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New Day

FDA Allows Mix and Match Vaccines; Washington State Fires Football Coach over Vaccine; Red Sox Slam Astros; Gridlock off L.A. Coast; Miami Private School Says Vaccinated Students Should Stay Home; California Parents Protest Vaccine Mandate; CDC Considered Test-To- Stay Program. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired October 19, 2021 - 06:30   ET



JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: You get either a Moderna or a Pfizer booster. Why is that significant?


And you're spot on. This is really good news for those who get Johnson & Johnson vaccine, that their booster can now be with one of the mRNA vaccines. And that's -- that's good news because these people have been waiting for months to get official confirmation on getting vaccinated.

We know that the mRNA vaccine will give them a better immune response. And this is already in practice. Physicians are already recommending this. So it's nice to have policy line up with practice.

BERMAN: One of the things that people should know is that for Moderna and Pfizer, the booster is recommended six months after the second shot. And for Johnson & Johnson, two months after the single shot.

Why is that important?

KHAN: That's important because essentially anybody who got Johnson & Johnson right now, today, is eligible for their second dose. And the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should have had a recommendation a long time ago for that booster. So it's disappointing it's taken this long to have the recommendation out.

BERMAN: And to be clear, there is some evidence -- and the trials have been small on this. These aren't huge trials. But there is some evidence that mixing the booster shot, getting a different booster from the previous shot, might actually enhance your protection. What do these studies say?

KHAN: Yes. So the study most recently shown in the U.S. shows a difference between a 74-fold increase and a 4-fold increase.

And we should remind people that this is already policy in Canada and other countries, that they follow the equivalent of a Johnson & Johnson vaccine with an mRNA vaccine. So, essentially, our policy is lining up with other countries' policy also right now.

BERMAN: Dr. Khan, one quick question on the path forward against the pandemic.

Cases are dropping nationwide, but there are some counties in the north where you are starting to see the rate of cases increase some as there is colder weather. What's your level of concern as we head into the colder weather?

KHAN: So, this is the bigger issue, right? Lovely that people can get boosters. How do we get the 76 million Americans who have not been vaccinated their first dose? And that's what's going to help us get this outbreak under control, in addition to the other measures.

And the drop-off actually, John, isn't as steep as we've seen in the past. So it's really slow. And that's because other states, we're starting to see an increase in cases.

So the message remains the same, go out and get vaccinated if you've not yet been vaccinated. It's safe. It's free. And it works.

BERMAN: Dr. Ali Khan, as always, thank you so much for your insight. Appreciate it.

KHAN: Mask on, John, and get vaccinated.

BERMAN: Always. Thank you so much, Dr. Khan.

So, Washington State's head coach fired for refusing to get vaccinated. We have new reporting on how players and fans are responding.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Plus, Gabby Petito's mother speaking out in a new interview. Her message for Brian Laundrie's parents.



KEILAR: New this morning, pain in the paloos (ph) as Washington State's head football coach Nick Rolovich, as well as four assistant coaches have been fired for not complying with the state's coronavirus vaccine mandate.

Joining us now to talk about this is "USA Today" sports national columnist Dan Wolken.

Dan, thank you so much for being with us this morning. I mean, talking about taking one for the team, this coach and his assistant coaches did not. I mean this is just going to gut Wazoo's football program.

DAN WOLKEN, NATIONAL COLUMNIST, "USA TODAY" SPORTS: Yes, it's a sad day, I think, for the players and the assistant coaches who did everything right there. A lot of people followed the mandate, willing to get vaccinated, even if maybe they didn't want to. And that's what coaches across the country always try to teach to their players is sacrifice for the team. And in Nick Rolovich's case, not only did he refuse to do that, he never really explained himself.

This is an issue going back to July when he was not allowed to go to the PAC-12 media days in person because he was the only coach in the PAC-12 who wasn't vaccinated. Since that day, he's been asked many, many times, what is your actual stance on this? Why are you not getting the vaccine? And he refused to ever have any sort of public accountability for his own beliefs. So, it's an unfortunate situation for those players who are now going to have to finish the season with sort of this makeshift coaching staff.

KEILAR: So it's unclear, right, why he just killed his career, essentially. And this is a five year, $15 million contract that he is walking away from. A plum coaching gig at a great school with a great football program.

WOLKEN: Yes. There's only 65 of these jobs in the so-called power five conferences. Coaches work their entire careers to try to get one of these jobs. And, yes, Nick Rolovich, at Washington State, you know, had -- gets off to a very promising start to his career, and then this vaccine situation comes up and he never states what his problem is with the vaccine.

Now, we know he filed for a religious exemption to the state mandate. Rolovich was raised as a Catholic. That exemption was, obviously, denied. But what specifically he had a problem with, I don't know.

When the religious exemption request was actually made public, it was through his mentor, June Jones, a coach who coached him as a player at the University of Hawaii. Rolovich was very upset that he was sort of outed in that way and never explained anything. Just sort of went back to, this is a personal decision. And it's just very confusing why somebody would give up a job that good when this will cause him to probably never coach at this level again.


