 12 and up. And in Montgomery County, Maryland, 99.9 percent of people 12 and up have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Which is why in Montgomery County, Maryland, we really are starting to look at containment. I looked at the Montgomery County school vaccine COVID dashboard today and it's a big school district. There are 160,000 kids, about 25,000 staff members. There are 13 active cases of COVID.


REINERL: And this is what happens when everybody can be vaccinated. Now, remember, the kids under 12 can't be vaccinated. But they are blanketed in the protection of everyone around them is vaccinated.


REINER: And that's how you put this virus out all over the country.

ACOSTA: And speaking of that, Pfizer announced that its shot is 91 percent, nearly 91 percent effective in preventing symptomatic COVID in children ages 5 to 11. The FDA also said the benefits outweigh the risks. Now we're hearing from Dr. Anthony Fauci that kids, that young kids could be eligible by the first two weeks of November. That's very soon.

What do you say to parents beyond what you just said a few moments ago who are still worried about these side effects or whether there might be side effects, I should say?

REINER: What I would say is first of all, talk to your doctor. But I would say you should strongly consider vaccinating your kids. Kids can get sick. Kids will infect people who remain vulnerable such as the immunocompromised.

Only about a third of parents right now have said that right out of the box they are going to get their kids vaccinated. We need to do better than that. About a third of parents want to wait, and about 25 percent of parents have distressingly, shockingly, have said that they're just not going to vaccinate their kids.

It doesn't have to be that way. Just look at school districts around the country that have high vaccination rates for everyone else. You see what's possible. If you want to keep your kids in school and you want schools open, and if you want, and maybe perhaps in relatively short order, you want your kids to not to have to wear a mask in school, then vaccinate your kids.

We can get to a point where if we vaccinate all the kids going to school, then we just need to test kids periodically. The kids who get sick can stay home. Everyone else can go back to normal. It's within our reach.

ACOSTA: And the CDC says it's fine to mix and match boosters. But given the choice, and I had this own question myself because I'm going to hopefully get my booster soon. Should I stick with the same brand?

REINER: so, if -- first of all, I hate the way the CDC did this. I don't love just sort of having people figure this out. It took me a long time to figure this out, and I have access to the best experts around the country, who I access.

[17:45:03] So this is how I put it together. If you've received an mRNA vaccine, Moderna or Pfizer and you had no side effects from it and you're eligible for a booster, get the same booster. The Moderna booster, by the way, is half dose.

If you had J&J, I think there's very little reason to get another J&J dose. What we know that one of the mRNA vaccines are actually more effective than the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in boosting your immune response.

And there is this rare but present risk of the sort of dreaded cerebral venous thrombosis complications seen mostly in younger women. Keep it simple. If you had J&J, get either Moderna or Pfizer. If you've had Moderna or Pfizer and had no issue with it, get the same one.

ACOSTA: And should anybody get a J&J now, do you think or should?

REINER: It's kind of hard to understand.

ACOSTA: For their very first one, I should say.

REINER: Yes. I think the niche for the J&J vaccine originally was that it was going to be a one and done vaccine and, you know, certain people just wanted to get it done once and move on with their life. There are certain populations we thought we could maybe vaccinate on the go, folks in airports. We saw at least kiosks set up.

But it's always been a slightly less effective vaccine. And now without the benefit of a single dose, it's hard to recommend it. And I would not recommend it.

ACOSTA: All right, Dr. Jonathan Reiner, you're always straightforward with us. We appreciate it as always. Great to see you --

REINER: My pleasure.

ACOSTA: -- on this Sunday evening. Thanks so much. And now here is Christine Romans with your "Before the Bell" report.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Jim. October, as you know, has a scary reputation on Wall Street. But your 401(K) is probably more treat than trick right now. After a miserable September, stocks have rocketed higher. Strong profit reports from corporate America have overshadowed worries about rising inflation and interest rates.

This week, more companies deliver their quarterly results including Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, GM, and McDonald's. Facebook also reports earnings. You know, it's a big week for the embattled social media company. Frances Haugen, the whistle-blower who appeared before Congress earlier this month, she testifies tomorrow before the U.K. parliament.

Haugen alleges Facebook knows its platform hurts children and sows division in society, but failed to take action to prevent it. The company has pushed back against those claims, calling many of them misleading. But the scandal, once again, putting Facebook under intense scrutiny. There's even a report Facebook could announce a name change later this week. In New York, I'm Christine Romans.



ACOSTA: Right now, California is getting hit by a ferocious storm system, both a bomb cyclone, as it's called, and an atmospheric river event. Its unleashing heavy rains, strong winds and raising the threat level for flashfloods and mudslides. CNN's Paul Vercammen is joining us now from northern California. Paul, it does not look pleasant where you are. What are you seeing?

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We are seeing not only just the threat of mudslides in these fire-burned scar areas, but we're seeing actual mudslides. In fact, we're talking about a large swath of northern California, hundreds of square miles.

And to the north of me, about two hours, that would be on California Highway 70. We have already had a major slide. It has sealed off that highway, and in fact, the debris is so big that it's larger than the heavy equipment. They can't pick it up right now. That could take days to get that part of the equation done.

So as this bomb cyclone roars through here, we are now seeing the effects of it. And if you look back here live behind me, we're trying to describe for you what we mean when we talk about a burn scar. Fire roars through the hills, it strips the hills of much of the vegetation. That leaves it super susceptible to mudslides. It's the devil's two-step. First the fire, then the slides.

And then look, right below me, this is the south fork of the American R River. It is roaring back to life. There is a flood warning where I am now in El Dorado County. They are telling people that this could be lethal, in fact, it's so dangerous if they're out on the road.

So they're telling people right now the important thing is to heed the fact that this river is now roaring back to life. We now have slides in northern California and in all of this, 230,000 people along the Pacific Coast, Washington, Oregon, here in California, are without power right now, Jim.

ACOSTA: All right, Paul Vercammen, we know you'll keep an eye on it. Thanks so much for that report. We'll let you get dry and stay warm. We appreciate it.

Tonight on a brand new episode of "This is Life" Lisa Ling looks at the current debate about decriminalizing sex work.


LISA LING, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We remember the Civil War for tales of bloodshed and struggle. But a little known fact is that it also ushered in the largest boom in prostitution our nation has ever known.

Drawn to the growing number of soldiers, thousands of sex workers flooded red light districts across America.

UNKNOWN: So there are multitudes of reasons why women are becoming sex workers during this time period.


There are women who are losing their husbands to war and now how are they going to support themselves and their children? Some out of pure necessity.


ACOSTA: A brand new revealing episode of "This is Life" airs tonight at 10:00 on CNN. That's the news. Reporting from Washington, I'm Jim Acosta. I'll see you back here next Saturday at 3:00 p.m. Eastern. Pamela Brown takes over the CNN NEWSROOM live after a quick break. Have a good night.