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Pharmaceutical Company Merck Announces Antiviral Drug which May Halve Risk of Hospitalization and Death for People with COVID; House Democrats Delay Vote on Bipartisan Senate Infrastructure Bill; Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) Interviewed on Continued Negotiations Among Democrats over Budget Reconciliation Bill; New Body Cam Footage Of Gabby Petito Talking To Cops How Laundrie Grabbed Her In The Face. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired October 01, 2021 - 08:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


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BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: That's right, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, they are all going to take the stage in Inglewood, California, SoFi Stadium for the first time in nearly 30 years. Collectively this bunch has been awarded 43 Grammys, between them they have 22 number one billboard albums. Who is your favorite there, Berman?

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Snoop.

KEILAR: I'm with Mary J. Blige.

BERMAN: I had a favorite. I thought you were going to stump me, but I actually had a favorite there, so --

KEILAR: That's good.

BERMAN: I still miss Up with People when we talk about Super Bowl halftime shows. Up with People, it all ended right there.

KEILAR: Well, I can't wait for this one. I think it is going to be amazing.

And NEW DAY continues right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN breaking news.

BERMAN: All right, good morning to our viewer here in the United States and all around the world. It is Friday, October 1st. And we do have breaking news, what could be the first pill used to treat COVID- 19. This could become a reality and very soon. Drugmaker Merck announced this morning that its antiviral drug cuts the risk of hospitalization and death for people who have COVID in half. KEILAR: Merck has paused its trial and plans to ask for emergency use

authorization. Now it's important here to note that this is meant for patients who are already infected with COVID. This is not, not a replacement for a vaccine.

BERMAN: CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta here with me now. This feels look a big deal.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, this could be a big deal. We're getting all the information from the company right now itself. So it has got to go through the process that everyone knows and has learned about over the last couple of years. This emergency use authorization application means the FDA will now look at this. But as you guys just mention, Brianna just mentioned, this trial was paused because an independent group of advisers basically looks at the trial results and says, something's going on here.

BERMAN: Good. Something good is going on here.

GUPTA: Something good is going on here. So much so that we don't think it is really even ethical to continue doing the trial if it is potentially as good as it sounds.

BERMAN: This is one of the things that has been missing all along, right? I'm not saying -- this is not a replacement for vaccines. Vaccines are still the most important thing here. But early on before the vaccine everyone was hoping there would be some miracle drug that could keep you out of the hospital if you caught COVID.

GUPTA: Yes. It is really interesting, John. Just historically we think about antibiotics, there's lots of antibiotics for bacterial infections. As far as antivirals for viral infections, really in the word of HIV-AIDS, that's where most of it has been studied. There's things like Tamiflu, but there has never really been the big antiviral push. Never really been a lot of funding for it. Every time something like this happens, a potential viral outbreak, there is renewed interest, and then it kind of fizzles, having covered this for 20 years.

So here now you have a couple of products, this is the one from Merck, obviously, there's another one from Pfizer that is also being investigated, that all along was being studied. And the thought was, look, it's probably not going to come in time for it pandemic because we'll have a vaccine or something else, or the pandemic will sort of end by the time these antivirals get developed. But here we are at the end of 2021 still with a tremendous need for this.

As you correctly mentioned, the vaccine still prevents people from getting the illness in the first place. This would be to treat people who are mildly ill, moderately ill, to keep them from getting into the hospital. Very important potentially, especially in places where there is not enough vaccine or countries where people aren't willing to take the vaccine.

BERMAN: What are the advantages of this, or how does this change the scenario going forward? GUPTA: Well, when we talked about all the hype around

hydroxychloroquine and things like that, the reason there was hype was, could you give something to people who were mildly, moderately ill, a pill that they could take at home and prevent them from going to the hospital? Everyone thought, look, it is a little bit of pipe dream. Remdesivir came close, but further trial results did not show it to be as promising. Hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin, never had data behind it. Hydroxychloroquine maybe even potentially problematic, harmful to patients.

Monoclonal antibodies was the only thing potential that could do that, requires an infusion, about $2,000 bucks a dose. Here you're talking about five days, twice a day, of a pill that could potentially, what it does, it basically interferes with how the virus replicates. So you have the virus in your body, it is replicating. This comes in and basically in various ways stops that replication process from happening.

