Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Newsroom

Armed Suspect On The Run After His Gun Goes Off At Airport; New Questions After Chinese Tennis Star Appears In Video Call; Schumer Says They Will Negotiate With Manchin And Sinema To Get A Strong Bill. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired November 21, 2021 - 15:00   ET




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

We begin this hour with a search underway right now for a man whose gun fired inside one of the world's busiest airports, scaring travelers and temporarily grounding flights. The incident happened, Saturday, at a security checkpoint at Atlanta's Hartsfield Jackson International Airport.

Police say 42-year-old Kenny Wells grabbed a gun that was in his bag as it was being searched by the T.S.A., and then that's when the weapon went off. At least three people were injured not by direct gunfire, but during this chaotic airport evacuation following the gunshot.

CNN's Nadia Romero is at Hartsfield Jackson Airport. So, what more do we know about the ongoing search and how travelers are feeling today?

NADIA ROMERO, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fred, nothing spreads faster than fear and misinformation especially when misinformation sparks fear, and that's exactly what happened yesterday at about 1:30 in the afternoon, when there was a gunshot that went off.

So people heard that correctly, but then the assumption was that there was an active shooter in the busiest airport in the nation. People scattered, they fled, fleeing for their lives, they believed out of the airport onto the tarmac.

People fled with their luggage onto the Interstate trying to get as far away from the airport as possible, but there were other people inside, on the other side of the security checkpoint who had either just landed, got off flights, or about to board their flights, when they had to shelter in place and just remain there for about two hours, and there was very little information that was coming out from airport employees on the inside of the airport because they didn't want to alarm the thousands of people who were inside.

So then people took to their phones and social media, and that is where they saw this report of an active shooter.

But here's what the airport police are telling us actually happened. Take a listen.


ROBERT SPINDEN, T.S.A.'S DIRECTOR OF FEDERAL SECURITY FOR GEORGIA: During the screening process, a prohibited item was detected inside of his property, which was subsequently flagged for a secondary search.

During that secondary search, the passenger lunged into his property grabbing a firearm that was located inside, which ultimately discharged. The passenger then fled the security checkpoint through an adjacent exit lane with his firearm.

We're fortunate that when the firearm went off, nobody was seriously injured.


ROMERO: So you heard what actually happened. It took a while for the truth to start spreading around to people that there wasn't actually an active shooter. There's still a lot of misinformation on social media, but here is what we know about 42-year-old, Kenny Wells.

There are warrants out right now for his arrest. He is facing charges for bringing a firearm into a commercial airport, for discharging that firearm. And also, he faces a warrant for being a convicted felon with a firearm. That is something he is not allowed to have at all anywhere.

Today, Fredricka, you asked how people are feeling? There is still a bit of uneasiness, but people have places to go and the planes are off and running. Things are back to normal, what a nuisance of normal is, I guess after an incident like that -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: That's right, all right, and still probably a few jittery travelers out there. Nadia Romero, thank you so much.

All right, let's talk more about all of this now. Here with us now senior law enforcement analyst and former Washington, D.C. Police Chief, Charles Ramsey, about this time we were talking about this, so now, we know a little bit more information. What are some of the questions you have about how this happened and how they get to the bottom of something like this not happening again?

CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, you know, again, there is a lot of video there, so, they are going to go over all of the procedures. But I've had my bag subjected to secondary search, and they tell you to stand back.

In fact, that conveyor belt in most airports where your luggage comes through after it is screened is like between you and the T.S.A. agent that is going to do the screening. So, it'll be interesting to learn exactly how he got close enough to lunge into his bag and grab the firearm. That would be one of the things I would want to take a look at, because that's an area where you could beef up the security.

WHITFIELD: Right, and there are some 3,000 cameras throughout that airport. So, they might even know already, but certainly, it would seem those cameras are going to reveal if there was space between he and the bag once the T.S.A. attendant said "I need to further check your bag" and whether he could have leapt across, you know any kind of barrier, reached in or what -- I mean, all of those questions still to be asked.

So now --

RAMSEY: The other thing too, Fred.

WHITFIELD: Yes, go ahead.

RAMSEY: As far as the screener, Fred, when they're looking at that x-ray, what do they say to the person who is going to do the secondary screen? If you suspect a gun and you could tell from the outline of it, do you say "gun"? Do you give them a heads up that what you're looking at is potentially a firearm?


