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Erin Burnett Outfront

U.S. Orders 3,000 More Soldiers To Deploy Amid Russia Threat; U.S.: Russia Could Invade Ukraine "At Any Time"; An Attack Would Likely Begin With "Aerial Bombing And Missile Attacks"; Source: Trump Has Documents National Archives Wants; Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) Discusses About The Top Secret Documents Still In Possession Of Trump In Mar-A-Lago; Protesters Defying Judge's Order To Clear U.S. Border Crossing; COVID Vaccine Authorization For Kids Under 5 Delayed. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired February 11, 2022 - 19:00   ET


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: But Afghans on the ground are going to start asking themselves how objective that is. Spokesman John Kirby said they'd look at new information. We'll have to see what he makes of this.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF DOMESTIC CORRESPONDENT: All right. Nick Paton Walsh, thanks for that excellent report.

I'm Jim Acosta. Thanks for watching.

Erin Burnett OUTFRONT starts right now.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, an urgent situation. The White House tonight worrying that Russia could invade Ukraine in days. Millions of people now in Russia's crosshairs as Biden prepares for a high stakes call with Putin.

Plus, CNN learning Trump has still not turned over every document that the National Archives wants. What could he possibly have?

And new confusion and frustration for parents, the FDA just announcing it's postponing a meeting on the Pfizer vaccine for children under five, why? Let's go OUTFRONT.

And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.

OUTFRONT tonight, the breaking news, the Defense Department announcing 3,000 more U.S. troops are now heading to Eastern Europe as there is growing intelligence that Putin is ready to go to war now.


JAKE SULLIVAN, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: It is an urgent message, because we are in an urgent situation.

ANTONY BLINKEN, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: We're in a window when an invasion could begin at any time.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BURNETT: The National Security Adviser, Jake Sullivan, saying Putin

who currently has Ukraine surrounded on three sides, with ground troops, may even give the go order before the Olympics and in nine days. If that happens, the White House predicts it will be swift and deadly.


SULLIVAN: If a Russian attack on Ukraine proceeds, it is likely to begin with aerial bombing and missile attacks that could obviously kill civilians without regard to their nationality. A subsequent ground invasion would involve the onslaught of a massive force. But I want to be equally clear that one of those forms is a rapid assault on the city of Kyiv. That is a possible line of attack course of action that the Russian forces could choose to take.


BURNETT: There are currently nearly 3 million people in Ukraine's capital. An invasion could lead to the worst bloodshed in Europe since World War II. And that is why Sullivan repeated what we heard from the President last night that any Americans still in Ukraine should leave in the next 24 to 48 hours.

And all day, we have seen a flurry of countries with the exact same message, get out; Norway, U.K., Latvia, South Korea, Japan, Estonia, all saying to their citizens leave. And the Ukrainian official telling CNN tonight 'the situation is really serious and uncertain'.

Back at the White House tonight, President Biden not taking questions as he left for Camp David tonight.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, what has led to this new level of concern?


BURNETT: And he did not answer that question. Before he left, he spoke with America's key allies for over an hour today. The group, according to the White House, ready to hit Putin with crippling sanctions, should he invade. A message Biden is certain to repeat when he is scheduled to speak with Putin tomorrow. Will anything come of it though?

Obviously, it is a crucial phone call. Is it much ado about nothing in terms of stopping Putin's intent? I mean, this is it. This is the crucial call.

Kaitlan Collins is OUTFRONT live outside the White House to begin our coverage tonight. Kaitlan, you have some new information about the timing of this call between Biden and Putin, tell me what you're learning. KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Erin, a

bit of unusual detail from the White House, which normally just tells us either a call with the foreign leader has happened or it's expected to happen. But now they're telling us when they're confirming that, yes, President Biden is going to speak to President Putin tomorrow about 11 am Eastern that the Kremlin had wanted this call to happen on Monday, but the White House said no that they had offered Saturday is the date for that call to happen, Russia accepted and so now this call will be happening tomorrow.

And it will be the first call between President Biden and President Putin since late December. And obviously in those six weeks, a lot has happened. And the White House has said even today that Russia has continued to escalate, continue to add forces, continue to move those forces around and so that is the backdrop going into this call tomorrow.

And also last night, there was this abruptly scheduled meeting in the Situation Room of President Biden's top National Security aides and President Biden himself. And since that meeting happened, you have seen U.S. officials warning that this idea that maybe Putin would hold off on Russian invasion of Ukraine until after the Olympics are over, out of a nod to his friend, President Xi in China, that that likely is not the scenario here.