So if it works, and, again, lots of ifs here, because the FDA has got to look at this. Remdesivir had a lot of promise as well. This sounds really promising, but it's got to be further analyzed. If it works, then this is something people could potentially have in their homes, potential take after they're diagnosed, after they get a positive test before they get really sick and really change the trajectory of their disease.

BERMAN: "The Wall Street Journal" calls it Tamiflu for COVID.

GUPTA: Yes. I think that's the only antiviral we really think about outside of the world of HIV-AIDS is Tamiflu.

[08:05:03]

It could usher in a new era when it comes to antivirals. Everybody knows antibiotics. Most people couldn't name a single antiviral. This would be the first one maybe they could ever name.

BERMAN: Don't go far, Sanjay. You're going to come back in a little bit. An interesting development combined with vaccines may be powerful weapons.

GUPTA: Yes.

BERMAN: Brianna?

KEILAR: Also breaking overnight, Democratic drama on Capitol Hill, lawmakers in the House reconvening here in the next hour, and there is a big question -- can they get past this liberal revolt that prevented a vote on the infrastructure bill, the bipartisan infrastructure bill, after hours of negotiations?

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has finally delayed that much anticipated vote on -- she finally did delay that much anticipated vote on the Senate approved infrastructure bill when it became so painfully clear she didn't have the votes to get it passed. There is supposed to be another try today. Is that in jeopardy? We're waiting to see that. President Biden's massive infrastructure bill stalled because liberals are demanding an even larger social spending package separately, that it get done in both chambers.

So for now, that seems very far off, with Senator Joe Manchin holding firm on his price tag which is $2 trillion less than what the president and progressives want.

Let's bring in the deputy whip of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell. Thank you so much for being with us this morning, Congresswoman. First, I want to ask you about a $2.1 trillion compromise framework that we're hearing about that is on the table right now between Democratic leaders and the White House. What can you tell us about this?

REP. DEBBIE DINGELL, (D-MI) DEPUTY WHIP CONGRESSIONAL PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS: There are a lot of discussions going on between the White House, Senator Schumer, and Speaker Pelosi. I want to make just a couple of comments. Everybody keeps wanting to focus on the division in the Democratic Party. Here is the reality. For our Democratic caucus, failure is not an option. We know that we have to deliver. There are a lot of healthy discussions, a lot of -- look, it is not been -- I called it at the beginning of the week it was going to be a week from hell, and it is.

But I'm going to tell you something different. I'm actually seeing people talk to each other, to listen to each other, to hear different perspectives, to legislating. And I think that that's actually a good thing. I don't believe we'll leave here until we do get this figured out, where we come together and figure out how we're going to deliver on helping build out an elective vehicle infrastructure so we can reduce carbon emissions. How are we going to get the lead out of pipes in all of the pipes in this country, because we have children drinking lead all over? I think the BIF is a good bill. I've said that, when you can bring people together. But it doesn't have enough money to get the lead out of all the pipes. Just start there.

The childcare is another important project. It is really simple. We need both bills. We're going to figure up what is going to be in that Build Back Better bill. We're going to come to an agreement, and we're going to get them passed.

KEILAR: How do you bridge a $2 trillion gap?

DINGELL: I think there is a lot of discussions going on about what are the programs, what are the critical programs, how do you make sure that you're investing enough in a program so that you're going to make a difference. And I think that I keep saying that the "D" in Democrats stands for "delivery," and people know we have to deliver. There are a lot of great bills that have come out of a lot of tension, a lot of people having different perspectives.

The thing that I think is good about this week, and I've been pretty grumpy along the week. I think there has been too much discussions with just a couple of people and not enough with a broader caucus or even the whole House. The Senate is not the -- we are equal branches of government, and Congress has 435 members that represent their constituents, and they need to know that their voices are being heard and that they're being represented at the table. But those discussions are happening.

It doesn't -- people can disagree. There have been some tense moments. But that tension can make some of the -- if you look at a diamond and what it look like in the rough and looks what it looks like polished. And right now we're working together to get a polished bill to deliver.

KEILAR: That $2.1 trillion framework, though, that is on the table?