That would make you a lot more cautious and probably take different measures in doing a secondary search than you would normally.

WHITFIELD: Good point on that. So, police have revealed the name of the suspect, a little bit more about his identity. So clearly, they were able to backtrack, whether it was, you know, the moment where you hand over your driver's license and show your plane ticket, and we know that they have computers there and they were able to look at that quickly to identify, you know, who this suspect was.

But the person did get away. I mean, he got out of that airport, was able to run through a whole lot of people. Those cameras will be able to, in your view, show which exits he came out of, what kind of transportation or if he was on foot in order to flee the area?

RAMSEY: Yes. They'll be able to do all of that. He is going to be taken into custody, I would imagine within a relatively short period of time. I mean, he knew he was wanted, that's why he ran. That was something that I was kind of wondering when he you know, grabbed the gun and ran. We learned that yesterday, at least part of that yesterday. But he was wanted and he knew he was wanted, and that explains that.

As far as and I was listening earlier to some comments around, you know, nobody stopped him at the time he was running. But you have to remember, this stuff happens in real time, and you had a lot of panic. He had hundreds of people running at the same time, including this guy.

WHITFIELD: Right, and so blending in would be easy.

RAMSEY: And so, yes, exactly right. And so I don't think it's reasonable to think that someone would have -- unless they were standing there and actually saw him and knew that he was the person who, you know, had the gun, but apparently that's not the case here, and so, they'll look at all that and figure out exactly, you know, what took place.

WHITFIELD: All good points. Chief Ramsey, always good to see you. Thank you so much.

Have a great Thanksgiving week, as well.

RAMSEY: You, too. You, too.

WHITFIELD: Thank you.

All right, coming up. The International Olympic Committee Chief says he just held a video call with Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai, who has been missing for nearly three weeks now. But questions still remain about the safety of the three-time Olympic athlete. We'll tell you why next.

And now that the House passed President Biden's cornerstone spending bill, the legislation faces an uphill battle in the U.S. Senate. The Democrats plan to get the Build Back Better Bill across the finish line there, straight ahead.



WHITFIELD: All right, this breaking news now. Missing Chinese tennis star, Peng Shuai has surfaced in a video call with the head of the International Olympic Committee. Peng, a three-time Olympian initially disappeared from public view nearly three weeks ago after accusing one of China's most powerful former leaders of sexual assault.

CNN sports correspondent and anchor, Patrick Snell joining us again this hour. So Patrick, what more are we learning about this call? How it came to be?

PATRICK SNELL, CNN ANCHOR, WORLD SPORT: Yes, Fred, we've been following developments very, very closely, indeed. This has got massive global attention.

You know what? This video, highly significant, centering on the International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, holding a video phone call with the three-time Olympian, the 35-year-old. Let's just remind everyone, she is also a two-time Grand Slam doubles champion. She's a huge sports star in her homeland.

And also important to stress that Beijing, look, Fred, Beijing hosted the 2008 Summer Games, and it is going to be hosting in just a matter of weeks now the Winter Games as well, in early February.

Now, in a statement, this day, Sunday from the IOC, let's get to that because it reads like this: "At the beginning of the 30-minute call, Peng Shuai thanking the IOC for its concern about her wellbeing. She explained that she is safe and well living at her home in Beijing, but would like to have her privacy respected at this time. That is why she prefers to spend her time with friends and family right now. Nevertheless, she will continue to be involved in tennis, the sport she loves so much."

The Chair of the Athletes Commission adding this: "I was relieved to see that Peng Shuai was doing fine, which was our main concern. She appeared to be relaxed. I offered her our support and to stay in touch at any time of her convenience," which she obviously appreciate.

Now, Fred, some things off the back of this which are really important. We've got to point out that according to the IOC, Peng has accepted an invitation as well to have dinner with Bach once he arrives in Beijing in January ahead of those Games.

But this is really important. Although, a still photo of that video call was provided, CNN has not been given access to the video chat at this time.

Just to reset for our viewers, you said that at the very top. This story coming up after Peng publicly accusing one of the country's former Vice Premiers of coercing her into sex at his home, that's according to screenshots of a since deleted social media post from early November.

And from the tennis world and beyond, really, we've seen Peng's case taken up by massive global superstars. I'm thinking Japanese superstar Naomi Osaka, the U.S.A.'s Serena Williams as well, and a really strong stance we've had in recent days from the W.T.A. That's the Women's Tennis Association and its head, Steve Simon who has been calling for more robust proof of Peng's proof -- proof of her liberty, saying also he is willing to lose hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of business in China, if she is not fully accounted for and her allegations are not properly investigated. That in itself speaks volumes.

