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Dangerous Rhetoric from Right-Wing Crowdgoer; Parents Skeptical of Vaccinating Kids; Health Officials Worry More Threats to Come; Queen Cancels Trip; China Warns U.S. over Taiwan; White Male Wins $10 Million Lawsuit. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired October 28, 2021 - 06:30   ET



CHARLIE KIRK, FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT, TURNING POINT USA: I'm going to denounce that and I'm going to tell you why, because you're playing into all their plans and they're trying to make you do this.

What I'm saying is that we have a very fragile balance right now at our current time where we must exhaust every single peaceful mean possible.


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: I don't know if the question is more alarming or his response, I'm going to stop you because you're playing into their plans, his shifting of responsibility.

MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I do want to -- look, he did condemn the guy.


HABERMAN: He did say this is not right (ph). I don't think that that should actually be ignored because that's important and there, frankly, hasn't been enough of that kind of thing over the last five years.

The playing into their hands piece, you know, this is -- this is often a tactic at this point to say that, you know, this other person is making you do it. This is -- this is why we shouldn't do it or this other person is going to benefit.

The question is alarming because the question is a reminder that this is some -- a -- the question is alarming because it's alarming, but it is a reminder that one of the problems with the discourse that the former president was heavily involved in is that people respond to things that you say when you are a president and when you demonize opponents and when you talk this way, it doesn't matter, to your point, about what Charlie Kirk says about, you know, quote-unquote the other side. That should be irrelevant as to whether you have to take accountability for our own words.

And what we saw on January 6th was a direct product of what the former president was saying about the election. And this kind of statement, you know, has a -- has a tie in to it. You know, it is a statement about where we are in this country where threats of violence have become increasingly mainstreamed, and that goes directly back to the 2016 campaign.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: And, look, we can't say anymore it won't happen, because January 6th did happen.

HABERMAN: That's right. And, you -- look, any statement about when can we use the guns is a -- is a terrifying statement, you know? So I think it is good that Charlie Kirk said I'm going to denounce that. I hope that more people will say something like that.

BERMAN: Thank you, Maggie. Great to see you this morning.

HABERMAN: Thank you.

BERMAN: So, we have new poll numbers that show some hesitancy among parents, at least now, about vaccinating young children.

KEILAR: Plus, a promising study about a new potential coronavirus treatment. We'll have the details ahead.



KEILAR: Just in to CNN, a brand-new survey shows that the majority of parents do not plan to immediately vaccinate their kids ages five to 11 against coronavirus. And, instead, they plan to wait and see how it works -- how it's working out for others.

We have CNN's Elizabeth Cohen joining us now on that.

That is a lot of people, 70 percent, Elizabeth. We should, obviously, say that this hasn't fully gone through the approval process for an Emergency Use Authorization.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Brianna. But if all goes as we think it will, it is possible, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, that children ages five to 11 could be getting Pfizer shots in arms possibly next week or the week after.

And let's talk quickly about why that's so important. It's important not just to protect children. Children do not COVID. Children do die from COVID and you can't always predict who that child is going to be. So why would you want to roll the dice with your own child.

Plus, Brianna, you're a mom. You know how germy children are. They spread germs. If your child has COVID, and even if they're asymptomatic, they could get their grandparents sick. And those grandparents could get very, very sick or even die. Why in the world would you want to do that? That's why childhood vaccination is so important.

So let's look at the results of this Kaiser Family Foundation survey. It was done October 14th through the 24th. And 27 percent of parents said they would get their child, ages five to 11, vaccinate right away. Just 27 percent, unfortunately, 33 percent said they would wait and see, 30 percent said definitely no. And take a look at this last line because this is where public health communicators really need to focus in, 66 percent of the parents surveyed said they were somewhat or very concerned about the effect that the shot might have on their child's fertility. Let's call that concern what it is. It is Facebook garbage. I am all in favor of being an empowered patient. I actually wrote a book called "The Empowered Patient." I talked about all the things my husband and I have done for our daughters when they were sick when they were born. We were very empowered. We disagreed with doctors right and left. This is -- so, do a little research and what you will find is that fertility concern is 100 percent false.

Let me show you what's true. This is true. Since the beginning of the outbreak, 765 children have died from COVID-19. More than 66,000 children have been hospitalized just since August 1st. And even after children recover from COVID-19, they often suffer fatigue, respiratory problems and brain fog sometimes for months.

So, I would say to parents, why in the world do you want to roll the dice? Why would you want to believe Facebook garbage and put your child at risk for dying or ending up in the hospital or having brain fog or respiratory problems for months. I can't expect a responsible parent wanting to role the dice like that.


