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Erin Burnett Outfront

Pence Gets Drowned Out By Hecklers Shouting "Traitor" As New Videos Show Trump Supporter Punching Officer At Riot; Interview With Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI); Republicans Dismiss Manchin's Voting Rights Compromise; Interview With Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA); Biden Warns Delta Variant Is "Serious Concern" For Unvaccinated; India Ravaged By New Crisis: Deadly Black Fungus. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired June 18, 2021 - 19:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM. You can always follow me on Twitter and Instagram @WOLFBLITZER. Tweet the show, by the way, @CNNSITROOM. Have a great Father's Day weekend.

"ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, Trump supporters called Pence a traitor, heckling the former vice president today for refusing to push Trump's big lie as new video shows one of the former president's supporters taunting, stalking and punching an officer on January 6th.

Plus, Republicans are now vowing to sync with Democrats call a voting rights compromise. So where do Democrats go now?

And President Biden celebrating a major milestone in the fight against COVID while also warning of a serious concern on the horizon. Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan in for Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, traitor. That is how former Vice President Mike Pence was greeted today by some fellow Republicans at a conservative conference in Florida.


MIKE PENCE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And I want to thank my friend, Ralph Reed, for those overly generous words.


PENCE: I'm deeply humbled by them. And Ralph Reed knows me well enough to know the introduction I prefer is a little bit shorter. I'm a Christian, a conservative and a Republican in order and I am honored to stand up for you today.


BOLDUAN: Hecklers shouting down Mike Pence, shouting him down because they are following Donald Trump's lead. Still angry that Pence refused to go along with Trump's ploy to overturn the results of the 2020 Presidential Election, but of course there was nothing Pence could have actually done on January 6th. Joe Biden won fair and square. Donald Trump still refuses to accept it and still refuses to admit that his lies are what drove his supporters to storm the Capitol.

Tonight, we have new video even more proof of the horrifying events that took place on January 6th, a Trump supporter of taunting, stalking and punching law enforcement outside the Capitol. I will warn you the video is disturbing to watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) don't touch me, bro.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get the fuck out of here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't touch me motherfucker.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take it easy, man. Take it easy. (Inaudible) ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. They work for us. Fuck that.


BOLDUAN: And in case you had any doubt what that man was there to do, he then told us with a baton in hand.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're patriots too. We fucking disarm them and then we storm the fucking capitol. All right. Fuck you.


BOLDUAN: Any questions? He's been charged with 12 criminal counts now and that is just the latest video. Last night, this was also released, rioters yelling at police officers rushing them, pushing past the barricades and using also even a metal pole to attack an officer on the ground. That man is a retired NYPD officers that you see there in the red jacket.

But sadly, those weren't the only terrifying incidents that we saw from January 6th. We know officers were beaten. One lost the tip of his finger. Another lost an eye. Some suffered brain injuries. They're still recovering from. Five people died. Yet Trump and his followers are somehow trying to pretend none of this happened, they still are. That it wasn't because of the lies that Trump told his supporters that they continue to believe to this day. No, they are still trying to shift the blame to as it appears now anyone and everyone else. The latest target is the FBI.


REP. MATT GAETZ (D-FL): It's reasonable to ask whether or not the FBI is engaged in a playbook where first they infiltrate an organization and then they try to bring that organization to the point of criminal conduct as a mechanism to try to bring it down.


BOLDUAN: Is that actually not reasonable to ask what he's asking, whether the FBI organized was behind, motivated, did something to spur the insurrection on January 6th. It's straight up crazy. And possibly an important side note here, remember, Matt Gaetz, that member, that Republican member of Congress you heard right there, he is under investigation by the FBI over allegations of sex trafficking of a minor. But he's not the only Trump loyalists spreading blatant lies about what happened on January 6th.


REP. ANDY BIGGS (R-AZ): Propagandists claimed that this was an armed insurrection, but no guns were found.

REP. JODY HICE (R-GA): It was Trump supporters who lost their lives that day, not Trump supporters who were taking the lives of others.

