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Interview with Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) About Abortion Rights Vote; Ukrainian 2016 Eurovision Winner Raising Money and Awareness; CDC Says More Vaccinated People Dying from COVID. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired May 11, 2022 - 10:30   ET



ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Senator Tim Kaine, as I understand it, is working across the aisle with Senators Collins and Murkowski on a bill that would also codify Roe but it could have some bipartisan support.

Is there common ground, do you think, potentially in that proposal or another proposal where you could get more bipartisan support for a cleaner bill that would codify Roe?

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): So let's just put this in some context. Keep in mind that the Supreme Court throughout history has expanded the rights of individuals. It has made it clear that we have autonomy over our bodies. And now the Supreme Court for the first time is ready to reverse that and say for half the population, no, it's the government that will be making decisions. It's the government that will be forcing intrusion into your body.

Roe vs. Wade is something that is supported across this country. About 69 percent of people say Roe vs. Wade should be the law of the land and that's true, red states, blue states, it's true Republicans, Democrats want to see us preserve Roe vs. Wade. We don't start by compromising such a fundamental constitutional right. We don't do this to half of the population.

The rule of Roe is what we will be voting on today and I think it's important that everybody be on record and say, do you support Roe or not?

HILL: So then, just to follow up on that point, a different bipartisan measure that we understand is in the works, that's not something that you would be in favor of?

WARREN: Look, a measure that says not really on Roe, a measure that says, hey, the things that are going on in the states already, even before this latest dust-up with Texas, a measure that says, it's OK if in South Dakota there's only one abortion clinic in the whole state, it's OK to restrict the rights of people across this country, no, that's not OK because keep in mind who this will fall hardest on.

It's going to fall hardest on poor women. It's going to fall hardest on women of color. It's going to fall hardest on the 14-year-old who was molested by her uncle. On the rape victim, on the mama who is right now working three jobs to try to support the children she has.

Mitch McConnell has taken that, recognized it's going to fall hardest on these women, and said, you know, if the Republicans get back in control, we're willing to open the door to make it fall on everyone all across this country, to outlaw abortion not just in red states, but in blue states as well.

The scope of this is enormous and that's why this vote today is so important. Are you with Roe or are you against it?

HILL: So when you talk about that scope and when you talk about the importance, you also wrote in a piece for "Marie Claire" earlier this week, "Republicans have planned long and hard for this day and we can't wait a second longer to fight back. We need action."

This has been coming, right?


HILL: This has been abortion, Roe vs. Wade has been a galvanizing, rallying force for Republican voters for decades now.


HILL: Which leads me to my next question, which is respectfully, Senator, why do Democrats then appear to be so flat-footed in this moment without a plan?

WARREN: Look. You preach to the choir. I have been raising this argument for a very long time. And the reason is because I lived in an America where abortion was illegal. I lived in an America where women died, bled to death because of back-alley abortions. I lived in an America where women were scarred for life because of the abortions they had. I lived in an America where young women took their lives rather than proceed with an abortion that they could not manage.

I understand those risks, and I think many people across America believed not just that Roe was right, but that it was enshrined in law. Look, how many nominees to the United States Supreme Court stood in front of the American people and said, it's settled law? And so the people who supported Roe thought, reasonably, it's always going to be protected. But now we have an extremist minority on the Supreme Court and they believe that they can dictate to the rest of America what happens to the bodies of women.

And understand this, they don't get the final word. The final word actually rests in Congress. So I think this is a galvanizing moment. I think this is a moment we have this vote today to get everybody on record, and then, we hold everybody accountable for those votes.


HILL: You said you think this could be a galvanizing moment. CNN polling in the wake of that draft found those who said overturning Roe would make them very happy were nearly twice as enthusiastic about voting in the midterms as those who said the ruling would leave them angry. So just last question on this, do you think that Democrats can unite -- a united message has not been a strong suit lately for the party.

Can they unite if you believe this is a galvanizing force and actually turn that into voter turnout?