KEILAR: Yes, you say do a little research. You've got to do the right kind of research, right?

COHEN: Right.

KEILAR: Not the Facebook garbage.

COHEN: Right.

KEILAR: It is true, though, that this get repeated enough. People have these concerns, there things they care about so much. They end up believing crap, quite frankly. And it's so unfortunate.

I know that this poll also has some new information about the public perception of vaccine mandates.

COHEN: That's right. It's interesting. Mandates -- the Biden administration is really trying to use mandates as a way to increase vaccination rates. Let's take a look at what happened when Kaiser asked unvaccinated workers what they would do if their employer mandated a vaccine.


Seventy-two percent said they would leave their jobs, 17 percent said they would get the vaccine.

Now, that's just people talking on the phone to, you know, someone calling with a poll. Would they really leave their job? That's, of course, another question. But with labor -- with there being such labor shortages, I'm sure employees might be looking at this and might be sort of second guessing, should we do mandates if it means we might lose employers (ph). So, it will be interesting to see how these mandates end up working out.

KEILAR: All right, Elizabeth, thank you so much.

COHEN: Thanks.

BERMAN: So CNN has new reporting this morning on other concerns about the vaccine rollout for children. And this has nothing to do with the kids specifically but with the safety of public health officials across the country.

CNN health reporter Jacqueline Howard joins us now.

And these public health officials, Jacqueline, are concerned for their safety.

JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER: That's right, John. The reason why there is this concern, I spoke with the head of the National Association of County and City Health Officials and she says that any time there's a new COVID-19 mitigation measure that's introduced, whether that's masks or vaccines, public health officers tend to see a spike or an increase in the harassment and threats that they receive. And the nation right now is facing a new possible COVID-19 mitigation measure vaccines for kids.

Have a listen.


LORI TREMMEL FREEMAN, CEO, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FO COUNTY AND CITY OFFICIALS: The rollout of the pediatric vaccine is another critical turning point. And we anticipate that there will be people who may again target public health officials and their messaging related to the rollout of this latest mitigation measure.

We are so concerned that as time goes on, as this pandemic goes on, that these threats, intimidation, harassment and really are advancing in some case and becoming more dangerous.


HOWARD: So you see, John, there is this concern of threats becoming more dangerous. And it also turns out the Southern Poverty Law Center tells CNN that they've noticed that some of the threats made could be coming from members of far-right extremist groups. So that adds to the concern as well.


BERMAN: People trying to do their job and save lives. The idea that they feel threatened.

Jacqueline Howard, thank you very much.

HOWARD: Thank you.

BERMAN: So we have live pictures for you this morning of Capitol Hill. There's a lot going on this morning. President Biden is headed there very shortly to speak to House Democrats. And there are some signs perhaps that he may be coming with something, something that he hopes can got his domestic agenda over the finish line before he heads overseas later today.

KEILAR: Plus, what is happening with Queen Elizabeth's health that prompted her to cancel her trip to the climate summit. We are live from London ahead.



KEILAR: New questions this morning about Queen Elizabeth's health after Buckingham Palace announced that she will not attend next week's climate summit in Scotland. And this is coming after a recent hospital stay and another canceled trip to northern Ireland.

CNN's Max Foster is live for us in London.

Max, what is the latest here?

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Brianna, the queen's effectively been ordered to stay home by her doctors. And she's been unable to attend several key events. And that's raised obvious concerns.


FOSTER (voice over): Concerns about the queen's health were raised earlier this month when she arrived at an engagement with a walking stick, or cane, which is rare to see in public. The last time we saw her in person at an event was last Tuesday, meeting business leaders at Windsor Castle. She looked well, but the next day she canceled a visit to northern Ireland on the advice of her doctors. The a statement, the palace insisted she was in good spirits. And separately we were told she'd be resting for a few takes at Windsor Castle.

The next day, however, a British tabloid revealed that not to be true. The palace was forced to confirm she had in fact spent the night in hospital for some preliminary investigations. We haven't been told what those investigations were for.

The queen has continued light duties this week, in the palace's words, virtual engagements from her desk at Windsor. But then another announcement this week that she had regretfully decided that she will no longer travel to Glasgow to attend COP26, where she was due to host world leaders at the summer. She will, instead, send a video message.

KATE WILLIAMS, CNN ROYAL COMMENTATOR: Moving forward, especially to move into the winter with COVID, we will see the queen doing more Zoom calls, less in-person meetings. But I think that as soon as the winter is over, she will be keen to get back on her feet, back out there meeting people. It's just whether or not the doctors are going to agree with it.

