Return to Transcripts main page

New Day

Concerns about Merk's Anti-Covid Pill; Covid Developments around the World; Poppy Harlow is Interviewed about her New Book; Buccaneers Dominate Giants. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired November 23, 2021 - 06:30   ET



JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR AND CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Think the situation that Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for the Kremlin, saying this morning, we are seriously concerned by Ukraine's actions on the line of contact in eastern Ukraine and the possibility of a Ukrainian decision to use force there.

Of course, Russia blaming the Ukrainians for this, even after Russia has already invaded Ukrainian territory, right? Remember in 2014, they took Crimea and they still occupy large parts of eastern Ukraine.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: I mean, so let's be clear, these are military advisors. They operate under certain constraints. But these are service members.


KEILAR: This is U.S. military personnel. Is that a deterrent to Russia?

SCIUTTO: The hope is that it is a deterrent. And there is still some debate in the administration as to whether that would be a deterrent or an escalation. And that's why part of the question here is, is, do you send them into Ukraine proper or to the region, right? The choice has been made in recent years for U.S. and its NATO partners to increase the military presence in and around eastern Europe, but not in Ukraine, because, Ukraine, by the way, is not a NATO partner, right? There's no treaty obligation there.

But, still, even to be close, right, is a notable and substantial message.

KEILAR: Yes, it could be both.


KEILAR: That will depend on Russia, I think.

SCIUTTO: Jim Sciutto, thank you for the report.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: So, Director Ridley Scott is pointing the finger for his recent box office failure. Scott basically blames you. It's your fault, millennials, he said, so glued to their phones and so reluctant to venture to the theater and experience the likes of Matt Damon and Bn Affleck in "The Last Duel."

Listen to this.


RIDLEY SCOTT, DIRECTOR: I think what it boils down to, what we've got today is the audiences who were brought up on these (EXPLETIVE DELETED) cell phones, the millennials do not want ever be taught anything, except unless it's you're told on the cell phone.


SCOTT: The some -- this is a broad stroke, but I think we're -- we're dealing with it right now with Facebook, right?


SCOTT: There's a misdirection. And this has happened where it's given the wrong kind of confidence to this latest generation, I think.


BERMAN: All right, he used a whole lot of words there, just threw them into one bucket to explain things. And I'm not sure it all means what he thinks it means. But just to review here, "The Last Duel" cost $100 million to make. It brought in $27 million. Millennials are 25 to 40- year-olds. You know --

KEILAR: Technically 41.

BERMAN: Right. Well, like someone I know. But, I mean, what does he -- it's not like the 14-year-olds playing with their cell phones all the time. If the 40-year-old doesn't want to see a movie, it may be because they don't want to see the movie.

KEILAR: I think that is something that is important to consider. It's like, "get off my lawn." I mean, "get off your cell phone." You know, I do think that if a movie is very good, people are going to watch it. What's very clear is that if content is really good, I think people flock to it, Berman.

BERMAN: I agree. And he -- then he throws in Facebook there. He's just grabbing at words that he thinks matter.

KEILAR: Yes, you know what, I'm going to watch "The Last Duel." I'll report back to you if, you know, if he's right or not, if it's worth seeing or not.

BERMAN: It's just like "Goodwill Hunting" but with swords, I'm told.

KEILAR: I would like that, personally.

BERMAN: How do you like them apples?

KEILAR: How do you like them apples?

BERMAN: This morning, new safety concerns around Merk's new anti-viral Covid pill, just as the FDA gets ready to meet for approval.

And this just in somewhere. A new criminal flash mob looting and ransacking a Nordstrom store. This disturbing trend as holiday shopping begins.



KEILAR: New this morning, a decision is expected soon from the FDA on Merck's new anti-viral pill. It gas shown promise fighting Covid-19, but there are also some safety concerns.

Senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen is joining us now with new CNN reporting.

What are these safety concerns, Elizabeth?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: So, Brianna, when the FDA advisers meet one week from today to look at Merck's anti- viral pill, they'll be looking at efficacy and at safety. But I think there's going to be more discussion about safety. And that's really because the efficacy is, as one doctor put it to me, quite dramatic. So let's look at efficacy and then we'll talk about the safety in sec.

So, when you look at the efficacy, Merck did a trial with 762 participants, early stage Covid, first five days of symptom onset. The folks with got the placebo, the pill that did nothing, those folks, 45 were hospitalized and nine died over the course of about the next month. Folks who got the drug, the ones who were lucky enough to get the drug, only 28 of them were hospitalized and none of them died. And those are very, very dramatic results.

