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Outcry After Video Shows Police Fatally Shooting Unarmed Black Man; Updated Boosters Could Be Available In Days After Green Light; 12 Million+ Passengers Plan To Fly This Labor Day Weekend. Aired 7:30- 8a ET

Aired September 02, 2022 - 07:30   ET



STEPHANIE HIGHTOWER, PRESIDENT, COLUMBUS, OHIO URBAN LEAGUE: The video is gut-wrenching and when you look at it you think to yourself where is the human dignity? Where is just the compassion for human beings?

And in this instance, our community -- we're scared, we're tired, but we can't stay here. We have to figure out how we can have more transparency and accountability in this community with law enforcement.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: And what does that require? I mean, when you're looking at this video what do you see going wrong that stands out to you that is obvious?

HIGHTOWER: Well, you know, I am not a member of law enforcement but there are other mechanisms that we all believe could have possibly happened. Earlier this week or last week, there was a gentleman who was barricaded in a home and law enforcement smoked him out. Why could we have not used that method as opposed to the dogs and shooting?

And so, we're looking at police reforms. We know that there needs to be policy changes. Luckily, in our community now there is a civilian review board, there is an inspector general in place, and we have to let that process work. And hopefully, through that civilian review board -- review and the I.G. -- there will be reform with the police department through our new police chief, Elaine Bryant.

KEILAR: Yes. She said this of her officers at the press conference. I just want to play this.


CHIEF ELAINE BRYANT, COLUMBUS, OHIO POLICE: Every day, officers are put in compromising, potentially life-threatening situations in which we are required to make split-second decisions. As the chief, it is my job to hold my -- hold my officers accountable, but it's also my job to offer them support and make sure that I give that to them through the process. If they do the right things for the right reasons we will support them. If they do something wrong they will be held accountable. (END VIDEO CLIP)

KEILAR: What do you think of what she said there, and how do you feel about her leadership?

HIGHTOWER: Well, we all have asked for transparency. We appreciate the fact that the chief and the mayor put the video out. So having that video as fast as they did, showing the transparency really shows that we are moving in a good direction here in the city of Columbus.

Our police chief is new. She has to be -- we all know that she has to be in support of her officers. But at the same time, as she said, she is going to hold them accountable. And we are going to rely on the chief to hold officers accountable when they are not doing what they're supposed to be doing.

KEILAR: Stephanie Hightower, we do know that you are hosting a community forum town hall this weekend, so we'll be looking toward that to see what comes of that.

We appreciate you being with us this morning. Thank you.

HIGHTOWER: Thank you.

KEILAR: Ahead, we'll be joined by U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy as updated booster shots get the green light.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: So, planning on getting away this holiday weekend? Good luck with that. So are 12 million other travelers. We're going to have the latest on the Labor Day rush.



BERMAN: Coming soon to a pharmacy or clinic near you, a new and improved COVID vaccine that the CDC says will offer better protection against the Omicron subvariants BA-4 and BA-5.

With us now, U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy. Thank you so much for being with us this morning.

How much more protection do these new boosters give?

DR. VIVEK MURTHY, U.S. SURGEON GENERAL: Well, John, it's good to be with you as well.

And this is an important moment -- a landmark moment in our fight against COVID. These updated boosters are actually targeted against the most -- the dominant circulating variant called the BA-5 variant right now.

And what the FDA and CDC did is they looked at the totality of evidence that we have out there, including studies of other combinations of vaccine boosters. They looked at the data on the current BA-5 vaccine itself that was just authorized. And they feel that this vaccine will offer strong protection to people.

Finally, John, just keep this in mind. What we're doing with this vaccine is we're updating it to evolve as the virus evolves. That's what we should be doing. It's a similar approach to what we take every year with the flu to make sure that people are getting a vaccine that most closely matches what we think that they may encounter in the months ahead.

