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Americans Pay Higher Heating Costs This Winter; Eric Adams is Interviewed about Combating Crime; Taylor and Elleanor Hirth are Interviewed about COVID Vaccine Trial. Aired 9:30-10a ET

Aired November 11, 2021 - 09:30   ET



JOHN HOSKINS, ANKENY, IOWA, RESIDENT: It's coming. So we put the fireplace on and get a little heat that way instead of turning the furnace up.

YURKEVICH (voice over): That's because heating bill for many Iowans could nearly double this winter. A warning from the state's largest power provider MidAmerican Energy.

HOSKINS: We're all hardworking middle class folks. So, you know, we can't go too far out of our means to make ends meet. But, you know, we've still got to eat, still got to live.

YURKEVICH: On Wednesday, the U.S., once again, woke up to sticker shock. Gas, cars, energy and food, just some consumer goods that rose 0.9 percent together on average in October, and are up 6.2 percent this past year. The biggest 12-month increase since 1990.

HOSKINS: Bacon was pretty high. I've kind of seen it on the news a little bit. But, yes, it's jumped up a few dollars. So --

YURKEVICH (on camera): Did that stop you from buying anything today?

HOSKINS: Well, I thought I'd buy it and put it in the freezer to be totally honest with you.

YURKEVICH (voice over): The Lentzs were also out shopping early for their Thanksgiving dinner.

YURKEVICH (on camera): Did you notice that prices were a little bit higher?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, quite a bit. Quite a bit higher.

YURKEVICH (voice over): And soon the couple will escape the Iowa cold and their high energy bill for Arizona. But it will still cost them.

GARY LENTZ, ANKENY, IOWA, RESIDENT: We have a motor home. It costs a lot to go to Arizona. But we're going anyway.

YURKEVICH: Gas in the state is nearly $3.20 a gallon. Up more than a dollar in the last year.

Ben Thompson is trying to avoid the pain at the pump.

BEN THOMPSON, DES MOINES, IOWA, RESIDENT: I price shop some. That's how I'm out here. You know, the Casey's that I was at was about 44 cents more expensive per gallon than this one.

YURKEVICH: He says his 16 gallon tank costs him $10 more on average.

YURKEVICH (on camera): So what did you tap out at today?

THOMPSON: $46.87, and I wasn't out of gas.

YURKEVICH (voice over): At Dewy Ford Car Dealership in Ankeny, a lot that typically holds 900 cars, has just 61.

TERI SAENZ, GENERAL MANAGER, DEWEY FORD: I cannot keep hybrid vehicles on my lot. They want to be able to have that so they're not going to the gas pumps to have to go through that.

YURKEVICH: Customers may save on gas by going electric, but the prices of cars are higher than ever. Used cars jumped 2.5 percent last month, with new cars up 1.4 percent. Fallout from labor shortages, a supply chain crunch, and consumer demand all meeting the road.

SAENZ: Customers are really struggling at this point. When you go back through the last few years, nobody's ever paid full price for cars.


YURKEVICH: And that could make the difference between someone buying a new car and a used car. We spoke to one gentleman yesterday shopping for groceries who was buying chicken instead of meat at the gas station. One gentleman putting regular gas into his car instead of premium.

But this is important. Energy bills are still going to be so much higher this winter, and that is really something that Americans, and especially Americans here in Iowa, can't cut costs on. And, Jim and Erica, wages across the board have risen in the last year, but it's simply not enough to cover all the things that are going up across the board here in America.

Jim and Erica.

SCIUTTO: Yes, watch energy prices. By the way, that's a global phenomenon. It's happening around the world. Nature of the markets. But energy prices are going to hit hard.

Vanessa Yurkevich, thanks very much.

Still ahead, I sit down one-on-one with incoming New York City Mayor Eric Adams. We talk about a lot of issues, but particularly policing and a confrontation he had with Black Lives Matter. Hear him in his own words. That's next.