They are saying that this very well could happen before the Olympics are scheduled to end on February 20th. And so those grim warnings that you saw Jake Sullivan, the National Security Adviser delivering to us in the briefing room earlier today, he was basically telling any American who was still in Ukraine that now is the time to leave.

And even putting a pretty specific timeframe on it of saying 24 to 48 hours and saying that kind of like what you saw on Afghanistan, you are not going to see any large scale U.S. military evacuation in this situation.


Sort of saying to take those commercial options to leave Ukraine while you still can, because they don't know what an invasion would look like if one does happen, but warned it could include aerial bombings, it could include missile strikes. Basically saying they don't know but they are preparing for the worst here.

BURNETT: All right. Kaitlan, thank you very much.

And as they prepare for the worst, we can tell you tonight there are new U.S. troops on the ground in Romania, a NATO ally that shares a border with Ukraine. Fred Pleitgen is on the ground there with a firsthand look.


FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): As Russia has just kicked off massive military drills with Belarus right on the border with Ukraine, the U.S. is not backing down, sending an additional 1,000 troops from the second cavalry regiment to Romania.


LT. COL. BENJAMIN NAGY, U.S. ARMY: Our mission here is to reassure the allies and show faith that we are here to support and deter aggression.


PLEITGEN (voice over): The reinforcements setting up here are only part of a larger deployment of thousands of troops ordered by President Biden. That also includes additional combat aircraft, both for air policing and for deterrence.


PLEITGEN (on camera): With deployment of forces here to Romania, the U.S. says it wants to send a clear message to both its allies and its adversaries, that the United States remains fully committed to collective defense on NATO's eastern flank.


PLEITGEN (voice over): U.S. troops will be training with Allied NATO forces to make sure the alliance can operate as a single coherent force in case of aggression from Russia.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If the time ever come, they know that they can trust us and we know we can trust them.


PLEITGEN (voice over): In the U.S. says Russia already has well over a hundred thousand troops amassed near Ukraine and Vladimir Putin could order an attack at any time, even though Russia claims it would not.

"The next days could be critical," NATO's Secretary General told me in an exclusive interview.


JENS STOLTENBERG, NATO SECRETARY GENERAL: Russia is increasing both the number of troops but also the readiness and their capability to act and to conduct aggressive actions on very short notice. So the number of troops is going up, while the warning time is going down.


PLEITGEN (voice over): And the Secretary General tells me that's exactly why the additional U.S. support is so important.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) STOLTENBERG: I strongly welcome the deployment of more U.S. forces,

partly because the United States is by far the biggest ally and they contribute thousands of troops. But also because it, of course, sends that very strong message of the ironclad commitment of the United States to NATO and European security.


PLEITGEN (voice over): Both the U.S. and NATO say they hope diplomacy can prevail, but they are stepping up preparations in case it fails.


PLEITGEN (on camera): And one of the things Erin that the Secretary General continued to point out to me is that, of course, the troops that the U.S. has sent there and the ones that NATO has sent there are all defensive. It's a defensive alliance, so they would not intervene if Russia does a further invasion of Ukraine.

But, of course, America's Eastern European allies very much on edge at this point in time, especially also about the situation in the Black Sea where the Russians are putting together a massive naval force, air forces and ground forces as well. And, of course, as you mentioned, those 3,000 additional troops that are going to Poland also extremely concerned the U.S. showing it's out there and it stands by its allies. Erin?

BURNETT: Thank you very much. All right. Appreciate it. Live from that base tonight.

And now retired U.S. Army Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, former Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs in the Bush administration, Evelyn Farkas is also with me, former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia in the Obama administration. Also tonight, Seth Jones, Director of the International Security Program for the Center for Strategic and International Studies. And, of course, Seth had so many of these satellite images and reporting here before anyone in the U.S. government. So thanks very much to all of you.

Seth, let me start with you. I know you have been looking at the satellite images for months here. You've seen the buildup bit by bit. You have been talking to people on the ground, gathering these images, what is the latest that you're hearing and seeing now?

SETH JONES, DIRECTOR, INTL. SECURITY PROGRAM AT CENTER FOR STRATEGIC & INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: Well, Erin, what we're seeing is the continuing buildup of Russian forces, larger numbers and closer to the Ukrainian border. So that's the ground elements we're seeing moving out of areas like Yelnya and to the Russia's border with Ukraine. We've seen them in Belarus, too.

