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CNN TONIGHT: Texas D.A. Vows Not To Prosecute Women If Roe Is Overturned; Dem Effort To Codify Roe V. Wade Fails In Senate; Families Desperate To Find Baby Formula Amid Supply Crisis. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired May 11, 2022 - 21:00   ET



ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: The conditions have to be met by May 20th. Otherwise, the judge says, he'll restore the contempt finding, and apply it, retroactively.

The news continues, right now. Want to hand it over to Laura Coates, and CNN TONIGHT.


LAURA COATES, CNN HOST: Anderson, thank you. Who knew that Post-it notes would make an appearance in a courtroom! Probably the most controversial, since an episode of "Sex and the City!" Thank you so much.

I am Laura Coates. And this is CNN TONIGHT.

The question really is, are Democrats now out of moves when it comes to trying to salvage Roe v. Wade? For all the speeches, we've seen, all the rallies that we've seen, since the draft opinion leak, tonight, Democrats seem powerless to come up with a response that would do anything to buffer the impact, of a potential Alito ruling.

President Biden speaking a short time ago that if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, other landmark cases that guarantee rights, like same-sex marriage and contraception, well, they very well could be next. He also went further, ripping the Republican Party as, quote, "Petty," and "Extreme," saying it is quote, "Cowered by Trump."

Well, he's obviously angry with Senate Republicans, all of whom blocked - voted to block the Women's Health Protection Act, this very afternoon. As you recall, this was the bill that many Democrats hoped would ensure Roe's protections.

The President vowing, quote, "We will continue to defend women's constitutional rights to make private reproductive choices as recognized in Roe v. Wade. And my Administration will continue to explore the measures and tools at our disposal to do just that."

Well, tonight, it's not immediately apparent what those tools and measures could be. A Democratic-controlled Congress seem to have gotten nowhere close to 60 votes. In fact, they didn't even get 50. And while the President does blame Republicans, keep in mind, a member of his own party, did side with the GOP, because he believes the bill went way beyond keeping the status quo.


SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): It is not Roe v. Wade codification. It's an expansion. It wipes 500, 500 state laws off the books. It expands abortion. And with that, that's not where we are today.


COATES: Now, Joe Manchin has described himself in the past as, quote, "Pro-life and proud of it," unquote.

Meanwhile, the Senate's top Republican went further with his argument against the bill.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): Legislation would allow abortions of viable babies, in the ninth month, with no waiting period or informed consent, at the hands of a non-physician. Taxpayers could be forced to pay for it. And Catholic hospitals would be forced to perform it.


COATES: So, here's what the bill actually says. It says there will be no prohibition on abortion, prior to fetal viability, which is around week 23, in the trimester framework. That was already the law of the land under Roe, and the subsequent Supreme Court ruling, in Planned Parenthood versus Casey.

Now, after that point, it says that abortions can't be prohibited, if a medical provider makes the call that quote, "Continuation of the pregnancy would pose a risk of the pregnant patient's life or health," unquote. And that's also the law, under Roe, and the combination of Casey. And the language actually mirrors what many States already have, on the books, right now.

But, you see, this bill was not the only proposal that was on the table. In fact, moderate Republicans, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, well, they're pushing their own bill, this one called the Reproductive Choice Act. Now, their legislation would also codify Roe, but on much narrower terms. Senator Schumer said last week that he's not looking to compromise on something so vital.

So, the question is, what's left? Do you stand on what you see as the principle, when ultimately the final product of getting a vote secure, to clear it, will result in nothing?

I mean, to be clear, what we saw, on the Senate floor, today, was a bill that many predicted would actually die, before the first vote was even cast. Yes, it did put lawmakers on the record. That's true. That was one of the goals. But many are now asking, what was the good of the symbolic vote, it seemed, if the result was going to be the same, in the end? Now, of course, there's pushback. It was more than symbolism. It was an attempt to try to actually get the legislation passed.

But something that House Democrats did in fact, try, while maybe a symbolic Hail Mary, in the other chamber of Congress, with progressives loudly marching over to the Senate.




COATES: But, even with this, what we're seeing on the screen here, Democrats in Congress, they didn't appear to be all on the same page.


Apparently, Senate staffers, who didn't know what the noise was about in well, a post-January 6 world, they briefly called in the Capitol Police. A small but perhaps symbolic example of a party fighting for united effective response on any front!

And now, Democrats will have to decide if the abortion rights battle is a winning campaign strategy, for the fall, even if Roe becomes history, by then.