KEILAR: Yes, well, it's going to cost him, it's going to cost his team and it's going to cost a lot of fans for sure.

Dan -- Dan Wolken, thank you.

WOLKEN: You're welcome.

BERMAN: So if it is a day that ends in y, the Red Sox have hit a grand slam and won a playoff game.

Andy Scholes with more in this morning's "Bleacher Report."

Good morning, Andy.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: I mean they get the bases loaded and you think, certainly they can't hit another grand slam. But, oh, there we go, Kyle Schwarber, another one. You know, Boston, three grand slams in the 162-game season. They've now hit three in three games against the Astros. The Red Sox, the first team ever now to hit three grand slams in a postseason series. Last night, happened in the bottom of the second, bases loaded for

Kyle Schwarber. He unloaded on that pitch. That made it 6-0, Boston. Houston just deflated at that point. Fenway rocking all night. Boston wins game three, 12-3, to take a 2-1 lead in that series. Game four tonight at 8:00 Eastern. Game three of the NLCS between the Braves and Dodgers at 5:00 Eastern on TBS.

All right, Monday night football, meanwhile, was a thriller. We had seven lead changes last night, tying a record for a Monday night football game. Second quarter, Derrick Henry busting through the middle here and breaks free. He was clocked at 21.8 miles per hour on this run. Keep in mind, he's 250 pounds. That, a 76 yard touchdown, one of his three on the night.

This one coming down to the final seconds. Bills had the ball, fourth and one on the three yard line. Instead of kicking the game-tying field goal, Bills go for the first down with 22 seconds left. But Josh Allen, as you kind of see there, loses his footing. He's stuffed. Titans hold on to win, 34-31.

All right, finally, wanted to take a moment to pay tribute to a CNN sports legend. Rick Hulsey passed away unexpectedly over the weekend. He worked in CNN Sports for half of his life, 24 years. He loved his job, and we certainly loved Rick. You know, if there was a spirited sports debate happening in the office, Rick was sure to jump in and give his thoughts. He loved rooting for his Saints, Georgia Southern, and the Braves. I'm sure Rick was looking down with a smile after that Braves walk-off wins in games one and two of the NLCS. Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to Rick's family.

BERMAN: Yes, they do, Andy. We are thinking of Rick's family this morning. Thank you so much for that.

So who was the greatest person Colin Powell says he ever knew? His answer in what is believed to be his final interview.

KEILAR: Plus, America's largest port experiencing a record backlog of goods. What impact will this have on the delivery of your holiday gifts?



BERMAN: Officials at the Port of Los Angeles say cargo congestion has eased significantly since going to a 24/7 operating schedule in the last week, but there are still some hours where cargo just isn't moving. And this has left some 200,000 shipping containers gridlocked off the coast. The huge backlog comes just as demand for retail items is increasing.

CNN's Vanessa Yurkevich joins us now with the latest on this.

Such a problem, Vanessa.

VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: Such a problem. And we're not just talking about shipping delays anymore, we're talking about cargo that is simply not going to arrive in time for this holiday season.

We visited with one toy company who says that kids should not expect to get everything off their wish lists this holiday season.


YURKEVICH (voice over): In this small New Jersey office, a herculean attempt is underway. It's the unofficial logistics center for Carrera Revell, working desperately to get their toys into the U.S. in time for this holiday season.

FRANK TIESSEN, PRESIDENT, CARRERA REVELL OF AMERICAS: OK, just giving you an update on the container situation at the moment.

YURKEVICH: President Frank Tiessen is manning the operation.

YURKEVICH (on camera): Had you ever worked in logistics before?

TIESSEN: Only peripherally, not directly.

YURKEVICH: Why did you have to get directly involved into logistics?

TIESSEN: Because of the global supply chain challenges that we are facing.

YURKEVICH (voice over): Cargo vessels, order numbers, and arrival dates, all tracked with precision.

TIESSEN: Pretty much the first thing in the morning is really checking the backlog in the warehouse.

YURKEVICH: Boxes of toys at the well-known stock car maker are stuck in their warehouses in China waiting for a ride.

TIESSEN: We still have about 25, 30 containers which are just missing, which will not be here.

YURKEVICH: That's 30 percent of their holiday product. Just one of many companies dealing with a supply chain nightmare. With port congestion, containers shipped in May are just arriving to Carrera Revell's U.S. warehouse in Atlanta, five months behind schedule.

ANGELA HIGGS, PRESIDENT AND CEO, PBL GLOBAL LOGISTICS: We have seen such a surge in the last 90 days.

YURKEVICH: Angela Higgs runs the freight forwarding company for Carrera Revell, tasked with receiving the toys and getting them out to retailers as quickly as possible.

HIGGS: It's been one delay after another. And, we, of course, have been pushing and pushing and pushing. But these delays are inevitable right now.

YURKEVICH: With nearly every U.S. port facing a backlog, the warehouse is using all of them, piecing together a working supply chain.

HIGGS: We're just going everywhere we can. Otherwise, these goods are not going to get to the stores, and I'm not going to have anyone missing out on their toys this season.