But this is fast moving. We're tracking it every step of the way, Fred, and you can be sure there are more developments ahead. We'll stay across it.

WHITFIELD: Very significant. Yes, very significant. Patrick Snell, thank you so much for that.

Let's talk further now with Balbina Hwang. She is a former Senior Adviser for the U.S. State Department on Asian and Pacific Affairs and a visiting professor at Georgetown University. Always good to see you, Professor.

So, does that image of that video call assure you that Peng Shuai is okay? That she is interacting, you know, with people willingly, isn't suffering any penalties for speaking out.


BALBINA HWANG, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER FOR THE U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT ON ASIAN AND PACIFIC AFFAIRS: Great to see you, too, Fred. Well, no, it really doesn't, and I think it certainly probably raises

more questions than it answers. But I think what is so fascinating about this particular story, and why it is and has captured, essentially, the attention of the entire world, is because it encapsulates so many of the very, very complex global issues that so many countries have with China, but also many of the global social concerns that have been the focus of attention.

WHITFIELD: What do you mean?

HWANG: For example --

WHITFIELD: What do you mean?

HWANG: Well, for example, the #MeToo Movement, you know, it really began here in America a number of years ago. But now in Asia, it has been taken up and frankly, has gained a lot of momentum in countries in East Asia, in Japan, in South Korea, and now as we see in China. But it also, of course, involves sports and the incredible money- making machine that the entire sports industry is and has, and the political complexities of hosting the Olympics.

WHITFIELD: And you said at the very beginning, and the Olympics is just, you know, a matter of weeks away there in Beijing. And you said at the top of our conversation, you said it raises more questions than it does answers, meaning just that image, in and of itself of that video call. What were some of your questions that were evoked by seeing that image?

HWANG: Well, I think that we will essentially never now reach a point where we -- meaning those of us who are not in China -- are fully going to be satisfied that Peng Shuai is safe, and that she is living according to her own complete freedom and will. Frankly, if she is maintained under the kind of net of the Chinese authorities.

And again, that I think really shows us really what the stage of world that we are in now, in terms of our relationship with China.

WHITFIELD: And you say that to because there is precedence. I mean, the Chinese government is known for how it might, you know, wield power over people, people there disappear, or will be moved, because they have spoken out.

I mean, here are some of the examples, Chinese billionaire, Jack Ma disappearing from public view after criticizing Chinese regulators; super star Fan Bingbing; the head Huawei Corporation -- just some of the more, you know, high profile kind of examples of penalties. What happens when you speak out or when you challenge authority there?

HWANG: Exactly. And there are artists and many others. And the reality is, is that clearly, these superstars, these celebrities become pawns, and they are now pawns of a much, much bigger political game, and really global game, because for China, this is as much about prestige, as it is about power and money.

And I'm not sure that any of us in the outside world and certainly for the Tennis Association, that we are going to let this go necessarily. So, this may be actually an unresolved problem now that it has essentially blown up through social media.

WHITFIELD: Oh, interesting. The Women's Tennis Association says, you know, they are prepared to pull out of China all together over, you know, what Peng has said, and they are estimating that they have more than $1 billion tied up in a long-term deal with China.

And you just mentioned, you know, how important money -- I mean, capital is. Is that leverage enough, you know, whether it be the W.T.A., to be able to place demands on China to change its ways and its method of operating by saying we're going to pull billions of dollars?

HWANG: Well, this is actually what I find the most fascinating part of this, that this, Steve Smith, the head of the W.T.A. has essentially taken on. I mean, in some ways, it is sort of a David and Goliath mission, something that he probably didn't even realize that he was taking on.

But frankly, good for him because, you know, what there is precedence for is China punishing, and when I say China, the government of China punishing other really, really big sports industry. So for example, the NBA and also in Europe, the European soccer teams, where there have been individual superstars who have taken -- come out and spoken against China, some other policies of China, and they have essentially -- the organizations that support them and essentially backed down and those stars have essentially sort of gone away in terms of their criticism.

So this is a very, very different turning point, and it will be interesting to see what happens now.


WHITFIELD: Yes, their lights have dimmed. All right, Balbina Hwang, always good to see you. Have a great Holiday week. Thanks for being with us today.