REP. PAUL GOSAR (R-AZ): As a result, the DOJ is harassing peaceful patriots across.

REP. ANDREW CLYDE (R-GA): If you didn't know the TV footage was a video from January the 6th, you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit.



BOLDUAN: None of that is true, you know that. Here's what is true. Donald Trump lied to his supporters. He claimed the election was stolen. He's still claiming it and it wasn't. He encouraged them, remember, to 'fight like hell'. He told them to go to the Capitol. You saw with your own eyes what happened and who was responsible, not the FBI, not the officers who protected those lawmakers who you just heard spouting those lies.

Unlike Trump, Mike Pence was at the Capitol on January 6th. Here is the moment we will show you that he was evacuated as they were shouting hang Mike Pence from outside. And unlike Trump, he is unwilling to whitewash the events that he witnessed with his own eyes.


PENCE: President Trump and I have spoken many times since we left office and I don't know if we'll ever see eye to eye on that day.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BOLDUAN: So no, Mike Pence has not earned the title of traitor from

how he acted that day. The people who may have earned that title though, the people hell bent on spreading the lies, attacking the Capitol and now trying to pretend like it never happened.

Paula Reid is OUTFRONT in Washington for us tonight. Paula, what more are you learning about this newest video that we showed just a bit of from January 6th, from the rioter there.

PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Kate. Well, this disturbing new video of the Capitol riot was only released after news outlets, including CNN, sued to make it public. Now these newly released officer body camera videos provide an up close look at what officers who are trying to protect the Capitol actually went through on January 6th.

Now here you see Scott Fairlamb, a gym owner from New Jersey taunting, then shoving an officer and then punching him in the face. Now, according to court records Fairlamb was one of the force rioters inside the Senate side of the building. He's been charged with 12 criminal counts, including assaulting a police and carrying a dangerous weapon into the Capitol.

And prosecutors actually sent this video directly to the federal judge reviewing his case. And while videos like this have been used as evidence in court against the rioters in dozens of cases, they have not actually been released publicly, which is why CNN and over a dozen other agencies have been fighting to release them as much of the police body camera footage and surveillance tapes that are now being used in court still haven't been seen by the public.

Now, the clips that have actually been revealed, they comment as some Republican members of Congress are attempting to rewrite history, downplaying the events of that day and amplifying baseless conspiracy theories about who was responsible for the attack. And that is why media outlets, including CNN, continue to fight for access to additional clips to show exactly what happened on that day, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Paula Reid, thank you so much for that.

OUTFRONT with me now is Democratic Congressman Dan Kildee of Michigan. You will remember that Congressman Kildee recorded this video that you're looking at right here of officers with guns drawn inside the House chamber on January 6th as rioters were trying to break in. Dan Kildee joining me now. Congressman, thank you so much for being here.

What's your reaction to these new videos just released? You have one of that retired NYPD officer who basically tried - beating someone with what looks like a flagpole, beating an officer and then this other guy stalking, and taunting, and pushing and punching another officer. This is just another angle showing just how violent these people were.

REP. DAN KILDEE (D-MI): Yes. I mean, it's still hard to watch for a lot of us who were a part of this. As you know, I was there. You saw the video that I shot. It was a moment that I'll take with me for the rest of my life.

So when I see these new images that reinforce just how brutal this attack was, it reminds us that these are thugs, these are people who were whipped up by a fantastic lie told by the most prolific liar in the history of American politics and it has been a destructive force. There are people who still believe the nonsense that is the predicate for the attack.

And the fact that these Republican members of Congress and others are trying to rewrite this history is because I think they know that in order for them to continue this big lie, they have to change what the lie produced. They have to somehow rewrite it. Now, I have no doubt that the long view of history will accurately record what took place. But in the moment these Republican members of Congress bizarrely are trying to justify their own behavior by telling themselves a fairy tale.


BOLDUAN: And the thing that is so striking to me is no matter how many times the myths are debunked, the facts are laid out, these videos are shown and you can see them with your own eyes, Congressman. It is not stopping these guys and girls we're talking about here. Republicans who are pushing these lies and allowing them, if not pushing them, allowing them to just sit out there.