And then, in the Black Sea, we've seen an increase in the live fire exercises of Russian naval forces. We've also seen exercises at Russian air bases of aircraft that would be used in strikes. And then lastly, additionally, concerning although interesting is the live fire exercises we've seen by Russian-backed rebels in Ukraine. So we've seen them by both regular as well as conventional units.


BURNETT: So Evelyn, you hear what Seth is saying, you heard certainly dire warnings from the President's National Security Adviser today. We're in an urgent situation, wants Americans to leave within the next 24 to 48 hours. I know you've been talking to your sources, does it sound to you that an invasion is a matter of hours or days at this point?

EVELYN FARKAS, FORMER U.S. DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR RUSSIA/UKRAINE/EURASIA: Yes. I mean, Erin, I think the tone coming out of the White House and other people that I've talked to in the administration definitely points to the fact that not only are they seeing what Seth just described, but they may very well have access to other intelligence that's giving them enough information to constitute what they call in the intelligence community a warning, right?

So they're feeling like something is going to happen within days, perhaps. That's the sense, I'm getting. It's no longer - and I think they explicitly even said - it's no longer February 20th after the Olympics. And by the way, probably not because they're miffed about their ice skater who was caught doping or being doped because she's a child.

I think this is something that's quite serious now and the fact that they're warning people with this kind of urgency to leave tells me that we face a dire situation.

BURNETT: Gen. Kimmitt, a dire situation, U.S. officials, tonight - I mean, it's as if it's a fait accompli and yet they're still saying there's a decision that Putin still has a decision to make. And we know that there's this phone call tomorrow between Biden and Putin. What worries you the most right now, General?

BRIG. GEN. MARK KIMMITT (RET.), FORMER ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE UNDER PRESIDENT GW BUSH: Well, I'm less worried about deliberate operations and more worried about miscalculation, mistakes or mischief among the forces, particularly those in the Donbas, the separatists. I can see them provoking an incident, which would cause the Russians to come in because they would be delighted if the Russians came into their assistance. So I just hope that everybody's keeping a cool head about what's happening on the ground and we don't blunder our way into a fight.

BURNETT: Evelyn, let me ask you about this call tomorrow. Perhaps there have been talk that the call might not be for a day or two. The Biden administration wanted it tomorrow, Putin acquiesced, so this call is tomorrow morning. You heard it at 11 am. Is there anything that could be said - look, this call is all we have at this point right now, it's all we have.

So to say, oh, it's nothing, nobody wants to say that, but what could happen? Is there anything that could actively happen on this call that could change the dynamic here? FARKAS: Right. So Erin, I think it's worth remembering last time we

were at the situation where the Russians had troops on the Ukrainian border, albeit not at this level and not this composition was in April, and President Biden had the phone call with President Putin and the end result was a decision to meet or to have kind of a virtual summit.

This time around, it's not going to be like that. I mean, I think what President Biden has to do and what I would imagine he would do is really lay down, piece by piece, the consequences for the Russian government, for the Russian people if Vladimir Putin proceeds with any kind of military operation.

BURNETT: So, Seth, what we're hearing, Jake Sullivan, I understand that they're trying to put warnings out, but they're telling everyone to get out. They're saying it's an urgent message because we're in an urgent situation. And if a Russian attack on Ukraine proceeds, it's likely to begin with aerial bombing and missile attacks that could obviously kill civilians without regard to their nationality. Ground invasion would involve the onset of a massive force.

So Seth, this isn't just an incursion over the border to try to get a little bit more of Donbas, like that's not what this is, what he's talking about. You're talking about possibly an assault on Kyiv, the capital and on the entire country. So how does that play out initially, Seth?

JONES: Well, the Russians have a lot of options here and I think Mark mentioned just areas in the east of Ukraine, the Donetsk and Luhansk. The Russians could just stay in the east, use their regular units, the Russian-backed separatists and possibly put in some conventional units. They can move further - we've looked at a range of options where the Russians could move further to the Dnieper River, which essentially divides the country, take Kyiv. They could also move further west and take the whole country.

The challenge, Erin, is that the further west the Russians move, you're getting into areas that really hate Russians. Ukrainians really hate Russians that Ukrainians have anti-tank missiles. They've got the javelins. They've got stingers. So that could get into a really difficult fight the further west that the Russians push.

