Return to Transcripts main page
Erin Burnett Outfront
U.S. Reports Record 256,000 Plus Average Daily COVID Cases; Multiple States Report Dire Shortages Of Antibody Treatments As U.S. Reports Record Number Of Cases; Gov. Ned Lamont (D) Connecticut Discusses About Running Out Of Monoclonal Antibody Running Out Connecticut; Teen Died In Mother's Arms After LAPD Shot At Suspect; Parents Of Teen Killed In LAPD Shooting, "We Demand Justice"; January 6 Committee Stands Down On Some Trump Documents. Aired 7:00-8p ET
Aired December 28, 2021 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And a lot of what the information has come out in the past 24 hours has been tied to what happened. Now the next step, Jim, is going to be looking into why.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN HOST: All right. CNN's Omar Jimenez, thanks for staying on top of that.
I'm Jim Acosta. Thanks very much for watching. Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN HOST: Good evening. I'm Poppy Harlow in for Erin Burnett. And OUTFRONT tonight breaking news, a new record high number of COVID cases, the seven-day average now topping 256,000. That is the highest that number has ever been in the nearly two-year long pandemic. The previous high nearly 252,000 in January. So far, hospitalizations and deaths have not seen a similar increase in case but there are concerning signs.
So far hospitalizations and deaths, as I said, are not increasing at the same pace. Four states; Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire and Vermont are now showing record high numbers for hospitalizations this month. And at least three other states; Ohio, Indiana and Delaware and also Washington, D.C. are approaching their previous highs.
And right now, pediatric hospitalizations for COVID are up nearly 50 percent across the country over the last two weeks close to the record high in September. And with Americans across the country still waiting in line for hours to get tested, President Biden just told reporters moments ago while walking on the beach in Delaware, that his administration is 'making a bit of progress' at distributing those at- home test kits to Americans.
But those remarks coming within minutes of the FDA announcing those rapid at-home antigen tests may be less sensitive to actually picking up the Omicron variants. So one out of every 50 residents right here in New York City testing positive within the last week.
In neighboring Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont calling up nearly 100 National Guard members to help distribute millions of at-home COVID tests and N95 masks. I will talk to the governor in just a few minutes.
But first let's begin tonight with our Alexandra Field. She is OUTFRONT. Alex, very concerning signs tonight of what is to come.
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And particularly for parents. Look, Poppy, tonight the number of children who are hospitalized with COVID is relatively speaking extremely low. But as we see cases climb, so will hospitalizations and that will include more children. So public health officials are pleading with parents who can get their kids vaccinated to get their kids vaccinated.
FIELD (voice over): A new surge in COVID cases is bringing with it another spike in pediatric hospitalizations, up nearly 50 percent in a week nationwide. Children still make up an extremely small percentage of people hospitalized for COVID and are still far less likely to become severely ill than adults, but hospitals have seen it before. Just last summer during the Delta surge.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ADRIENNE RANDOLPH, PEDIATRIC CRITICAL CARE PHYSICIAN, BOSTON CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL: We have very high rates of hospitalization, very high rates of very severe illness. Children going on to heart lung bypass machines. A lot of teenagers, especially, most of these children had underlying conditions, but it also affected healthy children.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FIELD (voice over): In New York City, pediatric hospitalizations have gone up fivefold in three weeks. A hospital in Chicago reports a fourfold rise. It doesn't appear the Omicron variant is more dangerous for children, but it is highly transmissible and holiday gatherings could further fuel the surge in cases including among children. The age groups with the lowest vaccination rates in the country.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ALLISON MESSINA, CHIEF OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES, JOHNS HOPKINS ALL CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL: I would say we have not seen the worst of it yet.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FIELD (voice over): With cases climbing, staffing shortages are still crippling industries. Airlines canceling thousands of flights this holiday season. Maryland's federal courts scaling back operations. Team USA Hockey forced to forfeit the World Juniors tournament.
The CDC's latest guidance aims to put people back to work more quickly. But the recommendation to isolate for five days instead of 10 if infected but not symptomatic, comes also with criticism.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DR. MEGAN RANNEY, ER DOCTOR, BROWN EMERGENCY MEDICINE: The trouble is for the unvaccinated the data doesn't really backup that they become non-infectious at five days.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FIELD (voice over): Testing lines across the country are still intolerably long in too many places and frustration is mounting over failures to make more at-home tests available more quickly.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ASHISH JHA, DIRECTOR, HARVARD GLOBAL HEALTH INSTITUTE: I hope we fix it in January and February. But we're going to have to have a real effort to make sure there's plentiful cheap, ubiquitous testing everywhere in the country. That's where we should be in this pandemic right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FIELD (on camera): Those tests so extremely critical for so many things. They're also a key tool to helping keep more kids in school. New York City schools, the largest district in the nation announcing today that they plan to return kids to the classroom as scheduled after the winter break, after the New Year. But they have said that they are also looking at their testing protocols, boosting those a bit as they are so critically needed right now. Poppy?
