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Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

FDA To Take Up Mixing And Matching Coronavirus Vaccines Today; Biden To Promote Build Back Better Agenda On Connecticut Trip; Dodgers Eliminate Giants After Questionable Call. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired October 15, 2021 - 05:30   ET



LAURA JARRETT, CNN ANCHOR: Former President Clinton on the mend but still hospitalized this morning at the University of California Irvine Medical Center. He's being treated for a urinary tract infection that spread to his bloodstream. Doctors say Clinton is in good spirits, talking to family and staff, and has been up and walking.

The White House climate adviser warning that extreme flooding, deadly wildfires, and rising sea levels all present a systemic risk to the U.S. financial markets. Gina McCarthy will be among 13 U.S. officials headed to the U.N. Climate Summit next month, intended by the administration as a show of force and commitment to addressing the climate crisis.

And the Biden administration plans to revive a Trump-era border policy next month that forces migrants to stay in Mexico until their immigration court date in the U.S. But the controversial "Remain in Mexico" policy is contingent on Mexico agreeing to accept these migrants who are in the program.

A retired detective accused of terrorizing Black residents in Kansas City for decades is now under investigation by a federal grand jury. Prosecutors say Roger Golubski exploited women in prostitution and framed a Black man for murder. His attorney declined to comment.

Actress Lili Bernard is suing Bill Cosby for alleged sexual assault. She accuses Cosby of drugging and raping her at a hotel in Atlantic City in 1990. The suit was filed under a change in New Jersey law that extends that statute of limitations for sexual assault cases.

One in six Americans say they drink a lot. A CDC study found at least a quarter of those drinkers are binging with four or more drinks in one sitting, at least once a week. The data is from 2018, and so the concern is that drinking became even worse during the pandemic.

Today, FDA vaccine advisers will discuss mixing and matching vaccine booster shots. A recent NIH study finds those vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson had a stronger antibody response from Pfizer or Moderna's booster.

The FDA adviser expects to consider a J&J booster today after giving Moderna the nod on its booster yesterday. Advisers recommended a half- dose for people who got their second Moderna shot at least six months ago and like Pfizer, for now. This is just for older patients or people in high-risk jobs.

The CDC still needs to give final authorizations. Shots could begin at the end of next week.

It's time for three questions in maybe three minutes. Let's bring in Dr. Rob Davidson. He's an E.R. physician in western Michigan, and the executive director of the Committee to Protect Healthcare. Doctor, good morning to you.

Let's start here on the booster front. The FDA is greenlighting Moderna's vaccine -- that's great. But we know that people aren't showing up in your E.R. because they didn't get their third shot. They land in your E.R. because they didn't get their first shot.

So, from a public health perspective here, where should our focus be right now?

DR. ROB DAVIDSON, EMERGENCY ROOM PHYSICIAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, COMMITTEE TO PROTECT HEALTHCARE: I think our focus needs to be on many places, unfortunately. It is a pandemic and we're in a crisis.

Here in west Michigan, our numbers are still going up despite the fact that the numbers nationally are going down. And you're right, I work in an area where about 41 percent are vaccinated here.

But I do think the booster is an important issue, particularly for healthcare workers. I see it every single shift. We have nurses and we have other staff that are having to stay home because they are testing positive for COVID or they have minor symptoms.

And we know the vaccines are still extremely durable for preventing severe illness or preventing hospitalization. But when we're looking at trying to staff emergency departments and hospitals in entire regions -- when we have huge numbers of patients coming in, setting records for inpatient census for COVID and everything else, frankly -- we can't afford to have staff going home. Even if they just have a minor illness, they're still home for 10 days.

And so, I think boosters -- particularly, for healthcare workers -- I know there's been some controversy -- some positions of public health folks are thinking this shouldn't be a focus. But to keep the critical infrastructure going we need it.

JARRETT: OK, so let's dig in on that because there was a lot of news this week over vaccine mandates. Texas has banned any employer in the state from requiring a vaccine. A federal judge in Maine says healthcare workers cannot opt out of the vaccine.

But maybe the most confounding case is in my hometown of Chicago where the police union -- the police union is telling cops not to get vaccinated. The mayor, Lori Lightfoot, is not having it. Take a listen to what she said and then we'll talk.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT (D), CHICAGO: But our goal is to create a safe

workplace, and the best way that we can do that -- the biggest tool that we have is by getting people fully vaccinated.


JARRETT: It seems like she's stating the obvious but somehow this has become a debate.

How is it that frontline workers, like the colleagues you're talking about, are opposed to this vaccine when they went through such trauma over 18 months and they face such a high risk of exposure?


