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University Of Idaho Students Return To Campus After Suspect's Arrest; Husband Of Missing Woman In 2021 Letter To Judge: "I Am Not A Threat To Any Members Of Society"; Biden Administration Renews COVID- 19 Public Health Emergency; FDA Advisers "Angry" Early Data On COVID Booster Was Not Presented; 96% Of Community Bankers Say Recession Is Already Here; Federal Regulators: Gas Stove Ban Would Be "Forward Looking". Aired 2:30-3p ET
Aired January 11, 2023 - 14:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN HOST: University of Idaho students are back in class after the arrest of that suspect in a quadruple murder. Bryan Kohberger's arrest has alleviated many students' fears but increased security remains in place.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: Meantime, the father of one of the victims described his reaction to the court documents that detailed the crime scene.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEN MOGEN, FATHER OF SLAIN STUDENT MADISON MOGEN: I just broke down and I just cried. I could only take so much of that. And I just -- I cried. I still haven't read the rest of it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: CNN's Josh Campbell is with us from Moscow, Idaho.
Students are now back in class. Maybe the danger is off the street if this is the man who committed these crimes. Still, it has to be a tense, scary time there.
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: It is, Victor. We're hearing a range of emotions from students here at the University of Idaho as classes have resumed. Some students saying this incident shattered their sense of community, their sense of security.
This incident, the brutal murder of four of their classmates, changing the way some of them operate. Some students saying they go out in groups as they're out and about. They want to be around others. They're paying attention to their surroundings.
Even as they grieve the loss of their four classmates, we're hearing from students, parents and faculty at the university that there's a sense of relief that the suspect in this case, who police say conducted this attack, is now behind bars.
Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RYDER PASLAY, SOPHOMORE, UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO: When I heard the news, I was sitting with my family watching the report. We all looked at each other and were like, well, they got somebody who they think did it. I breathe a sigh of relief. Sure my mom did the same.
TORREY LAWRENCE, UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO PROVIDE & EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT: We realize people are still dealing with this tragedy in a very individual way for each person. So we're trying to be responsive to that.
But most of our students we've seen, they've have kept their registrations as they were, which is largely in person.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMPBELL: Now the university provost also told CNN that security at the university will remain at a heightened state for the time being.
As for the suspect, 28-year-old Bryan Kohberger, he'll be back in court tomorrow where we hope to hear additional information about how the criminal prosecution will resume. His attorney says he expects his client will be exonerated.
But Kohberger facing serious charges including four counts of first- degree murder. If convicted here in the state of Idaho, that sentence could include up to the death penalty -- guys?
BLACKWELL: Josh Campbell, for us in Moscow. Thank you, Josh.
It's now been a week since Massachusetts mother, Ana Walshe, was reported missing. Police have arrested and charged her husband, Brian Walshe, with misleading investigators.
Listen to this. In a 2021 letter to a judge regarding his previous fraud case, Walshe said he was not a threat to members of society.
CAMEROTA: Police are testing a hacksaw, torn up cloth that appears to have blood on it. They found this at a trash facility in Massachusetts. Earlier in the week, investigators searched dumpsters at an apartment complex near the home of Brian's mother.
Let's discuss all of this with retired FBI special agent, Jennifer Coffindaffer. She is the CEO of Firearms Beyond International.
Jennifer, thanks so much for being here.
Let's start with this Brian Walshe case. Ana Walshe has been missing for at last a week, 10 days. They've found a bloody knife, hacksaw, bloody cloth, blood stains in the basement, $450 worth of cleaning supplies. He's made misleading statements.
What would it take to charge this guy with murder at this point?
JENNIFER COFFINDAFFER, CEO, FIREARMS BEYOND INTERNATIONAL & RETIRED FBI SPECIAL AGENT: They could charge now. Probably they have the probable cause to prepare an affidavit to support that.
What they're looking for are DNA results. They want to see that that blood on that hatchet, on that knife, on the other things actually belongs to Ana.
They also want to see if possibly Brian also has DNA. It would be perfect if it was co-mingled in terms of a strong case to build against Brian for committing this possible crime.
BLACKWELL: Let me read more from this letter related to the 2018 case. He wrote it in 2021 regarding the fakes Warhols online.