HARLOW: They absolutely are. Alexandra Field reporting for us live tonight. Thank you so much.
OUTFRONT next, Dr. Peter Hotez, Co-Director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children's Hospital and Dr. Jonathan Reiner, who advised the White House medical unit under President George W. Bush. Thank you both very much.
Dr. Hotez, this rapid rise in pediatric cases and hospitalizations all across the country, as a pediatric Doctor, how much worse do you think this is going to get for our kids?
DR. PETER HOTEZ, PROF. & DEAN, NATIONAL SCHOOL OF TROPICAL MEDICINE, BAYLOR COLLEGE OF MEDICINE: Well, right now we're seeing Omicron, primarily in the Northeast and the belt that's going from New York, New Jersey into Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. And I would expect that Omicron will, over the coming weeks, consume the entire nation just like the Alpha variant did last winter. So what can we expect?
Well, first of all, we saw a little bit of this. We had a hint of it with the Delta variant in the South, here in Texas and in neighboring southern states. And it created a firestorm or what my friend, Mike Osterholm, likes to call a virus blizzard where kids are getting swept up and not that the variant is specifically targeting kids, but they're getting brought along with it.
And so the expectation is Omicron will do something similar. We kind of had a hint that what's going to happen based on South Africa and the U.K. So we're going to see a lot of children's hospital admissions, some pediatric ICU admissions. The big unknown, I think, is how much of our healthcare workforce is going to get knocked out, because they have breakthrough COVID.
HOTEZ: And that's the kind of toxic mix I'm looking at.
HARLOW: And that's why big reason, Dr. Reiner, why the CDC change its guidance and cut in half the quarantine time required for those frontline health care workers and now for everyone. Earlier today, I spoke with the president of the nation's largest nurses union, about the CDC decision to do that and she's not happy with it. Listen to what she told me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNITED ROSS, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL NURSES UNITED: It's only going to lead to more illness, more cases, measures like this will make it worse instead of better. This is when you should be tightening your controls, not lessening them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Dr. Reiner, is she right?
JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Well, I'm worried that she might be right. So many of us approve of the CDC reducing the time for isolation and I certainly do think that's a good idea, but not without testing. And what the CDC has essentially done is to cut the isolation time to five days and to say you don't need testing to come out of isolation, but you should wear a mask, in case you're still infectious, so why not test?
And the answer is obviously that they don't think we have enough tests.
HARLOW: That's what perplexed me. Sorry, interrupt. That's what perplex me so much. It was my first question when I saw this guidance and it's another way that not having enough tests is crippling us.
REINER: Right. And it has this uncomfortable resonance with me to when we were told we didn't need to wear masks. But the truth was that we didn't have masks. So I think that if you can find tests, what I would say to the American public is, it's fine to isolate for five days. And if you're asymptomatic, test yourself twice. And if you remain negative, yes, you can come out of isolation.
But many people will remain positive. The notion that we know exactly when people become or people are no longer infectious is just not right. There's sort of a range between three and eight days. So I think what we'll see going forward is as we have more ubiquitous supplies of tests. That will be reincorporated into these algorithms for understanding when it's safe for people to come out of isolation. But I think it's a big miss from the CDC not to incorporate testing in this.
HARLOW: It's a really important point.
Dr. Hotez, New York City's seven day average of new cases is now near 20 percent. Pediatric hospitalizations, we've seen a fivefold increase and today the city announced the public school system here, you've got 1.1 million students in it will reopen as scheduled next week with expanded testing. Is it the right move? Is it safe?
HOTEZ: Well, it may be the right move, but I wouldn't do it now in terms of what they're proposing, you've got a screaming level of transmission in the Northeast, in New York City, in Washington, D.C., trying to open schools at this point. It's hard to imagine how things will go well. There's just too high level of virus transmission when you're talking about a virus that may be as transmissible as measles among a mostly unvaccinated population.
And so that's going to be very rough. My recommendation would be, not push this right now, even delaying it two weeks if we could start going on the down slope in terms of COVID-19 transmission.
HOTEZ: That can make a huge difference. Even the best measures when you have that high level of transmission could be really tough.
HARLOW: I hear you, but the Mayor is saying, look, schools this is a quote, have been safe schools where kids need to be. The science is clear schools need to be open into speaking not as a scientist, but as a working parent who has the resources to have help with our children.