DAVIDSON: The vast majority of folks that I work with -- of healthcare workers -- are pro-vaccine or --


DAVIDSON: -- have gotten vaccinated or are getting vaccinated. So, it's a very small number, to be honest.

But the reality is people who work in various places -- they reflect the community in which they live. The community where I am is about 40 percent vaccination. Our staff is significantly higher than that and we have a vaccine requirement. By the middle of the month, pretty much everybody is going to be vaccinated.

And I don't know why Gov. Abbott did what he did down in Texas, or Gov. DeSantis has resisted vaccine requirements. It seems like it's likely politics. I don't understand how that works politically because the vast majority of individuals favor vaccine requirements. People want to get out of this pandemic. I don't understand why certain politicians or other folks are trying to keep us in it.

JARRETT: It's just exhausting. It feels like we went from the terrifying part of this pandemic to now, the infuriating part of this pandemic.

I saw you saw -- you said on Twitter, I'm tired of talking about this pandemic. People just need to get vaccinated. It is really that simple.

But while I have you, I also want to talk about something that's not about COVID. The former president, Bill Clinton -- he's in the hospital with a urinary tract infection. It appears to be sepsis. It spread to his bloodstream.

How common is this?

DAVIDSON: Unfortunately, it's quite common. Now, we're much better at diagnosing sepsis. Sepsis is the body's response to infection. You get a bunch of inflammatory markers. You can get low blood pressure, high heart rate, and put yourself at risk of severe outcomes, even including death. But in the past decade, we have gotten so much better at the early

recognition of sepsis because of science -- the same science that's gotten us safe vaccines. Because of that, we're identifying it earlier and we are saving so many more people.

So it sounds like he's on the mend. Twenty years ago, something like that may not have been caught as early and we'd be in more of a crisis situation. So we are looking forward to him recovering fully.

JARRETT: Yes. It seems like the message is don't ignore your UTIs, people -- they're serious.


JARRETT: All right, Dr. Rob Davidson, the head of the Committee to Protect Health. Thank you for your work, sir, and thank you for getting up so early with me -- appreciate it.

DAVIDSON: Thank you.

JARRETT: OK. Build Back Better goes back on the road today as President Biden is taking his message to Hartford, Connecticut while Congress tries to find a middle ground to get it passed. And a new interview is revealing a renewed urgency from this White House.

CNN's Jasmine Wright is live in Washington covering it all.

Jasmine, the press secretary, Jen Psaki, went on "Pod Save America" with some of her former White House colleagues from the Obama days. What did you learn?

JASMINE WRIGHT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, we learned that for the White House, time is running short to pass President Biden's economic agenda. That is the message -- or one of the messages, really, that White House press secretary Jen Psaki conveyed on that podcast.

But still, this is a White House that is unable to find consensus among Democrats in their own party to try to get some type of deal on President Biden's social safety net expansion package so that they can vote on both that and that bipartisan infrastructure deal at the same time.

But really, these comments from Psaki reflect a real thinning of patience on the White House's part in these negotiations trying to find some middle ground in the White House. Press secretary Psaki -- she said that these -- this stage of negotiations cannot last forever. Take a listen.


JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Ultimately, when it comes down to it, no bill is perfect. It's not going to be everything that Joe Biden wants, it's not going to be everything Joe Manchin wants or Kyrsten Sinema wants, or Pramila Jayapal, or any member of Congress. It's ultimately a compromise and you try to get to the best package possible.

But ultimately, we can't do this forever -- we're not doing this forever. Time is running short here. We have got to come to a time where we figure out what's the best version we can get enough votes for that is still going to have a historic impact.

And right now, we're just in kind of a messy, messy phase where people are, you know, doing their peacocks a little -- peacock feathers -- you know what I mean -- in public, and arguing for what they think is most important.


WRIGHT: So, we just heard Psaki saying that these folks are kind of arguing in public for what they feel is most important.

But on a private call reported by my colleague Manu Raju, yesterday -- basically, Kyrsten Sinema, who Psaki just mentioned, kind of a moderate in the middle of these negotiations; and Joe Manchin, another moderate in the middle of these negotiations -- they did not co-sign to that $2 trillion figure that President Biden has floated, which would be a reduction of that initial $3.5 trillion for that social safety net expansion package. And they detailed real disagreements that they had with what the White House is overall trying to do right now at this stage.

So, in that podcast, Psaki really outlined the end of October and the beginning of December as markers that the White House want to see not as deadlines but as progressions. Real things that they can say by these times these provisions expire -- like that debt ceiling increase -- that they have seen some movement on these negotiations. That's when they kind of want to see it by.


But it's hard to see -- after those comments from Manchin and Sinema and really, still no package on the ground -- how that comes together so quickly.

