Return to Transcripts main page
New Day Saturday
U.S. Coronavirus Death Toll Tops 436,000 With 25.9 Million Cases; CDC Public Transportation Mask Mandate Goes Into Effect Monday; President Biden Leaves Door Open To Passing COVID Relief Bill Without Republican Support; Trump Adds Lawyers To Defense Team As GOP Braces For Looming Trial; Miami Heat NBA Team Using Dogs To Screen Fans For COVID-19; Reddit Investors Shake Up Wall Street, Costs Shortsellers Billions. Aired 8-9a ET
Aired January 30, 2021 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: House GOP Leader REP. Kevin McCarthy planning to meet next week with Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has a real opportunity right now to actually live up to the title to point the party in a path where anti-Semitism, racism, horrific comments have no place in the halls of Congress.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some Democratic members, increasing numbers are saying they're actually frightened.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: This New Day Weekend with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Opening shot of the Statue of Liberty - Lady Liberty, a beautiful brand new hour. Thank you so much for being with us. This morning, the number of Americans infected with the coronavirus is closing in on 26 million. Dr. Anthony Fauci says that new variants seen in several states should be a wakeup call
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: We're talking about more than 400 cases of the U.K. variant now have been found here in the U.S. and at least two people have tested positive for more contagious South African strain.
BLACKWELL: All right. Here's some good news. There could be new vaccine soon. Johnson & Johnson will apply for Emergency Use Authorization next week. And the U.K. trial, Novavax says their vaccine is 89 percent effective.
PAUL: Nearly 28 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been put into people's arms now. One White House adviser says seven states have vaccinated at least 10 percent of their population. CNN's Polo Sandoval has been working all of this out for us.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE) POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As World Health
Organization marks one year since it declared COVID-19 an international public health emergency, the U.S. is inching closer to having three safe and effective vaccines. Though, Johnson and Johnson's candidate has a notably lower efficacy rate than Moderna's and Pfizer's, health experts agree a third option would be a game changer.
DR. AMESH ADALJA, SENIOR SCHOLAR, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY CENTER FOR HEALTH SECURITY: I think we got spoiled a little bit with Moderna and Pfizer, because of their high efficacy rates. But remember, a couple of months ago, the FDA would have approved something at 50 percent. So we're really doing really, really well with all of these vaccines and I do think they are going to be the solution.
SANDOVAL (voice-over): The U.S. also getting closer to reaching 30 million COVID-19 vaccinations administered since the rollout began last month.
DR. PAUL OFFIT, DIRECTOR OF VACCINE EDUCATION CENTER, CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL OF PHILADELPHIA: The CDC two days ago said the 3.5 million Americans have received two doses of the vaccine, that's 1 percent of the population. We need to get about two to 70 percent really to start having a major impact on this virus. And this - having vaccines like this makes it much easier for us to do that.
SANDOVAL (voice-over): The State of West Virginia already finished administering all second round doses to people in long-term care facilities, next priority for the Mountain State, all West Virginians over the age of 16. That's a rare success as much of the country still struggles to get first doses to residents in the first eligible groups.
Nearly 23,000 National Guard troops are in 38 states helping accelerate efforts at a rate of at least 51,000 more shots a day. And the Pentagon is close to finalizing an agreement with FEMA to provide around 450,000 shots daily.
New York State expecting a 16 percent boost to its weekly allotment of about 250,000 doses. And amid a criticism over a slow rollout, the State of California is revamping its efforts partly by simplifying vaccine eligibility, an action that came too late for the Jacobo family in L.A.
These five little girls now living with their aunt and uncle after their single mother, 33-year-old Jasmine Jacobo died due to COVID.
CRYSTAL JACOBO, AUNT: Even though mom's not here, they have a lot of family that love them. That will always be here for them. If we can make an impact on their life, I think that our mission will be accomplished.
SANDOVAL (voice-over): Amid concern that you COVID-19 variants could add up to 85,000 more deaths in the U.S. by May. The CDC asking if two masks are truly better than one, the agency conducting experiments to determine if double masking can in fact block up to 90 percent more respiratory droplets.