Most people don't and if they even are lucky enough, Dr. Hotez, to have vacation time they probably used it all over the holiday for the two weeks our kids were out of school so thinking about a month plus more out, it's unimaginable for many families not to mention that the learning loss.
HOTEZ: Yes. And plus you have what the Surgeon General came out with a week or so ago about the mental health effects of COVID-19, I totally get all of that.
HOTEZ: But here's the reality, Omicron is like nothing we've seen before. It is so highly transmissible. So one possibility if you could push it back even a couple of weeks, may be added on into the summer with the hope that things will be better, I think that's one possibility.
I just think it's going to be really challenging with this Omicron variant just because of the way this is right now. HARLOW: I hear you. Impossible decisions having to be made right now.
Dr. Reiner, in the past Republican Senator Ron Johnson has claimed thousands of deaths have been connected to the COVID vaccine and that mouthwash could kill the virus, both completely false. Here's what he said last night on Fox while discussing a potential vaccine mandate for domestic air travel.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RON JOHNSON (R-WI): We all hoped and prayed the vaccines would be a hundred percent effective, a hundred percent safe, but they're not. We now know that fully vaccinated individuals can catch COVID. They can transmit COVID, so what's the point?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: They are safe. What do you say to him?
REINER: I'd say that he's so misguided that it makes me wonder whether this is all just an act. And if it is an act, what does that say about what he thinks his constituents want to hear. Let me just say that vaccines will - let me state this a different way, the only people dying essentially now from this virus are the unvaccinated. And the vast majority of people being hospitalized in this country are the unvaccinated.
And his propagation of this nonsense that somehow vaccines don't work and are unsafe is the reason why so many of his constituents are becoming hospitalized and are dying. And if this is not an act, then he is just the most ignorant man in the United States Senate and that says a lot.
HARLOW: Dr. Hotez, this comes as a low cost, easy to make COVID vaccine that you and your hospital created to help developing countries was just authorized just now for India. What do you think when you hear Sen. Johnson and say things like that?
HOTEZ: Well, he is one of the dozen or so perpetrators of this horrible disinformation that has led to so many Americans losing their lives unnecessarily. Poppy, we have the numbers since June 1, 200,000 unvaccinated Americans who've been defiant to vaccines, refuse vaccines have needlessly lost their lives.
This type of, what I call, some people call it misinformation or disinformation, I call it the anti-science aggression coming from Sen. Rand Paul, Sen. Johnson, members of the House of Representatives, in addition to those two senators, are killers. So anti-science aggression is now a leading killer of young and middle aged adults in the United States of America and he's part of the problem.
HARLOW: Well, thank you both for all you do on the healthcare front and for being pro-science and giving us the facts every night right here. Thank you, Dr. Hotez. Thank you, Dr. Reiner.
REINER: Thank you. HARLOW: OUTFRONT next, a COVID crisis in Texas. Listen to this, supplies of the only authorized monoclonal antibody treatment effective in treating the Omicron variant are about to run out across the whole state, so what now?
Plus, the family of a 14-year-old accidentally killed in a police shooting is demanding justice, speaking out for the first time since the death of their daughter. How did this tragedy happen?
And is $4 gas around the corner? My guest analyze the numbers and explains why prices could get even higher.
HARLOW: Tonight, health officials in Texas warning that they are running out of the only authorized monoclonal antibody treatment that actually works against the COVID Omicron variant. And in Ohio is children's hospitalizations increase, a pediatrician there is warning her hospital is running dangerously low on the same treatment saying they do not have enough to combat this surge.
Elizabeth Cohen OUTFRONT tonight. And Elizabeth, supply of this treatment is low. It's the only one proven to work against this variant, so what do people do if they get really sick?
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know what, they are really in a pickle. If you have COVID, you've just found out you're getting sicker or maybe you're at high risk for complications, there are not a lot of options out there for you. Let's sort of run through what they are.
So as you mentioned, there's only one monoclonal antibody that seems to work to fight to treat people with COVID-19 and that's called sotrovimab. That is it's really, really difficult to get right now.
Now, there are antivirals that were recently authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Paxlovid, which is made by Pfizer and molnupiravir which is made by Merck.
But here's the issue, they have not been - they're just now getting to be distributed. They're going to be out in large numbers, according to the U.S. government. But right now, they're not out there in large numbers. So if you have early COVID, you're really in a bind and I've talked to some doctors and centers that are trying to help these people and they are really feeling panicky. They say they just don't have that much to tell these patients. They don't have many ways to help them. Poppy?
