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FDA Approves Pfizer, Moderna Booster For All Adults; Day 4 Of Rittenhouse Trial Deliberations; Atty For William "Roddie" Bryan Jr. Denies Asking For Plea Deal. Aired 12:30-1p ET

Aired November 19, 2021 - 12:30   ET



DR. PAUL OFFIT, MEMBER, FDA VACCINE ADVISORY COMMITTEE: On the other hand, and the reason that's true is because all you need for protection against serious illness is immunological memory cells, so called memory B cells, and they are apparently induced at fairly high frequency and for years, so we're good. On the other hand, if you're trying to argue I also want protection against even asymptomatic infection or mildly symptomatic infection that's mediated by neutralizing antibodies. And neutralizing antibodies will fade over time true for all vaccines. I mean, it's true for the rotavirus vaccine, true for the whooping cough vaccine, true for the flu vaccine. So if we're not willing to accept mild or asymptomatic infection, then you're talking about not only a booster now but a booster in the future because neutralizing antibodies will always fade over time.

JOHN KING, CNN HOST: When will we know how frequently to get boosters? Boosters were first authorized for older Americans for immunocompromised Americans back in September? When will there be enough data to say, you know, immunity for them? The people who got booster and supercharged, if you will, is starting to fade and therefore they should have one every X number of months.

OFFIT: Right. I think you would know that within six, nine months a year from now. But again, I think we need to make clear to the American public and we haven't done that, what is it we expect from this vaccine? And I think what Dr. Walensky and Dr. Fauci both of whom had been on T.V. recently saying that we were having an erosion in protection against serious illness. We need to know who those groups are, and make sure that we target those groups, because that's the most important group, keep people out of the hospital, keep them out of the morgue, and again, I just want to make the point that Dr. Walensky has made over and over again, we're not going to boost our way out of this pandemic, we need to vaccinate the unvaccinated.

They're the ones who are most likely to transmit this virus and most likely to become sick and be hospitalized and die. We need to vaccinate the unvaccinated. And I feel like the booster story has been somewhat of a detour.

KING: Right. Well, let me bring you back to that point, then, because I agree it's in the news, therefore, we have to cover it. But the question is, what does it do to this, and by this, I mean, I'm showing our viewers a map right now, new cases compared. If you look at a state and you're red or orange, that means more this week, more new infections than last week and look at that 36 states are trending in the wrong direction. And a good number of them are the deeper red, which means more than 50 percent new infections this week, compared to last week. Dr. Offit, we went back -- if we went back a month ago, a month ago, it was just five states trending in the wrong direction.

Again, you come now to the point where we have 36 states trending in the wrong direction. Boosters help, I suppose is the argument you're making, you supercharge some people so maybe they don't get even a mild breakthrough infection. But the main way to change this is for everyone to be vaccinated, right?

OFFIT: Of course. And I think we need to make sure that we distinguish infection from serious infection. I mean, again, these vaccines over time will not be very good at protecting against milder asymptomatic. So infections may still be high, but what should start to come down, clearly come down is hospitalizations. Unfortunately, the CDC hasn't put the hospitalization data up on their website since the end of August. So but I imagine over time what will happen is you'll see a dissociation between infection and hospitalization and death. Those still be -- the virus will still circulate, the virus will still cause asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic infection, but either natural infection or immunization will cause you to be protected against severe illness and that should come down.

KING: Dr. Offit as always grateful for your time, sir, very much appreciate it.

OFFIT: Thank you.


KNG: Big decisions today in two big trials, it's day four of deliberations in the Kyle Rittenhouse case and word -- one of the men in the Ahmaud Arbery murder case tried to strike a last minute plea deal. We'll go live to both courthouses next.