HILL: And on this Veteran's Day, when the country pauses to remember those who have served, President Biden set to observe the holiday with a wreath laying at the -- on the centennial anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. He'll speak later this morning and we will bring you those remarks live. Stay with us for that.



SCIUTTO: Black Lives Matters activists say there will be riots and bloodshed if the city's new mayor-elect follows through on his campaign promise to reinstate the city's anti-crime units. Eric Adams met with New York's BLM co-founder, Hawk Newsome, at the Brooklyn Borough Hall yesterday. Things got heated at times when the discussion went to policing. Here's part of that exchange.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is stop and frisk coming back?

ERIC ADAMS, NEW YORK CITY'S MAYOR-ELECT: No, stop and frisk never went away, brother. It never went away. It's called stop, question, and frisk.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Question and frisk. Yes.

ADAMS: We abuse -- we (INAUDIBLE) --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The politicians said that these -- the past -- we -- people here know that it never went away.

ADAMS: Yes. Right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But the masses --

ADAMS: Right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The masses believed it was away (ph).

ADAMS: There's nothing going to be abused. No one is going to abuse the people in this city while I'm the mayor of this city and get away with it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you doing to hold the NYPD accountable for their unlawful actions?

ADAMS: Brother, I mean, I -- have you -- have you been living under a rock?


ADAMS: Because I've been doing that for -- I spent -- I've been (ph) in the department.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SCIUTTO: After the meeting, Newsome told reporters, quote, if they think they're going back to the old ways of policing, then we're going to take to the streets again. There will be riots. There will be fire. There will be bloodshed.

I'm joined now by the new mayor-elect of New York, Eric Adams.

Thanks so much for joining us this morning.

ERIC ADAMS (D), NEW YORK CITY MAYOR-ELECT: Thank you. It's good being here this morning.

SCIUTTO: Mayor, you heard that threat, the idea of going back to the streets to protest if you keep to your campaign vow to reinstate these anti-crime units.


Will you reconsider reinstating that policy based on those comments?

ADAMS: Well, first, let's be -- let's be crystal clear. You had 13 people who did a march from Manhattan to Borough Hall. There are different levels of people who are involved in the Black Lives Matters movement. Let's not make people believe that those 13 people have really consumed all the oxygen in the room. And I made it clear on the campaign trail, I'm going to put in place, not the anti-crime unit. I'm going to put in place a plain clothes gun unit. We must zero in on gun violence in our city. You're seeing what's happening where the young man, 21 years old, shot by 17-year-old that was carrying a gun.


ADAMS: So this is what I'm going to do. And that was my promise and I'm going to keep it.

SCIUTTO: So, when you look at the crime rate in New York City, you made crime, as you say, a major part of your campaign. After you were elected, you told NPR, quote, zero tolerance for abuse and criminal and violent behavior.

I hear from folks who live in New York, my colleagues and others, every day about incidents, being confronted with knives on the subway, public nudity, you name it, you've heard these stories. What specific steps will you take to fight crime?

ADAMS: Well, there are a couple of things that I stated. Public safety is a prerequisite of prosperity with justice. We can have the justice we deserve and the safety we need.

Number one, as you indicated, I'm going to put in place a plain clothes anti-gun unit to go after the guns. And gangs, they go together. Number two, we need to be clear, change the eco system of public safety. I'm going to empower my crisis management teams, all of the hot spots in my precincts. Those are locations where you have violence, particularly gun violence. We're going to give them the tools to go on the ground to prevent it, as well as give those young people opportunities, because it can't be just heavy-handed policing.


ADAMS: It's giving opportunities.

And, number three, which I think is very important. We're going to have a real jobs program to look at those areas that are high-crime areas and high crime numbers and be proactive on how we go and pull those young people to do precision resources, not only for city (ph) policing.

SCIUTTO: OK. You mentioned guns in particular. When I've been out with police on patrol, they say that guns coming from gun-friendly states up I-95 from the south are a real problem for them. You now have the Supreme Court considering a case that would strike down a New York law with concealed carry.