HARLOW: Wow. Two years into the pandemic and this is where we are. Before you go, you were just talking about treatments for early Omicron infection. But the CDC announced today that Omicron is not quite as widespread as they thought, how might that affect the treatment? COHEN: Right. This is an interesting thing that happened today that came out of the CDC. The CDC estimates what percentage of cases out there are Omicron versus Delta. They've been doing this with variants since the beginning of the pandemic. So let's take a look at what they said last week.
So last week, they said if you look at the week of December 11 through the 18, they previously said that that was 73 percent that Omicron was 73 percent of the new cases for the week of December 11th through 18th. But today CDC said, actually we're going to amend that. We don't think that was right, we think it's 23 percent. Omicron was only 23 percent that week and now it's about 59 percent.
First of all, it's unclear why that's a big difference, why did they get that so wrong, but let's talk about why it matters. So we were just talking about how sotrovimab is the only monoclonal antibody that can treat Omicron, but it turns out that that week Omicron wasn't all that big.
So doctors may be could have been using, say, Regeneron or another monoclonal antibody made by Lilly.
COHEN: So the CDC made it sound like Omicron was the big one out there, but it actually wasn't and maybe those drugs would have been useful. We'll never know that time has passed. Poppy?
HARLOW: Wow. It shows how significant it is to get it right on these. Elizabeth, thanks so much for the reporting.
Let me bring in now Democratic Governor Ned Lamont of Connecticut. Good evening, Governor, and thank you for joining us.
GOV. NED LAMONT (D) CONNECTICUT: Hey, Poppy. Nice to see you again.
HARLOW: Are you concerned that Connecticut could soon be in the same place as Texas and running out of the only antibody treatment that's proven to work against this variant?
LAMONT: Yes, I'm concerned. Our infection rate has gone up a lot. Fortunately, Connecticut is one of the most vaccinated states in the country and that meant that we're holding our own in keeping capacity in our hospitals. But I see what's going on in New York City where the hospitalizations gone up a lot, so we're concerned.
Obviously, monoclonal antibodies, we're going to need that when people get sick, bring out those therapies, soon we'll test and hopefully be able to keep you out of the hospital once those therapies are widely available and that will start within the next couple of weeks.
HARLOW: The test positivity rate, you brought up New York City, so right here where I'm sitting, the test positivity rate is just under 20 percent. Connecticut's is at nearly 15 percent. That's the highest rate since widespread testing began. You've got four states, including nearby Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, all seeing higher hospitalizations this month than at any other time in the pandemic. How worried are you about what may be approaching your state despite the really impressive vaccination levels that you've had throughout?
LAMONT: Well, don't let Sen. Johnson deny the facts that have being vaccinated, being boosted is the best way to keep you out of the hospital and keep you out of the morgue, so it makes a big difference. If I'm looking for any silver linings at all, Poppy, as you point out; Maine, New Hampshire hospitalizations are up, but infections are coming down a little bit.
So maybe like we saw in South Africa, there's a spike up and then a spike down. So I'd like to think that could be the case, but we also have Omicron coming up from New York and New Jersey, so we're right now in the crosshairs.
HARLOW: You have called up Connecticut's National Guard to help distribute 6 million N95 masks and million at home rapid test to your residents. You've got another 2 million tests going to K through 12 schools. Across the country right now, people are waiting in these unbelievable lines. I see them every morning outside our home in New York around the block. And these are signs of the testing shortage that President Biden has lamented, since even before he became president. Listen to what he has said over the past 14 months.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Every school, every worker, every American should have easy access to regular, reliable free testing.
After 10 months of the pandemic, we still don't have enough testing.
We're going to put the full force of the federal government behind expanding testing by launching the COVID-19 pandemic testing board.
We continue to work on making at home testing available. We have to do more. We have to do better and we will.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: How do you explain why his administration did not do more sooner to address this?
LAMONT: Well, I can tell you first of all here in Connecticut we're trying to do more sooner right now, we've got a million additional tests being distributed starting in the next 48 hours to our municipalities to make it easier for people to get a rapid test. We'll have a couple million tests going out to our schools within a week, giving people the confidence that they can get back to school safely.
Look, the scope of this infection with Omicron has just been devastating, probably a lot more severe than any of us had anticipated and the rapid tests are relatively new. So they're ramping them up as quickly as we can. But anyway, Connecticut's taken the lead, we got $3 million out there and hopefully that'll be a bridge to more.
HARLOW: Couldn't you have used more help from the federal government? I mean, you saw Europe buying up a lot of these tests way at the beginning of the pandemic subsidizing them so people could afford them and so they had enough.
LAMONT: Look, I think that's really true. I would have an operation warp speed for these tests. I would subsidize them to be available for a dollar, widely available in all of our pharmacies and federally qualified health centers. Sadly, it's going to take a little bit of time till we ramp up to that point.