BERMAN: I get that. I just -- there are scientists, including Dr. Paul Offit -- people are super supportive of vaccines and who have been working tirelessly to get people vaccinated and boosted -- who does raise questions about where is the evidence that this reformulated vaccine is actually any better than other boosters.

MURTHY: Well, John, what we have to look at, again, is the totality of the evidence. When you look at the evidence -- specifically, about this BA-5 vaccine that was just -- the updated one that was just authorized, there is non-clinical data here that the FDA has looked at closely that indicates that when you give this vaccine in animal models you see a strong and broader response than what you saw with the original version of the vaccine.

And there's also human data from other combination vaccines using other versions of Omicron that the FDA has looked at that also give them confidence both about the safety and about the effectiveness of this vaccine.

So, look, more data -- we're going to be collecting in the months ahead. But what was very clear -- and you saw this if you -- in the CDC's advisory committee deliberations -- is that there is a cost also to waiting longer --


MURTHY: -- and every day we are losing 400 people to this virus. We know that in the last two winters we have seen surges. We want to be prepared for that.

And so, the FDA, again, has a lot of experience with strain changes. They looked at the totality of the evidence and they said this is a path forward that makes sense to give people the best possible protection at a time when we're still in the midst of this pandemic.


BERMAN: The CDC recommended at least two months from your last booster and I think previous infection, or they didn't give -- they gave similar guidance on previous infection. But there seems to be a sense that if -- that it may be more protection if you wait four or five months from after your last booster. What can you tell us about that distinction?

MURTHY: Yes. So, this is how I would think about it. If you are 12 and up and you are at least two months out from your last shot, you are eligible to get vaccinated -- to get this updated booster. If you had a recent COVID infection, then it's a good idea to wait around three months before you get your next booster to make sure you get optimal protection.

Now, yes, there are some people who think maybe you should wait a little bit longer, a little bit shorter. But looking at all of the evidence together, the CDC made this recommendation.

So, again, if you're 12 and up and two months out from your last shot, you are eligible. If you had a recent infection, wait about three months and then go ahead and get your booster.

BERMAN: Any sense of what the winter will look like in terms of COVID?

MURTHY: Well, John, it's always challenging to predict exactly what COVID will do. We've learned to be humble about that over the last two years.

But we want to be prepared, is the most important thing, John. And when we look at the last two years we have seen surges in the wintertime.

The good news, John, is that we are in a different place now than we were a year ago or even two years ago. We have seen, clearly, that our vaccines are remarkably effective at keeping us out of the hospital and saving our lives if we are up to date. This booster will give us the best chance to be up to date.

But we've also, John, seen that medications that we have -- especially, Paxlovid -- are very effective in helping to reduce the likelihood people end up in the hospital or lose their life. If you combine that with these two options -- being updated on your vaccines, using Paxlovid if you do get COVID -- it gives you a really good chance of surviving this.

And finally, let's not forget that ventilation, using masks when there's a lot of COVID circulating in your community -- these are also tried and tested tools that can help reduce the chances of people getting COVID and losing their lives to this terrible virus.

BERMAN: Very quickly, on a totally different subject, there's a pair of studies in the British Medical Journal that finds a link -- a clear link between eating ultra-processed foods and an increased risk of chronic disease and cancer.

What kind of guidance should we take from that?

MURTHY: Well, what's important, John, and I think for people to remember is that nutrition and diet -- this is one of the most important drivers and determinants of our health. And we know when we're eating fresh fruits and vegetables, in particular, that's an important component of diet. When we're reducing the amount of sodium we have in our diet, that helps.

And the thing about processed food is processed food tends to have a lot of sodium in it, which we know is directly linked to the risk of hypertension and to heart disease. So the bottom line is, yes, making sure that we're eating food that's fresh -- you know, healthy fruits and vegetables, in particular. That we're making sure that the food we eat, if we're going to eat out a lot, is lower in sodium. This is incredibly important.