But here's the issue, this pill uses a somewhat uncommon mechanism. It actually goes into the virus' RNA and stops it from replicating. That's good. You see those results that Merck is reporting.

However, there are concerns about off target effects. Off target meaning maybe it might affect something in the human body's genetic system and not just the virus' genetic system. Experts tell me we don't have any reason to fear this. However, it is hypothetically true. And some experts told me they predict that the FDA will say not to use this, for example, for pregnant women or to use it very cautiously with pregnant women for fears of the effect that it might, and I use the word might very strongly, might possibly have on a developing fetus.


KEILAR: Yes, still concerning because there are questions that need to be answered here.

COHEN: Right.

KEILAR: Elizabeth, I also wanted to ask you about studies showing booster doses produced much more immune response than just the two vaccine doses alone. I think this is good news for people who are considering their booster or who have already gotten this.


COHEN: That's right. So, right now, all Americans 18 and up are eligible for a booster if you're at least six months away from your second shot. In other words, it happened at least six months ago.

And there's been a lot of debate, which is better, natural infection or a vaccine? So this was a very small study, just 33 people, at Northwestern University, but the results were really quite interesting. And there are other studies that are showing similar kinds of results.

So, what they found is that a booster response, when you looked at antibodies, the -- the -- when you gave a booster, the antibodies went up 25 times higher than when people had just two shots. And it was 50 times higher than when people had natural infection.

I think it's becoming more and more clear, as many infectious disease experts have said to me, this appears to be a three-dose vaccine. Those exist. Any parents know that because you've taken your child in for three dose vaccines and it is appearing more and more, this may not really be a booster, it may just be the third part of what will turn out to be a three-dose vaccine. It doesn't mean we'll necessarily have to get it every six months or every year. This may just be a three-dose vaccine. We're not sure, but that's a possibility.


KEILAR: Yes, that's really interesting.

I'm getting my third dose then, as you put it, tomorrow. I cannot wait.

COHEN: There you go.

KEILAR: Elizabeth Cohen, thank you.

BERMAN: So, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the latest surge in Covid infections is, quote, worse than anything Germany has been through. And she's calling for even tougher restrictions to check the spread of the virus.

CNN reporters are covering developments all around the world.



In neighboring Germany, the pandemic could force the worst-affected parts of the country to start triaging patients in the coming days. The president of Saxony's (ph) medical chamber warning that there might not be enough beds to treat everyone. Just over two-thirds of Germans are fully vaccinated, which is one of the lowest vaccination rates in western Europe. And after reporting record high infection numbers in recent days, Germany is tightening restrictions, limiting public access for the unvaccinated.

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER: I'm Salma Abdelaziz in Vienna, outside Austria's largest vaccination center where there is a huge rush of people waiting to get immunized. The operating manager here telling us up to 20 percent of those here are getting their first shot. Finally coming forward despite being eligible for months.

Across the country, as hospitals, a very different picture, of course. An influx of Covid patients. And Austria recording the highest seven- day incident rate since the pandemic began.


KEILAR: So, if you hate getting emails from your boss after work -- which is not me, Eric, I just want you to know, that I not me -- you can consider, though, moving to Portugal. The country just made it illegal for your boss to text or email you after regular working hours. Companies with more than ten employees could face fines if they disregard this rule, which is part of a new law regulating working from home.

BERMAN: Look --

KEILAR: Can you opt-in? I mean --

BERMAN: All -- you know, I -- I love Portugal. That's where we -- we had our honeymoon. So I think anything that happens in that country is just fantastic. So I applaud -- I applaud the nation for doing that, right? Figo (ph), one of the great soccer players of all time. My middle name is Portuguese. And now they block texts from bosses.

KEILAR: Does -- do you get in trouble if you email your boss? That's my question.

BERMAN: No. No, it's a one-way street. It's a one-way street.

KEILAR: What if there's an emergency? Are there exceptions?

BERMAN: Workers of the world unite! Where are your priorities?

KEILAR: I mean, I get it, they shouldn't bug you on your Portuguese honeymoon, but this is --

BERMAN: Yes. Yes.

KEILAR: I don't know, I find it -- I find it interesting that someone's going to get fined. I just have to say that.

BERMAN: They also have this wine called Port (ph) there, which is fantastic. I highly recommend it in great volumes.

KEILAR: I might have been (INAUDIBLE) once or twice.

BERMAN: So, as we head into Thanksgiving week, it's important to reflect on things we're thankful for. Good books and good friends are two great reasons. And, lucky for us, we have someone who checks both these boxes. Our

friend Poppy Harlow, author of the new book "The Biggest Little Boy," and it is lovely.