HARLOW: Right. It sounds like we need warp speed too, Gov. Lamont, thank you. Stay safe and healthy.
LAMONT: Thanks, Poppy.
HARLOW: OUTFRONT next, her name was Valentina. She is the 14-year-old who was killed in a store's dressing room during a police shooting. Tonight, her mother is speaking out.
And also this breaking news, the January 6 Committee scaling back request for some documents from the Trump White House. What's behind that? The Biden administration. We'll explain, coming up.
HARLOW: Tonight, the mother of the 14-year-old girl killed by a stray police bullet in a department store dressing room saying the Los Angeles Police Department left her daughter to die alone on the floor. The parents freaking out for the first time since police released body cameras and surveillance footage of the moments that led to the death of their daughter.
The LAPD officers were responding to a 911 call about a suspect who had allegedly committed assault with a deadly weapon in a store. The police chief saying he is committed to conducting a 'thorough, complete and transparent' investigation. I do want to warn all of you that the footage you're about to see is incredibly disturbing. Josh Campbell is OUTFRONT.
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): At an emotional press conference, Valentina Orellana-Peralta's mother spoke about holding her daughter during the shooting.
"We heard screaming. We sat down and we hugged each other. When something get my daughter and it threw us to the ground. She died in my arms."
Police say they believe Valentina was hit by a bullet that ricocheted off the tile floor and entered a dressing room wall as officers pursued a suspect who allegedly assaulted several women. Valentina's mother had one of the family's attorneys, Benjamin Crump, read a statement detailing what she remembered that day.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEN CRUMP, ATTORNEY: "All of a sudden we felt an explosion that threw us both to the ground. That's when I saw white powder coming out of Valentino his body as she started having convulsions.
I had no idea she had been shot. Her body went limp.
CAMPBELL (voice-over): Valentina died from a gunshot wound to the chest. LAPD released edited bodycam footage, 911 calls, radio transmissions, and store surveillance videos showing the assaults in progress and calls reporting a possible shooting.
DISPATCHER: ADW shooting, Victory and Lauren Canyon. Suspect is still inside the location. PR advised there are customers and employees hiding inside the location.
CAMPBELL: The footage shows officers arriving at the scene, then moving up an escalator, guns drawn, and finding a woman on the ground after she was repeatedly hit with a metal bike lock.
POLICE OFFICER: She is bleeding. She's bleeding.
CAMPBELL: One officer fires three shots, killing the suspect. No gun was found near the body as officers searched the scene. Police say after the shooting, they found Valentina in a dressing room.
CAPTAIN STACY SPELL, LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT: Unbeknownst to the officers, a 14-year-old girl was in a changing room behind the wall that was behind the suspect and out of the officers' view.
CAMPBELL: Valentina's father breaking down talking today about Valentina's life, saying she wanted to go to college to become an engineer.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She had dreams.
CAMPBELL: Her father's attorney says Valentina's family wants justice.
What does justice mean to them?
CRUMP: Justice is trying to examine and investigate thoroughly. They want to see accountability.
CAMPBELL (voice-over): Now, an attorney for the family says they are looking into a possible lawsuit against the LAPD. The department would not comment on any pending litigation. However, we are hearing from the Los Angeles police union. They are
speaking out describing their utter sorrow, in their words, at this incident. They are praying for Valentina's family. They also say that they are praying for this officer involved in the shooting. Describing him as devastated.
Poppy, tragic does not begin to describe this incident that happened here in L.A. last week, seeing the faces of this young girl's family today just so, so sad. Her father told us today that, while other families around the country are gathered this holiday in their homes with their families, they will now have an empty seat and an empty home -- Poppy.
HARLOW: Just 14 years old, Josh, thank you for your reporting on this throughout.
OUTFRONT now, Sergeant Cheryl Dorsey. She is a retired LAPD sergeant and is the author of a new book called "The Confidence Chronicles." And Paul Martin also joins us, criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor.
And, Paul, let me begin with you, because the attorney said they did not announce any immediate legal action in connection with this case but Valentina's mother did slam the LAPD saying they left her daughter to die alone on the floor as they evacuated others. Do you think they have a case?
PAUL MARTIN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY & FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, they -- they may have a civil action and I'm not surprised at all that they will be bringing civil action. But a civil action is much different than criminal.
When you look at the action of the police officer and the question becomes was the officer justified in firing his weapons? And I believe the police department, as well as the la district attorney's office, will do a thorough investigation and they will come to a decision or conclusion whether any criminal charges should be brought.