If the Supreme Court acts on that, does that make New York City less safe in your view?

ADAMS: Yes, it does. It's a real problem. And when I spoke with the president several months ago during the campaign, we talked about, how do we do information sharing with the federal, state and city. We need the ATF to have the ability to look after those gun dealers that are really feeding the crimes in the northern city. If this Supreme Court decision can be supremely harmful in a densely populated city like New York, I'm hoping they don't do this. It is going to be an extreme, troublesome time for our city if they do.

SCIUTTO: You were elected as a moderate Democrat in a very blue city at a time that Democrats in recent elections have not done well, that their message nationally seems to be out of step with many voters. You have said that the Democratic party needs to be progressive, but practical. What specifically are those practical policies? And I wondered, do you see them in the Democrats' current agenda, for instance, the Build Back Better plan?

ADAMS: Well, you know, I say this over and over again, I consider myself to be a progressive. And I believe being practical is being progressive. And mayors all over this country are understanding that federal governments make policies, but it's the local cities that we must carry them out.

Here's what I call being progressive and practical. We talk about closing Rikers Island, our jail, which I'm in support of doing. But let's also close the pipeline that feeds the jail. Thirty percent of the prisoners are predicted to be dyslexic. So Eric Adams is going to have dyslexia screening in every school in our city. If we want to have a real anti-crime fight, then it starts with a job. That's the best anti-crime tool we have.


ADAMS: So I'm going to have massive employment centers where we're going to coordinate between those corporations with jobs with young people and adults who are looking for jobs. SCIUTTO: OK.

ADAMS: It's about using technology to run our city, because inefficiency breeds the inequalities that we're seeing in our city.

SCIUTTO: All those things cost money, though. As you know, property taxes are the city's number one source of revenue and you have an outflux in the city of businesses, employees, a lot of folks not going to be coming into the office any more, perhaps a quarter of them. That means less office space.

How do you pay for all that, all the programs you're talking about, if the city's going to have less money?


ADAMS: Well, you know, we need to understand something about the dysfunctionality of our city. We waste money. We have an over $90 billion budget. Just think about that for a moment. I know that if we run this city more efficiently, we won't just need to depend on tax dollars. There is so much money that's been hemorrhaging in our agencies. I'm going to have all of my agencies do a 3 to 5 percent what's called PEG, program to eliminate the gap, to find those savings in waste and mismanagement.

And then we're going to function as a city that attracts businesses, but at the same time help those low-income New Yorkers benefit from the prosperity of this city.


ADAMS: We're too difficult, too expensive, too bureaucratic to do business in the city, and that is why we're losing so many people. Lack of safety, lack of being a business-friendly city is hurting our bottom line, and that changes on January 1st.

SCIUTTO: Well, as you know, I'm a native New Yorker, so I wish you the best of luck, Mayor Eric Adams -- Mayor-Elect Eric Adams.

Thanks so much for joining us this morning.

ADAMS: Thank you. Take care.

HILL: Still to come, Texas Governor Greg Abbott's battle against mask mandates hit with a major legal blow. We have those details for you.

And, as we go to break, live pictures from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. As we mark this Veteran's Day, President Biden is set to speak from Arlington at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier later this morning. We'll bring you those remarks, live.



SCIUTTO: Overnight, a federal judge in Texas ruled that the state's ban on mask mandates in schools violates the Americans with Disabilities Act. An advocacy group filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of several Texas families against the governor and other officials, claiming that coronavirus was posing, quote, an even greater risk for children with special health needs. This ruling follows months of clashes between state and local leaders over mask mandates in Texas schools.

HILL: Well, children five and older, as we know, are now available -- eligible, rather, for the COVID vaccine. Not all parents, though, are rushing to make that appointment straightaway. Rampant misinformation isn't helping. And that's one of the reasons our next guests are speaking out.

Taylor Hirth enrolled her daughter, Elleanor, who's now eight-years- old, in Pfizer's vaccine trial over the summer. She's written about that decision and about their experience.