The CDC's key guidance is still the same though, at least wear a mask.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANDOVAL (on camera): And if you haven't been using masks on public transportation, you will soon be required to, that's after the CDC issued a brand new order late yesterday that will require mask wearing on all public transportation, you're talking planes, trains, taxis, even rideshare vehicles as well.
Remember, many airlines and companies have already been requiring those, but this is now a federal mandate that was just issued. By the way that bandana is not going to cut it. According to this order, those masks must have two layers, they must be held with ties.
And then also they are possibly - at least the CDC is saying that they do reserve the right to actually enforce this through criminal penalties, Victor and Christi. But they say they do expect widespread compliance. We'll certainly have to see if that's the case, though.
BLACKWELL: All right. Polo Sandoval thanks so much. President Biden says that a COVID relief package will need to be passed soon, even if it means doing it without Republican support.
PAUL: In meeting with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in the Oval Office, the president warned of the "cost of inaction." CNN's Jasmine Wright with us live now. Jasmine, good morning to you.
So we know the administration says they want this to be a bipartisan bill. What is clear is it most likely will not be. How is the White House - what are they signaling, I guess, I should say about their strategy moving forward on that?
JASMINE WRIGHT, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Christi, the public message from the White House is still let's back - let's pass this with bipartisan support. But the need to do it urgently could complicate that goal.
Now, yesterday, Biden was asked about the possibility of Democrats going in alone, doing it without any Republican support through a budget process. Take a listen to his response here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Do you support passing COVID relief through budget reconciliation?
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I support passing COVID relief with support from Republicans if we can get it. But the COVID relief has to pass. There is no ifs, ands or buts.
(END VIDEO CLIP) WRIGHT: Now, that answer from Biden that there are no ifs, ands or buts was not him shutting down that potential to go with Democrats for - excuse me, for Democrats to go with it alone without Republicans. Now, we know that Biden is still going through the motions. He is still reaching out to Republicans, trying to get them to come along with the bill.
And we also know - CNN has learned that they will ramp up all of their activities to push this bill. Biden will do more interviews, as well as he'll do more calls all next week.
But, again, there is still that open question, Christi, of whether or not this is going to be enough. And if it's not enough, and Democrats do decide to go alone without that Republican support, it's going to be an early test for them, both in terms of unity, because they cannot lose a vote, but also in terms of whether or not them being the majority party, they're able to legislate for the first time in nearly a decade. Christi, Victor?
BLACKWELL: Jasmine, tell me about the Vice President's role in all this, because she's pressing as well, right?
WRIGHT: That's right, Vice President Harris has been active. She's been doing a public and a private campaign to push this bill as well. Now, publicly, she has been sitting for interviews in states like West Virginia states like Arizona. Those days home to moderate Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, Mark Kelly, to curry that favor, to push them publicly to go along with this bill.
And privately we know that she has also been picking up those phone phones, making those phone calls to senators. But one Dem official - one White House official said to me was her doing a full core press. Now, she's going to continue that as well as Biden into next week as they try to get some type of legislation on the floor. Victor, Christi?
BLACKWELL: Jasmine Wright, thank you so much. Let's bring in Margaret Talev, Managing Editor of Axios and CNN Political Analyst. Margaret, good morning to you.
So some Senate Republicans are saying that if Democrats pass this through budget reconciliation, that is the end of bipartisanship for the term. When they passed the 2017 tax cuts the same way. Are we seeing the end of this negotiation and just the transfer over now to getting this done with just Democratic votes?
MARGARET TALEV, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I mean, I certainly think, Victor, that the reason that you're going to see Nancy Pelosi move forward next week with the steps that you have to take to get the reconciliation option in place. Like there's a reason for that. And it's because they may need to use that lever.
But I think the notion that this will be the death knell to bipartisanship, it's sort of - I mean, it's like nothing's actually changed, right? This is what they always knew they were dealing with. Biden's doing the outreach, they're trying to come up with a way to bring Republicans on board.