He wrote, "I am not a threat to any members of society."
He added that he is in continued, quote, "service to my wife, sons, mother, mother-in-law, business partners and community charities in our state."
Also says he does daily training for integrity.
He has not been charged, but what we learned about him in the last couple of weeks, this clearly does not hold up.
COFFINDAFFER: No, so true. Most of that is boiler plate that any defense attorney probably put together for him and had him take some integrity courses to try to get home confinement pending his sentencing.
Clearly, that's not the picture of the man being painted in this case.
CAMEROTA: Jennifer, I don't know if you can see the screen. I want to show the picture of Brian walking out of -- it's either court or the police department. I think it's after his first court appearance.
CAMEROTA: It's not when he's walking in. That's him in court. When he's walking out of court, I'm so struck of his expression. He comes out and sees all the cameras and has this grin on his face. He greets them with a smile. His affect is very strange.
Is there anything you see with your investigative hat on?
COFFINDAFFER: Well, certainly, anyone who is capable of committing a crime like this -- and I take also from the different searches he did. He searched how to dismember a body, how to dispose of a 115-pound body.
This is somebody with truly psychopathic and narcissistic traits. Anyone that could do a crime that this appears to be pointing towards. This sort of smug, arrogant smile, straight into the camera, would be
indicative of somebody who could commit a crime like this.
BLACKWELL: The discovery of a hacksaw, if that is related, is an especially passionate, intimate way to kill, if indeed he's responsible.
Jennifer Coffindaffer, thank you so much for your expertise.
CAMEROTA: So FDA vaccine advisers are angry. They say they weren't given important data about Moderna's Omicron booster. What information they say Moderna kept from them, next.
CAMEROTA: Today, the Biden administration renewed the COVID-19 public health emergency. Why is that necessary?
Joining us now is White House coronavirus response coordinator, Dr. Ashish Jha.
Dr. Jha, thank you for being here. Always great to see you.
Is this because that new subvariant is so transmissible?
DR. ASHISH JHA, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE COORDINATOR: Alisyn, first of all, thanks for having me back.
This was a determination by the secretary of HHS. This reason is there's still a lot of COVID out there. And the public health emergency, in his determination, gives us tools to fight this.
But the secretary made a decision that the tools are still necessary to continue to fight this virus.
CAMEROTA: Dr. Jha, I want to ask about new information that CNN has learned about the Omicron booster that so many of us were encouraged by even you to get back in the fall because it sound like new information has come to light.
That Moderna, the manufacturer of that booster, did not give the committee the full and complete data and information.
In fact, it appears the updated booster that we all got was not any more effective at preventing Omicron than the original booster. That's different than what we heard.
Were you misled?
JHA: No. First of all, obviously, we believe in transparency. Very important for companies to be sharing full set of data. Second, we're talking about a different vaccine. The one that is out
there now, the one that the FDA authorized, the Ba.5 one that's available to all Americans for free, the evidence that that is superior to the prior vaccine is incontrovertible. That evidence is very, very clear.
There are now at least five high-quality studies that demonstrate that. They're all done by independent labs.
So there's no question the current vaccine available is better than the old vaccine.
But on the Moderna issue that you raised earlier, we believe Moderna, every company when they report to the FDA, should be presenting all the data.
CAMEROTA: Because Dr. Paul Offit, a member of the Vaccine Advisory Committee, he today says he's angry about what happened. I read it to you.
He said, "I was angry to find out there was data that was relevant to our decision that we didn't get to see. Decisions that are made for the public have to be made based on all available information, not just some information, but all information."
Why didn't Moderna present that?
JHA: That's a very good question. I don't know what was presented, what Moderna chose to present. I will say that's a question for them.
Obviously, we believe that this is a process -- this advisory committee, the FDA run with full transparency is very important. It's part of the scientific integrity process that is so important for giving confidence to the American people.
But I will say this, Alisyn. The data that's emerged since that time period, the data we have now on these vaccines, incontrovertibly better than the prior vaccine.
BLACKWELL: I want to make sure because, in this same report from CNN, they say what the data showed when Moderna didn't present it all -- I'll read it to you.
