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Vehicle Found In Tennessee In Search For Fugitives; At Least 8 Dead After Explosion At Havana Hotel; FDA Puts Strict Limits On Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine; New Images Of Soviet-Era Symbols Seen In Mariupol. Aired 2:30-3pm ET

Aired May 06, 2022 - 14:30   ET




VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: We got some breaking news on the Alabama manhunt. U.S. Marshals, say they found a car that escaped inmate Casey White and former Corrections Officer Vicky White used in their getaway. The vehicle was discovered in Williamson County, Tennessee, that's just south of Nashville. And those two have been on the run for about a week now. CNN Ryan Young has the latest for us. So what are you learning, Ryan?

RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Victor. It's actually been a week since that, two went missing. And you think about it. That first car they had obviously was able to be tracked because it was part of the sheriff's department. They switch that forage that will put up on the screen. And they were driving that. That release went out early, if you think about it. They wanted to keep that close to the vest.

Now, we know it has been found in Tennessee about two hours away from here. So you think about how they're building this investigation in the next half hour or so they will step to the mic and give us some new parts of what they've been able to learn. But if you think about this, the entire nation has been thinking about where these two have gone missing?

So now we know, Tennessee is where they went for the next location. But where did they go from here? We were talking about Marshal Service yesterday. They said, there has been extensive planning involved in this. So at this point, maybe we'll get some more details in the next half hour, Victor, as we continue to watch this.

BLACKWELL: All right, we'll look forward to that update. Ryan Young for us, thank you.

Eight people are dead after an explosion rocked the city of Havana. A hotel was destroyed. CNN's Patrick Oppmann is live from Havana. Patrick, do investigators know what cause this?

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They're saying that they have ruled out a bomb. But you look at the images of the immediate aftermath of the explosion and just gives you a sense of the power of the blast that ripped through this iconic hotel where U.S. officials and celebrities have stayed, and it is just a ruin.

Now, it appears that this could have been a gas leak or perhaps a delivery of liquid gas, a truck that was bringing in, gas to this hotel, which was still under repairs and was several days a beat away from being reopened. But apparently was full of workers. And as I said it's a busy area. So you would have had a lot of foot traffic outside the hotel.

When we arrived there, really just minutes after the explosion, we saw people being taken out of the rubble of very bloody people who have been injured. You could just tell the amount of rubble that was around this hotel, gave you a sense of what, how devastating this explosion must have been.

And the Cuban authorities say they are still working on determining how many people were killed determining how many people were wounded. And how many people remain under that rubble. They are working around the clock, hundreds of rescue workers when we were there on the scene, trying to get to the bottom of that rubble high, high piles of rubble, just enormous blocks of cement that came out from down, from this hotel, and apparently, they're still official tells people they believe buried underneath.

BLACKWELL: Patrick Oppmann, those pictures are unbelievable. Thanks so much for the report.

The CDC says, it's investigating severe and unexplained hepatitis cases among young children in 25 states. What parents should be looking for. That's coming up.

Plus, the FDA put strict limits Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine. We'll tell you why the agency is making these changes, next.



BLACKWELL: COVID-19 cases are spiking in the U.S., hospitalizations also at the highest level since March and there is an uptick. It's slight but an uptick nonetheless in fatalities, as the U.S. approaches a grim milestone, 1 million COVID deaths. CNN Health Reporter Jacqueline Howard is here. Jacqueline, these numbers are all going in the wrong direction.


JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER: That's right, Victor. And, you know, I think there's two reasons for that. One is our own behavior where, you know, kind of returning to pre-pandemic, our pre-pandemic lives, were no longer wearing masks as much, we're socializing more, many people are becoming more comfortable socializing. And that's why we might be seeing this uptick.

But also, number two, it's also the virus itself. We're seeing the Coronavirus really continue to evolve. And we are seeing the emergence of sub-variants of Omicron. And as we see emerging variants, we can see more and more spread. So you can see here we have the Omicron, which caused winter surge, then we have BA.2 which became dominant and March. And then we have BA.2.12.1 and that's growing about 25% faster than BA.2 and we're seeing many of those cases in New York. So there is some concern, Victor, that we might see a possible summer surge if we continue to see cases go up. And that would also fall in line with seasonal patterns we've seen before with COVID-19. But this is also an important reminder for all of us if you're not boosted to get your booster shot.

BLACKWELL: So let's talk about vaccines now, there are new concerns about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine specifically in blood clots. The FDA is now limiting who can get the vaccine. What can you tell us about that?

HOWARD: The FDA made this announcement and, you know, this is something that the CDC and the FDA have been monitoring for the past year and what they're doing, the FDA is limiting the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Here's what the announcement was. Among adults, the use is being limited for those are only to include those whom do not have other options for vaccines because they're not accessible or because it would be clinically inappropriate for them, what that means, it might be someone who couldn't get the mRNA vaccine because they had a severe allergic reaction before. And it's limited to those who otherwise wouldn't get vaccinated due to personal reasons or due to limited access. And the reason why is tied to this rare risk of blood clotting conditions.

BLACKWELL: Good to know. So the CDC just shared some new information about some unusual cases of hepatitis in children, what have they said, what do we need to know?

HOWARD: This announcement was just made just moments ago, Victor. The CDC is continuing to investigate these unusual hepatitis cases among children. It was first alerted to this by a cluster that was identified in Alabama. And now, the CDC has identified 100 -- more than 100 cases of these unusual hepatitis incidents in children across 25 states and territories. There have been 14% of these cases required liver transplants. So 15 liver transplants is the number and there were five deaths.