DINGELL: I heard a ton of numbers. I don't know what -- there are really confidential --

KEILAR: Is that one of them, though, Congresswoman?

DINGELL: I think there is -- I think Nancy has been clear it won't probably be $3.5, and every other number below that is on the table. And yesterday, most of us heard for first time the $1.5 number. I think any number in between those two is being discussed. And I think they're talking about the programs, and what can you get done and how does it get done.

And then you look at what, it is the program where the focus is, and then the leadership is also looking at the dollars and what are they -- but when they come talk to this caucus, they're going to talk about what the programs are that are in there.

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And what we're going to be delivering to the people, and other issues that people care about, then how are we going to continue to work on those and get those done.

KEILAR: You heard about this late July memo that Manchin gave to the Senate majority leader that said I'm at $1.5 trillion. That's become apparent here where his number was. Was that -- is that frustrating? Would that have been helpful for you to know before?

DINGELL: I think a lot of people wish that they had known what is being dealt with, but I think the speaker is really -- there is no better legislator. And I'm going to tell you something. I was married to a master legislator. In the history of the House, he will have been one of the best. Nancy Pelosi knows what she is doing. She knows how to sit at a table. She did not know that. She had no knowledge of that until this week. So --

KEILAR: Does that handicap her considerably?

DINGELL: Ten days ago, two weeks ago, she thought she was working with an agreement that was $3.5. So, but this is a woman who takes the -- what's been handed to her, the lemons, and ensures that it gets made into the lemonade that we have got to do.

And that's part of the problem. One of the problems right now is that people don't trust the United States Senate as to what they really will agree to. We need both of these bills. It is that simple. We need both bills. And so many of my colleagues, and I don't care where they are in the spectrum, just want to know that the president and the speaker are going to deliver on getting both of these bills.

KEILAR: You said people are talking. Some of the talk, I wonder if you think is helpful. AOC said that Joe Manchin is fundamentally unserious.

DINGELL: Look, Joe Manchin I've known for a very long time. He was a very close friend of my husband. He represents the people that sent him to Washington. So I don't think name calling -- I'm someone that had a long history of saying we should treat each other civilly, we should be working together bipartisan, and name calling is not a useful thing. But I'm not going to call out anybody specifically. I just hope we can all really work hard to listen to each other, to respect each other, and to figure out how we're going to get this done together.

KEILAR: It is hard to see how there would be a vote today. What do you think?

DINGELL: Nancy Pelosi, I would never underestimate. We'll see what's going to happen. I think the discussions are going to continue. And I think you should stay tuned and there is going to be a lot of hard work. A lot of people have rolled up their sleeve, and we're going to get this done. We're going to deliver for the American people.

KEILAR: Vote today?

DINGELL: What is your definition of today?

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DINGELL: Today in legislative language is not until you adjourn. So --

KEILAR: Oh, my goodness. This could be the Friday that never ends. All right, we will see. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, thank you for that.

DINGELL: Thank you.

BERMAN: We need today in earthly terms.

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BERMAN: Not these congressional rules where you can make a day last 1,000.

DINGELL: A day lasts two months.

BERMAN: On earth, a day is a day.

I want to bring in CNN political director David Chalian and CNN Capitol Hill reporter Melanie Zanona. At some point I want to ask about what Debbie Dingell just said, that Chuck Schumer is keeping secrets from Nancy Pelosi, because that was interest.

But David, I want to start with the news overnight, which is that there is a $2.1 trillion proposal out there, the significance of that and the possibility of there might actually have been some movement over the last few hours.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Right. This is what we got yesterday when Joe Manchin announced that firm, in his mind, $1.5 trillion top line. What we finally got were the parameters of what a negotiation would be now. And now we're seeing from the other side this float of a number to see if that is going to do two things -- move Manchin and Sinema in some way closer to that, and assuage the progressives that there is enough agreement there that they can move forward on the infrastructure deal.

Here's the thing. Debbie Dingell is right when she says there is all this talk about the top line, but it is actually what is in this bill that is going to come to the moment of when the rubber meets the road here. And so if, indeed, in this $2.1 trillion float from the White House and Democratic leadership and what they're circling around to try to bring Manchin up, if indeed, let's say, that does not include the expansion of Medicare to include vision and hearing aids and dental, perhaps let's say it doesn't include free community college for all. Well, if that's not in that proposal, there is going to be potential a Bernie Sanders problem, right?