YURKEVICH: To try to help with that, President Biden announced two major ports in California will move to operate 24/7. But for Tiessen, the problem now moves from the sea to the land.


YURKEVICH (on camera): Does that help you guys?

TIESSEN: No, it doesn't help. It just doesn't alleviate the problem, which we then have once the containers are off (INAUDIBLE). There are not enough trucks. There are not enough freight trains to move the containers in land.


YURKEVICH: And this trucking shortage really is the weakest link of this entire supply chain. If the trucks can't get to the ports and move cargo, then the ports are backed up. And there's a growing consensus amongst officials that this supply chain crisis is going to go well into 2022. So, buy early. Don't expect to get everything you want. And this season, expect to pay higher prices.


BERMAN: Just a huge disruption.

Vanessa, thank you so much for that.

YURKEVICH: Thank you.

BERMAN: So the former president, Donald Trump, suing to keep White House records related to the Capitol insurrection secret. What might he have to hide, and will the strategy work?

KEILAR: Plus, the CDC considering a new strategy to keep students exposed to coronavirus in schools. We'll have details, next.



KEILAR: Developing this morning, a private school in Miami requiring students who get vaccinated to stay home for 30 days. This is the same school that threatened to send vaccinated teachers home for the rest of the year.

Leyla Santiago joining us live from Miami.

Clearly an effort here to dissuade people from getting vaccinated, Leyla. LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Brianna, as you point out,

this is not the first time that Centner Academy here in Miami has used false claims to ask people in their school to hold off from getting vaccinated against COVID-19. In April, they asked teachers to hold off. The reason? A wide range of things that just are not true.

And here we go again. They are now asking students that if they get vaccinated to stay home for 30 days. In a letter obtained by our affiliate WSVN, I'll read a part of it for you. It says, if you are considering the vaccine for your Centner Academy student, we ask that you hold off until the summer when there will be time for the potential transmission or shedding onto others to decrease. False. False. I'll say it again, that is false. There is no credible study out there that indicates that the COVID-19 vaccine will in any way lead to any sort of transmission of that.

In a statement to CNN, the leadership in the academy said that they are making their decision based off of anecdotal reports, and that they want more information. This sounds pretty familiar to me anyway because I want you to listen to the exchange I had with the CEO and co-founder back in April.


LEILA CENTNER, FOUNDER, CENTNER ACADEMY: Let's get more information. Let's learn more about this.

SANTIAGO: You want more information?

CENTNER: Yes, that's all I want, more information.

SANTIAGO: You want more information. Have you looked at the FDA? Have you looked at the CDC? Have you looked at the World Health Organization because they do say that this is effective.

CENTNER: It's an experiment right now.


SANTIAGO: She called it an experiment. Took issue with the fact that at the time it did not have full FDA approval. By the way, we now have full FDA approval. And the academy is still saying they want more scientifically proven studies.

The medical community will tell you they exist and that repeated studies have shown that the COVID-19 vaccine is effective and it is safe in preventing the spread of the disease, Brianna.

KEILAR: Unbelievable.

Leyla, thank you so much for that.

BERMAN: In California, thousands of parents taking part in the statewide sit out to protest vaccine mandates in schools.

CNN's Josh Campbell has the details. JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There were a series of protests

around the state of California on Monday, including at the state capital in Sacramento, by protesters demonstrating against COVID-19 vaccine mandates. One group called Moms On the Ground encouraged parents to keep their children home from school in order to send a message to school administrators and state leaders.

Now, the office of California Governor Gavin Newsom responding to the criticism. A spokesperson there saying that vaccines are the way out of the pandemic. The governor's office adding that the state already requires its students are vaccinated against a range of viruses, such as measles, mumps, and rubella. Adding that there's no reason why we wouldn't do the same for COVID-19.

KEILAR: New this morning, CNN has learned that the CDC is currently evaluating Test-To-Stay programs in schools. So this is where students who may have been exposed to coronavirus in school still attend classes in person. They still are able to do that, instead of quarantine, as long as they test negative for the disease and they show no symptoms. This is a controversial approach, but it's one that is growing in popularity.

And CNN's Jacqueline Howard is joining us now with more on how some schools are following this approach.

Jacqueline, obviously, this is an attempt to preserve that time in the classroom for kids, but it's not without risks.

JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER: That's right, Brianna. And it's still controversial. But I spoke with three different superintendents across three states, Illinois, Kentucky, and right here in Georgia, and they all say that the program has proven to be successful for their district, with keeping kids in class, because the majority of students who may have been exposed to a COVID-19 case in the school end up not testing positive. Only about 2 percent, they say, test positive.

I spoke with Superintendent Grant Rivera in Marietta, Georgia. Here's what he had to say.


GRANT RIVERA, SUPERINTENDENT, MARIETTA CITY SCHOOLS: Certainly there's a -- there's a statistical number around students who test negative who can remain in class, and that is a measure of success. I think the other measure of success is just the social, emotional well-being of children and the lack of disruption to families at the 11th hour.


Test-To-Stay allows us to say to families, if your child is asymptomatic, like we can test