This isn't a policy fight. This is a fight over literal basic fact. I struggle because I wonder what the antidote for it is.

KILDEE: Yes. They have no shame. The people that I hold most responsible right now for the moment we're in, it's not the sort of the Andy Biggs and the really crazy members of the Republican caucus. We know who they are. The people who are the insurrectionists. The people who spoke at that rally. The people who gave tours, we know who they are.

The ones that bother me are the ones who are sitting silent and benefiting from sort of a whipped up fairy tale that is right now the only narrative that the Republican Party seems to be clinging to, but it's the silent so called moderates that are willing to go along with the story who voted to overturn the election, but are not front and center of this argument.

Their silence is hurting this country. Their willingness to sit silent and not call out their Republican colleagues shout them down from this nonsense is, I think makes them highly culpable in this moment. And so I would hope that at some point, they're going to look in the mirror and realize they have an affirmative obligation to speak the truth and not just sort of go along with this and try to say can't we all move on when what they're doing by their own inaction is hurting this country.

BOLDUAN: Cynically, politically, do they really need to push these lies or allow them to sit out there to win a primary? Do they really? Because I don't understand why that is the case, because that's the answer I get. Why are some of these Republicans like Matt Gaetz, I truly believe he knows better and he is pushing this to, one, get attention, and two, fundraise, and three, stay in Donald Trump's graces. But why, do they really need to push this to win a primary?

KILDEE: I think they think they need to, because they're not willing to be courageous. Look, politics in this country is what we make it. There's not some sort of chemical in the air that causes the politics of the moment. Politics are what we make them. We can either elevate the political dialogue by forcing the truth into the conversation or we can do what some of these Republicans are doing default to the simple sort of base cartoon images that we see now.

It's hard work to do it right to tell the truth, but it is what we make it. Our politics are not predetermined. It's up to us. That's what leadership is.

One of my favorite professors, Marty Linsky, taught me something that I've kept with me for a long time. Leadership is the act of disappointing some of your own supporters at a rate they can absorb. Those Republicans who are sitting quiet right now have an obligation to speak to their supporters and tell them no, this isn't true. This is a lie.

And we cannot govern under the shadow of a lie. This is what they wanted. They want to win this next election by continuing to have that 30 percent that gets whipped up by this fantastic fairy tale. They want them to be energetic and try to thread the needle and win. It's not worth it to win (inaudible) ...

BOLDUAN: And it's not the past, it's our current present. It is our present and it is our future if it is allowed to linger. Dan Kildee, Congressman, thanks for coming in.

KILDEE: OUTFRONT with me now Bill Kristol, Editor at Large of the Bulwark. Bill, what do you think of that from Dan Kildee? I was struck by what he said.

BILL KRISTOL, EDITOR AT LARGE, THE BULWARK: Yes, I was too and I (inaudible) to agree with Dan Kildee on this. I mean, I've said this myself. The Republican establishment bears an awful lot of the responsibility here for not fighting back, for not telling the truth. It's not even that hard. I don't think honestly, I mean, and ...

BOLDUAN: I agree with you, Bill.


Thank you for saying it that way. I agree with you. It's not that hard.

KRISTOL: Yes. And so think of Mike Pence, the clip he showed. What if Mike Pence had done what I believe John McCain would have done in those circumstances, George W. Bush would have done and Joe Biden would have done with different people heckling him calling him traitor.

Mike Pence could have said, wait a second, wait a second, here's what I did on January 6th. I ratified the Electoral College count. That's what I was supposed to do. That's what the constitution wants me to do. That's what we need to do to have a smooth transition of power, peaceful transition of power in this country, which tragically we didn't have on January 6th. I swore my oath to the Constitution, not to Donald Trump.

He can go praise Donald Trump's policies that and say other nice things about Trump if he feels he has to. But just saying that, 45 seconds, 90 seconds of explaining why he did the right thing in this one case where you did do the right thing that could have some influence. But you know what Dan Kildee can say it, I can say it to you, Kate.