But that is different than a civil action. And all we can do in a civil action is to provide monetary reward or monetary compensation for the loss of this life. But unfortunately, justice will never be served because justice is receiving or having that child back and that mother will never have that ability.
HARLOW: And, Sergeant Dorsey, this was just two days before Christmas. Police opened fire in a store, where customers were present at the height of the Christmas-shopping season, without knowing for sure if the suspect was armed.
Here is what the family's lawyer, Ben Crump, had to say today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRUMP: It was foreseeable that two days before Christmas, that there were going to be people in a shopping plaza shopping. The family thinks things could have been done differently. (END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Sergeant, can you help explain how police are trained in a situation like this where there are bystanders?
SGT. CHERYL DORSEY, LOS ANGELES POLICE (RET.): Well, you know, all of that, you know, is -- is true. It's a holiday season and there are shoppers in stores but we saw the officers on the video, as they were going up the escalator looking around and perusing the environment that they were finding themselves in.
And for the most part, it seemed fairly barren. And so, while you may receive information -- and yes, the suspect did not have a gun but that's not what the officers were told by the many witnesses who had called 9-1-1.
And so, this is going to be based on the officer's perception, the information that they were given at the time, and they responded accordingly.
HARLOW: Paul, here is some of the body-camera footage for you, again. And again, to warn people, it's really disturbing. You can see the suspect with the cable lock in his right hand, and there is no indication that he is armed with a gun. And it's unclear if he advanced on any of the officers before shots rang out. Police have said no gun was found at the scene.
From what you can see, was this justified, the use of a rifle?
PAUL: Well, whether it's a rifle or it's a -- a -- a -- an automatic weapon, a handgun, it's somewhat irrelevant. The question becomes are they justified in using deadly physical force to prevent deadly physical force being used automatic weapon, a handgun, it's somewhat automatic weapon, a handgun, it's somewhat irrelevant. The question becomes are they justified in using deadly physical force to prevent deadly physical force being used against someone else or themselves?
Based upon the facts and circumstances, as I understand them, and based upon the knowledge that the officers had, I think they had to act -- act in the manner in which they did in order to save other lives. Now, it's easy to do it as a Monday-morning quarterback to say why did you have to fire? But if that gentleman would have had a weapon and shot someone else or shot another bystander, then the question would have -- would have came up, why didn't you fire your weapon when you had the opportunity?
HARLOW: So -- so, too, I hear you and, Sergeant Dorsey, I would love for you to weigh in on this as well. I was speaking with my colleague Josh Campbell who has been reporting on this throughout and he noted an a AR-style assault rifle used by police obviously fires a larger round and with greater force and distance compared to a service pistol. Police departments train officers that they are responsible for every round they fire.
Does an officer with an assault rifle have an even greater responsibility to know what might be behind their target?
DORSEY: It would be the exact same. I mean, listen. I can speculate but I can't promise you that if one of those officers had fired a 9 millimeter or a Glock, it would not have penetrated that wall there in the dressing room. I don't know what type of material they use there. They certainly don't fortify dressing rooms. You never expect this to happen.
So, we can what-if this from now on but the fact of the matter is what the officers did in that moment, based on what they knew, was reasonable. And it had a tragic, tragic outcome and I am so sorry that this family's having to deal with this unspeakable grief as a result of their actions.
HARLOW: All of our thoughts with them tonight. Absolutely. Again, only 14 years old.
Sergeant Dorsey, thank you. Paul Martin, thank you, as well.
OUTFRONT next: breaking news. The man whose name is synonymous with NFL football, the iconic John Madden has died. We will have more, coming up.
And a forecast on gasoline prices for the New Year. Prepare to possibly pay as much as $4 a gallon.
HARLOW: Breaking news tonight. The House January 6th Committee standing down on some of its demands for some of the former President Trump's White House documents. This, after pushback interestingly from the Biden administration convincing the committee to scale back that request. It is the first time the Biden administration appears to have told the committee its requests, on some fronts, may have gone too far.
Jessica Schneider is OUTFRONT and joins us now.
Explain why. What are these documents?
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, these are documents from the National Security Council and it means that for now, Poppy, the committee won't be getting hundreds of these pages from the Trump administration.
So, our teams actually reviewed several letters from the White House lawyers. They are telling the committee that these particular records don't touch on anything do with January 6th. So in response, the committee has withdrawn their request for now. And it does appear to be the first time the Biden White House has pushed back on handing over these Trump documents to the committee. Biden's lawyers are saying they want to keep the record secret to, in their words preserve the confidentiality of discussions and advice around the presidency. We actually got response from the committee late tonight saying they
may actually renew this request. And remember, of course, there is still that fight that is now before the Supreme Court about whether 700 other documents from the Trump White House will actually go to the House committee. But those documents, of course, President Biden does approve of handing over.