"It found that 1.9 percent of the study participants who received the original booster became infected with COVID. Among those that got the updated vaccine, a higher percentage, 3.2 percent, became infected."
Are you saying that's what we have currently or that was the original one?
JHA: What we have is a different one. I don't know all the details of that specific report.
What I can say is that the data that is emerging in the last three months with the new vaccine, it's really not a close call. This is why I have recommended it to all of my family and friends and to Americans.
The bivalent that we have right now that is available for free at 90,000 locations across the country, that is clearly superior, based on all of the data we have, to the original vaccine, and it is better at dealing with variants that are circulating right now.
CAMEROTA: I'm encouraged to hear that.
You can imagine, Dr. Jha, how this gives fodder to the vaccine skeptics who say, see, they're not fully transparent. They don't present all of the data. They just tell you what they want to know.
JHA: Absolutely. This is why, again, without knowing the specifics of what was presented at the meeting or not, the principle of openness, transparency, sharing all of that data openly is very, very important.
This is why we track this stuff very closely. FDA does, CDC does, and we do at the White House.
What I will again reiterate is the current vaccine is superior. There' not a close call. I understand Dr. Offit's concern and agree more transparency is better.
CAMEROTA: OK. Dr. Jha, always great to talk to you. Thank you for all of the information.
JHA: Thank you.
BLACKWELL: More than 95 percent of community bankers say the recession we've been dreading is already here. We'll discuss.
CAMEROTA: Some pessimistic economic signs today. A new survey of America's community bankers found that 96 percent believe the U.S. economy is already in recession.
Investors are bracing for a key government inflation report due tomorrow.
BLACKWELL: CNN's Matt Egan is with us now.
This is bleak.
MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: It is bleak. I mean, this survey shows that clearly sentiment on Main Street is pretty crummy.
An overwhelming majority of these community bankers, they're saying not that they think a recession is coming.
EGAN: But they believe the economy is already in recession. Their top concern is not surprisingly inflation is at the top of the
list. They say regulation, worker shortage.
Now to me, it's incredible that you can get 96 percent of people to agree on anything, given all the uncertainty. And it's worth noting the U.S. economy is not officially in a recession.
CAMEROTA: They're basing it on something, right?
EGAN: They are on the front lines. They are in touch with the business owners and the customers who do feel inflation.
But there are a lot of bright spots, right? Unemployment, tied for lowest level in half a century, GDP positive. People are still shopping.
We do get a big update on the number-one problem in the economy, inflation, tomorrow. It's expected to show that consumer prices in December, still very high, but cooled off for a sixth straight month, moving in the right direction.
CAMEROTA: So tell us -- I keep hearing about this potential for a gas stove ban. And I know you have some new information that.
EGAN: Yes. So this is really getting a lot of attention. The stories are blowing up online. I think a lot of people have the same reaction that I did, which is, wait, I have a gas stove. I have kids.
I'm pretty sure the kitchen is my 3-year-old's favorite room in the entire house. So the fact there's this research out there that is linking gas stoves, air pollution from these stoves, to asthma in kids is alarming.
Now the official, Richard Trumka Jr, from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, set off this controversy earlier this week by suggesting his agency could ban gas stoves.
I talked to him today, and he said that everything is on the table when it comes to addressing these health concerns but he stressed, and this is important, that any ban would apply to new gas stoves, not existing ones that people already have.
Listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD TRUMKA JR, U.S. CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSIONER: We are not looking to go into anyone's homes and take away items that are already there. We don't do that.
If and when we get to regulation on a topic, it's always forward- looking. It applies to new products.
And so consumers always have the choice of what to keep in their homes and we want to make sure they do that with full information.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
EGAN: Now he told me that there are things that people can do right now if they are concerned. He said, one, make sure that the exhaust in your gas stove is actually vented to go outside of the home and not inside. If it's not, turn on a fan, open a window.
Also worth noticing, for people who want to switch from gas stoves to electric, the Inflation Reduction Act actually offers a rebate of up to $840 to make that switch.
CAMEROTA: Good to know.
EGAN: Thank you, guys.
BLACKWELL: Thank you, Matt.
CAMEROTA: Travelers coast to coast are still dealing with thousands of cancellations and delays right now because of this morning's nationwide airline ground stop. We have the latest for you, next.