KING: The latest now on two important trials getting national attention. In Kenosha, Wisconsin it is now day four of deliberations in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial. The jury has been behind closed doors for nearly 24 hours total. And in that time, has asked the court a handful of questions, one juror even asking to take the jury instructions home. CNN's Shimon Prokupecz is live outside the courthouse in Kenosha. Shimon, what's the latest?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And the judge agreeing to allow this juror to take the jury instructions home, it's 36 pages. But it certainly caught a lot of people off guard. No one expected the judge to allow it. And he spent the day talking with the defense attorneys. Everyone's kind of just waiting, right? Everyone's just sitting around waiting. The jury is now eating, they've ordered sandwiches. So they're working through lunch, but we've heard nothing from them. Yesterday, we had no notes from the jury. They worked a full day. Judge sent them home at 4:30. But other than that we didn't see or hear from them at all yesterday. And so far today, we've heard nothing from the jury. You know, of course a lot of people trying to figure out what's going on. The big question now is what happens if they don't reach a verdict? Today obviously do they work through the weekend? All of that is still up in the air. But the jury is continuing to work and we still haven't heard from them now and it's going to be about two days.

KING: Raise your hand Shimon if we do get any notice. Appreciate the live update, very important to keep our eye on that. And also now to Georgia in the trial of three men accused of murdering Ahmaud Arbery, CNN has just learned the attorney representing one of the men apparently asked for a plea deal for his client. Prosecutors declined that offer. The defense attorney is now denying that that request was ever made. Let's clear this up. CNN's Martin Savidge live outside the courthouse for us. Martin what do we know?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: If we follow this case, that's Kevin Gough. And Kevin Gough represents William "Roddie" Bryan. So this is according to Wanda Cooper-Jones, the mother of Ahmaud Arbery. She says she was told by the prosecution that as the defense rested yesterday, just after that, Kevin Gough, the attorney went to the prosecution and said, I want to make a plea deal for my client. We don't know what that was. We don't know what he was offering. We do know it was rejected by the state.


Now why would Wanda Cooper-Jones know this? Well, that's because the state, the defense attorneys keep in very close contact with the victim's family. It would suggest and Kevin Gough now has great concerns having heard the state's case and feels rather desperate at this point. We don't know exactly. He denied it going into court today. So we'll wait to see. But no sooner did that finish. Then, as they were in court today, not inside of the jury, Kevin Gough got up again and demanded a mistrial.

It's about the fifth time he has done that. And he was saying it was due to protests that were occurring outside of the courthouse yesterday that might have influenced the jury, the state rebutted and said, you cannot complain about the protests that you are the cause for because remembering Kevin Gough has spoken out against black pastors being present in the courtroom supporting Ahmaud Arbery's family. The judge rejected it once more, John.

KING: Critical case with a lot of drama around it outside as well. Martin savage grateful for the live report from there, you know, you'll stay on top of it.

Up next for us, the Republican agenda and Republican priorities as outlined by the leader, Donald Trump gives Congressman Paul Gosar a public endorsement the day after. The Arizona Congressman is censured for posting a violent video.



KING: Paul Gosar is happy today. And that speaks volumes about today's Republican Party and the man who unmistakably leads it. Gosar was censured by his colleagues this week. That is a moment of shame. Or at least it should be. Yet, he was on the House floor smiling this morning. And he gave a pat on the back to the House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy. Last night, Gosar was tweeting thank you to Donald Trump. That hours' after the Republican was rebuked for posting a video in which his animated character kills the Democratic congressman.

Hours after that censure, Trump of course, gave Gosar a glowing endorsement that included the ultimate Trump label, quote, loyal. Now we all know some of Trump's closest allies in the House routinely question leader Kevin McCarthy's loyalty though they were happy with what you see right there, an eight plus hour marathon McCarthy floor speech that delayed by about 12 hours or so passage of the big Biden social spending package.