But he's the president of the United States now, and we're in a massive crisis with millions of people infected, hundreds and thousands of people dead and several months left until most people can get vaccinated. So like, what's he supposed to do? He has to do something.
And there's a massive demand for cash and need for cash to keep the economy going, and to keep actually individual Americans going. And this is a lever he has at his disposal, the same way he would have it has at his disposal if he were a Republican president and if Republicans held the majority.
So I think he's using the tools of governance. But you're going to see him take this really deliberate approach to continue saying this is the last resort and to continue inviting Republicans to vote for reconciliation if that is the method they have to move forward with.
But I mean, like, look at what's going on. They can't agree - the parties can agree, and the Democratic Party itself can agree on precisely how big should this stimulus be, how many pieces should it be chunked into. These are all moving pieces. And if you're the president, and you have to govern, you're going to use the tools at your disposal to try to move the ball forward in the meantime.
BLACKWELL: So let's talk about that. We started with Republicans, the Democrats. Let's talk about the - I can't think of the word.
TALEV: With the Democrats?
BLACKWELL: Yes, the Democrats - the Democrats, let's just start there. So Vice President Harris, she did some local media in Arizona, and in West Virginia, not the home of - homes respectively, of moderate Republicans. But you've got some conservative Democrats there with Joe Manchin in West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema in Arizona. Should we expect that they will have difficulty holding those votes if this comes down to having to do it with just Democratic votes?
TALEV: It seems like there is consensus around this idea, roughly. I mean, $1.9 trillion is his kind of opening bid. There - Republicans and some Democrats say they want a little bit less. Some progressive Democrats said they want a lot more. So Biden has made clear, he's open to some level of negotiation.
There's been this one tactical question, which is do you break this up into different pieces? Do you go out with something smaller first, and then follow up with something bigger? Democrats seem to be floating that in the last couple of weeks. The White House now a really indicating that that's not the tack they're going to pursue. You've heard now White House officials come out in the last couple of days and say, no, this has to be one, strong, big push.
So it seems that they have concluded that strategically breaking it up into a few chunks might be something that would work for immigration policy, let's say, but not for the stimulus. But there is still this internal push on the Democratic side. You're seeing this initiative led by House progressives to say $1,400 stimulus isn't enough, and there should just be a series of recurring stimulus payments. I think that's going to take a lot more difficulty.
BLACKWELL: Control room, do we have sat one we can play? All right, so let's play this. This is current vice president, then Senator last summer, talking about what you just mentioned.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Through the course of this pandemic, and crisis, we need to give people $2,000 a month as recurrent payments people below a certain income level, to help them and sustain them through these months of crisis so that at the end of it, they can get back up on their feet instead of having fallen deep, deep, deep into the crevices of this crisis.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLACKWELL: Senator Sanders, Markey, Gillibrand were co-sponsors of that bill that Senator Harris sponsored. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar just sent a letter to the president with 50 members - progressive members of the House calling for that same thing. If you're using just Democratic votes, and you've got that many progressives who say, listen, we need this, any indication that they will hold this up to get those recurring payments?
TALEV: Watch the Senate, because the Senate is where ultimately these power negotiations are determined. And you're right, like Vice President Harris said things that are going to be brought back now can make arguments.
So look, this is an evolving situation. But when you're the Vice President, as Joe Biden himself once learned when he became the vice president, everything you said before, are all true. It is all true that you said those things before, but you're now the vice president, and so you're working as part of a White House team.
Like, look, if you are an American at home, wanting to know when you are going to get your relief and how much relief is going to be like, as everyone has learned in this process over the course of the last year, you just can't count on - there may be initiatives you hear about that excite you. You may say that's great. When's it coming?
Like with the last Congress, with this Congress, like things are incremental and slow, and there's a lot of division about how to proceed. So the - there has been just - the default has been that the progress is more modest and incremental than people wanted. And I think if you're on the receiving end waiting to know when your relief is coming, you have to proceed cautiously. These are new - a change in the presidency, it's not a magic wand, it doesn't solve--
BLACKWELL: And it will take some time.
TALEV: That's right. BLACKWELL: Herding cats was what I was looking for earlier. I've now found it and it's still applicable. Margaret Talev, thank you so much.
