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Kyle Rittenhouse Not Guilty on All Charges; CDC Vaccine Advisers Voted to Recommend Covid Boosters for All Adults; White House: President Biden in Good Spirits as He Completes Physical Exam; House Passes Landmark $1.9 Trillion Build Back Better Act. Aired 3:30- 4p ET

Aired November 19, 2021 - 15:30   ET



SARA SIDNER, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Today we grieve for the families of those slain by Kyle Rittenhouse. Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum did not deserve to die that night. For now, we ask for peace from everyone who is hurting and that the public respect the privacy of the victims and their families.

That night in Kenosha, Gaige Grosskreutz, Anthony Huber and many others acted heroically. They did not seek violence but to end violence. What we need right now is justice, not more violence. Now today's verdict mean justice delayed, it will not mean justice denied. We are committed to uncovering the truth of that night and holding those accountable -- those responsible to account.

So that is the statement from Kimberly Motley who is the attorney for Gaige Grosskreutz. She is also suing the city civilly in the case of Gaige being shot. It. So, that's how she sees it and speaking on behalf of her clients as well. She has been paying close attention as you might imagine to this case. She was in court when her client testified on the stand in this case.

Him And her sentiments are, you know, very similar to those of Anthony Huber's family who were very disappointed with what happened in court, and that Kyle Rittenhouse was found not guilty on all charges.

Kyle Rittenhouse for his part and his attorney's part, they are relieved that he is now a free man and will not be facing any charges in this case going forward because he cannot -- you cannot be retry anything once a jury has come back and acquitted someone. So, very strong feelings, that you might imagine on all sides.

And I talked to someone today who said, look, there are no winners. There are two families who are in mourning. There is one person who has got an injury that will be a problem for him for life, and then there is Kyle Rittenhouse himself, and no matter what people think of Kyle Rittenhouse, his life has been impacted greatly by this and you heard his attorney talking to Mark Richards, about how he has been, you know, unable to sleep, and going through a lot of mental anguish, over all that he has experienced as well.

There is so much vitriol that is out there right now on all sides of this. Depending on where you stand, and what you believe. One of the things, I think, that a lot of people who are making some of these very strong statements, some of them, which are factually incorrect. They didn't watch the trial and they didn't look at the same evidence that the jury looked at.

And this jury didn't just look at it for the trial. They didn't just look at it for the couple of weeks, as one person after another, more than 30 witnesses came through. They looked at this for the past three and a half days. They've gone over it and over it and over it. And they came to a decision as juries do. Some people will be very unhappy with this decision, and we've seen that very clearly, and some people obviously think it is the right thing to do.

But the prosecutor himself said look, we are disappointed but we respect the jury's decision. That is the law of the land in this country. So that is where they are. All not guilty verdict for Mr. Kyle Rittenhouse, and for those who were hurt or who were killed on that day, on August 25th, by Rittenhouse, they are very upset about this, and they feel like justice has not been done.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: Sara, thank you very much for the development. Please stand by. I'm getting in now a statement from President Biden who is now reacting in a more fulsome way than he was when reporters just approached him as he was coming back to the White House.

It says here: President Joe Biden acknowledged that the verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, quote, will leave many Americans feeling angry, and concerned, myself included. He said that everyone, quote, must acknowledge that the jury has spoken.

This was a statement just released by the White House. He said that he ran on a promise to bring Americans together because I believe that what unites us is far greater than what divides us. And he said I know that we're not going to heal our country's wounds overnight but I remain steadfast in my commitment to do everything in my power to ensure that every American is treated equally with fairness and dignity under the law.

He also encouraged all of the protesters to, quote, express their views peacefully, and consistent with the rule of law. He says violence and destruction of property have no place in our democracy.

Sara, I just want to quickly go back to you with response to that listening to President Biden's statement. Because it does seem as though people outside of the courthouse there are heeding that practice. We haven't seen violence. We've seen disappointment, but generally, very peaceful.

SIDNER: Yes, there has been some anger. There have been some arguments. There have been some, you know, feathers ruffled, if you will, between those who stand with Kyle Rittenhouse, and those who stand against him. But all in all, there have been, you know, two people detained.

[15:35:00] There have been a few people, about three, who this either AR style weapons or pistols on their side, and the sheriff's deputies have been on it. They have come out and said, look, you're within a thousand feet of a school. You cannot have those weapons out here like this outside of the court because it so happens to be close to a school. Most people complied, one person didn't, that person was de detained.