FOSTER: But a CNN analysis shows the queen traveled at least 1,000 kilometers, or 620 miles, this month, even before she canceled her trips to northern Ireland and Scotland.

Prince Charles will now step up for her at COP26, something he's increasingly having to do, though there's no suggestion from anyone in royal circles that the queen would ever give up her role completely.


FOSTER: And I'm told that the queen only reluctantly took this advice to stay home, Brianna. She desperately wants to carry on working. No one really tells her what to do. But the doctors are one group of people who can tell her what to do. And it's pretty obvious they want her to slow down a bit at the age of 95, of course.

KEILAR: Yes, look, she is a very active 95, but, you know, there are some limits as she keeps up such a crazy schedule sometimes.


Max, thank you to much.

There's some rising tension between the U.S. and China as Beijing is warning the Biden administration over Taiwan.

BERMAN: Plus, investigators say now that it was a live round fired from the gun Alec Baldwin was given that killed the cinematographer on the set of "Rust." And the film's assistant director is facing new scrutiny. We're live in Santa Fe ahead.


BERMAN: Developing overnight, China is warning the U.S. over calls for Taiwan to have a meaningful role at the United Nations, saying it poses seismic risks to bilateral relations. In the meantime, there's other major news involving Taiwan. In an exclusive interview with CNN's Will Ripley, Taiwan's president confirmed for the first time that U.S. military trainers are deployed in the country.

Now, the president, at a CNN townhall last week, promised to come to Taiwan's defense if China attacked.


ANDERSON COOPER, MODERATOR: So are you saying that the United States would come to Taiwan's defense if China attacked?

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes, we -- yes, we have a commitment to do that.


BERMAN: All right, Will Ripley joins us now live from Taipei.

Will, you've got a ton of news this morning based off of your interview. What have you got?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, President Biden's remark, John, raised a lot of eyebrows here because for decades the U.S. has had this policy of strategic ambiguity, leaving the question open of whether the U.S. military would intervene if China were to attack the island of Taiwan. The goal to deter such an invasion.

But having President Biden say that, yes, the U.S. has a commitment to do that, to defend Taiwan, even though the White House later walked back those remarks, I wanted to ask President Tsai Ing-wen, her first interview in almost two years, what she thought President Biden was saying.


PRESIDENT TSAI ING-WEN, TAIWAN: People have different interpretations of what President Biden has said.

RIPLEY: Do you have faith that the United States would defend Taiwan if the mainland were to try to move on Taiwan?

ING-WEN: I do have faith that given the long-term relationship that we have with the U.S.

RIPLEY: Does that support include sending some U.S. service members to help train Taiwanese troops?

ING-WEN: Well, yes.


We have a wide range of cooperation with the U.S. entering (ph) at increasing our defense capability.

RIPLEY: How many U.S. service members are deployed in Taiwan right now?

ING-WEN: Not as many as people thought.


RIPLEY: We looked up the Defense Department statistics that show from 2018 until now the numbers has increased about three-fold from 10 to 32. That's a small number. That's the official number. But we don't exactly know what role they are -- they're playing here. Are they just defending the defacto embassy? Are they, in fact, training Taiwan troops?

But the fact that President Tsai, John, acknowledge this, the first Taiwanese leaders to confirm publicly that the U.S. military trainers are on the ground here on the island of Taiwan in more than 40 years, that has made a lot of ripples, including in Beijing where they continue to say they are not ruling out preventing this island from separating from the mainland because they still claim this island as part of their territories for more than 70 years, since the end of China's civil war, even though it has its own government and military. China saying they will not rule out using force to prevent Taiwan's separation from the mainland, John.

BERMAN: You know, Will Ripley, terrific interview. We're hearing language now that we really have not heard from all different sides regarding Taiwan. This is hugely significant. So thank you so much for your reporting on this.

All right, we do have breaking news. We are now hearing what President Biden will present to Democrats just a short time from now. There are new details coming in and high hopes from the White House.

Stand by for news.


KEILAR: The price of diversifying the workforce carries new meaning in North Carolina this morning. This after a white male executive won a $10 million wrongful termination lawsuit after his employer fired him and replaced him with two women in what was being called a diversity effort.

CNN's Dianne Gallagher is live for us in Charlotte with more.

Dianne, tell us about this case.

DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So basically a former top hospital executive was awarded by a Charlotte federal jury $10 million after he claimed in a lawsuit that he was fired because he was a white man. David Duvall was a senior vice president of marketing communications at Novant Health until he was fired in 2018. And he says it's because of the company's efforts to diversify top leadership positions. He says that he received no warning or any sort of explanation for his firing and was replaced by two women, a white woman and a black woman.


But according to court documents, Novant Health says that Duvall.