Our panel is back with us now. Sometimes you're tempted to ignore these things. But Paul Gosar was censured for doing something reprehensible posting a video sure his character was animated. That's his excuse. They who stalks and kills Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez then turns on the President of the United States, he says no big deal. It's just a video. He says that 10 months after January 6th, and all that. Donald Trump gives him a glowing endorsement. He's on the floor with the leader this morning. There is no shame in today's Republican Party. Correct?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, you use the word shame as you were explaining what happened. And that's exactly the reality. That is the end of shame. And if you don't have shame, then you can't be held accountable. And that is the honest problem with that wing of the GOP, the wing of the GOP, which tends to dominate right now. And that is the challenge when you have someone like Paul Gosar, who, by the way, it's not like this reprehensible to use your word. Video is the first thing. I mean, he's also an election denier, and so many other things that puts him in a category that causes the former president that do think he's the best guy in the world.

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Take it a step further. It's not just a lack of shame. Many of these members are rewarded by the base of the Republican Party for this kind of conduct. You know, not only did Paul Gosar retweet the video that he claimed he took down and gave a halfhearted somewhat of an apology for moments after he was censured. Many of his colleagues are raising money off of this. They're talking about how they're fighting the woke left, when it comes to things like this as a way to kind of fire up this space even more.

And when we say reward, he immediately gets the endorsement, which did we ever think that was in doubt of the former President Donald Trump and that is the status of the Republican Party now. This type of activity is welcomed by the base of the party. And the man that Donald Trump calls my Kevin, Kevin McCarthy was in the well of the House today. Gosar was there. Jim Jordan, four or five other big lie promoters, election fraud, you know, Trump big lie, they're standing around him, he's celebrating the moment.

And he says that if the Republicans are elected next November if they win the midterms and he takes power speaker next January, Gosar will get his committees back. Also he says, getting her committees back will be Marjorie Taylor Greene among her latest events, episodes, call it what you will, posting the phone numbers online of Republicans who voted for the bipartisan infrastructure bill, at least one of them says he's receiving death threats. But Kevin McCarthy, excuse me, says time to reward them.


REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA), MINORITY LEADER: You'll have committees, the committee assignment they have now. They may have other committee assignments. They may have better committee assignments. I think what Gosar, those are the ones he wants. Taylor Greene, she was just a freshman. I know she was requested other she has a right to serve on committees.


KING: I spent in before no shame, no standard, no -- just no standard of decency that if you do this like post phone numbers of lawmakers online you will not get a key perk which is a committee assignment. Why is that so hard?


FRANCESCA CHAMBERS, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, MCCLATCHY: And the Democrats that I'm talking too, John, they're saying his conduct since that censure vote is exactly why they thought this needed to happen in the first place. They never thought that he was actually remorseful. And so they thought, this is why, this need to be the path forward. But when you talk about Kevin McCarthy, another really notable comment that he made was that if Republicans take power, and they're in control of the House, that he could make Democratic lawmakers have to essentially apply for the committees that they want to be on. And it would be up to the majority to approve them. That could affect key members of the Democratic caucus, who, who again, it's not clear if he meant all lawmakers or Democrats or just certain members.

BASH: Can I just add that, you know, a lot of times we talk about political differences and people making choices that are strategically good for them. This is about the safety and security of people who are elected by everyday Americans. Marjorie Taylor Greene puts their phone number up there and gets people riled up to go after them and give them death threats for voting on a bill that they believe is the right policy, a bipartisan bill, by the way, that is the right policy. Where are we right now?

KING: Right. We're not debating policy. We're making threats against people who don't join the cult, who don't do what we tell them to do. NOBLES: And we've seen evidence that these threats are not in a vacuum. You know, it was a Republican who was the victim of a shooting on a baseball field in Northern Virginia.

BASH: A Republican leader.

NOBLES: A Republican leader because people who take in this information through various means who might not be necessarily all that stable, here with these leaders are saying and take action on it. So if you post a video of an elected leader, killing another elected leader and think that that has no consequences. What has already happened in history has shown us --

KING: So Kevin McCarthy for a day is a hero to the Trump ease because he gave a speech for eight plus hours and delayed, delayed what happened, still happened. They passed the Biden agenda of the House, he delayed it. So they're happy with him today. But just about every day, they questioned his loyalty to the Trump units, including the former Trump Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, listen to this. This is on Steve Bannon's war room yesterday.