WARREN: Look, I say to everybody who is angry to channel your anger into action. If you are genuinely angry, then do something about it. Right now, there are races across the country, primary races, where those who have already Democrats -- I'll give you an example, down in Texas, we've got a Democrat who is running for reelection who has opposed Roe, who has not voted with the Democrats to try to protect Roe, who have supported the Texas abortion ban.

He's being challenged by a young woman named Jessica Cisneros. If you are angry, send Jessica $10. If you can, send her $25. The whole point here is channel your anger. We can do it right now in the primaries and we can certainly do it in November. If there aren't enough Democrats to get the job done today, then give us enough Democrats and we will protect Roe vs. Wade.

HILL: Senator Elizabeth Warren, appreciate you joining us this morning. Thank you.

WARREN: You bet.

HILL: Jim?

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Performing for a larger purpose. The Ukrainian winner of the 2016 Eurovision contest, which is huge in Europe, now using her talents to help her country. She joins me next to share the story behind her winning song and what it was like to have to evacuate Ukraine with her young children.



SCIUTTO: A Ukrainian pop star who was forced to evacuate her country with her two young children is now using her musical gift to try to help her country.

Jamala won the 2016 Eurovision contest, huge contest in Europe, with her song "1944" which she wrote about Stalin's ethnic cleansing in Crimea during World War II. It started quite a controversy at the time two years after Russia had invaded and annexed Crimea.

(JAMALA PERFORMING "1944") SCIUTTO: There's a Ukrainian flag there. And with me now is Ukrainian singer-songwriter Jamala, wearing the colors of the Ukrainian flag and here in D.C. to accept an award from the Atlantic Council.

Thanks so much for coming. Please to meet you.

JAMALA, UKRAINIAN SINGER AND SONGWRITER: Thank you so much for having me.

SCIUTTO: I want to start with your personal story here because you like so many millions of Ukrainians had to flee Ukraine for your life and for the lives of your two young children.

JAMALA: Exactly.

SCIUTTO: And now you're reunited with your husband which you had to wait many weeks for. How are you all doing?

JAMALA: What you should know about Ukraine nowadays that the war is going on all over the country. Russia bombs.


JAMALA: Without a care in the world. Tonight, a rocket flew in Zaporizhzhia in Luhansk. More than 10 million, mostly women and kids, forced to flee their homes.


JAMALA: And I'm one of them.


JAMALA: And it's really hard, but deep pain nowadays for us in Azovstal because hundreds of people are living in bomb shelters with no water, no food, and they're wounded and sick. If there is no extradition for them, we will lose them forever.


JAMALA: And what you should know about (INAUDIBLE), they have already saved thousands of people but more than 150,000 residents who need to evacuated and we need your help, we need you. And thank you so much for all your support.

I'm here for an award. Being here for this award, Atlantic Council, they award me tonight and they will award me tonight for distinguished artistic leadership, and I dedicate this award to all Ukrainians, for all brave Ukraine.

SCIUTTO: I tell people, it's not really a choice to leave the country.

JAMALA: Yes. Yes.


SCIUTTO: Because for many people, there is no choice. What do you do to protect your children's lives when children are dying every day?

JAMALA: Yes. Every day.

SCIUTTO: What struck me about the song that won Eurovision in 2016 for you, "1944," that spoke about the deportation.


SCIUTTO: Of Crimea and Tatars, the ethnic minority there, by Stalin in the Second World War. The words could be sung about today, I'm just quoting from the beginning of the song. "When strangers are coming, they come to your house, they kill you all and say, we're not guilty, not guilty."

I feel like that's what we're seeing play out before our eyes.

JAMALA: Absolutely. Absolutely.

SCIUTTO: How is it for you to see that horrible history repeated today?

JAMALA: Sad. It's absolutely sad that history repeats itself and nowadays, it sounds more real. And I use this song, I use my voice to raise money for humanitarian help. To raise for Ukrainian army. Every day, I receive letters from the frontline asking for help, asking for weapons, asking for drones to protect our country, to protect our territory, to protect our heritage. And do you know that it's not our war, our war. Ukrainian war. It's a fight for freedom, for democracy, for all of us.