HWANG: Thank you. Yes, thank you.

WHITFIELD: All right, straight ahead. President Biden's nearly $2 trillion social safety net package is now on its way to the U.S. Senate. How Democrats plan to get it across the finish line, that's coming up next.



WHITFIELD: All right, Democrats are celebrating a major win for a cornerstone of President Biden's agenda, the passage in the House of his $1.9 trillion spending plan, expanding the nation's social safety net. But their next major hurdle comes after the Thanksgiving Holiday, when they will work to get the Build Back Better Bill through the U.S. Senate, and to do that, they'll need the support of moderate Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.

And today, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer saying he is ready to negotiate with those senators and hopes to pass the bill by Christmas.

Eva McKend is on Capitol Hill for us. So Eva, what's next for this legislation?

EVA MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER: Well, Fred, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer saying in a briefing today that Senate Democrats will be negotiating with Senator Sinema and Senator Manchin in the days ahead, also important to Senator Schumer, a provision that would lower the cost of insulin. He wants that to make it in to the final version of the bill.

Also at issue, paid family leave. Take a listen to how my colleague, Jim Acosta who was in conversation with Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, who leads the Progressive Caucus. Here is what she had to say about how she anticipates this issue of paid family leave will play out in the weeks ahead.


REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): The House did add a few provisions to it, and I'm glad we did. Paid family leave was one of them.

We understand that Senator Manchin is not yet on board with that provision, but there are many strong women Democratic senators over there that I hope will be able to convince him that this is something that is necessary for us to do.


MCKEND: So you can hear, Fred, lots of arm twisting expected up here in the days ahead. But ultimately, Democrats recognizing that they have to work with each other. No Republicans support the Build Back Better agenda. But Senator Schumer confident that he can get this wrapped up by the end of the year.

WHITFIELD: All right, Eva McKend, thank you so much.

All right, still ahead. Reverend Jesse Jackson and local activists leading a march today in Kenosha, Wisconsin in response to the acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse. We'll go there live, next.



WHITFIELD: All right, happening right now in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Reverend Jesse Jackson is leading a march with local activists in response to Friday's verdict. They'll follow the route Kyle Rittenhouse took the night he killed two men and injured a third during mass protests last year.

Jackson is also expected to call for the Justice Department to look into Federal crimes that march organizers claim the teenager committed.

CNN's Natasha Chen joining me now from Kenosha, and Natasha, what's happening?

NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fred, we're in the square in front of the courthouse right now. And you could see the group behind me there. It's a lot of media, as well as the family of Jacob Blake leading a protest right now in the wake of this verdict.

Now, we've been telling you that it's been pretty quiet in Kenosha the last couple of days, all true. But in this moment, this group right here of local residents, community leaders are really trying to send a message that they are not happy with what happened in this case.

There are a couple of counter protesters on the outskirts here or people rather who drove by, walked by, did not like what they saw and there were a couple of tense interactions here, and we do see people who are armed, I'm not sure which group they are with.

But one person who was attending this protest talked to me about how sick she has felt over the last couple of days, feeling that something she thought was cut and dry, did not turn out the way she thought it would and that this is sending the wrong kind of message. So, a lot of still hurt in this community.

In the meantime, you have Kyle Rittenhouse, who has left this immediate area and we are hearing from his mother who have spoken to another outlet about what it's like for him and their family now.


WENDY RITTENHOUSE, KYLE RITTENHOUSE'S MOTHER: Waiting for that verdict felt like forever. Just looking as a mother's point, you don't want to see your child in that situation.

That was the first picture I ever saw of him smiling like that since this happened. It made me feel like I had a part of my son back.


CHEN: And so in the meantime, you have people who feel very differently about what her son did, and they are here in the square as I mentioned right now. They plan to march. And from speaking to a couple of these people here, one of them told me that now, she wishes that there would be action taken against some of the other people who may have contributed to the deaths of these two people that Rittenhouse shot.

For example, perhaps the person who bought the AR-style right rifle for Rittenhouse who was underage and things like that, that she feels are -- should again, in her view, should be pretty cut and dry -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right, Natasha Chen, thank you so much in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

All right tomorrow, closing arguments in the trial for the killing of Ahmaud Arbery. That is expected.

If convicted, each of the three white male defendants could face life in prison without the possibility of parole. All three have also been indicted on Federal hate crime and attempted kidnapping charges.