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Those are two pet issues of his, so learning what the specifics are inside these offers is going to start to be really important here beyond just the topline number.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN NEWSROOM HOST: You know, Melanie, if you're talking about going from $1.5 trillion, which is where Manchin is, to $2.1 trillion, that's not - I mean, I know we're talking in the trillions, so I'm not trying to minimize how much that is -

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MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: Right.

KELIAR: -- but that's not bumping up so much compared to the dip that you have to go from $3.5 trillion to $2.1 trillion.

ZANONA: Right. I mean, as messy as this all feels right now, and it is messy, they are working towards something, and there was notable progress yesterday because we finally know where Manchin at least is. We're seeing Sinema and Manchin engaging in these negotiations. You had White House officials up on Capitol Hill yesterday.

In some ways it feels like the reconciliation negotiations started in earnest yesterday, so of course they didn't come to agreement last night. I mean, think about how long the infrastructure bill, which was bipartisan, it was only $1.2 trillion. Again only $1.2 trillion, but you know, compared to what they're trying to do with reconciliation. That took months to come to an agreement to. So it's going to take some time. I think the question now is if they

can come to an agreement on this framework - this broad framework that has buy in (ph) from the principles that Joe Biden can get behind, is that enough to convince progressives because so far they are standing firm. They want iron clad commitments. There's a massive trust deficit right now between the centrists and the progressives.

So we'll have to see what they can come up with today, which as W. Damil (ph) noted is technically still yesterday because of what they did with the legislative calendar.

(LAUGHTER)

CHALIAN: We're up there (ph).

JOHN BERMAN, CNN NEWSROOM: I'm sorry. Nancy Pelosi can do a lot, but Friday is Friday and Thursday is Thursday.

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ZANONA: She can't bend time, right.

BERMAN: Even Pelosi can't do that. You talk about a trust deficit. What about a possible trust deficit between Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi? We talk about now everyone is finally showing their cards. Joe Manchin it turns out showed his cards to Chuck Schumer in July. They have it like a signed document where the two of them said, yes, this is what Joe Manchin - how far he will go, but apparently Schumer didn't tell anybody or kept it tight to the vest, David?

CHALIAN: Yes, John. I think that was a huge development yesterday learning that after months of Democrats on the Hill constantly asking the question what is Manchin's number that the Senate Majority Leader actually had known what his number is all along and, as you noted, signed a document that said so.

And to Melanie's point that the negotiations over the reconciliation bill, the budget bill began in earnest yesterday, well that seems right according to Joe Manchin's plan. He said we should begin debating that on October 1. That's today.

So this seems that Chuck Schumer has known a lot about where we were going to be in this moment but wasn't sharing, which seems to be a strategic choice or at least a tactical one. And I wonder if, you know, that is going to come in from some serious criticism. We're in the middle of the game here obviously, and you just heard Congresswoman Dingell the overriding principle here for Democrats across the spectrum is failure is really not an option because it would be so devastating politically to the president and to the party overall.

So I do think the overriding sort of energy right now is still that they are going to get both of these bills eventually passed, but when we look at whether or not Chuck Schumer hiding the ball from the House Democrats and others in this moment was actually a productive piece of this process, I don't know that that will look so good in hindsight. KEILAR: No, on this day that never ends. This is the day that never ends. It will go on and on, my friends. At least I think we're in it -

(CROSSTALK)

BERMAN: Keep going.

KEILAR: -- together. That's what is playing in my head as we're talking about this. Melanie and David, thank you so much.

There is some new body camera video from police in Utah, and they're speaking with Gabby Petito in it about a physical fight that she had with her fiance, Brian Laundrie. And there's something that we learn in this that we didn't know. She talks about how she was grabbed in the face. We did not know that.

Plus Dr. Sanjay Gupta back with us with an eye-opening look at one group of people who are resisting the COVID vaccine despite being exposed to it on a daily basis.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's their body. It's a choice that they should make for themselves and that I should make for myself.

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BERMAN: And the game to end all games. Tom Brady making his first trip back to New England since leaving the Patriots. So how is all of New England feeling about this?