BURNETT: Right, as you point out, when you're closer to the Russian border, you have a lot more native Russian speakers, people who have been more sympathetic obviously to Russia.

So General, let me ask you what the U.S. is doing right now. The Defense Secretary Austin ordered 3,000 more soldiers to deploy to Poland today, upping the U.S. presence emphasizing that they're defensive in nature.


Nothing has changed to the U.S. position that they still say that there's no situation which U.S. troops would engage in combat in Ukraine itself. So what message is the U.S. sending? KIMMITT: Well, what the U.S. is doing is reassuring its allies, but

it's also it's to use the forest fire analogy. It's building a firebreak. They don't want the situation to go outside of Ukraine. Nobody would expect to see the Russians continue on from Kyiv, into Romania. But that's the purpose of those troops, so that the Russians do come across into the NATO territory. They know they're going to have to go through Russia, the American troops to do that, and the consequences then just rise exponentially.

BURNETT: All right. Thank you all very much. I appreciate it. Sobering evening.

Next, CNN learning that Trump still has documents that the National Archives wants. A member of the January 6 Select Committee responds OUTFRONT.

Plus, breaking news, the standoff involving truckers along America's northern border escalating tonight. The protesters defying a judge's order to move as the blockade is having a devastating impact on major industries in the United States.

And the school superintendent warning tonight that America's public schools are at risk, defaulting on their moral obligation to children, why? Superintendent is my guess.



BURNETT: New tonight, former President Trump is still in possession of documents that the National Archives wants. That's according to a source familiar with the situation as another source tells CNN the archives threatened to go to Congress and the Justice Department if Trump didn't turn over 15 boxes of records he took to Mar-A-Lago.

By the way, keep in mind, some of those at the highest level of classification. It is against all laws to remove those, he did. Trump is facing a growing list of questions about his mishandling of documents, including why these boxes which, again, The Washington Post has reported contain that highest level of classification top secret documents were even at Mar-A-Lago. And what about the new reporting, of course, from Maggie Haberman, from the New York Times about documents actually even being flushed down the toilet at times in the White House.

And then this, why do White House call records obtained by the January 6 Committee not show calls Trump had, there's this giant gap of hours in fact, once the President left his speech at the Ellipse, comes back, it all begins. Complete hole in the official record.

OUTFRONT now, Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin who is a member of the January 6 committee. Congressman, I appreciate your time. So let me just start with a basic question and this is one of the hardest parts to understand about this. So you're going along in your investigation, all of a sudden you find there's 15 boxes of documents at Mar-A-Lago, including letters from Kim Jong-un and who the heck knows what else, some marked top secret.

And you're thinking, well, if there's 15 boxes of that stuff there, who knows what's anywhere. I mean, it's really hard when you don't know what you're looking for. I mean, do you know at this point how much is missing that exists that you don't know about?

REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): Well, it's a new day. It's a new mystery and it gets curiouser and curiouser. Donald Trump has the same obligation everybody else we're in touch with has, which is to turnover everything in his possession. The Presidential Records Act makes it clear that all of the documents that he transacted in as President belongs to the American people, they don't belong to him.

He knew that one of the committees I serve on, the Oversight and Reform Committee, sent letters to everybody in the executive branch that heads up all the agencies and departments to tell them, to remind them of the Presidential Records Act and to remind them that it is a federal offense. It's a crime to abscond with government property in that way. And, of course, that's a point that Donald Trump knew when he lambasted Hillary and said she should be imprisoned for doing far, far less than - it's clear - he's already done.

BURNETT: Right. And I want to ask you about that, because I want people to hear again, what he said about that, those who say, oh, well, this is what he always did, he always rip stuff up, who knows, it's what he does. He didn't do it on purpose. He did know and I'm going to play that in a moment.

But first, let me just ask you this, are you confident that you are going to be able to get the documents that you want? And I'm putting aside here, ones that he might have already torn up or thrown away or gone into closet at Mar-A-Lago even now had thrown away. I mean, I don't even know what's happening, but are you confident that you're going to get what you're asking for?

RASKIN: Well, we're clearly not going to get the ones he flushed down the toilet. Although we may have solved the mystery of why Donald Trump kept saying the toilets don't work anymore, and you have to flush 10 times he may have destroyed the entire septic system over the White House, so we're not going to get those back.