I want to bring in Areva Martin. She is a CNN legal analyst and a Civil Rights attorney. Areva, so good to see you. So, what are you anticipating? What are you bracing for ahead of statements tomorrow?

AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, we know that the attorney for William "Roddie" Bryan, Kevin Gough, has made repeated motions before the court to exclude Black pastors from the gallery. He has made motions for a mistrial. He made a motion with respect to the prayer vigil that took place last week, saying that it was akin to a lynch mob.

So, I think, tomorrow, we will probably hear more from Kevin Gough. We will probably hear more of those motions, motions about Black pastors, motions about peaceful protesters and pastors that have been outside that courtroom. I think that's how we're going to start the day and then we, obviously will move for it into the oral arguments, each side making their last appeal to this jury about why they think there should either be an acquittal or why these three men should be found guilty.

WHITFIELD: I wonder do you think in any way this Brunswick jury will be influenced by the Rittenhouse verdict, of not guilty in Kenosha, Wisconsin. You know, in that case, similarly to this one, the defense claiming self-defense and similarly, you know, provoked by this vigilantism?

MARTIN: Yes, that's a great question, Fred. I would hope not. You know, we have a lot of faith in our jury system. And as an officer of the court, when they, you know, come down with a verdict, we have to accept it, even if we don't necessarily agree with it.

I would hope, though, that this jury will take into account the facts and evidence that were presented. And in my opinion, the prosecution has presented an outstanding case that completely undermines that the case of citizen's arrest and self-defense, which has been put forth by these three defendants.

When Travis McMichael himself took the stand, he blew a big hole in his own case by testifying that he had no knowledge of any activity that Ahmaud Arbery was involved in prior to him and his father chasing Ahmaud, trapping him as they said, like a rat, and then shooting and killing him, mindful of the fact that Ahmaud was unarmed at the time that this entire incident played out.

WHITFIELD: And again, closing arguments and closing statements tomorrow. Here are the defendants, you know, Travis McMichael and his father, Greg; and William "Roddie" Bryan, and perhaps, you know, you set it up with the prosecution making its case. I mean, perhaps these most kind of notable examinations might be a way

to look into what we're expecting to hear from the closing statements tomorrow. Listen.


TRAVIS MCMICHAEL, DEFENDANT: With him trying to walk around like he is drawing a weapon and then running into the house, and then see the video that he is walking -- walking around so nonchalant, in that that house kind of -- that startled me a little bit that -- having that just happen, just catching him creeping through that front yard, and obviously trying to avoid detection, and then doing what he did there, and then going into the house, and then walk around in there like it's no big deal was -- was alarming.


WHITFIELD: So that was Travis McMichael, and then this was the cross examination when the prosecutor pressed him on what happened and the decisions that he made.


LINDA DUNIKOSKI, PROSECUTOR: He didn't brandish any weapons?

MCMICHAEL: No, ma'am.

DUNIKOSKI: Didn't pull out any guns?

MCMICHAEL: No, ma'am.

DUNIKOSKI: Did not pull out any knife?

MCMICHAEL: No, ma'am.

DUNIKOSKI: Never reached for anything, did he?


DUNIKOSKI: He just ran.

MCMICHAEL: Yes, he just ran.


WHITFIELD: So does this kind of setup what's expected in the closing statements?

MARTIN: Oh, absolutely, Fred. I think we're going to hear this prosecutor just really drive home this point that this whole case is about assumptions -- assumptions that Travis McMichael and his father and the other defendant made because they had no evidence. And the assumption was that something that happened February 11th played into what was happening on February 23rd.

And when you heard Travis McMichael says, given that that just happened, that didn't just happen. The incident that he is talking about had happened almost two weeks ago. And this Citizen's Arrest Law that he's resting his case on, the three defendants are resting on doesn't allow you to rely on something that happened two weeks ago or two months ago, as the basis for trying to effectuate a citizen's arrest.

And I think the prosecutor will again, you know, hit home this point that at all points, Ahmaud Arbery didn't steal anything. He didn't commit a crime. He was unarmed, and he did nothing to provoke this attack. He did what anyone would do if they're being chased by three white men, two armed with guns. He stopped and you know, had some kind of engagement with Travis McMichael, but he was not in any way the initial aggressor in this situation.

WHITFIELD: What in your view will the outcome of this case, either you know say about the justice system, say about where we are in America on race? Culturally? I mean, what do you expect?