But this is an equity issue as well, John, because there are many people in our country who don't have access to healthy food for whom eating well is not an option.

And that's one of the reasons that the White House is actually having a conference that's coming up soon on nutrition -- on addressing nutritional insecurity. And this is part of a broader mission to ensure every American has access to healthy food that can sustain and nourish their health.

BERMAN: Dr. Vivek Murthy, Surgeon General, thank you so much for being with us this morning.

MURTHY: Thanks so much, John.

BERMAN: So, a loaded gun pointed just inches away from the vice president of Argentina's face. How she walked away from this assassination attempt without a scratch.

KEILAR: And how did a Michigan voting machine find its way onto Goodwill's website?


DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So how much did you pay for the voting machine?


HARRI HURTSI, BOUGHT VOTING MACHINE ON EBAY, ELECTION MACHINE SECURITY EXPERT: Only when we started asking does it belong somewhere -- only after that did they realize it has been stolen.




KEILAR: This morning, police in Michigan are investigating how it's possible that a voting machine using the 2020 presidential election went missing and was then sold on eBay.

CNN's Donie O'Sullivan is live for us in Cadillac, Michigan with more. Wow, Donie. This is bizarre.

O'SULLIVAN: Yes, Brianna. It's not every day we come to the Goodwill to talk about election security, but that is just where this very unusual story begins. Have a look.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) O'SULLIVAN (on camera): Harri, what's in the box?

HURTSI: That is a device, which can be configured either to be a voting machine, as a DRE, or a ballot marking device.

O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): This box should not be here on Harri Hurtsi's kitchen table in Connecticut.

HURTSI: Yeah, I have been asked not to open it so that if it's a part of a criminal investigation, it's preserved as evidence.

O'SULLIVAN: Hurtsi is an elections expert. He bought this voting machine for $1,200 on eBay.

HUTCHISON: As far as I was aware, it was a completely legal sale on my end.

O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): The eBay seller is Ean Hutchison, an Uber driver in Ohio.

O'Sullivan (on camera): In your eBay ad, you wrote, "Dominion IMAGECAST X voting machine from Michigan. Own a piece of history. This voting machine was one of thousands used in the 2020 U.S. presidential election."

O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): But how did an Uber driver in Ohio get his hands on a Michigan voting machine? He bought it from Goodwill online.


HUTCHISON: I saw a listing for what looked like just an industrial touchscreen computer. And I got to looking through the pictures and in one of the pictures I saw on the bottom corner of the screen it said Dominion Voting. So I just, on a whim, bid on it, and I was the only bidder and I won the auction.

O'SULLIVAN (on camera): So how much did you pay for the voting machine?

HUTCHISON: I paid $7.99.

HURTSI: I'm really surprised about this. I mean, $8.00. He made a good profit.

O'SULLIVAN (on camera): It turns out someone dropped the voting machine off at this Goodwill in northern Michigan. Who that person is remains a mystery. But the Goodwill put the voting machine for sale up on its website.

HUTCHISON: I wasn't even aware that they were supposed to be sold, let alone donated to Goodwill.

HURTSI: It is shocking that only when we started asking does it belong somewhere -- only after that did they realize it has been stolen.

O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): They, being the Michigan Secretary of State's office.

O'SULLIVAN (on camera): One of Michigan's voting machines showed up on eBay.

JOCELYN BENSON, (D) MICHIGAN SECRETARY OF STATE: Yes. We immediately referred it to law enforcement.

O'SULLIVAN (on camera): Clearly, it's raised some issues about the chain of custody and how these machines are secured.

BENSON: We basically have 1,600 jurisdictions. Typically, in between elections, clerks have the responsibility of securing all election equipment and protecting it from attempts -- illegal attempts to access it by unauthorized individuals.

O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): Michigan is one of several swing states where authorities are already investigating unauthorized access to voting systems by people who are trying to prove the false claim the 2020 election was stolen.