But if Mike Pence said to the faith and freedom crowd who like him, mostly, it might have some of them might say, yes, that's a good point. I mean, that isn't so great what happened on January 6 and Trump really did lose the election and you can't have a big lie going forward, which then justifies all kinds of bad things, really bad things, I think over the next few years, if it's allowed to go forward.

So I again, it Mike didn't even occur to Mike Pence, I'm going to say to say the version of what I just said. It doesn't occur to Mitch McConnell or Kevin McCarthy, turn on their TV and see that and say, you know what, I better go out there, go to the floor and give a speech to address my constituents, to my fellow Republicans, to my fellow Trump supporters and say this is unacceptable, but none of them does it.

BOLDUAN: It also goes beyond the insurrection as well. This rich irony now of Republicans criticizing Joe Biden for what they are saying they think he gave Vladimir Putin a pass during their summit. Let me play for you what Steve Scalise said about it.


REP. STEVE SCALISE (R-LA): He wouldn't even stand up against Putin for the things that they've been doing to this country.


BOLDUAN: Is there no memory of Helsinki when Trump sided with Putin over the entire intelligence apparatus of the United States?

KRISTOL: But it's key to a party that embraces this kind of big lie that Jonathan Rauch has written about this others (inaudible) Jonathan particularly, well, they need - it's not just that they don't acknowledge some counter arguments and counter facts and then try to explain them away. You ignore them. You pretend they don't exist. They go down the memory hall. The Soviet Union, they erased people from photos, Trotsky and others, if he wanted them to be forgotten.

So you just say Biden is soft on Putin. Biden didn't stand up to Putin and you pretend Helsinki one of the really most embarrassing and terrible moments, I think, in the history of the modern American presidency. You just pretend it didn't exist. The degree of corruption is very deep and this is where it's beyond. I

think you said this at the beginning of the show, it's beyond normal policy disagreements and a little bit of rigidity and ideology and a little bit of even not caring enough about some groups and some people. We're way beyond that now in terms of an awful lot, unfortunately, of the Republican Party.

BOLDUAN: It's good to see you, Bill. Thanks for coming in.

KRISTOL: Thanks, Kate.

BOLDUAN: OUTFRONT for us next, renewed resistance. Republicans digging in on voting rights ahead of a key vote.


SEN. MARSHA BLACKBURN (R-TN): Federalizing elections, they're going to try to do this next week and we're not going to let them do it.


BOLDUAN: Plus, the Delta variant, the highly infectious strain of COVID causing new worries in the U.S. tonight as some hospitals see a surge in cases.

And Catholic Bishops targeting President Biden, could the deeply religious President be denied communion over his views on abortion?



BOLDUAN: Tonight, Republicans are falling in line, backing up Sen. Mitch McConnell after he made clear his party will not be compromising on the voting rights reforms that Democrats have proposed.


SEN. RICK SCOTT (R-FL): It's nothing but a big power grab by the by the Washington Democrats. Look, the Democrats don't want free and fair elections. They want elections only Democrats can win.

BLACKBURN: Federalizing elections, they're going to try to do this next week and we're not going to let them do it.

PENCE: And we will never let Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer nationalize our elections in this country.


BOLDUAN: So this new wall of opposition comes after a crucial Democratic vote Sen. Joe Manchin unveiled what he considered a compromise proposal that included at least one Republican priority like voter ID requirement. Some movement yet not going anywhere.

OUTFRONT now, Democratic Senator from Virginia Tim Kaine. He's been working with Sen. Manchin on this proposal. Senator, thank you for being here. You've been meeting with Manchin on this but with McConnell already saying it's a no go, what's the point? Where does this go?

SEN. TIM KAINE (D-VA): Well, Kate, you're right. This is an existential issue that Democrats have to tackle if Republicans won't protect the democracy after an attack on the Capitol, after state legislature is trying to take voting rights away from hardworking Americans, Democrats are going to protect the democracy.