MARTIN: Yes, Fred, it is going to say a lot. It has already said a lot. We have to keep in mind that there are 11 white jurors on this jury, even though this community is 25 percent African-American. So even if there are guilty verdicts on all counts as it relates to all three men, we have to take a look at how our criminal justice system continues to, you know, in many ways, work in a way that is disproportionate when you have African-Americans, either as defendants, or in this case, African-Americans as the victims.

The disproportionate level of justice that we see is galling. We saw it in -- you know, we saw it in the jury selection process. The Judge himself said that he believed there was discrimination in the selection of the jury, but you know, allowed the jury to be seated in the racial composition that it is.

So, we have a long way to go. We've made some progress obviously, Fred, but we have so much further to go with respect to making sure our justice system is equal and fair for everyone and not just white people and not just privileged people.

WHITFIELD: Indeed, Areva Martin, thank you so much and have a happy Thanksgiving week even throughout what is likely to be a very unpredictable week. Thank you so much.

MARTIN: Thank you, Fred. Appreciate it.

WHITFIELD: All right, we'll be right back.



WHITFIELD: All right, this morning, Dr. Anthony Fauci on CNN saying if you're vaccinated, you can celebrate the Holidays the way we used to without a mask. Dr. Rob Davidson is an Emergency Medicine physician in Western

Michigan, as well as the Executive Director of the Committee to Protect Healthcare. Dr. Davidson, so good to see you.

All right, so how confident are you feeling?


WHITFIELD: How confident are you feeling about everybody's welfare as we head into the Holidays?

DAVIDSON: Well, I'm certainly worried about what's going on in a lot of places, but particularly right here at home in West Michigan.

WHITFIELD: What's happening?

DAVIDSON: We've been -- we'll, we've been dealing with about three weeks or so of increased numbers. Cases in our hospital that are higher than they've ever been. Our Emergency Department typically has between six and 10 patients waiting to be transferred somewhere or admitted to our hospital, to beds that frankly, don't exist.

I mean, our ICUs across all of West Michigan are operating about 140 percent capacity right now, and that capacity is really being taken up by COVID-19 patients who are unvaccinated. It is just the reality of what we're seeing.

You know, we're normally used to running 90 to 95 percent or so, and being full, but being manageable, and now, we're at a point where it is no longer manageable. You know, the system that we were afraid was going to break really has broken.

And I think people thought breaking -- a broken system meant nobody gets care and you know, everybody goes home and turn off the lights. Well, that's not true. What is true is people waiting in the ER for hours and hours, people waiting to be transferred and waiting to be admitted, and frankly, doctors and nurses taking care of more patients with different skill sets than we've ever used.

WHITFIELD: So you're worried that the limits are going to be pushed even further, particularly ahead of the Holiday with people getting together, Dr. Fauci saying, if you're vaccinated, everyone can get together and even without a mask, but your concerns are going to be, there are going to be too many people who are so complacent or perhaps unvaccinated, not taking the precautions and that means that ER is going to be, you know, pushing the limits.

DAVIDSON: Right, the whole system really, and you know, the concern is that the folks that listen to Dr. Fauci, that have listened to us all these, you know, many months are the folks that had been vaccinated, the folks that have been wearing masks and unfortunately, the people we need to be changing their behaviors are listening to someone besides Dr. Fauci.

Now, they're listening to Tucker Carlson or others and they're being fed a different message, the message of it's no big deal what you're hearing and seeing on the news isn't real. And you know, you should, you know, kind of have liberty and freedom over getting vaccinated and trying to protect yourself and others and we're just stuck.

Unfortunately, I think, we can't pull back from this and we'll just have to weather the storm. Hopefully, you know, in the next month to five weeks, we think we'll see our peak and we'll just have to hang on for dear life until then.

WHITFIELD: Oh my gosh, I hear it in your voice. It sounds very exhausting, especially for you. You know and your comrades in the medical community. And now with Michigan's new mask guidance, covering every county in the state and calling for kids as young as two to wear masks might that offer some assistance?

DAVIDSON: Well, listen, I think messaging is critically important. But again, the people who have been listening to these messages of sort of basic, simple, non-intrusive ways of mitigating the spread, have been doing it and will continue to do it.