TALEV: Thanks, Victor.
PAUL: I guess, it is Victor. Yes, it is.
BLACKWELL: Yes, it is. And will be for a while.
PAUL: Yes, it will. Listen, there is a new tool that could detect COVID-19, we're talking about dogs. Coming up, how the Miami Heat are using canine teams to screen fans before they can enter the arena. I like that much better than a monitor (ph).
BLACKWELL: Also Republican Congresswoman associated with QAnon just got a plump committee assignment. So what is the GOP doing about this about, some of her comments? I'll ask Republican former Congressman Charlie Dent. He's with us next.
PAUL: 19 minutes past the hour right now and Republicans in Congress are pushing Democrats on the issue of unity. But the GOP is dealing with division within their own ranks.
BLACKWELL: Yes, they've got to figure out how closely they want to stay nuzzled up to the former President Trump and what they're going to do about the controversial members whose actions have put a focus on the fringe elements of the party.
CNN's Daniella Diaz is on Capitol Hill. Daniella, let's talk first about the Minority Leader Mr. McCarthy and what he's doing with Liz Cheney and the attacks on her. You've got Marjorie Taylor Greene and her comments as well walk us through it.
DANIELLA DIAZ, CNN CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: It's been a chaotic week on Capitol Hill, to say the least. First we have Marjorie Taylor Greene, the QAnon supporter and conservative Congresswoman from Georgia. She has been known to like post calling for the execution for her fellow members of Congress. She actually also called school shootings, a false flag operation.
Democrats want to see action against her. There are now three efforts underway, first, to either censure her, to strip her of her committee assignment or even go as far as to expel her from Congress.
On another hand, you have Matt Gates, the Trump ally and conservative from Florida. He traveled to Wyoming to campaign against House Republican, the number three leader Liz Cheney, in her own home state. Now, where is Kevin McCarthy and all of this? He was down in Mar-a- Lago meeting with President Donald Trump to talk to him about midterms, despite members in his own party warning him against doing that. And he has said that he supports Liz Cheney.
He says he has some concerns following her impeachment vote. She supported impeaching Donald Trump. She's one of the 10 Republicans. And when it comes to Marjorie Taylor Greene, we know that they will meet next week on this issue, but he has quite a divide in his own party coming toward him when the House meets next week.
PAUL: Well, not only that, we're about a week away from Donald Trump's second impeachment trial in the Senate. So set the stage for us as to where things are right now.
DIAZ: Look, guys, this is what we know so far. We know that Donald Trump is building his defense team. We know that the impeachment trial will begin February 9th, and we know that legal briefs will be filed before the trial.
Look, Democrats really want a swift trial. They don't want it to last weeks and weeks. They want this to go quickly. And we happen to have a preview of how this was going to play out last week when Senator Rand Paul forced a vote to say that this trial is unconstitutional for a former president.
All but five Republicans sided with him. Five Republicans have said that they think this trial should happen. It was the usual suspects. This included Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, Mitt Romney. This is going to be really hard for Democrats. They need 17 Republicans to convict Donald Trump, and right now that's just not looking very likely. Guys?
PAUL: Alrighty. Daniella Diaz, thank you for the wrap. Appreciate it.
BLACKWELL: Joining us now CNN Political Commentator and Republican former Congressman from Pennsylvania Charlie Dent. Congressman, good morning to you. Let me start here with.
CHARLIE DENT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good to be with you.
BLACKWELL: Good to have you. Let me start here with Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene. We've had statements out in the last 24 hours from the Republican Jewish Coalition, Christians United for Israel, calling for her to be pulled from her committees for there to be some action against her, because of her comments. What do you believe should be the next step as we know that the Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy will be meeting with her next week?
DENT: Well, Victor, clearly she should be removed from her committees, and that's the first thing. Second thing Kevin McCarthy should do is throw her out of the House Republican Conference. Tell her she is not welcome.