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New body camera video in the Gabby Petito case reveals she told police that Brian Laundrie was violent with her during an altercation. Listen.

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GABBY PETITO, VICTIM: (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where'd you hit him?

PETITO: I slapped him in the face (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You slapped him first? And then what, just on his face?

PETITO: And then he told me to shut up (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many times did you slap him?

PETITO: A couple.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And then what - and then his reaction was to do what?

PETITO: He grabbed my arm and threatened to slap him (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He just grabbed you?

PETITO: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did he - did he hit you, though? I mean, it's OK if you're saying you hit him, and then I understand if he hit you, but we want to know the truth if he actually hit you because you know -

(CROSSTALK)

PETITO: I guess - I guess yes, but I hit him first.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where did he hit you? Don't worry. Just be honest.

PETITO: Like he like grabbed my face just like this. He didn't hit me in the face. Like he didn't like punch me in the face or anything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did he slap your face or what?

PETITO: Well like he like grabbed like with his nail, and I guess that's why it was - definitely a cut right here (ph). I can feel it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BERMAN: It wasn't in the police report. Joining me now is Deborah Norville, Anchor of "Inside Edition". Deborah, the police said only at the time that Gabby Petito hit him. That is so revealing and heartbreaking I might add to hear her describe what happened.

DEBORAH NORVILLE, ANCHOR, INSIDE EDITION: Yes. You know, this new video, which provides yet another perspective of that interaction with Gabby Petito, Brian Laundrie, and the local police in Utah seems to draw an even firmer line under the fact that there was a domestic situation going on. We know that the responding officers had been told that the man had hit the woman. That was the reporting party's words to the cops.

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They were aware of that, and yet it seems from the way that particular officer was questioning Gabby he was more concerned in learning if Brian hit her as opposed to any other physical action he might have taken.

BERMAN: Yes, and clearly there was physical action taken there.

(CROSSTALK)

NORVILLE: Yes.

BERMAN: And we know from domestic abuse cases it was almost textbook hearing Gabby Petito saying, "Yes, but I hit him first," as if to excuse his actions. NORVILLE: Exactly. Exactly, and this is - this is one of the really concerning things about this interaction is just how fine tuned were the antenna of the responding officers to a possible domestic situation? We know according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence every nine seconds in this country a woman is battered by the person she loves, and yet in this interaction with the cops there doesn't seem to be any recognition of as you put it the textbook signs of potential domestic abuse. The self blame, elsewhere in the conversation she says, "Well I was cleaning up, and I'm OCD, and that makes him upset." As though every response he had was triggered by something she did. Therefore, she is the party to blame.

And you can tell later in the interaction the cops kind of bought that because the guy says, "You're the aggressor, but we're not going to charge you." And so, she leaves that interaction with it reaffirmed by the cops that she was the party at fault.

BERMAN: You could tell how much emotional pain she was in during that interaction. Also overnight, Deborah, we learned that there was a series of phone calls of reports to police having to do with the Laundrie home in North Port, Florida, around the time the Gabby Petito disappearance was reported. So what are we to make of all this.

NORVILLE: Well what we're going to make of it is the cops had never been called to this address in the previous three years. The first call was on September 10, which was the day before Gabby Petito's mother reported her missing. We believe, and it's difficult to know what specifically to make of all of these calls and there were 46 calls documented, the specifics of the call had been redacted. So we know the time. We know the category under which the call was placed by the cops.

Presumably the September 10 call would have been an inquiry because of any calls that Joe Petito might have been making trying to find out the whereabouts of his daughter. Later on, there are calls that seem to have to do with disturbances that could be related to all of the people who were protesting outside with the bull horns. Some calls made by the Laundrie family. Get them off our property. They're harassing us.

So it's difficult to say, but they have been back and forth and back and forth. What's also interesting is the freedom of information request to get these police calls covered all the way through Thursday. They released calls only documented up until Monday, so we don't know the nature of the calls that happened on Tuesday and Wednesday, and there's been a lot of updates and developments this week.

BERMAN: That is interesting. Deborah Norville, thank you so much for joining us this morning.

NORVILLE: My pleasure.

BERMAN: Another bogus election recount turns up empty for the My Pillow guy. Carl Bernstein with the escalating attack on democracy next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)