So you're right, I've been working with Joe Manchin. We were governors together back in the day. We're senators together now and he's put a compromise proposal on the table that includes Republican priorities like national voter ID requirements, but Republicans are saying they're going to uniformly oppose it. They don't want to be within 10 time zones of anything that will protect Americans' rights to vote.

So we'll have a vote on Tuesday. My expectation is that 50 out of 50 Democrats will support protecting voting rights for Americans. Every republican will likely oppose it. Under current Senate rules, that means the push will fail, but Democrats will then go back and sit in a room and look at ourselves and say the American public gave us a majority on the day that Trump inspired insurrectionists for trying to attack the Capitol to overturn an election. Are we going to say as a majority party, sorry, we can't do anything? Are we going to take steps to protect the democracy of this country?


Much more to discuss in days ahead, but my strong belief is with the Manchin proposal we'll get to uniform Democratic support for protecting voting rights in a vote next Tuesday.

BOLDUAN: And then so what you're getting at as the next step is when you say you got to look at each other is what you do about Senate rules, the filibuster. And one person you're going to need to look at is Joe Manchin as you know, Senator. I mean, Joe Manchin has all along said when it comes to voting rights, when it comes to big priorities even beyond that but focusing here that he wants bipartisanship.

We know McConnell is not going to let that happen. They are not ready. I mean, just listen to the sound bites that we just ran. So do you think when you're in the room and you're looking at Joe Manchin, do you think this is enough to change Joe mansions view on the filibuster, because he is - you know exactly where his position has been? Is this going to push them past the point to support changing the filibuster?

KAINE: Well, these are discussions that we're going to have in the weeks to come. But remember, when we pass the American rescue plan on the first Saturday in March in the Senate, we did it with only Democratic votes, including Joe Manchin. It was checks to families that were suffering, it was support for vaccinations, it was help for small businesses, it was state local government aid and aid the local school systems. We did it with only Democratic votes and Joe Manchin was with us. He didn't say, well, if there's no Republican votes, I'm not with you.

He said, if it's good for West Virginia and good for the country, I'm with you. So what we need to do with Joe and I've known Joe for a long time, we were governors together, is we need to make sure that what we're asking for is good for West Virginia and good for the country. But at the end of the day, if it's good for West Virginia and good for the country, Joe, I just have confidence in my heart about Joe Manchin. He's going to do what's right for the country and West Virginia.

And if Republicans make a strategic decision that they want to oppose what's good, they want to make Joe Biden a one-term present or as John Barrasso said this week, a one half term President, Joe Manchin is not going to have anything to do with that. So we have to get 50 out of 50 Democrats, it's not just Joe Manchin. There are other Democrats who have concerns about whether it's voting rights, filibuster, infrastructure, et cetera.

But my strong belief is we are not going to let us strategic Mitch McConnell-led Republican opposition to progress, block a Democratic majority's ability to do what the American public needs.

BOLDUAN: I think I'm hearing the beginnings of some of the conversations that's going to happen behind closed doors with Joe Manchin after this vote does fail in this coming week. Senator, thank you very much for coming on.

KAINE: You bet, Kate. Glad to be with you.

BOLDUAN: OUTFRONT for us next, new concerns over the Delta variant adding new urgency to get vaccinated.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's a variant that is more easily transmissible, potentially deadlier and particularly dangerous for young people.


BOLDUAN: And Catholic Bishops inching closer to a big decision that could deny communion to public figures who support abortion rights and that would include President Biden.



BOLDUAN: Tonight, President Biden warning that the highly contagious Delta variant is a serious concern as the U.S. is likely to miss Biden's goal of 70 percent of U.S. adults with at least one shot by the Fourth of July.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Cases in hospitalizations are not going down in many places, in the lower vaccination rate states. This is a serious concern, especially because what experts are calling the delta variant. It is a variant that is more easily transmissible, potentially deadlier and particularly dangerous for young people.


BOLDUAN: The variant is hammering states in the South and Midwest right now where vaccination rates are the lowest in the country.

OUTFRONT with me now is Steve Edwards, president and CEO of CoxHealth, operates a handful of hospitals in southwest Missouri.

Thanks for being here.