But for the most part, it has been cordial. Yes, there have been people who were chanting. Yes, there have been people who are yelling and using megaphones from both sides of the argument here. But there has not been violence. There has not been any kind of major upset here. There has just been people voicing their concerns and using their First Amendment rights peacefully out here. Including the uncle of Jacob Blake who has been out here every single day outside on the court steps with a few other people. But for the most part -- and I'm just going to look behind me, just to see what the scene is now. Yes, it is much, much fewer people than there have been throughout this entire trial. And so right now, there is a peaceful scene outside of court.

CAMEROTA: Sara Sidner, thank you very much for all of the reporting. Please continue to stand by, and we want to thank all of our legal experts, Elie Honig, Eric Guster, Paul Bucher, and Mark O'Mara. Thank you, gentlemen, very much for helping us get through all of this breaking news. We really appreciate it. Of course, we'll be staying on top of the Kyle Rittenhouse news. He's been found not guilty on all charges in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

We have other breaking news as well because the CDC's vaccine advisers have made a big decision on boosters. So, stay with us, we'll be right back.



CAMEROTA: OK, we have more breaking news. The CDC advisory panel has just unanimously voted to recommend COVID-19 boosters for all Americans 18 and older. They recommend getting the booster six months after you received the second dose. This recommendation now goes to CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky for a final signoff.

CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins me now. So, Sanjay, does this mean that everyone who wants one this weekend can get a booster?

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean that's basically what it means, Alisyn. We'll hear what Dr. Walensky says. There is that final signoff that's necessary. But this was a unanimous recommendation from the advisory committee. So, it's expected she'll sign off on this.

And you know, Alisyn, even before today, the vast majority of adults were eligible for boosters because it was people over the age of 65 but also, any adult who had some sort of medical condition that put them at risk. And when we added up all the medical conditions, that was, you know, close to 80, 90 percent of the adult population.

So, this will make it clearer, I think it's just been a little muddled. Now they're basically saying two things. Everyone who's an adult can now -- it's recommended they get a booster. They also did a second vote, Alisyn, where everyone over the age of 50 should get a booster. So, a little different semantics but strengthening the language specifically for people over the age of 50.

One other thing I'll point out, Alisyn, there was a lot of discussion about adverse effects and one of the things that came out here -- I wrote this down -- was they said the side effects that they saw with the third shot here were actually less in terms of severity and number as compared to the first two shots as well. A lot of people asked that question.

CAMEROTA: That's really interesting because people want to know, do I have to take the day off of work? You know, what's going to happen to me? The idea that it's less is really important.

Sanjay, we're seeing a bit of a winter surge as some of the experts in the upper Midwest are saying. So, do you think that the booster will turn that around? Because is the winter surge an effect of immunity waning?

GUPTA: Yes, that's a big question, I mean, we do know that the surge in part is sort of the nature of the season. It's colder and it's dryer and respiratory viruses like to spread. But let me show you quickly in terms of impact. Unvaccinated versus vaccinated so we're talking about boosting the vaccinated. This shows you what capacity will be in hospitals if you get the 75 percent ICU capacity. Then there could be 12,000 excess deaths they say within a couple of weeks.

That's because hospitals may have a harder time taking care of not just COVID patients but other patients as well. So, that's that ripple effect that we have talked about Alisyn. But let me just show you if we have this graphic, unvaccinated versus vaccinated. Right now, if you look at hospitals, the vast majority of patients who are in the hospital with COVID are unvaccinated. That's something that we have known for some time. Vaccinated make up a small proportion. That's that green line.

But that only takes you to the end of August. So, there's been this missing sort of piece of data for some time that people have been wondering about. And that's why they keep talking about Israel. Israel is a few weeks ahead of us. And what me show you the graphic that they look that out of Israel, which I think tells a really important story.

Who are the people with COVID in the hospital? Still the vast majority are unvaccinated. But you see a trickling up of those who had two doses and then for people who got boosted, there was a significant protection there. So that's the story, Alisyn, the vast majority of the problem is still among the unvaccinated, but you can see the case that was made for boosters in that graph.


CAMEROTA: Those visuals really help tell the story. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thank you very much for helping us understand this breaking news.

OK, so for one hour and 25 minutes today, Kamala Harris became the first woman with presidential power. That's when President Biden underwent a colonoscopy, Biden is back at the White House, and what he's doing, how he's feeling, how is his health, next.