And it's so great to have you both back with us this morning. I love this big smile that I saw from Elleanor as soon as we said her name.

Taylor, I know that shortly -- there it is -- shortly after the vaccine was authorized for kids, you learned that Elleanor, in fact, had received the vaccine. You didn't know until then. But she was not give an placebo, so she's actually had some protection for months.

What was that realization like for you, Taylor, knowing that she had, in fact, been vaccinated?

TAYLOR HIRTH, ENROLLED DAUGHTER IN PEDIATRIC COVID-19 VACCINE TRIAL: It was a huge relief. Up until next Friday, we were under the impression that we would not be unblinded, even if there was emergency authorization until almost Christmas. So it was almost frustrating knowing that we might still have to wait, even though everybody else is able to get the vaccine and we might still have to wait. So --

HILL: Yes. So a sense of relief, too, I would think.

T. HIRTH: Absolutely.

HILL: Elleanor, so when you found out, I understand you were pretty excited too. I'm wondering, have any of your friends had questions for you because they know that you got the vaccine a long time ago?


HILL: Maybe.

T. HIRTH: Have any of your friends (INAUDIBLE) if it was scary? No.


E. HIRTH: Probably. (INAUDIBLE).

HILL: Did they ask -- did they ask you if it hurt?

E. HIRTH: Yes.

HILL: Yes.

E. HIRTH: They didn't ask (ph) me.

HILL: They didn't. OK.

You know, you've been -- you've been so outspoken about this, Taylor. You were on with my colleague, Kate Bolduan, earlier this summer talking about why you had decided to enroll Elleanor in the trial. You were dealing with long-haul COVID. I know your dad is dealing with a rare form of cancer. So it was that peace of mind.

You've also written this op-ed recently, and I just want to read a part of it, from "The Missouri Independent." It really struck me. You write, my child's DNA has not been altered, her arm is not magnetized, nor has she developed any new access to 5G, much to her dismay, when she gets an attitude, she cannot use her injection site to access the Internet after I turn off the wi-fi.

It's great and it's funny and it makes you laugh. But I will say, what you write in there is very serious and I think you do a great job of debunking some of these myths out there about long-term side effects, for example, or how the vaccine can impact your child.

What has the response been to that op-ed?

T. HIRTH: Mostly people are just grateful that I'm debunking some of the myths that are out there. One of the most prominent myths that I've heard is that there's going to be all these long-term side effects that we don't know about right now. But one of the things with vaccines is most side effects will appear within the first six weeks. And beyond that, they're -- in history, in the history of vaccines, there's been no long-term side effects that randomly appear, like, years later after the injection. They always, you know, almost always appear within the first month.

HILL: And that's because, as I've learned through all of this, that's because it's not like a prescription drug that you take every day. The vaccine goes in, it does its job, and then it leaves your body.

T. HIRTH: Exactly.

HILL: What advice do you have for parent right now who may be struggling with this decision, who see how well Elleanor is doing but say, I'm not quite ready?


T. HIRTH: You know, it is -- it's really -- it's a personal decision. And it's -- it's to protect the people around you. I mean, we aren't high-risk people. We are healthy. And -- and I know that she's not at higher risk for any complications. Really, we are concerned about family and friends that are high risk that we want to be able to see again and spend, you know, the holidays with. And I don't want to accidentally, you know, expose somebody to a virus that could hospitalize or kill them. So, it's really about protecting the people that you care about.

HILL: Taylor and Elleanor Hirth, it's great to have you back with us today. Here is to hopefully some less stress over the holidays knowing that Elleanor is fully vaccinated at this point. Hope to talk to you again. Thanks.

SCIUTTO: Good for her, and how about that smile?

HILL: I know.

SCIUTTO: Minutes from now, a serious story we've been following for a number of days now, the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse will resume after a dramatic day in court with the accused killer crying on the stand. The judge admonished the prosecution at one point. The defense is demanding a mistrial. We're going to be there live.