I've been seen that you are seeing this play out right now in your hospitals and clinics. What are you seeing and what are you hearing from doctors, how it compares to earlier in the pandemic?

STEVE EDWARDS, CEO, COXHEALTH: Yeah, Kate, we've seen a 5 fold increase of hospitalized patients in less than 4 weeks. Our doctors are describing them as younger, sicker. They often come to us later in the disease process, so we have less therapy options for them.

It's turned from probably 10 percent of our cases in our health department coming back with 90 percent of Delta variant. It's turned very quickly. It seems more virulent and obviously challenging our staff.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. So, you are seeing more patients, they are coming in later, and our doctor seeing more severe cases and more deaths?

EDWARDS: You know, so we are seeing younger people. Our deaths, we were having about one death a week four weeks ago. And now, we have one or two a day, because they are younger, I think the mortality rate might be a little better, right?

But our physicians have told me that when -- after -- we've seen 3,800 admissions, they said in January, they could look at a patient and pretty predict how they would perform. Now they say we can't tell. We can't tell why one patient is doing poorly and one is doing well. There's just something different about how this variant is affecting the immune system of our patients.

BOLDUAN: Really?

And I was also seeing that, we look at the data, the CDC says about 37 percent of people in your county have received at least one dose of the vaccine.


The national average is around 53 percent of the total population.

Do you think the low vaccination rate in the area of southwest Missouri, specifically, is fueling this? EDWARDS: I think it is a contributing factor. But I think the Delta

variant is what's fueling this because we have low vaccination rates throughout the South. And so, I believe it is a reminder to me that probably much of the South, Midwest, much of the places that have low vaccination rates if confronted with the delta variant we'll see a similar kind of surge of patients that we're beginning to see right now.

BOLDUAN: That is a scary warning that a lot of people need to be paying more attention to. Why aren't more people getting shots in the region?

EDWARDS: You know, I can only speculate looking at the data on vaccine hesitancy and if it appears directly to be related to demographics. If you look at the data it says red voters are more hesitant and blue voters, that rural areas tend to be more hesitant and urban areas, and areas with high percent of evangelical, people with evangelical faith have higher hesitancy.

And that describes southwest Missouri. We have a high percentage of red, rural and evangelicals.

BOLDUAN: Steve, thank you for coming in. It's a horrible to hear of surges and spikes and things ticking up again. But thank you for coming on.

EDWARDS: You are very welcome.

OUTFRONT with me now is Dr. Jonathan Reiner. He, of course, advised the White House medical team under President George W. Bush.

Dr. Reiner, what do you think about we just heard from Steve Edwards as hospital executive? He really thinks it's the delta variant that is fueling this. He really is pointing to it. How much of a setback is this variant really going to be, do you think?

DR. JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Well, it's going to really hit places that aren't well-vaccinated. And when I was listening to Mr. Edwards, I was saying to myself, it just doesn't have to be this way.

So, in Missouri, for instance, 55 percent of adults have received at least one shot. So, the national average is 65 percent now, but there are 17 states in which more than 70 percent of adults have had at least one shot. So, we are quickly moving towards a situation where we are a tale of two countries.

And come fall, we are going to have part of the United States is going to obtain community immunity. And large parts of the South and Southwest and Midwest are going to have real COVID. And it doesn't have to be this way.

The vaccines we have now are very effective against this variant. All the folks need to do is get vaccinated.

BOLDUAN: How do you square these two things? You have President Biden celebrating the percentage of people vaccinated that you mentioned. The U.S. reaching 300 million coronavirus shots administered. It's really worth celebrating.

But at the same time, this threat that we are talking about, this delta variant, people are opening up, going out. I fear not paying attention, because it's hard to hear that it could get bad again. It really is tough for people to process it.

Are we celebrating too soon?

REINER: We are celebrating in some places too soon. I think in parts of the mid-Atlantic where I live and in Northeast, New England, things are really good. Positivity rates are really low. The virus is rare.