MARK MEADOWS, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: I would love to see the gavel go from Nancy Pelosi to Donald Trump. You're talking about melting down, people would go crazy. As you know, you don't have to be an elected member of Congress to be the Speaker. When you see and she would go from tearing up a speech, they'd have to give the gavel to Donald Trump. Oh, she would go crazy.


KING: You know, you can say that's just playful fantasyland. Or you can say it's shaded Kevin McCarthy. He was on the Matt Gaetz podcast earlier in the day, threw shade at Kevin McCarthy. So then Kevin McCarthy, who needs those votes, does that eight hour speech.

BASH: Yes. And the reason Kevin McCarthy didn't become speaker in the first place, Paul Ryan did, is because Mark Meadows led the group to block it.

NOBLES: Yes. And what is Mark Meadows going to do next time around when Kevin McCarthy is positioned to be the next Speaker of the House if the Republicans take back the majority his, you know, conduct during this period of time, very interesting. And I think could tell us --

CHAMBERS: What Kevin McCarthy also playing up his relationship with the President saying they spoke on the phone.

NOBLES: Yes, exactly.

KING: That's his rejoinder to all of that. But he won't because he needs the votes. He will not allow shame or decency to be part of the family.


Up next for us, justices this afternoon, very important story, justice for two very lucky turkeys. President Biden takes his first turn at a decade's old White House Thanksgiving tradition.


KING: Topping our Political Radar today, an outrageous turned during an already contentious confirmation hearing Thursday. Republican Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana suggesting the nominee who grew up in a country that was still under Soviet Union control might still support communist policy. Saule Omarova is President Biden's pick to be Comptroller of the currency.


SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R-LA): I don't mean any disrespect. I don't know whether to call you professor or comrade.

SAULE OMAROVA, COMPTROLLER OF THE CURRENCY NOMINEE: Senator, I'm not a communist. I do not subscribe to that ideology. I could not choose where I was born.


KING: Omarova grew up and then Soviet controlled Kazakhstan. She says her family suffered under the communist regime and that she is very proud to be an American, her confirmation still in limbo, because many lawmakers including some Democrats do have questions about her positions on big banks.

Dr. Oz apparently thinking about a run for Senate in Pennsylvania, the T.V. doctor has not publicly said that. But he's reportedly hiring a scheduler and a policy director.

And off to Ohio now, six Republican candidates running to replace Senator Rob Portman gathered on Thursday, both Hillbilly Elegy author J.D. Vance and former State Treasurer Josh Mandel argued, get this, Donald Trump they say won the 2020 election which of course, is a lie.


J.D. VANCE (R-OH), SENATE CANDIDATE: It's important to have the courage to say it. Is the technology industry working with democratic operatives in a few big battleground states rigged the 2020 election? That's why we have the disaster we have instead of a second term of Donald Trump.

JOSH MANDEL (R-OH), SENATE CANDIDATE: So let me say this very, very clearly, I believe this election was stolen from Donald J. Trump.


KING: Reprehensible. And let's smile about this one though. It's peanut butter and jelly time, meaning time to gobble up a very worthy. White House Thanksgiving tradition, two Turkeys will be pardoned a bit later today by President Biden. Those turkeys are named Peanut Butter and Jelly. The birds spent last night at the Willard Hotel here in Washington, D.C. Then move to the Rose Garden this afternoon where justice and maybe a little pumpkin pie will be served during the ceremony. Later, these two turkeys raised in Indiana will head home, new home, Purdue University.


Thanks for joining us on Inside Politics today. We'll see you back here on Monday. Have a fantastic weekend. Ana Cabrera picks up our coverage right now.