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Pfizer: Anti-COVID Pill Reduces Risk Of Hospitalization And Death By 89 Percent; Capitol Police Officers Speak Out About January 6th Attack; The Big Lie And The Even Bigger Numbers Behind It. Aired 7:30-8a ET
Aired November 05, 2021 - 07:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: And we do have breaking news. Just moments ago, drugmaker Pfizer announced that its experimental coronavirus pill reduces the risk of hospitalization and death by 89 percent among people at high risk of severe COVID. Now again, this is an announcement from the company. It hasn't been peer-reviewed yet, but still significant.
Joining me now is Pfizer's CEO, Albert Bourla. Thank you so much for being with us. Talk to us about these results. What do they show?
ALBERT BOURLA, CEO, PFIZER (via Webex by Cisco): Thank you for having me.
I think it's a great day for humanity -- the fact the news is coming a year almost to the day after we announced another breakthrough. November ninth was the year we announced the COVID-19 vaccine and today we are announcing a pill that treats those who unfortunately get the disease.
It is significant. That means that instead of having among this group of people 10 going to the hospital, only one will go, and likely, very few, if any, will die. So, the production of this pill will save millions and millions of lives.
BERMAN: Where does this fit in the battle against COVID? Obviously, you still want people to get vaccinated. People need to get vaccinated. Vaccinations are hugely important. But what does this pill then do help -- what does it do to help change the pandemic?
BOURLA: There are no words that I can use to emphasize how important is the use of vaccines. Without being cowering (ph) with our vaccination, including the booster vaccinating all the ages, we will never be able to get free of this virus.
But, of course, vaccines are not effective 100 percent and not everybody are getting the vaccines. So, this is why we are having this unfortunate situation, like our ICUs in hospitals -- it's overcrowded. But unfortunately, people are getting the COVID. Now we have a solution for them. And this is exactly what it means. This is not to prevent that this (INAUDIBLE) COVID; this is to treat those that unfortunately got the disease.
BERMAN: Yes. Once you get it this can really help you.
BERMAN: Adverse effects. Your news release on this, which I had a chance to read through quickly, did note there were some adverse effects for some people who took it. What were they?
BOURLA: Well, in fact, that's the amazing thing. The people who took the medicine had way less adverse events than the people that took the placebo. In fact, in terms of serious adverse events, we had 1.7 percent of the people that took the medicine who had these events compared to six percent of people that they took a placebo.
So, the adverse events are clear (INAUDIBLE) also because there's a disease, right?
BERMAN: What were the adverse events, just so we understand it?
BOURLA: No. What we expect to have from COVID. So, high fevers, high headaches, diarrhea -- things that are affecting you because of COVID. But as I said, it was way less with the treatment than with the placebo.
BERMAN: When do you think this can get approved?
BOURLA: This something that's the FDA's responsibility, so (INAUDIBLE) but I can't talk about that.
What I can say is that we plan to submit as soon as possible. Hopefully, we will submit before Thanksgiving.
BERMAN: That's just a few weeks.
BOURLA: Exactly. But look, it would be embarrassing if we were able within four months to develop 600 different molecules and test them, and then select one, which is the one that we just presented. And then within 16 months do all the clinical work so we can have a medicine so fast. It would be embarrassing if we can't -- if we lose a week because we are preparing paperwork for approval.
BERMAN: Right. And you're not in trials anymore. You halted the trials, correct?
BOURLA: Actually, we are stopped enrolling in this study, which is high-risk patients. And high-risk patients are patients that they have comorbidities. They are having other diseases in addition to COVID.
But we keep recruiting in two additional studies that will read out early next year. The first one -- it is of normal risk. People that are getting COVID and they do not have, let's say, diabetes or controversial (ph) diseases in addition to COVID.
And then the other one, it is for protection of house or (INAUDIBLE). For example, if someone gets the disease we are giving not only to (INAUDIBLE) but also to people leaving with them to see if that will have a difference in protecting those people from getting the disease. Those are ongoing and will read out in a few months.
BERMAN: That's really interesting to see if it can serve as some kind of prophylactic for people who are near folks who already have COVID.
Listen -- last question here. How many of these pills can you produce and how quickly? When will we see the market full of these?
BOURLA: Yes. I think that right now because of the investments that we did -- you remember now earnings back in the summer. I said that I had approved already over a billion dollars. It was $1.2 billion of -- at-risk investment. And that was mainly oriented to manufacturing.
We expect to have 500 million pills produced next year, which is 50 million treatment courses. Every treatment is five days at two pills a day, day and -- morning and night.
But, of course, now we were all surprised with how effective is this medicine. So immediately we are going to see if we can make way more.
BERMAN: But by the new year, how many would you -- if you got your -- applied by Thanksgiving and say they took a month to approve it, how many would be on hand January first, 2022?