The third thing that he said should do is tell her that the congressional Republicans are going to work with the Georgia State GOP to defeat her in the primary, and that she should enjoy the rest of her time in Congress. That's how they should deal with her. I suggested that's how they should deal with her back when she won the primary. That was the right pac then, because this radical element has no place in the party.
PAUL: So when we talk about a radical element, she won her district. So if she is removed from all of these sectors, what does that tell the voters about D.C. and Congress?
DENT: It will send the same message that was sent when Steve King was removed from his committees. He used to win elections too. But when Kevin McCarthy, to his credit, kicked him off committees and marginalized him. Well, guess what, the people in Iowa got the message, and they sent someone else. That's the same thing that needs to happen with Marjorie Taylor Greene.
And that message has to be sent to Northwest Georgia, that they need to send somebody who is somewhere within the mainstream of America, and American political dialog. This must happen. These QAnon elements, Proud Boys, I mean, there's no place for them.
I mean, can you imagine when I was in Congress had a Republican been a 9/11 Truther and embolden Ms. Taylor Greene has abided that sort of nonsense, we would have - there would have been no place for somebody like that in the party. They would have been a laughingstock. They would have been driven out in a second. Now, she's a member of Congress.
BLACKWELL: And I don't want to spend too much time on a single member, but the difference between Steve King, 2019, and his comments about what's so offensive about these terms, white nationalist and white supremacy, and Marjorie Taylor Greene now, is that he made those after Republicans lost 40 seats in the House.
And he and the Minority Leader, then Majority Leader, had to - well, before the loss - had to make a decision about moving forward. Now, they've narrowed the vantage of Democrats, and maybe he's looking at this from a different perspective.
Let me move on to one other thing, if I can, because we're running on time. What are the legislative priorities of the GOP? I mean, can you identify those? I guess, they're in the minority in both chambers. But beyond just saying no, and being a check, what do they think they can work with Democrats on?
DENT: Well, one would hope we could work with the Democrats on issues like the COVID response, infrastructure, cybersecurity, perhaps China. But it's hard to speak to substantive policy issues when you have an internal civil war going on about whether or not we're going to embrace a disgraced president, whether or not we're going to tolerate elements like we just talked about with Marjorie Taylor Greene, and these radical elements. But that seems to be the battle.
If we're talking - if Republicans are talking about these internal divisions, or punishing Liz Cheney and the other members who voted for impeachment, if that's the conversation, we'll never going to get to those substantive policy issues on COVID, infrastructure, China cybersecurity.
PAUL: So Congressman, let me ask you this when we talk about the divisiveness of the Republican Party, and not just that, but how they're viewed in Congress. Let's listen here to what Representative Dan Kildee of Michigan said last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. DAN KILDEE (D-MI): The bigger threat that we face is that this party, the Republican Party, has lost its mind. And they were over - if they had their way, if Kevin McCarthy had had his way, if the majority had had their way, Joe Biden would not have been sworn in as president despite winning the election. They would have placed Donald Trump back into the White House, and they can't escape responsibility for taking such an undemocratic position.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Congressman, in your position before you have been in those halls, you have been in closed door meetings, you know how the game is played, and you know how to maneuver it. If you were back in the Capitol right now, as a congressman for the Republican Party, what conversations would you be having, and what would you be telling your fellow Republicans?
DENT: I'll be telling my fellow Republicans sometimes you have to risk your job in order to save it. This is one of those times. Speak truth to the American people, speak truth to your constituents, stop abiding and indulging these idiotic, false narratives of elections being stolen.
Eric Cantor wrote a great piece in "The Washington Post" yesterday talking about 2013 government shutdown when people thought they could defund Obamacare, when they couldn't. So stop the nonsense, tell the truth, people will reward you. There may be some short-term political pain, but speak truth you will be rewarded at the end of the day.
PAUL: Congressman Charlie Dent always appreciate you waking up early for us, especially when you've already been all over the place, we know. Thank you so much.
DENT: Anytime. Thank you.
PAUL: All right. And for more political headlines and analysis, be sure to watch all new "INSIDE POLITICS SUNDAY with Abby Phillip." That's tomorrow morning at 8:00 Eastern right here on CNN.