We should have a map, I believe, of the states and territories where these cases were identified. So there are 24 states, the one territory is Puerto Rico. And CDC officials say, Victor, that they're continuing to monitor this. They're asking clinicians if you do have a patient with an unusual case of hepatitis with unknown cause to alert the CDC, parents if you notice any signs as well alert your doctor. This is something that clinicians and officials are continuing to look at because the cause of these hepatitis cases remains unknown. Most of the children did have adenovirus infections, but the CDC officials are looking at other possible causes as well. So this investigation continues.

BLACKWELL: Yeah, and there is no regional consistency, their locations, their cases all over the country. HOWARD: Exactly.

BLACKWELL: Jacqueline Howard, thank you.

Roadside, statues, metals, even a birth certificate, the Kremlin is apparently attempting to put its stamp on Ukraine. We'll talk about the russification efforts with Ukraine's former Prime Minister, ahead.



BLACKWELL: First Lady Jill Biden is in Romania right now, start a four day trip. Today, she met with U.S. and NATO military leaders and service members. She also served food to them at the Romanian Air Force Base and then she participated in a virtual children's book reading with soldiers and their families back home.

On Mother's Day she will meet with Ukrainian mothers and children in Slovakia who were displaced because of the Russian invasion.

G7 leaders will hold a virtual call with Ukrainian President Zelenskyy on Sunday. The German Chancellor will host leaders from the world's top economies to discuss the war in Ukraine. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that the meeting is intentionally being held one day before Russia's Victory Day on May 9.

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk is with me now. Mr. Prime Minister, thank you for being back. Let's start with the U.S. intel sharing, certainly. The U.S. intel sharing with the Ukrainians, use to sink the Moskva and kill Russian generals. The concern from some U.S. officials is that by this becoming public, by this reaching the Kremlin, it could provoke Putin to potentially use a nuclear weapon or be more aggressive in Ukraine. You've called the nuclear talk saber rattling. How much should the nuclear capabilities influence the decisions to share Intel between the U.S. and Ukraine?


ARSENIY YATSENYUK, FORMER UKRAINIAN PRIME MINISTER: Well, that's completely different things. First of all, I really commend the efforts of the U.S. administration and personally President Biden and the American people in their support in our fight against the Russian aggression. Second, we do really appreciate the U.S. decision to share an intelligence with the Ukrainian authorities. The third one, Putin wants really to threaten you with the nuclear arms. And the reason why it's very clear because he is losing the battle on the ground in Ukraine. And if he realized that he's completely out of the plan, and I believe that he is to fail, he may resort to some kind of audits rather than conventional weapons, because he has in possession chemical, biological and nuclear and nukes.

Nukes is a kind of last resort. And I strongly believe that even despite the fact that Putin decided to launch this notorious doomsday airplane, during the celebration of the Victory Day on the 9 of May, this is just a saber rattling. But when he can resort to another kind of weapons like chemical and biological weapons in Ukraine, yes, he can, because who is right now in the driving seat of the military operation in Ukraine, a bastard who was responsible for an atrocities in Syria and who commanded actually Russian military in Syria. So they can apply the same copycat pattern in Ukraine too. Because look what's happening in Ukraine, they actually leveled a number of big cities in Ukraine, starting with Kharkiv and ending with Mariupol. Mariupol is one of the strongest holdouts actually in the global history.

So my answer is that this is saber rattling. He wants to stop you in terms of supplying of defensive and offensive weapon to Ukraine. He will not use nukes. But my take is that he can resort to another type of weapons in case if he fully fails in his operation in Ukraine.

BLACKWELL: President Zelenskyy said today that more than a half million Ukrainians were deported to Russia. He says that they were forced to go there. How do you get them back to their homes?

YATSENYUK: You know, that's about Putin, just in order for you and for your viewers to realize who is Putin really about? He's racist, and he's anti-Semitic, and his entire government is completely the same. So they hate Ukrainians. They hate Jews. They hate Americans. They hate everyone, except Russians. And he wants to impose Russian ruling in the former Soviet sphere of influence, so-called. So the decision to deport Ukrainians was a part of his Nazi style ideology. Nazis did the same with the with the concentration camps, or our filtration camps that Russia already established. We will take back Ukrainians as we win this war. And I want to reiterate once again, that as of now the crucial importance for the entire world is to support Ukraine, and to win the war against Nazi style leader Putin. Otherwise, this will have a dramatic implications for the entire world. So we need to save Ukraine and Ukraine will save Ukrainians.

BLACKWELL: Let me ask you about the Soviet era symbols are now popping up in Mariupol. And other places as well. Russian flag we're seeing, metals as well, street signs in Russian, the colors of the Russian flag, a city official in Mariupol shared an image of the first birth certificate issued by the Russians in Mariupol. He said, the Russians stole the citizenship of a child. What's your reaction to what you're seeing here?

YATSENYUK: That's the same they did in Crimea and in some parts of eastern Ukraine in Donetsk and Lugansk in 2014. So Putin decided actually to merge or to conquer a part of Ukraine. And in order to do this, he has first to win the battlefield. And second, he has a kind of regular plan how he makes this.


The issue passports, they grant citizenship. They issue new license plates. They issue new legal documents for Ukrainians. They do the same, again, what Nazis did. So his plan is to take as much as he can. And it's even beyond Ukraine. And it's even beyond Ukraine. His key ideology is based on the so-called Soviet achievements during the Second World War, they call it Great Patriotic War. And he is completely not even a Soviet style leader. He's worse, because he's a corrupted, completely corrupted crony. BLACKWELL: We've certainly seen the atrocities over the last several months of this war. Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, thank you so much for your time, sir.

YATSENYUK: Thank you, Victor.

BLACKWELL: This is stunning revelation from former Defense Secretary Esper. He writes about his former boss and suggestion to launch missiles into Mexico. So you've spoken out then, or at least before now. We'll discuss ahead.