But in other parts of the country like Missouri, it's not that -- it's not that way at all. I was at Lambert Airport two weeks ago and it was packed. When I looked around, that wall-to-wall people in that airport, I knew that have the folks there had not been vaccinated. And I would never go into a place like that in the environment unvaccinated.

So, we have to really pick up the pace in the south or we are going to see a lot of people die we just simply do not need to die. It's a red/blue split. It has been terribly politicized, but we have to do better.

BOLDUAN: That's what makes it so sad. Yeah, something's got to give. Good to see you, Doctor. Thank you.

REINER: My pleasure.

OUTFRONT for us next, U.S. bishops advanced a plan that could withhold communion for people who support abortion rights, specifically, amongst that group would be President Biden. His response to the move is next.

Plus, it's called black fungus and tonight, there is worry in India about this COVID related infection that feasts on dead flesh.


BOLDUAN: New tonight, President Biden responding after the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops move forward with a plan that could deny communion to public figures like Biden who support abortion rights.


REPORTER: Are you concerned about the rift in the Catholic Church and how do you feel personally about that?

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's a private matter and I don't think it's going to happen. Thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BOLDUAN: This is -- this is significant. Biden's strong fate is well known. I mean, he attends mass every week. He is the first Catholic president in nearly 6 decades.

Kaitlan Collins is OUTFRONT from the White House tonight.

Kaitlan, what does this mean for the president -- for a president who really does put his faith at the core of his identity?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Right. I mean, Kate, this is probably one of the most religiously observant president that we have had, presidents that we've had in decades. And so, to see this push, by this conservative bishops, we should be clear, in order to deny him communion and others like him who support abortion rights is really notable, because given it had the support and it's deeply divisive within the Catholic Church, of course, and you've seen these bishops essentially arguing about this for the last several days.

But they have moved ahead with this push in order to deny President Biden and others like him the ability to take communion, given their support for abortion rights. So, you saw him weigh in earlier and this is the first time he's been asked about this debate going on within the Catholic party.

He says it's a private matter but, of course, it it's obviously become incredibly public in the last several days, given just how this has moved ahead, even though it's not final, this is not actually gone anywhere yet and not been finalized towards actually becoming something that does happen.

And he said today, he predicts it's not going to happen, but I do think it was notable that he did not really have a lot to say about this when asked about it, when given we know President Biden, when he is passionate about something, he would normally talk about it for several moments. But today, he kept it really short and brief when he was asked about this decision.


BOLDUAN: And in 2019, Kaitlan, Biden was denied communion by a South Carolina priest, because of his stance on abortion. Let me play how Biden responded to that at the time.


BIDEN: It's the only time it's ever happened, we didn't talk about it, he went to the press about it. It's not a position I have found anywhere else, including from the Holy Father, who gives me communion.


BOLDUAN: Very interesting, because we heard him say today, it is a private matter. But is this really going to be -- to remain private?

COLLINS: I don't think it's private, I think it's part of the presidency, but, I do think it is notable given just how religious President Biden is. I mean, he is someone who regularly goes to mass, he did so while we were overseas on his first foreign trip as president, he is someone who clearly makes a show of -- show that it's a priority to him, something that it has been for several decades.

But, you know, doing so as a president when you are, obviously, incredibly busy is notable as well. I think what is also striking about this comparison here is just how you saw a religious people respond to President Trump, and someone who was, of course, accused and later admitted that he had his attorney payoff of porn star who accused him of having an affair with him.

So, I think that is the contrast that people are making in between this. I do think it is something that President Biden is clearly not wanted to get dragged into actual debate over, saying he's confident it would actually come to fruition, but it is notable, just because it's not just for President Biden. It's also for other people, prominent people, of his position, who do support abortion rights. And I do think it is more revealing of a greater rift in the Catholic religion.

BOLDUAN: Kaitlan, thank you so much.

OUTFRONT next, first, it was COVID ravaging India. Now, there are concerns about what is called, black fungus.

And, a hero's welcome in the ballpark for one of the Capitol police officers hailed for his actions on January 6th.



BOLDUAN: The Delta COVID variant, as we've reported, is causing a growing concern in the United States. And now, in India, where the variant first appeared, is dealing with a new crisis linked to the coronavirus.