Some of the ones he ripped up, if he left the remains, in decent enough condition, we will be able to reconstruct. I keep thinking about that scene of the Oompa Loompas in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory where they had to piece together some ripped up notes.

So I'm not sure, but here's the thing, the good news about Donald Trump is that he's nothing if not transparent, and he said as recently as two or three days ago, that Mike Pence had the power to overturn the election. And, of course, on January 6th itself, just as we were coming on to the floor at 1 pm, we got a memo distributed from Mike Pence, explaining in very particular detail why he could not do what Donald Trump was asking him to do, which was to reject Electoral College votes sent in by the people of Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania and certified by their governor. So the basic structure of this story is in place, we're just trying to

fill in the details and he may have been able to destroy some of the evidence, but I would say the basic structure of this assault on American democracy is well known at this point.

BURNETT: Okay. So you don't feel that it's going to block you from - that there's some smoking gun out there that would have shown that he knew what was going to happen that day, specifically, not generally, specifically, that somehow got thrown away.

RASKIN: I don't want us to overlook the evidence that's staring us in the face.


RASKIN: I mean, Donald Trump when he knew of the attack on the Capitol, when people were being assaulted, officers were being hit over the head with steel clubs, people were getting their eyes gouged, people were dying.


While all of that was going on and people were chanting, "Hang Mike Pence," he tweeted out further inflammatory incitement ...

BURNETT: Yes, that's true.

RASKIN: ... of the crowd about Mike Pence, saying Mike Pence did not have the courage that he needed to have to do what needed to be done to rerun the election. And, of course, that was totally outside Pence's powers. And Pence was one guy who upheld his oath of office on that day on January the 6th.

BURNETT: So let me ask you one other question here and that's with the cell phone records. So obviously, you were able to win and get the official call log of what happened that day. The official call log means you were able - you made the case that we should know who the president spoke to during that entire day and you won that, and so they gave you that. And then there's this gap of hours and hours where presumably he was having calls on his cell phone and other cell phones.

So do you think that that obviously, since you won the case that you had the right to know who he talked to, that definitionally it should be fast in court if you wanted to get his entire cell phone records as well, because that's the official call log for those hours.

RASKIN: Well, we don't know exactly why there is this huge gap. We don't know whether that's something like Watergate where someone deleted it or it's just he was using his cell phone or someone else's cell phone. We plan to get to the bottom of it and we view all of it as discoverable, as you're saying, Erin.

I mean, we have a right and the Supreme Court has been repeatedly clear about this, we have a right to get the information that we want, in order to comply with House resolution 503, which commands us to give a complete report to the American people and to the Congress about the events in that day, the causes behind the events and what we need to do to prevent a repetition of insurrection and coup in the future, so we definitely need to know who Donald Trump was in touch with.

One thing that I'm still trying to figure out, I think all of us are on the Committee is what exactly was the operational command structure for January 5 and January 6 ...


RASKIN: ... going into the assault on the Capitol.

BURNETT: All right. Congressman Raskin, thank you.

RASKIN: Thank you so much.

BURNETT: All right. And next, the breaking news, the trucker-inspired protests on the American Canadian border escalating tonight, now taking a major toll on businesses in the United States, with some companies being forced to take drastic steps.

And new CDC study tonight on the COVID vaccine booster and when that extra protection starts to wane.



BURNETT: Breaking news. Truckers and other protestors in Ontario, Canada, defying a judge's order to stop blocking one of the busiest border crossings in the world. Voting just moments ago to continue their protest even as the mayor threatens to tow their trucks, one by one.


UNIDENTIIFED MALE: So for option, let me hear it.


BURNETT: The border standoff has been devastating for many including the U.S. auto industry. Five car companies have been forced to slow or shut down production in an already-incredibly challenged industry. The workers on these production lines are estimated to lose up to $51 million in wages this week alone.

Peter Nagel is a senior research analyst, who is an expert on the auto industry, telling OUTFRONT tonight that if this drags on, it could cripple the industry, leading to layoffs, bankruptcies, and full-had on plant closures.

Miguel Marquez is OUTRONT. He's live from the Canadian side of the border.

So, Miguel, protestors defying the judge's order. They want to keep blocking the -- the crossing. What -- what's happening as you see it? Where is this going?