BOURLA: I would say -- look, I can't speak about January of February but let's say in the first half of next year I expect more or less -- expect more or less half of the 50, so a little bit less than 25 million in the first half. Now, it would be more in the second quarter than in the first quarter, but we are ramping up as quickly as possible.
BERMAN: Maybe enough to treat 20 million people by halfway through next year. That would make an impact.
Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer, we thank you for being with us and helping us understand this.
BOURLA: Thank you very much.
BERMAN: All right.
So, watch Rudy Giuliani get grilled under oath about the debunked election lies that he helped spread. A CNN exclusive.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: First, police officers reliving the harrowing moments that they spent defending the U.S. Capitol on January sixth.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) OFFICER HARRY DUNN, U.S. CAPITOL POLICE: You see your officers engaging in hand-to-hand combat and people striking them, hitting them with flagpoles.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KEILAR: When American democracy was attacked on January sixth, police officers were the last line of defense, going beyond the call of duty to protect the U.S. Capitol and all that it stands for.
CNN's Whitney Wild has some of their stories.
DUNN: This is my office. This is like -- look at this. Like, look around. Like, beautiful. But it's not just my office; it's the seat of democracy, right?
WHITNEY WILD, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ten months after the siege on the U.S. Capitol on January sixth, Officer Harry Dunn's memory of the day's horror hasn't faded.
DUNN: You see your officers engaging in hand-to-hand combat and people striking them, hitting them with flagpoles. Them with gas masks on throwing canisters of gas at us. And I'd never seen anything like that.
WILD (voice-over): Dunn says his fellow officers attacked near the platform already set for President Biden's inauguration two weeks later.
DUNN: And that's where I started assisting them in the deconning process, wiping blood off of them, pouring water in their eyes. Getting them in some kind of -- just ready to jump back into the fight.
WILD (voice-over): Nearby, U.S. Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell led his officers to the Capitol steps when rioters had breached the police line.
SGT. AQUILINO GONELL, U.S. CAPITOL POLICE: And we were being surrounded.
WILD (on camera): What did it look like to you?
WILD (voice-over): Both officers are angered by the politics now surrounding that day and by members of Congress downplaying the violence. It's part of why they agreed to testify before the House Select Committee, face-to-face with some of the very people they protected that day. CAPITOL RIOTER: You're going to die tonight.
GONELL: Not only did I put my life on the line to help them escape, which they did along with the officers, they -- I'm not saying that I did everything myself but there were other officers who risked their lives to give them a chance to go about their business and escape.
WILD (voice-over): Both officers spoke about their trauma and need for private counseling or peer sessions. Dunn has asked Congress to review mental health benefits for officers, particularly the amount of leave they can take.
The pain of that day still palpable when Gonell talks about returning home at 4:00 a.m. As he hugged his wife he was overcome with emotion and even guilt.
WILD (on camera): What do you feel guilty about?
GONELL: Not helping more or not doing enough.
WILD (on camera): You know there wasn't anything more you could do. You've seen the video.
GONELL: I know. It still doesn't make it right.
WILD (voice-over): And yet, on January sixth, he says he was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice because the stakes were so high.
GONELL: I knew I was prepared to do that. That was tough. That was close to not only losing my life but losing our democracy at the same time.
WILD: Sgt. Gonell spent months recovering from his injuries.
And Brianna, I think the biggest example of the way that these two men would go beyond the call, and the entire department, is that everyone I've spoken to says if they had to do it again, right this moment, they would do it all again.
KEILAR: It's unbelievable. And what he said about the guilt -- even though there's nothing --
KEILAR: -- he could have done. I thought it was such an important point that you made.
So, we're also learning about what's happening to a January sixth rioter who had actually bragged about, quote, "definitely not going to jail." Tell us who this person is and what's happening.
WILD: So, her name is Jennifer Ryan. She is a Texas real estate agent. She had said after she was charged for what ended up being pleading
guilty to a misdemeanor for going into the Capitol and her role in the insurrection that she was definitely not going to jail. She tweeted that, adamant she wasn't going to jail. She has now been sentenced to 60 days in jail.
And when she came out of that hearing Brianna, she insisted that she's remorseful, insisted that she was regretful. However, it was very clear based on what she and her attorney said that they feel that the judge was making an example of her because she was so outspoken over Twitter after this riot. So, they feel like that she got the book thrown at her because she spoke out on Twitter.
She made it very clear she regrets her tweets. However, her attorney insists she's remorseful for her actions that day.
KEILAR: Yes, and it's not just that she said she wasn't going to prison; she basically -- she said she was white, right?
WILD: Right. Do we have the whole -- I don't know if we have the whole tweet but she said I've got blonde hair, I've got white skin. Sorry, I'm not going -- I've got a great job. Sorry, I'm not going to jail. That's -- you could look up the tweet for yourself. It's all over -- you know, it's all over the news --
WILD: -- to read it for yourself.