SCIUTTO: Let me ask you this because you have family that's still in Crimea.


SCIUTTO: And by the way, I always remind people that that war started eight years ago. You know, Russia first invaded --

JAMALA: Yes. Absolutely, thank you so much for that. Thank you.

SCIUTTO: Ukraine, eight years ago.

JAMALA: Thank you.

SCIUTTO: And they're still there. And your family split as a result of that.


SCIUTTO: What is there for you of this war, as they see it?

JAMALA: It's so hard that we, like, again, we have, from "1944," why I called this song "1944" because from that year until now, all my family have to rush from war, from Russian soldier, from Soviets.

SCIUTTO: Your great grandmother. JAMALA: Because my great grandmother was deported from Crimea to

Central Asia, only because she was Crimean Tatar? And now we see history repeats. People from Mariupol deported to Russia and we heard about this horrible word.

SCIUTTO: Filtration. Yes.

JAMALA: Filtration. Exactly.

SCIUTTO: Sounds scientific, it's not. It's taking people.

JAMALA: What is this? Why?

SCIUTTO: Do you think it's still happening is the problem? And for all the Western support, which I know you and others express gratitude for, Russia is still attacking civilian targets. They're still forcibly deporting people, again, you know, to the eastern part of the country.


SCIUTTO: Is the West doing enough to stop this?

JAMALA: I'm not a politician. I'm just a mother and singer, but I do as much as I can to help my country. To raise this money. I don't know if it's enough or not enough. I really asking to the world to stop this unfair horrible war because every minute, kids are dying.


JAMALA: Russia do the same. Lie, deny, raped, killed, and it's such a horrible thing that history repeats again and again. Why?

SCIUTTO: Well, listen, I appreciate your effort to keep this in the world's attention.

JAMALA: And I appreciate for your help, for speaking about this, for helping us in a political way. Thank you for everything.

SCIUTTO: Well, I'm also glad you and your family are safe.

JAMALA: Thank you so much. Thank you.

SCIUTTO: Jamala, thanks for joining us. Eurovision song contest is coming up. Russia will not be competing this year.

HILL: Yes. It's so important to hear from her. And I'm really glad you had her on this morning.

Stay with us. We also want to look, coming up, it's a new data involving COVID deaths among vaccinated Americans. An important CNN analysis uncovering those deaths actually rose in the early part of this year. We're going to dive into that data. Stay with us. That's next.


HILL: Just in to CDC -- to CNN, rather, new CDC data about just how many vaccinated people are dying from COVID.

SCIUTTO: CNN health reporter Jacqueline Howard here to break this down.

So, Jacqueline, bottom line, numbers show deaths among those who are vaccinated they're going up, but booster shots help produce risk. How much in each case and what's the headline here?

JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Jim. These new numbers really show the importance of getting your booster shot and this is a CNN analysis of CDC data and here are the numbers. So we saw in the second half of September last year, less than a quarter of all COVID-19 deaths were among vaccinated people but this year in January and February, so amid the Omicron surge, more than 40 percent of COVID deaths were among vaccinated people.


But keep in mind, only 15 percent among those vaccinated and boosted in February 2022. So what this tells us. Three factors to keep in mind. Number one, we are seeing highly transmissible variants as variant spread that least more cases, more cases lead to more deaths. But number two we know that the initial vaccine series protection from your initial series can wane overtime which is why it's important to get boosted.

And then number three, booster update care in the United States has been slow. And many deaths are among the unboosted people. So, again, important reminder to get your booster shot here -- Jim, Erica.

HILL: Jacqueline Howard, appreciate it. Thank you.

And thanks to all of you for joining us today. I'm Erica Hill.

SCIUTTO: And I'm Jim Sciutto. "AT THIS HOUR" with Kate Bolduan starts right after a quick break.