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT. So, that order went into effect a half-hour ago, 7:00 p.m. here in Windsor. And this is the result. Hundreds of people came out to support the -- the people who are parked up on this roadway that will not leave. It feels very much like a party right now. There is music playing. There are fireworks going off and people, generally, having a good time.

The rain has stopped. It's not that cold for Windsor, Ontario. This weekend, it is going to get extreme extremely cold and when night falls here, in the middle of the night, many of the people in these cars, they leave these cars. They -- they go home and just leave the cars parked up there. There is not a lot of people out here.

We will see, in the hours ahead. What we expect to see happen is the police will come out here, serve paperwork, let them know how this process is going to go. This is very Canadian, as one who has covered many protests in the United States and other places around the world, this is different than anything I have seen. They will serve them paperwork, they will let them know how it is going to go and then they will move in force.

The province, the federal government, they have moved resources in, not just police officer and law enforcement individuals but -- but heavy machinery, as well, so they can move into this place and -- and show overwhelming force and try to move these folks out.

They have also moved in machinery to other locations where they have protests so I expect that this will all happen in -- in many locations across the country almost simultaneously, Erin.

BURNETT: Wow, over the hours of the night tonight. All right. Thank you very much, Miguel.

Let's go now to Pat D'Eramo. He is the president and CEO of Martinrea International, car parts producer of brake lines, transmission, all sorts of things for every single global automaker, here tonight.

So, Pat, you hear me talking about they are in Windsor, right? I know the Ambassador Bridge, you know, 30 percent of the trade between the United States and Canada. There is other crossings, I am putting a map up here.

Miguel talking about how the Canadian government will move in swiftly and with force overnight on this blockade. What do you expect to happen here?

PAT D'ERAMO, PRESIDENT AND CEO, MARTINREA INTERNATIONAL: Well, that is a good question because prior to the injunction going in -- going into order, um, you know, there was some movement -- not much -- on the Ambassador Bridge. And there was movement on the in Sarnia, which we use quite a bit up near Port Huron, Michigan.


And whether that has changed in the last half hour or hour, I don't know. But it was about a four to ten-hour wait, depending what time of day we are looking at. So there was some movement but it was very, very little, into Canada from the U.S.

BURNETT: So how -- how much does this impact your company, right? A company, you know, you are providing part -- parts that go into every single, you know, auto -- every single automaker. You know, they can't produce these cars without these parts. So, how much is this hurting?

D'ERAMO: In the -- in the first-few days, it doesn't hurt a lot because there tends to be some level of inventory that you keep between yourself and the customers in your raw material. What's happened as of today and maybe even late yesterday, what we call return racks, stop coming.

So come of our parts are very large, and in order to maintain excellent quality, we put 'em in specialized racks, send them to the customer where they remove them, put 'em in the vehicle, and then send the empty racks back. Well, the empty racks aren't coming back, and so that is starting to inhibit us. From a raw materials point of view, so far, we haven't had a lot of problems but, of course, that would follow.

BURNETT: So, when you look at this, and you play it out if they aren't able to resolve this along the border, how much longer can this go on before you do have to do -- you know, take more serious steps like halting production lines, right? I mean, if you don't have racks coming back, you can't ship the stuff out. I mean, that is just a basic reality.

D'ERAMO: Right. Well, you know, compare the last year and a half with no chips and the auto industry being up and down. Um, in the moment, this seemed a little bit minor. But of course, if it goes on for a few weeks, it could become a big problem.

Fortunately, as our problems started to happen, as I just mentioned, we are running into the weekend. And so at the moment, we haven't seen an impact on our people. Depending on what happens over the weekend and into next week, that -- that could change things. We will have to wait and -- and see if we start to see more movement.

BURNETT: So, when you see that the estimates, right, that $51 million in wages lost this week, alone, in your industry for -- from people who were unable to -- to go to work because production lines are being slowed, stalled, shut down in some cases. Does that sound right to you? I mean, you are at a position where you could see things like having to cut shifts or slow things down because of this?

D'ERAMO: From where I am standing, I would say no, only because we haven't seen that impact on us, at this point. Now, what the assembly plants are slowing down, some are starting to stop but overall, that type of impact seems a little high from -- from my point of view.

Now, as you start to shut down on both sides of the river, because these return racks that I was describing earlier go back to the U.S. with parts. So it actually inhibits U.S. plants, as well as Canadian plants. Certainly, you could reach a number like that. But at the moment, I -- I don't see it.

BURNETT: All right. Pat, thank you very much. I appreciate your time.