CAMEROTA: It's a Thanksgiving tradition, corny but loveable. Moments ago, President Biden pardoned two turkeys named Peanut Butter and Jelly. He had a busy day. This was just hours after he underwent anesthesia for a colonoscopy. CNN's Arlette Saenz joins us now. Arlette, the turkeys have been saved. How is the president doing?


ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Alisyn, President Biden appeared to be in good spirits today as he participated in this annual tradition of pardoning turkeys here at the White House. The president granted a pardon to both peanut butter and jelly. Jelly was Peanut Butter's backup. But he was joking and jovial as he partook in this Thanksgiving tradition.

But this just came a few hours after the president spent the morning at Walter Reed Medical Center where he underwent his annual physical as well as a colonoscopy. Take a listen to the president talking about that visit when he returned here to the White House a bit earlier today.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sir, what is the state of your health after this (INAUDIBLE) today?

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Good. They're going to release all the detail. I feel great. Nothing's changed. We're in great shape. And so, I'm looking forward to celebrating my 58th birthday.


SAENZ: The president, I should clarify, is actually turning 79 tomorrow, not 58. But the White House, while the president was at Walter Reed, he did have to undergo anesthesia for that colonoscopy. Due to that process, the president transferred power to Vice President Kamala Harris for an hour and 25 minutes. She is the first woman to receive the presidential power. So, a history-making day also here at the White House.

Now the White House is expected to release a summary of the president's visit to Walter Reed a bit later today. We will see what further details we get from the White House about this. But this will be the first snapshot at the president's health in two years. He underwent a physical back in 2019 when he was running for president. Of course, he did so annually as well when he was vice president. But pretty soon, we will have a look at what the president's health is like in this current moment.

Of course, there has been his -- he has had past history having that aneurism back in the 1980s. We'll see how exactly the president is operating as of today -- Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: OK, Arlette Saenz, thank you for all the news from the White House.

Well, just days after signing the infrastructure bill into law, President Biden celebrates his nearly $2 trillion social safety net package passing the House, but its fate in the Senate is unclear.



CAMEROTA: President Biden and the Democrats celebrating a win today after the House passed that historic $1.9 trillion social safety net plan. The president calls it a giant step forward for his agenda.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA) HOUSE SPEAKER: On this vote, the yeas are 220. the nays are 213. The Build Back Better Bill is passed.


CAMEROTA: The landmark vote was delayed when House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy gave a record-breaking all-night speech delaying the Democratic victory until this morning. In the end, no Republicans voted for the bill, and one Democrat voted against it. The sweeping plan is expected to transform the nation's social safety net and provide billions to fight climate change.

CNN's Melanie Zanona is live for us on Capitol Hill. Melanie, the celebration may be short lived since it now goes to the Senate. What's next?

MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: That's right. I mean, this was a big step forward for Democrats in advancing Joe Biden's economic agenda. But it is just that. It is a step. We are not at the finish line just yet. It now heads to the Senate where its fate is much less certain. And that's because Democrats can't afford to lose a single Senator over there. And all eyes, of course, are turning to Joe Manchin, the centrist from West Virginia. He has some concerns with the bill as is. The one that passed the House includes four weeks of paid family leave. He is against that. So that could be stripped from the bill.

And then of course, Bernie Sanders, the progressive, he wants to put his stamp on it as well. He has some issues with some of the tax provisions in there. He wants to strengthen the bill in other areas. So, there is still a negotiation ahead. But no doubt, this is a huge victory for Democrats. Biden and Democrats are ecstatic. Just take a listen to what Joe Biden had to say earlier today about its passage.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The build back better plan, now that it's passed the House, when do you expect it to land on your desk?

BIDEN: Well, I don't know. It's going to take a while to get through the Senate. I think it'll probably after Thanksgiving.


ZANONA: So, look, this contains so much of Biden's economic agenda. It includes universal pre-K, an expansion of the child tax credit. Expansion of health care, access to childcare as well. It has provisions to combat climate change. It also has lowering prescription drug prices in there. So, there's a ton in there that Democrats have been pushing for, for years. And at one point it also looked like this bill may not ever pass. So, this is a huge victory for Democrats. But again, all eyes now turn to the Senate -- Alisyn.

CAMEROTA: And we'll be watching that. Melanie Zanona, thank you very much.

Well, it's been a very busy day, as you know here. Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted on all charges. And the CDC just approved boosters for all adults over 18. They are waiting for the CDC director to sign off on that. She is expected to do so and that means that everyone over 18 can begin getting their boosters. Have a wonderful weekend, everyone.

Thanks so much for joining me. "THE LEAD" starts right now.