BLACKWELL: The U.S. could soon get its first single dose Coronavirus vaccine. Johnson & Johnson says it will apply for Emergency Use Authorization next week. This could be a game changer when it comes to getting masses vaccinated. We'll talk about it next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [08:30:00]
BLACKWELL: Johnson & Johnson is expected to apply for Emergency Use Authorization for its Coronavirus vaccine next week. So we have the number stay with us for this. This is how it measures up to the vaccines already available.
OK, so Johnson & Johnson says their single shot vaccine is 66 percent effective in preventing moderate and severe COVID-19. Compare that to the Moderna and Pfizer two dose vaccines that are about 95 percent effective overall against symptomatic cases of coronavirus.
PAUL: And the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been shown to be 85 percent effective overall at preventing hospitalization and death in all regions where it was tested. Now, Moderna and Pfizer's vaccines have shown to be nearly 100 percent effective against severe cases.
Dr. Peter Hotez with us now, Co-Director for the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children's Hospital and Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. Good morning to you, doctor so good - and Professor, so good to have you with us. We appreciate it.
So, well, talk to me about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine trials, because I think sometimes people look at that, they see their numbers compared to Pfizer and Moderna, and they think I might hold out for Pfizer or Moderna to that you say what?
DR. PETER HOTEZ, CO-DIRECTOR FOR THE CENTER FOR VACCINE, DEVELOPMENT TEXAS CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL: Well, Christi, remember there's actually two trials and we don't have the results of the second trial yet. The other trial is that we're looking at two doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. So the likelihood is, if you give two doses, it'll be as good or better than the two mRNA vaccines - the Moderna and the Pfizer vaccine, and we'll have those results soon.
And so then we have - then the regulators together with the company and the federal government have to make a decision, do we pursue just the single dose option, which is slightly less than the two dose mRNA vaccines. Or do you go for the two doses, which will be as good or possibly even better? So in either case it's good news, because we urgently need more vaccines. We're not going to get to where we need to get to with just the two mRNA vaccines
PAUL: And people have been asking about whether these vaccines will be effective against the mutations. And we have new information this morning that there had been three cases of the U.K. variant found in Arizona overnight. That brings it to 434 cases total in about 30 states. We know there are two cases of the South African variant in South Carolina. Are people who had COVID already vulnerable to reinfection by any of these mutations?
HOTEZ: Yes, the data from South Africa anyway suggests that they might be, and this is what's really keeping us up at night. We - just as we think we're getting our arms around this and going to vaccinate our way through this, we realize it's just has added twist and turn.
And that - well, the first point is, we're under looking. We're not really doing the level of surveillance we need to know how widespread the U.K. variant is, the South African variant is, the Brazil variant is. So it's probably much more widespread than we realize. And the issue is where these variants appear. They tend to outcompete the others very quickly.
So this has changed the equation and it may mean really push much harder to vaccinate the American people quicker to get ahead of these variants. So I think we can do it, but it requires changing the game plan.
PAUL: Also some news this morning from Journal of American Medical Association Pediatrics, about babies, or babies - women who are pregnant, that their babies actually absorb or transfer to them antibodies if they have them. Does that finding encourage you to say we need to get the vaccine to women who are pregnant?
HOTEZ: Yes, this is one of nature's great way of protecting newborn infants. The placenta has this mechanism to actively transport antibodies from the mother and into the baby, so the baby is born with antibodies on board. And now we've used this strategy successfully several times now to vaccinate mothers against influenza to protect infants now against influenza, to vaccinate mothers against whooping cough, pertussis, against tetanus, and now maybe COVID-19 as well.
And so there are two reasons for a pregnant woman to get vaccinated against COVID-19, one to protect herself, because pregnant women do very badly with COVID-19. And second, that's a way to protect the newborn. So definitely an important finding.
PAUL: All right. Dr. Peter Hotez, always appreciate your expertise. Thank you so much for being with us.
HOTEZ: Thanks so much for having me.