But still, we will see President Biden today out in Connecticut talking about childcare and the childcare components within the social safety net expansion package. And I think we will continue to see him on the road taking his message to the American people while these negotiations continue -- Laura.

JARRETT: All right, fair enough, Jasmine. Thank you for walking us through, as Psaki calls it, the messy phase -- appreciate it.

All right, now to an urgent warning from federal law enforcement agencies about a potential cyberthreat to the nation's water and wastewater systems. Their alert cites threats from phishing e-mails that try to hook personnel with dangerous attachments or links. They say hackers could also exploit outdated computer systems. The agencies are strongly recommending water treatment facilities take steps to shore up their systems.

We'll be right back.



JARRETT: This morning, a school superintendent in Southlake, Texas is apologizing after a district administration told teachers that if books about the Holocaust are in their classrooms, books with so- called opposing views of the Holocaust need to be there as well.

Here is the actual exchange that set off this firestorm.


ADMINISTRATOR: We hired you as professionals. We trust you with our children. So if you think the book is OK, then let's go with it. And whatever happens, we will fight it together.

As you go through, just try to remember the concepts of [Texas House Bill] 3979, and make sure that if you have a book on the Holocaust that you have one that has opposing -- that has other perspectives.

TEACHER: How do you oppose the Holocaust?


ADMINISTRATOR: Believe me, that's come up.


JARRETT: That administrator who was talking there was apparently training teachers how to follow new guidelines for vetting books. The guidelines are supposed to be in line with this new law in Texas that restricts the discussion of history and racisms in classrooms. You can see how it has gone wrong.

No comment here from the administrator. The superintendent is trying to clean all this up, saying the comments were not intended to minimize the Holocaust and there are not two sides of the Holocaust.

All right. American workers suddenly find themselves with leverage over their employers and they're using it. Ten thousand striking John Deere workers are picking up support from Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren. The workers rejected raises of five to six percent, instead choosing to move forward with the biggest private sector strike since the one against General Motors two years ago.

Senator Warren tells our Matt Egan, quote, "Workers have gotten the short end of the stick for decades now. And the government has stayed on the side of the giant corporations. That's beginning to change.

There's a broader trend developing here. A record number of workers quitting and hundreds of thousands more read to walk off the job soon.

CNN's Alison Kosik takes a closer look for us.


ALISON KOSIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Good morning, Laura.

There was a tentative deal on the table between the United Auto Workers and John Deere from two weeks ago. But in a vote, members rejected that contract proposal because most didn't think the deal was good enough. And so now, they're calling for higher wages.

Now, these negotiations are happening at a time when things are going very well for John Deere. Revenue for the first three quarters of Deere's fiscal year -- they rose to more than $32 billion. Its stock this year is up 22 percent. So, the current financial success at John Deere -- that may have led some union members to believe they deserved an even better package than the one that was rejected.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nobody ever wants to really go out on strike. They just want a fair -- a fair shake.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People are finally fed up. They're fed up and they're tired of it and they're not going to have it anymore. They just want their share of the wealth that they have created for the company.

KOSIK (on camera): Now, it's the only company that's currently striking right now in the U.S. At Kellogg's, the cereal company, 1,400 workers walked off the job on October fifth, so that strike is heading into its second week.

And there could be two more strikes on the horizon. Workers are -- workers at Kaiser Permanente -- that's one of the country's biggest healthcare providers -- 38,000 people could go on strike soon if no agreement is reached.

And in Hollywood -- Hollywood, California -- 60,000 members of a film and T.V. production union -- those are mostly people behind the camera -- they will go on strike beginning Monday if an agreement cannot be reached with a group representing Hollywood producers -- Laura.


JARRETT: Alison, thank you for that.

Mortgage rates are rising. The average interest rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage rose to just over three percent last week. According to Freddie Mac, that's the highest rate since April. And the 15-year fixed rate rose to 2.3 percent. Rates fell to a record low at the beginning of 2021 with 30-year mortgages dropping to 2.65 percent.

All right, some consumer news here for you.

Butterball is recalling 14,000 pounds of ground turkey after reports of blue plastic was found in the meat. The recall items include a 2 1/2-pound of Farm to Family Butterball all-natural ground turkey with a sell-by date of October 18th, and 3-pound trays of Kroger ground turkey with an October 17th date. So check those in your frig if you have them. The defending World Series champs advance in the playoffs after

knocking out the Giants thanks to a questionable game-ending call.

Andy Scholes has it all covered in this morning's Bleacher Report. Hey, Andy.


You've to feel bad for Giants fans this morning. They won 109 games this year -- best record in baseball. But their season comes to an end on a very questionable call.


So, the game was tied at one into the ninth inning. Cody Bellinger -- who struggled badly this season, batting 165 -- comes through for the Dodgers with an RBI single. So, L.A. up 2-1 now in the ninth.