D'ERAMO: Thank you and have a good evening.

BURNETT: All right. You too.

And next, the FDA now postponing a meeting on the Pfizer vaccine for kids under 5. What's going on? And the shortage of teachers has become a crisis across the United States. In one district, so many teachers called out that the superintendant had to fill in and I am going to speak to that superintendent tonight.



BURNETT: Tonight, COVID vaccines for children under 5 are being delayed. They were set to be authorized in just a few days. Pfizer now saying it needs more time to gather data on whether three doses of its vaccine may be better than two, not referring to the third as a booster but as to whether it would be three shots for those young children.

OUTFRONT now, Dr. Peter Hotez, co-director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children's Hospital and dean of tropical medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine.

And, Doctor, I always really appreciate your time. So, you know, I say this cautiously because, you know, you want our system in this country is based upon, you know, they do the studies and take the time they need to take and that is a good thing, it is not a bad thing. However, when everyone is under the expectation that it's all done, and we are going to find out a few days and all the sudden, it is wait a minute, we are not ready, we need a whole lot more data. That can cause people to lose a little bit of confidence, right?

I mean, what is happening here?

DR. PETER HOTEZ, CO-DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR VACCINE DEVELOPMENT, TEXAS CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL: Yeah. And I think there is also a lot of disappointment, a lot of parents were really hoping they were going to protect their kids under the age of 5. I think there is a few things that were going on.

First of all, we've known for a while that this was going to be a three-dose vaccine. And the two doses just weren't cutting it in terms of the level of immune response needed to protect, partly because we went way down on the dose, from -- from 30 micrograms in adults, to ten micrograms in the 5 to 11, down to 3 micrograms in the under 5. And for the 2 to 4-year-olds, it just wasn't as immunogenic as needed to induce a strong immune response in the 2 to 4-year-old.

So we knew it was going to be three dose for a while but I think there was additional data that gave some optimism. "The Washington Post" is reporting that last night a tranche of data came in that said no, you know, the two doses really aren't going to -- aren't giving enough of an immune response to make people feel comfortable. They really want to wait for the third-dose data.

I think the other thing that happened, Erin, although it is not being said as such, is the fact that omicron wave is decelerating as fast as it went up. And so, I think people are feeling maybe in the regulatory sense, maybe a little less urgency. If the BA.2 variant were here and there was a screaming level of transmission, that might have forced their hand to -- to move forward with two doses anyway in the hope that the third dose would give that adequate immune response.

But I think that one-two punch of the fact that the knew tranche of data coming in the and the fact the omicron wave is going down made people say let's pause and -- and do the conservative thing.


BURNETT: Right. So, okay. So, that all makes sense.

Now, what about the new CDC study today that came out, and this is for -- for everyone, you know, older than 5. Pfizer and Moderna booster and its effectiveness wanes substantially, after just four months.

Now, I understand it is still very effective at preventing hospitalization but a lot of people hear that, and they say okay, I am just not going to be going getting a booster every four months. You know, I think people aren't going to be getting a first one at the levels we need in this country, never mind seem to go every four months.

So how do you interpret this data? And does it, you know, I guess for lack of a better word, bum you out little bit?

HOTEZ: Well, you know, we had a hint of this because there was modeling data out of Imperial College London back in December showing exactly this, that the protection after the third dose was waning pretty fast. And it was on that basis, I made the recommendation let's give a second immunization, fourth dose to the health-care workers to keep them in the workforce.

So the data coming out of the CDC, published in the MMWR today, pretty much reinforces that. What is happening now about after two doses, still very -- after two months, still very strong after the third immunization, that booster. But after four months, it is going down to 78 percent protection against hospitalization, 66 or so against emergency-room visits. Still, very good but not as strong as it was.

So, in Israel now, they have decided to move towards fourth dose, second immunization for certain age groups. We might do that in the United States, but I think your -- your more profound and probing questions is what's -- how are we -- how are we moving forward? Is this going to be something in perpetuity we are going to need to boost every few months which could be pretty unwieldy and I think we just tonight know.

We don't know two things. One, is this decline in immune protection due to the omicron variant? Or is there something fundamental to the mRNA vaccine technology and that is something everyone is going to have to take a hard look at now in the next -- in the next few months.

BURNETT: I mean, you know, you -- you put it into words, right? We got to know whether it is the technology or not. Thank you very much. I appreciate your time.