BLACKWELL: The Miami Heat has reopened the arena to fans and dogs. Guests coming to games will now be greeted by dogs trained to screen for COVID-19. Here is CNN's Jacqueline Howard.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
KELLY OLYNYK, CANADIAN BASKETBALL PLAYER: Stay safe, enjoy the game, and let's go Heat.
JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER (voice-over): As the Miami Heat take on their NBA rivals, the team is letting out the dogs to take on COVID-19.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We saw that they were successful in screening lots of people at once.
HOWARD (voice-over): The Heat is the first NBA team to use what it's calling COVID-19 detection dogs. Here's how they say it works.
Fans lineup at American Airlines Arena, the dogs sniff them. If the dog sits next to you, they say, that tells the handler it thinks it detects COVID-19. You and your party will be asked to leave. The dogs are used along with other safety measures.
MICHAEL LARKIN, GLOBAL K9 PROTECTION GROUP, VP OF COMMERCIAL SERVICES: It's dogs, its masks, it's the CDC recommended screening questions.
HOWARD (on camera): But the science is still not clear. CNN was not able to vet the research behind the Heat's dogs.
HOWARD (voice-over): It hasn't published yet. And we were told certain training details are proprietary. This approach has been looked at in other parts of the world.
Scientists in places like Germany, France and Lebanon have trained a handful of dogs to tell the difference between samples of saliva and sweat from COVID-19 patients and healthy people. The dogs got it right the vast majority of the time. But the findings are not definitive. And these are controlled experiments. Meaning, there weren't many distractions around the dogs. More research is needed to see what happens in real life.
DR. DOUGLAS KRATT, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION: I think it's so new and novel that we have yet to determine how effective it is and how reliable the canines are at detecting these type of things. But it is very exciting to see that we could have another tool in detecting coronavirus.
HOWARD (voice-over): And as research continues--
LARKIN: This technology and the solution is evolving. And it doesn't replace an actual going to the doctor or a PCR test.
HOWARD (voice-over): Looking ahead, the Miami Heat hopes to keep using their canines.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
HOWARD (on camera): And just to reiterate, if someone gets pulled out of line because the dog sits next to them, they will be encouraged to go get tested. There's no certainty that you do or don't have COVID- 19, because of the dogs.
And plus, COVID-19 is still spreading in the United States. The CDC says it's best to avoid large crowds. And remember keep up with safety measures, wear a mask, wash your hands and physical distance. Christi, Victor?
PAUL: Jacqueline, thank you so much. So amateur traders are pumping up GameStop shares up nearly 2,000 percent so far this year. I know you're going, OK, why are they doing this? Is it going to come crashing down? We'll talk about that. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
PAUL: Investors on the website Reddit have upended some Wall Street hedge funds and its cost them billions of dollars.
BLACKWELL: What started as an online campaign to needle Wall Street traders, who bet against companies and make money when they fail, has turned into a full blown movement now. CNN's Richard Quest explains.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS EDITOR-AT-LARGE (voice-over): No one predicted the trading revolution would begin here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: GameStop, Play, Trade, Save, Repeat.
QUEST (voice-over): Its tale is all too familiar. A struggling brick and mortar retailer and a target for short sellers. Then something strange happened.
ZAIN ASHER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Video game retailer GameStop, its shares are up some 15 percent premarket.
QUEST (on camera): GameStop is soaring once again,
JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Video game retailer GameStop is set to continue their head spinning ascent today.
QUEST (voice-over): Retail traders organizing on Reddit had spotted a simple opportunity. They knew that the major institutional funds were predicting GameStop's demise. So using trading apps like Robinhood they snapped up its shares on mass, and they put their hedge funds on the back foot. The results were staggering. The same big investors who bet that GameStop shares would fall suddenly had to buy those shares to protect their portfolio and position.
On Wednesday, the shares more than doubled in a day. The Reddit traders celebrated their victory. The hedge funds licked their wounds. And suddenly everyone wanted in.
JORDAN BELFORT, AUTHOR, "WOLF OF WALL STREET": It's got to be more of a full-time job. And of course, if you're on - it's like a catching a falling knife when things start to go the wrong way--
QUEST (voice-over): Just as the world was waking up to this, the trading platforms were forced to act. Public interest was surging, and as a result, Robinhood blocked certain trades.