In comes Max Scherzer to close it out. Two outs, runner on -- Wilmer Flores -- watch this -- checks his swing. But on appeal, the ump says he went. Game over, series over.

But watch the replay. Flores, no question, checked that swing. Rough call and rough way to end an amazing season for the Giants.


GABE KAPLER, MANAGER, SAN FRANCISO GIANTS: It's just a tough way to end it. There's no -- for -- especially right now, there is no need to be angry about that. I just think it's just a disappointing way to end.

GAVIN LUX, OUTFIELDER, LOS ANGELES DODGERS: I don't know if anybody really thought it was a check-swing or not. So as soon as we looked down and saw him put his hand up, everybody hopped over the fence and, you know, start the party.


SCHOLES: Yes. The Dodgers move on and take on the Braves now in the National League Championship Series tomorrow night on our sister channel TBS. The ALCS between the Astros and Red Sox gets started tonight at 8:07 eastern.

All right, "THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL" featuring Tom Brady and the Bucs taking on the Eagles last night. First quarter, Brady finding Antonio Brown. He's going to score from 23 yards out, one of two touchdown passes for Brady in the game.

Leonard Fournette also running in for two scores in this one for the Bucs. And after this touchdown, watch this. He throws the ball into the stands. He was throwing it to a Bucs fan and an Eagles fan grabbed it before Nette making sure that Bucs fan ended up with it. He was pretty pumped up about it.

Tampa Bay wins 28-22 to improve to five and one on the season. All right. And finally, Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant says he's not upset with Kyrie Irving's decision to not get vaccinated against COVID-19.


KEVIN DURANT, FORWARD, BROOKLYN NETS: I actually wanted Kyrie to be around. I wish none of this stuff would have happened. But, you know, it's just a situation that we're in. And, you know, Kyrie made his decision on what he wanted to do. He chose to do what he wanted to do and the team did the same.

I want our whole team together. I want us to be at full strength. But sometimes it don't work out that way. But I'm still -- I'm still positive that things will work out in the best for both parties.


SCHOLES: Yes, and Kyrie could still earn as much as $19 million without stepping foot on the court this season. Since he's not vaccinated, Kyrie can't play home games in New York, but he could have played the road games. And it's the Nets' decision to keep him out until he can play full-time, so they're going to owe him roughly half of his salary even though he's not going to end up playing.

And Laura, that could all get resolved in three different ways. Kyrie gets vaccinated, which looks unlikely --


SCHOLES: -- at this point. The regulations change in New York, or the Nets trade him --

JARRETT: You know --

SCHOLES: -- and then Kyrie could play for another team.

JARRETT: Others who have been resistant have changed their tune. Maybe we just need Sanjay Gupta to go talk to them -- talk some sense into them.

Andy, I wanted to get back to the Giants and the Dodgers for a second here.


JARRETT: You say no chance that was a swing. I have no opinion in the matter and wouldn't even begin to. But what happens to the umpire in this situation?

SCHOLES: I mean -- well, he should have just said it was a bad call. I don't think he owned up to it afterwards. But Laura, in that situation, the umpires aren't usually going to ring up the batter. And for that to be a strikeout to end a series, especially one that was so highly contested like this one between two --


SCHOLES: -- very even teams, devastating for the Giants and their fans. And, you know, it's just rough. It's just rough.

If he would've struck out legitimately, which could have happened later in that bat against Max Scherzer, I'm sure fans would have felt much better this morning. But check swing to end a series -- I don't think I've ever seen that in my lifetime.

JARRETT: Oh, wow. All right. Well, that's saying something.

Andy, thank you.

SCHOLES: All right.

JARRETT: Have a nice weekend, my friend.

SCHOLES: You, too.

JARRETT: All right, get this -- $25 million for a shredded piece of art -- yes. Banksy's world-renowned painting sold at auction for more than 18 times what it went for just three years ago. The piece, originally titled "Girl With Balloon," self-destructed immediately after selling for $1.4 million in 2018. It was subsequently renamed "Love is in the Bin" and sold for $25 million on Thursday.

Finally this morning, Adele fans, stand up.




JARRETT: Adele making everyone happy for the weekend, dropping her new single "Easy On Me." The singer told fans in an Instagram live session this week that her new album will be about divorce. The single is the first release from her upcoming fourth studio album set to be released November 19th.

All right, former President Bill Clinton in the hospital on the mend. The latest on his condition. Plus, a federal appeals court officially keeps Texas' abortion ban in place.


Thanks so much for joining me. I'm Laura Jarrett. "NEW DAY" is next.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. It is Friday, October 15th. I'm John Berman.