This is a minor setback but it comes as the committee is revealing its plans for 2022. Sources are telling our team that there is a plan for an interim public report that could be released this summer. And then, a final report by the fall. And plus, we are seeing that plans are in the works for public hearings in 2022 but no exact timeline on that.
So, you know, Poppy, the committee has conducted, up to this point, much of its work behind closed doors. So this could be a chance in 2022 for the public really to get a glimpse of all that this committee has uncovered in its interviews with what they say is hundreds of witnesses, so far -- Poppy.
HARLOW: Jessica Schneider, thank you for the reporting tonight.
And now, I want to bring in Democratic Congressman Jamaal Bowman of New York. He is calling on President Biden to make January 6th a day of national healing, writing in a letter to Biden, quote, I urge you to use your executive power to highlight the injustice of January 6th and make sure the trauma it caused is not lost to history.
Good evening, Congressman, and thank you for your time.
REP. JAMAAL BOWMAN (D-NY): Of course. Good evening. Thanks for having me.
HARLOW: Has the president or White House responded to your letter?
BOWMAN: Not as of yet but there have been several conversations, and there is interest there. You know, I think it -- it's very apparent when we have -- when you see over 800,000 people dead from COVID, the trauma of the 2020 election, the trauma of the Trump presidency. We have the convergence of these complex traumas, and we haven't paused, as a nation, to collectively heal in response to these traumas.
You know, we've done everything we can to, you know, get back to -- to work and get the economy going. And that's fine. But without a pause, without reflection, without collective healing, our economy isn't going to take off in the way that it needs to and we are going to continue to see some of the harm that is happening amongst our kids and amongst historically marginalized communities.
So there is just a lot of healing work that needs to be done and I think the president is the perfect person to lead that work.
HARLOW: I want to turn to another important issue in Washington and you touched on it when you mentioned the economy and sort of broader economic healing and as the fate of Biden's domestic agenda and the nearly $2 trillion Build Back Better bill, Democrats -- some of them -- are now open to breaking it up into smaller pieces. Here is what two of your House colleagues said about that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JASON CROW (D-CO): If we can't get the bill in its entirety passed, then yeah we have to look at options for how we can get separate pieces passed.
REP. ADRIANO ESPAILLAT (D-NY): To sort of hold back and put the foot on the brake right now and parcel out who gets in and who gets left out I think is not good for the American people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Where do you stand on breaking it up?
BOWMAN: I don't agree with the approach of breaking it up.
This is a bill that's been together for several months. There's been so much work to get the bill to where it is. It was a much larger bill, as we know. And it's been under attack from special interests and some of my colleagues who are a bit more conservative.
We cannot leave women behind. We cannot leave children behind. We cannot leave people of color behind.
We have to deal with the climate crisis, and we have to support the care economy and our seniors. And historically, we continue to leave these groups behind and this has been my concern for several months.
HARLOW: We were looking back at some of the interviews you did right when you won your seat and it was one year and one day ago, on this network, on state of the union when you said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOWMAN: We cannot compromise when it comes to whether the needs of the people in my district, people are hungry, people are homeless, people are jobless, poverty rates are way too high, and my fight in Congress is going to be with the people of our district to make sure we deal with those issues explicitly and directly without compromise.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: I wonder if it's been even more difficult than you thought then to legislate and get things done in Congress?
BOWMAN: Well, first of all, I am very happy that I have been consistent with my position, so that's great. Thank you for --
HARLOW: There is always tape to play it back.
BOWMAN: It -- it has been difficult. It has been challenging. But I have been encouraged because, you know, house leadership -- Speaker Pelosi, Chairman Jeffries, the president. We have all been on the same page with pushing -- with getting build back better done. The name Build Back Better comes from the understanding that, historically, we have left these communities behind.
And now is the time not to make the same mistakes that were made by FDR and the New Deal. The New Deal was great. It gave us Social Security. We responded to the moment but we left people of color behind.
As a matter of fact, we redlined black communities that still haven't recovered in terms of the issue of wealth inequality. So, in order to heal as a country -- yep, go ahead.
HARLOW: I was just going to say, I hear you on all that. But I do want to push back, and just ask you about compromise because David Axelrod -- former senior adviser to President Obama -- wrote a really interesting piece yesterday in "The New York Times." talking about the affordable care act and the lesson of going with it, even when you don't get everything you want.
Remember? President Obama. They dropped the public option because they couldn't get all the Democrats onboard and they got something. He said you can't always get what you want, so get what you can to paraphrase Roosevelt, it's time for a rendezvous with reality and to fight for what is possible.