And next, the superintendent of Boston Public Schools warning in a new op-ed that I quote America's public schools are at risk of defaulting on their moral obligation to children. That superintendent is next.

Plus, the 30-second spot for this weekend Super Bowl selling for a record $7 million. Why that's apparently considered a great deal.



BURNETT: Tonight, growing warnings about the max exodus of teachers burnt out from the pandemic. The superintendent of Boston public schools writing in a new op-ed and I quote, America's public schools are at risk of defaulting on their moral obligations to millions of children. Our students are depending on us. They get one chance for a solid education.

OUTFRONT now, Brenda Cassellius, superintendent of Boston Public Schools.

And, Superintendent, I appreciate your time. We all know as people, we all know as parents that there is, indeed, only one chance. That's life and that's what an education is.

How have you seen the staffing crisis affect the students in your district?

BRENDA CASSELLIUS, SUPERINTENDENT, BOSTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Well, it's been a challenge for our students, Erin, in Boston. It's also been a challenge across the nation. I've watched my superintendents along with myself, you know, pitch in and try to do everything they can. We've rallied our central office teams, and we've done staffing initiatives, and we've really been trying to make sure that our students have everything they need and the caring and compassionate adults in their classrooms.

BURNETT: So I know you actually filled in as a substitute teacher recently. There were more than 600 teachers at that time calling out, so you substituted for one of them. There are signs that this crisis, right, and that might have been in the moment because of omicron or whatever, right? In the moment. But this isn't a moment, right? This is a much bigger thing.

And right now, 55 percent of teachers say they're going to leave their jobs sooner than originally planned. I mean, that is a crisis of epic proportions for the United States. How worried are you about it?

CASSELLIUS: Oh, I'm super worried and that's why I penned the op-ed and I'm calling for a Marshal Plan. We need not only our local school districts as we try to struggle to get staffing. We need an all out hands on deck approach and simple solutions, and we need a sense of urgency. Otherwise, I'm very worried in the fall.

BURNETT: You think it's going to be that soon?

CASSELLIUS: I really do. I think we need short-term and long-term solutions, and we need a coordinated effort. I think there's a small pool of teachers going into education. We can't be competing for them. We need to be collaborating together to find real solutions, and we need to do it now.

BURNETT: So as you deal with this, and as you are raising the alarm I know you yourself announced you will be stepping down as superintendent in June. So tell me about it. What led to that decision?

CASSELLIUS: Well, there's a new mayor coming into Boston. And with new mayors they pick their teams, and I said I would stay on. We've worked together, have mutual respect for one another and made for a really smooth transition. We were able to do some great things here in Boston, build a strong foundation for the next team to come in.

BURNETT: So it's that. It's change in management as opposed to you yourself deciding were in this group.

So what is the single biggest thing that would help teachers, right? It's an in-person job and I think we've all learned that, right? And I know in general, right, across the population flexibility of where you work is one of the top things. That's just not going to be the reality for K-12 public education in this country. So what is the biggest thing that can help you recruit more people? Is it literally paying them more or something else?

CASSELLIUS: Well, you know, it's a mix of a lot of things and I'm glad you asked.


Nima Bashi (ph), who's a teacher, wrote a great op-ed just yesterday as well, about from a teacher perspective on what they need around working conditions, to make classrooms more human, to build stronger relationships and have the kind of support that we're putting in place here in Boston, like social workers, and counselors, psychologists to help with the mental health crisis we have.

But I think there's a lot of things we can do at the federal and state level like loan forgiveness or pay their tuition. You know, I liken it to our military, it's that important to our economic stability and a democracy to have like a GI bill type of thing and national license, you now, to have reciprocity and make a easier for teachers to get that. And just urgently right now a retention bonus to show our teachers that we value them and to get them to commit to being in our classrooms next fall.

BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you very much and I really appreciate the specifics because I think it's important people understand what they are so that people can start advocating and paying attention. Thank you.

Next, about 100 million people will watch the Super Bowl, but for some of them, it will not be for the game.


BURNETT: Seven million dollars. That's how much it costs for a 30- second Super Bowl ad. That's $233,033 per second, a record high price.

So what in the world could be worth that? Well, the companies that are buying that think 100 million viewers is worth it. Of course, many people watching the Super Bowl only watch for the advertisements and commercials which are a sport for many in and of themselves.

Thanks so much for joining us.

"AC360" starts now.