We just need to penetrate into some of those other folks, particularly where we are, you know, about 42 percent of people in the county I work in are vaccinated right now. You go into any store and I don't go into stores there, I drive elsewhere, but you go into any store and nobody is wearing masks, you know.

So we just need some behavior changes. And frankly, you know, we will continue to circle the wagons in the hospital and take care of the folks who come in, do our best and you know, hopefully nobody is inadvertently harmed in the process.

WHITFIELD: Well, Dr. Rob Davidson, I am wishing you and everybody else the best and I hope you're still able to you know have some room to have a good Holiday week.

DAVIDSON: Thanks, Fred. Thank you.

WHITFIELD: All right, thank you.

And we're back in a moment.



WHITFIELD: All right tonight, Lisa Ling is back with an all-new episode of "This is Life." And this week, Lisa investigates the murders of wealthy Native Americans during the 1920s oil boom and witnesses how the descendants are fighting to revive what was nearly lost forever.



LISA LING, CNN HOST, "THIS IS LIFE" (voice over): In 1918, Mollie Burkhart thought she had the perfect life. She was married to Ernest, a man she loved and was close to her three sisters, Minnie, Anna, and Rita.

But then everyone around Mollie started dying.

First, Minnie passed away from a mysterious ailment. Then, Anna was found shot and killed at the bottom of a remote ravine. Two months later, Mollie's mother, Lizzie Q got sick and died quickly. Tamale, it seemed like poisoned, but she had no proof.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mollie's family starts dying. Mollie's family starts disappearing, and there are no good answers.

LING (voice over): Mollie went to the authorities, but they dismissed her claims. Two years later, her ex-husband, Henry Roan was also found shot and killed.


WHITFIELD: All right, joining us right now, the host of "This is Life" with Lisa Ling. I mean, this is really fascinating. Tell us more about what you were able to uncover here.

LING: It really was, Fred. And as you know, this season of "This is Life," we are looking back into moments in American history that didn't make it into the books, but continue to impact us today.

And so this episode that is airing tonight is about the Osage, and they are a tribe that once controlled most of what is now the Midwest -- Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, parts of Illinois. But by the 1800s, they were practically driven off all of that land, and they ended up settling in a small corner of Oklahoma and they negotiated.

They were smart, they negotiated for the surface and the subsurface of that land, and that would become land that would become some of the wealthiest oil deposits, the richest oil deposits in all of the world, which made the Osage some of the richest people on the face of the earth.

Well, that also made them a target for exploitation, extortion, and even murder. And it is estimated that hundreds of Osage may have lost their lives in this period that became known as the Reign of Terror.

Sadly, hardly any of the cases were brought to justice. But the few that were brought to justice, essentially gave birth to our Federal Bureau of Investigation, our F.B.I.

WHITFIELD: Wow. And so now, a century later, descendants of those victims, you know, they are still feeling the impacts of these murders. And while I'm sure they appreciate some acknowledgement, really they want more than recognition at this point.

What are they telling you about what they are discovering, finding, and what they're still searching for?

LING: Well, Fred, it really is surreal to go and talk to people in Oklahoma, because it's still so raw to them, even though these murders happened about a century ago.

In fact, I spent time with the Shaw family and they lost the patriarch of their family in the 1920s, and upon further investigation over the last 10 years, they believe that that the patriarch of the family was killed and the recipient of his land and property was also the person, the mastermind behind the murders of the people that we saw in the clip.

WHITFIELD: How about the Osage Nation's ability to carry on with its language, traditions, you know, kind of maintain their legacy and expose people? Share it?

LING: Well, this is a sad thing that has happened with so many native tribes. You know, in the early 1900s, young kids were made to attend boarding schools where they were forbidden from speaking their language, they had to learn English. They could no longer dress in their native attire and they were essentially Americanized for all practical purposes.

And so this language has all but died. And when a language dies, it becomes so much easier for a culture to die.

And so now, a hundred years later, there is this incredible effort underway to teach Osage children their language and I have to tell you, Fred, when I was there listening to these kids speaking their language, it really took me back. And I felt like I was back a hundred years ago, even hundreds of years ago listening to them.

WHITFIELD: Oh, it's fascinating. We'll be watching tonight.

Lisa Ling, thank you so much.

Be sure to tune in to an all-new episode of "This is Life" with Lisa Ling airing tonight at 10 only on CNN.

I'm Fredricka Whitfield, thanks so much for being with me.

Happy Thanksgiving week. The news continues with Jim Acosta right now.