BENSON: There is a nationally coordinated effort to try to interfere with our elections that's manifesting itself at the local level in incidents like these in Michigan. What you really have is individuals who don't seem to understand the technicalities of the elections process or election security, trying to gain access to machines to keep the misinformation alive.

O'SULLIVAN (on camera): What do you say to the voter who is skeptical who is watching this and saying they lost a voting machine in Michigan?

BENSON: Well, a couple of things. One, Michigan's elections are secure. Before every election, we test every machine for accuracy. We've never seen, even with this unauthorized access to machines, any actual evidence of any challenges or wrongdoing, or lack of security in the process.


O'SULLIVAN: Now, Brianna, it's not clear if the Goodwill actually knew that this was even a voting machine when they posted it to their website. It kind of just looks like a big screen -- a big monitor. And the Goodwill here in northern Michigan saying they post thousands of items every week. Obviously, a lot of big security issues here that will have to be answered by authorities as part of that investigation.

But, Brianna, it just goes to show you never know what you'll come across. What deals and bargains you might come across on eBay or at the Goodwill.

KEILAR: Deals, bargains, and discoveries. I dare say one of the more unusual stories that you've covered, Donie, and we thank you for it.

Airlines and airports across the country are in for a busy Labor Day travel weekend. Could we see another round of mass cancellations and delays? BERMAN: And Republican reaction to President Biden's fiery address targeting the party's MAGA wing. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson joins us ahead.



BERMAN: This morning, the Labor Day travel rush is underway as more than 12 million passengers are expected to fly this holiday weekend. It comes at the end of a grueling summer where thousands of U.S. flights were canceled and nearly a quarter of them were delayed.

CNN's Pete Muntean bravely at Reagan National Airport this morning where I'm sure there will be limited joy in some instances. What are you seeing so far?

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Well, limited joy might be right. You know, the big question, John, is whether or not airlines can keep it together this weekend. We have already had one day this week of big cancellations.

You know, airlines are under immense pressure not only from passengers but also from the federal government. There are new protections for passengers in place just in time for this long weekend rush. And now, we're going to see whether or not airlines can face the music and maybe make a bit of an about-face after this bad summer of cancellations.


MUNTEAN (voice-over): With flight cancellations by the thousands, passengers demanding refunds, and pilots picketing at airports across the country, the Labor Day travel rush is shaping up to be a dramatic end to a summer of travel struggles.

On Tuesday alone, more than 800 flights were canceled nationwide, mostly for bad weather. The new summerlong tally, more than 45,000 flights canceled by U.S. carriers since the start of June.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's staggeringly frustrating because you can be there about ready to board and it's like God, not again. Really? Can't just something -- can't something be on time?

MUNTEAN (voice-over): New tools for passengers are coming just in time for the holiday rush. The Department of Transportation is rolling a new online dashboard laying out what each airline owes you if you're delayed or canceled. The federal government has been flooded with complaints from fed-up flyers, up 270 percent in June compared to pre- pandemic figures.

Thirty-eight state attorneys general just wrote Congress to say an industry that received billions in federal pandemic aid has failed their customers.

PETE BUTTIGIEG, TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY: This summer, too many flights have been delayed or canceled.

MUNTEAN (voice-over): Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg is getting some results from airlines. Many have now rewritten your ticket's fine print in plain language -- in some cases, improving when you can get hotel and meal vouchers.

On United Airlines, you were entitled to a meal voucher after a 4-hour delay. But now, it's after three hours.

POLLY TROTTENBERG, DEPUTY TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY: A lot of the airlines have really upped their game and I think committed to some consumer protections in writing that they hadn't previously.

MUNTEAN (voice-over): Pressure on the airlines is also coming from their workers. Off-duty pilots from Delta, United, Spirit, and America Airlines protested across the country Thursday insisting cancellations are the carriers' own creation and passengers are caught in the middle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We understand their frustration.