VLADIMIR TENEV, CEO, ROBINHOOD: We had to make a very difficult decision to protect our customers and our firm.
QUEST (voice-over): Retail traders from several platforms were blocked from buying shares in GameStop and other companies that were being targeted. As GameStop shares tumbled, the online trading community was furious.
DAVE PORTNOY, FOUNDER, BARSTOOL SPORTS: In the history of the stock market don't ever hear the rich guys, the institutional firms, the hedge funds saying, hold on, we're making too much money, you better protect us in case it goes the other way. This seemed like it was just the little guy was winning and the rules changed on the fly.
QUEST (voice-over): Robinhood later relaxed some of the blocks. Even so, where things go from now is anyone's guess. There are calls for congressional hearings. The White House and the SEC say they're monitoring the situation. And yet because this trading is at the very grassroots, the mania continues. GameStop shares are up more than 1,500 percent this year. A partner at one venture capital firm says it's only the beginning.
DAVID PAKMAN, PARTNER, VENROCK: This is a fundamental change to the market dynamics. It's not just a bunch of institutional traders. Retail investors are forced to probably be understood and in a humble way.
QUEST (voice-over): None of this is a game, of course. The risks are very real, and so are the companies caught in the middle. Whether it's airlines, or phone companies, or bricks and mortar retailers, companies must now deal with a whole different breed of investor that can be having dramatic influences on their share price. Richard Quest, CNN, New York.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: Well, a leader in Pittsburgh's Muslim community gets very candid with me as we talk about the reset. What this pandemic has done to his life, his relationships, his community, you're going to hear from him next. Stay close.
PAUL: You might remember Wasi Mohamed. He is a leader in the Pittsburgh Muslim community. He was a key advocate for members of the Tree of Life synagogue after the shooting there in 2018. He helped raised money for funerals. He stood guard at the doors of local synagogues to ensure safety for Jews who were worshiping there.
Well, as one member of the synagogue wrote about him, they said, "I cannot emphasize enough the importance of these words. Muslims offering to protect Jews? To me, there could be no greater olive branch, no more profound promise of peace."
And I asked Wasi about what I call the reset, what he's learned now about his own life from the pandemic and quarantine?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WASI MOHAMED, FORMER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ISLAMIC CENTER OF PITTSBURGH: Our tradition teaches us that you only get knowledge and gain spiritual growth upon deep reflection. And this period has given us time to reflect and get that sacred knowledge of understanding things need to change in this country. And those who previously may not have known enough to speak on the topic now feel deeply and are as active as I've ever seen them in the Muslim community.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: And that topic he is referring to is the recognition of racial inequality, even in his own neighborhood, he said,
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOHAMED: IN the Muslim community, the thing I hear most of us talk about in our group chats and ours ways that we still communicate is largely this reckoning on racial justice, which I think was important, especially for the immigrant part of our community who live in a predominantly Black neighborhood - 99 percent Black. The store owners are immigrants and happen to be Muslims.
They can never understand any tension that may have existed about an immigrant owning a business in a Black community, right? And there's like, well, it's just like, it's legal. It's America, you can own a business. But then now they're understanding how complicated that is. It's difficult. They can't open businesses in white communities, like they can't afford it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: And he's seen other people, he says, in Pittsburgh, talk more about this and recognize the inequality and that he said has been giving him hope this year.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOHAMED: I've never seen so much progress as I've seen now. To see a shop owner from that background, realize their privilege in this situation, realize the injustice in the situation and want to do something about it. It's really, really special.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: We've all had some revelations through all of this. Haven't we? Tell me about how the coronavirus and quarantine has changed you, how it's maybe helped you reprioritize. You can find me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and thank you for doing so.
BLACKWELL: Excellent. So we'll be back here in about an hour from now. SMERCONISH is up next. We'll see you at 10:00 Eastern.
MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN ANCHOR: Georgia on my mind. I'm Michael Smerconish in Philadelphia. By now, most - everyone in America knows the name Marjorie Taylor Greene.