But, yes. I mean, she very clearly, even after this sentencing hearing, still believes it was the tweet that landed her in jail. That she's being made an example of. However, again, still insists that she's regretful and remorseful.
Whitney, thank you so much. That was a great report.
BERMAN: So, Donald Trump's big lie about the 2020 election is really the same lie he'd been telling for some time.
John Avlon with a reality check.
JOHN AVLON, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST (on camera): It's been one year since a record number of Americans cast their ballots in the 2020 election. In terms of turnout, it was a triumph. Joe Biden winning 81 million votes in the presidency.
But one year later, Donald Trump continues to lie to himself and the nation about the results with a new PRRI American Values Survey showing that 82 percent of Republicans who trust Fox News and 97 percent of Republicans who trust OAN and Newsmax still believe the 2020 election was stolen.
Now, sometimes you'll hear Trump's handmaidens point to that lack of confidence in the election as the reason why they're pursuing voter suppression and election subversion efforts under the cloak of election integrity. But, of course, that confusion is a direct result of Trump's lies.
And that's why we wanted to offer up a definitive list of the nearly- 200 times Trump claimed our elections were rigged, stolen, or fraudulent before the 2020 election. Because that's how you can see that Trump's big lie doesn't have anything to do with the specifics of the 2020 election. It's a cut-and-paste job -- a reflexive bleep whenever Trump is confronted with the reality of his worst fear that he is a loser.
And you can see it in Trump's first appearance on a presidential ballot -- the 2016 Iowa caucuses, which he narrowly lost to Ted Cruz. And you can guess Trump's reaction.
"Ted Cruz didn't win Iowa. He stole it," Trump tweeted. "Based on the fraud committed by Sen. Ted Cruz during the Iowa caucus, either a new election should take place or Cruz's results nullified." Same script, different election.
But Trump's emotional projection racket got really deafening in the final weeks of the 2016 campaign.
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The process is rigged. This whole election is being rigged.
There is the issue of voter fraud. Isn't it amazing the way they say there's no voter fraud? Folks, it's a rigged system and it's a rigged election, believe me.
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: These tapes --
TRUMP: Sean, I've been saying for a long time it's a rigged system. It's totally -- it's just terrible what's going on.
The system is corrupt, folks, and I've been saying it. It's rigged. I've been saying it for a long time. The system is rigged.
AVON (on camera): In fact, Trump made claims like this 40 times before Election Day in 2016. That's according to the data analytics firm Factbase. And it came with the threat, of course, that Trump wouldn't accept the results if he lost.
But the election wasn't rigged. Trump won the electoral vote while losing the popular vote by an unprecedented 2.9 million.
And nonetheless, a week after the election Trump was pushing a new lie claiming that, quote, "I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally."
And this president -- Trump's prediction of mass voter fraud began more than a year before the 2020 election, like this all-caps tweet from October 2019. "Democrats want to steal the election," followed two days later by this riff.
TRUMP: They're trying to steal your vote and silence your voice.
AVLON (on camera): Remember, this was months before COVID hit and mail-in ballots became his negative obsession. Trump predicting that it would result in the greatest rigged election in history. And this kept up at a manic speed. The president saying that America was about to have a rigged and stolen, and fraudulent election -- a prediction he made at least 143 times before Election Day 2020 -- again, according to Factbase.
He was preparing his base to reject the results if he lost. And occasionally, he let his plan slip, like admitting in September that he hoped the Supreme Court would intervene on his behalf. Three days later at a rally near Harrisburg, he tipped his hand to overturning the election in Congress.
TRUMP: I don't want to go back to Congress either, even though we have an advantage if we go back to Congress. Does everyone understand that? I think it's 26 to 22 or something because it's counted one vote per state.
AVLON (on camera): Awfully specific.
And all these claims of a rigged and stolen election were just another form of Trump's projection because he was the one trying to do the rigging. He was planning on doing the stealing and normalizing that threat in the minds of his supporters.
Election night just put this in overdrive, kicking off 755 times he claimed the election was stolen or rigged until President Biden's inauguration, spiking in the days leading up to the attack on our Capitol.
This isn't in the rearview mirror. It's a mass delusion that lives on, at least in the minds of Republicans who are still cowed by this con job one year later.
The evidence shows that Trump was preparing for the big lie before the election ever occurred. It has nothing to do with the debunked claims of fraud. It has everything to do with Trump trying to protect his fragile yet massive ego from the prospect of loss, even at the expense of our democracy.
And that's your reality check.
BERMAN: John Avlon, thank you very much.
We are just a few minutes away from what could, maybe, possibly, potentially be a pivotal moment for the fate of the Biden agenda, maybe.
Plus, Chris Rock goes off on anti-vaxxers. This includes athletes.
And did wokeism cost Democrats at the ballot box? Don Lemon will join us live on that.