It is adorable, this book, Poppy. And the lead character is a boy named Luca.


BERMAN: Your son.

HARLOW: That's right.

BERMAN: Who loves big things, sort of. Or realizes what he really loves.

HARLOW: That there is a value in little things. By the way, that intro was a John Berman special. So, thank you very much.


HARLOW: Bri, it's good to be with you too.

KEILAR: Good to see you.

HARLOW: It's fun to be back here. I miss you guys in the mornings so, so much.

Yes, my kids loved this book so much that they don't want me to read it to them. An Sienna is livid that there is a book about her brother and not about her. So note to parents, write a book about both of your children at the same time. I'm learning the hard way.

This was three years in the making. I wrote this when Luca was a little baby, and I was carrying him through a Christmas tree market in Brooklyn and he grabbed a tree and almost pulled it over, because that's Luca, and I thought, this would be a full story and something light. And I needed a light moment. And I wrote it. And three years later, after beautiful illustrations from Ramona Kaulitzki.


It has come to life just in time for the holidays.

KEILAR: Yes, I mean, the illustration -- the story is so fun.

HARLOW: Thank you.

KEILAR: The illustrations are wonderful, Poppy.

HARLOW: She's amazing, right?

KEILAR: She's amazing. Oh, yes, it just -- it really sort of brought me and Antonio, my son, into the Christmas spirit.

HARLOW: Good. Good. KEILAR: I think, you know, he's just starting to get to know Christmas, and he loved seeing the Christmas trees.

But I think also, you know, in the end, I don't want to spoil this too much, but Luca chooses a special tree, right?

HARLOW: Luca chooses a very little tree that's about the size of Luca. And it was -- I mean, honestly, I wrote it in part because I wanted to, you know, try to raise semi-normal kids in this big city who don't just value lots of big, material things. And so he told me last night, and I quote, Bri, little trees are boring, mom. I want one that touches the clouds. So, I don't think this worked for my kids, but I hope it works for your kids.

BERMAN: I bet you one day the book about him, he will appreciate the moral of the book you wrote about him, even if he doesn't now.

HARLOW: We'll see.

BERMAN: And I noticed -- the thing that I -- look, I love the theme of the book. I really did. It was really touching.

HARLOW: Thank you.

BERMAN: He gets the little tree.


BERMAN: And then he hangs a baseball hat on it. We see two pictures with the hat hanging on it. And where is the hat from?

HARLOW: Where do you think, Berman?

BERMAN: Not New York.


BERMAN: It was a Minnesota Twins hat.

HARLOW: Of course, Minnesota Twins. Of course.

BERMAN: Love that. It just made me smile.

HARLOW: And Triangle Park, where I grew up playing. Although the book is about Brooklyn, where we live, but I had to put a nod to Minnesota in there.

BERMAN: I thought it was so nice.

HARLOW: Thank you.

BERMAN: I thought it was so nice.

HARLOW: Thank you.

BERMAN: And it's such a nice lesson about appreciating what really matters.

HARLOW: It is. And it was -- it was a lot of fun. And I just, you know, while we're here, I also wanted to point out something else that has meant a lot to all of us at CNN, our CNN family. And, Brianna, you did this amazing interview with our very good friend and colleague Renee Marsh just a few weeks ago that I have watched over and over again. And this is her book about her son, Blake, who we all know passed away at 25 months from pediatric brain cancer. And, everyone, please, I'd love you to get this book, but please buy Renee's book because all the proceeds go to research and fund pediatric brain cancer research. And Renee has a very special place in all of our hearts. So, another one I want everyone to get this holiday.

KEILAR: Yes. These books are beautiful. I just have to say, you know, both of them have been a joy in our house. And as we learned from Renee, there just isn't money for the research.

HARLOW: That's right.

KEILAR: I think, you know, someone like Renee has this terrible loss, and that's when you learn that there just isn't enough research money for pediatric brain cancer.

HARLOW: That's exactly right.

KEILAR: You know, I do also -- I don't know how you find the time, Poppy, because you are one busy lady. I see you anchoring on weekends.

HARLOW: OK, a little.

KEILAR: And -- but you -- tell us a little bit about your sort of -- your two-track life going on right now.

HARLOW: Journey?


HARLOW: Well, so says the woman who's raising two kids, both of you guys, and anchoring three hours very early in the morning. So kudos to you.

Yes, I mean, taking a little bit of a break from our morning show that's usually right after you guys to go to school to get my masters in law. I'm almost done with the first semester. I hope I pass exams. I'll let you know on December 17th when they're over.