Here is Sam Kiley.


SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): (INAUDIBLE) is 41, a COVID-19 survivor, his doctors are telling him that he's facing another life-threatening illness -- black fungus. Mucormycosis has invaded his face. He is being prepared for a 3rd round of surgery, to remove it before it can spread to his brain.

Seventy-one other patients have battled this rare infection, in St. John's Hospital in Bangalore since April. A surge in the disease seen in India among patients who are either already diabetic, or when the coronavirus triggered diabetes.

He became diabetic after his bout with COVID. He's lost the feeling on one side of his face, and may lose his eye to the fungus that infected nearly 12,000 other Indians already this year.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The disease has progressed, in the eye is looking very bad.

KILEY: His CT scan, revealing that the fungus has spread.

It's clear, at the stage for the surgeons, they're trying to save the eye, but also, clear the area around the eye of the dead flesh, because this is a fungus that feeds on dead flesh and sugar. They're trying to prevent it from getting into his brain.

It's already cost around $6,000 just for his drugs. Medical debt will be devastating to this driver. He's got two small kids to support.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It goes through the blood vessels, it erodes the bones, and then, it has also entered the lower part of the sinus of the cheek.

KILEY: So, if he doesn't get amphotericin, what will happen to him?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The fungus will spread, it will enter the brain, and it will start infecting all blood vessels within the brain.

KILEY: India's second wave may be past its peak, but ICUs are still busy with COVID patients who, now, may face black fungus as a secondary illness.

DR. SANJIV LEWIN, CHIEF OF MEDICAL SERVICES, ST. JOHN'S HOSPITAL: What is blatantly staring us in the face, after the second wave, which is a huge surge compared to the first wave, was, of course, mucor.

KILEY: Shortages of amphotericin B have forced doctors into deciding who gets it, and may live, and who may not.

LEWIN: It's been extremely tough.

KILEY: But it's not just adults who are short of lifesaving drugs, dozens of children at the rainbow hospital and Bangalore have been admitted with multisystem inflammatory syndrome, or MIS-C.

It's another post-COVID illness cause when the body's own immune system turns on itself. The best treatment is an imported and expensive drug, called intravenous immunoglobulin, IVIG.

(INAUDIBLE) is 9. He had mild COVID, recovered, and then his antibodies attacked his own organs, including his heart causing MIS-C. He is on the mend now.

GEETHA SURESH, AUNT OF MIS-C PATIENT: We were so scared, very scary, very scary.

KILEY: So, while India's second wave declines, fear still grips many Indians who are now dependent on rare drugs very few can afford.

Sam Kiley, CNN, Bangalore.


BOLDUAN: Sam, thank you for the reporting. OUTFRONT for us next, in honor for Eugene Goodman, the Capitol police

officer hailed for his actions on January 6th.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: The election is rigged.

CROWD: Stop the steal, stop the steal!

TRUMP: Fight like hell.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not a law enforcement operation. This was a military defense.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're coming for you, Nancy!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Once they started banging on the door, that's all I heard.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Overran the Capitol.

ANNOUNCER: Now new details from those who were there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President Trump said come to D.C., it's going to be wild. And I knew it was going to be history.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This might sound extremely strange to a lot of your viewers, but I feel like he was anointed by God.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We peacefully protested.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You call January 6th a peaceful protest?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my God, what is happening? I was scared. Absolutely scared.

ANNOUNCER: CNN special report, "Assault on Democracy: The Roots of Trump's Insurrection", Sunday at 9:00.



BOLDUAN: Capitol police officer whose actions on January 6th may very well have saved the lives of lawmakers, he just threw out the ceremonial first pitch at tonight's Mets-Nats games. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Officer Goodman, when you're ready. It's your pitch.



BOLDUAN: Looks like he wants a do-over.

Regardless, Eugene Goodman has been hailed as a hero for his actions, leading them away from the chamber. You could see the video of what he did that day.

Thank you, Officer Goodman.

"AC360" starts now, guys.