Is there not a lesson there?
BOWMAN: Of course, there is. But here is the thing. Black people are always compromising. Latinos, always compromising. Immigrants, always compromising. The poor, always compromising.
This isn't about compromise. This is about special interests controlling how Washington works. This is about the fossil fuel lobby, the pharmaceutical lobby, big money in politics controlling how we govern, how we legislate, and framing the debate.
I live in a district which if we were a nation, we would have the eighth worst economic inequality in the world. When you are black or brown in this district, you are more likely to be poor. You are more likely to have high levels of violence. You are more likely to go to underfunded schools and you are more likely to have housing that is devalued.
That is unacceptable and it's not just this district, it is across the country. Equitable investment in all of the American people is better for our economy and better for our democracy.
HARLOW: Congressman Bowman, thank you. Sorry we're out of time, but we'll have you back soon.
BOWMAN: Thank you.
HARLOW: OUTFRONT next, gasoline prices are already up 46 percent from a year ago. They are about to go even higher according to my guest, ahead.
And breaking news, the man who helped make the NFL what it is today both on the field and in the broadcast booth has died. John Madden was 85.
HARLOW: Tonight, gas prices projected to reach nearly $4 a gallon by Memorial Day. That's according to a new forecast from gas buddy shared exclusively with CNN.
Today, the average price of gas, $3.28, up an astonishing 46 percent from this time a year ago when the average price was $2.25. Let me bring in Patrick De Haan. He's the head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, which is an app that tracks fuel prices and shortages.
Good evening, thank you so much for being with me.
The president just released all this oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. So why is this happening?
PATRICK DE HAANN, HEAD OF PETROLEUM ANALYSIS, GASBUDDY: Well, poppy, simply put, the economy is certainly stronger than a small release from the strategic reserve. Even the omicron variant which caused prices to buckle just weeks ago, now oil prices surging on the prospects that omicron thankfully is less severe than was possible or anticipated.
And so, all of that is kind of a recipe for continued imbalance between supply and demand. A lot of this is still COVID related. Demand continued to recover far faster than supply, and it is going to cost Americans a bit more to fill up their tanks in the year ahead as a result of that imbalance.
HARLOW: President Biden has promised his administration would make sure that Americans don't overpay for gas. Here he was earlier this month.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're making progress. We're going to keep at it to ensure the American people are paying their fair share for gas. Not being gouged through gas.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Is there anything else the administration could do?
DE HAAN: Well, there is not a whole lot of leverage that the president -- any president -- has to begin with. But as we've already seen, President Biden has seemingly softened his stance on the oil and gas sector, and I think it's the optics behind that when the president came into the White House, obviously, he was going on the offensive. Now, it's more the defensive and I think what he is trying to do is
maybe loosen some of those requirements that he had put on the oil industry early on in an attempt to potentially lower prices, and I think that's a good first step. There is a lot of transition talk going around but not a whole lot of talk on how to make that transition affordable, and I think that's where the president is maybe slightly backtracking to help Americans get through this imbalance until oil production catches up with the increase in demand.
HARLOW: Quickly before you go, how long are you expecting prices to stay at 4 bucks a gallon?
DE HAAN: Well, not very long. In fact, we may see it in spring and early summer but, poppy, the good news is I think by the end of the year, we will see gas prices falling close to or back under that $3 a gallon mark.
HARLOW: OK. Patrick De Haan, thank you for your time tonight.
DE HAAN: My pleasure.
HARLOW: OUTFRONT next, breaking news. The NFL -- all of us stunned tonight by the death of a legend, John Madden.
HARLOW: Breaking news and sad news to share with you tonight. Football legend John Madden has died. The NFL just announcing that he passed away unexpectedly this morning. The football Hall of Famer won the Super Bowl as head coach of the Raiders in 1977. He never had a losing season.
After retiring, he became an iconic broadcaster, whose voice was part of the NFL soundtracks for generations of fans. Madden called games for nearly three decades on all four broadcast networks and won 16 Emmys for his work. He was also the namesake of, of course, the groundbreaking football video game franchise "Madden." A document aired about him just three days ago on Christmas.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN MADDEN, NFL COACH: Football is my life. It's something I say proudly. But it's complicated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Well, the NFL saying about his legacy in a statement tonight this. Nobody loved football for than coach. He was football. There will never be another John Madden and we will forever be indebted to him for all he did to make football and the NFL what it is today.
John Madden was 85 years old. Memorial services have not yet been announced. Of course, our condolences with his whole family tonight. Thank you so much for joining us. I will see you back here tomorrow. "AC360" starts now.