It has been -- I mean, Bri, we've talked about this sort of journey and the choice a lot -- but humbling. Very, very humbling. And it's made me really happy. And I learn so much from these 25-year-olds around me in class. So much. I listen to them, and I am filled with so much knowledge from them and perspective that has been enriching.

And, frankly, like, hats off to our employer for letting me do this, right?

KEILAR: Yes. HARLOW: I think it's sort of a lesson for a lot of employers out there. If you can make the impossible possible for your employee, try, because they will be forever in debt to you and forever loyal to you. And the fact that the team here made it possible for me to go do this, and, yes, I will be on your screen pretty much every holiday anchoring when I don't have class. But the fact that they made it possible means the world to me. So, I love it.

BERMAN: Do you get a report card? Do you -- does it go to your mom?

HARLOW: Wait. Wait, wait. Wait, first semester is pass/fail.

BERMAN: Uh-huh.

HARLOW: Just trying to get the "p." Next semester I think there are grades. I'm trying to pass this semester.

BERMAN: Are there comments that say, like, Poppy participates well in class. Her friends look up to her.

HARLOW: Probably. Probably something of that sort. But it has taught me, actually, to learn to be really OK with just being OK. Like, I am not going to be anywhere near the top of my class. I'm just trying to pass. Get the reading done. And that's that.

KEILAR: But, look, it's going to make you better at your job.

HARLOW: I hope so.

KEILAR: That's also true.

HARLOW: You know --

KEILAR: But I have an idea.


KEILAR: Your next book about Sienna can be about -- maybe it's about a little girl who took a risk and it paid off. Just -- just an idea. Just an idea out there.

HARLOW: Oh, I love that. I think it's a brilliant one. Thanks, Bri.

KEILAR: Poppy, it's awesome to see you. Thank you so much.

HARLOW: Good to see you.

Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes defending herself and making her case to the jury. We have the latest in her fraud trial.

BERMAN: And is this the day the music died?


"Bye, Bye, Miss American Pie," literally. The song that just knocked a classic from the record books. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BERMAN: The Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers snapped their two-game losing streak with a dominating performance. Thank God for the New York Giants.

Carolyn Manno has this morning's "Bleacher Report."


CAROLYN MANNO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, good morning. What an intro.

You know, the last time that Tom Brady lost three in a row it was back in 2002. I know you know this, John. Brett Favre beat the Patriots in New England. They'd lost to the Chargers. They'd lost to the Dolphins. Sorry for bringing it up. They ended up dropping four straight.

But Tom Brady not going to let that happen again, not against the Giants. He was a man on a mission, under the Monday night lights, controlling the game from start to finish.


Used his arm. We're used to that. Also used his legs a little bit. Check out these wheels on the 44-year-old. A little scramble here. Almost hurdling a defender on third down to extend the drive. We've seen this realization from Brady a time or two. He hates to lose.

Later, he hit Mike Evans for a five-yard touchdown pass here. Now, Evans set a franchise record with his 72nd touchdown catch. Make sure to keep the ball this time, after accidentally giving away the one that marked his quarterback's 600th touchdown pass to a fan earlier in the season. But Brady's night ended with more than six minutes left in regulation. Over 300 yards, two touchdowns for him. The Bucs route New York by 20.

And just one day after leading the Chicago Red Stars to the National Women's Soccer League title game for the third straight time, head coach Rory Dames has resigned. This comes after "The Washington Post" reported players on the Red Stars had accused Dames of verbal and emotional abuse. "The Post" report alleges that Dames humiliated players, sometimes using personal information, such as their education or relationship status when being critical.

CNN has reached out to Dames for comment.

Meanwhile, the NWSL Player's Association issued a statement yesterday which read, this type of coaching has no place in the NWSL, youth soccer or anywhere else. We have said it before and we'll say it again now, the system has failed us. Nothing short of a complete transformation of our league will suffice.

John and Brianna, you know that this is just the latest issue for this league facing a reckoning of the treatment of its players. Another example here. BERMAN: You know, you have to treat players right the right way no

matter what level they're at.

And just one final note about Tom Brady and that ten-yard run. What people may not know from watching the replay, it actually took 17 minutes for him to get the full ten yards.

MANNO: Thank you, John. Thank you. Thank you for that insight.

BERMAN: But it took a long time, but he got there eventually.

MANNO: He always does. Come on.

BERMAN: Carolyn, thank you very much.

MANNO: Sure.

BERMAN: So, stunning, new video of insurrectionists attacking police as they defended the Capitol on January 6th.

KEILAR: Plus, "Bye, Bye, Miss American Pie." Who finally de-throned Don McLean's iconic hit.