On that notion, and thinking about campaigning and, of course, what will come, if in fact, Roe v. Wade is overturned, I'm joined now by Jose Garza, who is the District Attorney for Travis County, Texas. And all eyes have been on Texas, for quite some time, on the abortion front. He joins me now.

Jose Garza, thank you for being here today.

You and I share something in common, as both being prosecutors, myself a former one, you obviously a D.A. And one of the big concerns, if this were to return back to the States, and obviously, it would go back to the States, but it would go on the desk of a prosecutor.

And you've already been quite clear that if you were tasked with the role of trying to enforce a law, like this, you wouldn't do it. You wouldn't prosecute those who would fall under that violation. Tell us why?

JOSE GARZA, (D) TRAVIS COUNTY, TX DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Well, I was proud, to join prosecutors, across the country, to stand up and make clear that we will not be prosecuting women, for seeking abortion services. We will not be prosecuting health care providers, for providing those services.

Because the number one job, of any district attorney, of any prosecutor, is to keep our community safe. And criminalizing and prosecuting women, who seek abortion services would do the exact opposite.

We made that pledge, because we do not want to see women, suffering or dying, at home, too afraid to go to the doctor, for fear of being arrested or prosecuted. We have a glimpse into what things were like, before Roe. And to revisit that reality would be terrifying.

And so, I'm proud to stand with prosecutors, to ensure that women and families will continue to be safe, to seek the health care services, they need, in our community, here, in Travis County.

COATES: Attorney Garza, it strikes many people as the idea of perhaps counterintuitive that a prosecutor would engage in a kind of civil disobedience, which really is exercising your discretion. Let's be very clear. You have the discretion to prosecute cases, to not prosecute cases.

But I wonder if from the perspective of one of the things and the concerns that people have had, about this particular case, being overturned, is it would create a patchwork of different States, where some would have more rights than others, depending upon geographic boundaries.

It's entirely foreseeable, I guess that in some areas of Texas, there might be D.A.s, who are more willing to pursue these charges. And so, perhaps a bit of a luck of a draw for which type of prosecutor one gets.

When you think about this, and just the pragmatic approach to being able to even enforce it? I know one of the concerns that you have shared, is that I don't know how you prosecute without running afoul of one's privacy interests, without actually getting the evidence, you would actually need, to meet your burden of proof. Is that one of your concerns as well?

GARZA: Absolutely. When you think about what it would take, to prove these kinds of cases, beyond a reasonable doubt, it would require law enforcement, and prosecutors, to delve into the personal health care choices, of women, and families, all across this country.

That patchwork that you described, would create instability, all across our nation. And we know that instability is what makes us less safe. I also fear greatly that it is working-class women, and working- class families, who would suffer the most, as a result of this kind of draconian return to pre-Roe times.

It would be women, and families, who don't have the means to travel, to jurisdictions, where they could seek healthy and safe abortion services that would suffer. And that would make our community less safe.

COATES: Now, just so we're clear, just the weight and gravitas of the statement that you're making, along with other prosecutors, really, across the country, who some are in areas, where they're in a state, where they don't have the trigger laws, even if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned, and returned to their state? It likely would not have the same effect, of what you're saying. Texas, of course, has that. We knew from last summer, as this very controversial ban. That's not the one before the Supreme Court. That's the Mississippi Dobbs case. But the one involving even being able to have a form of a bounty, a form of civil vigilantism, on being able to identify those, who may have aided and abetted in abortion.


What has been the pushback, for somebody, in Texas, like yourself, a D.A., elected official, by the way, in terms of having this very clear statement, about what you will not do? Has there been a lot of political pushback for you?

GARZA: Well, as I said, our number one responsibility, my number one responsibility, is to keep our community safe. I am incredibly fortunate to represent the people, who live in Travis County, in Austin, Texas. And they know that our community is safer, when women and families can seek the health care services that they need.

As I mentioned, we know we have a sense of what life was like before Roe. We know that more than 1,000 women a year died, because of unsafe abortion services.

We know that worldwide, that somewhere in the neighborhood of 23,000 women die every year because of unsafe abortion services. We know that if we push these health care services, into the shadows, into the black market, that that is where the criminal element thrives.

And so, I'm not worried or focused on the politics or the pushback. My job is to do what keeps our community safe. And not prosecuting women, who seek abortion services, will keep our community safe.

COATES: Jose Garza, thank you for joining the program, today.

It's very interesting to think about, particularly in a world, where we're talking about those, who are soft on crime, is the allegation. We'll be curious to see how this pans out ultimately, across the country.

Listen, the Biden administration is also trying to deal with the pain of inflation, and an even scarier problem, for families. The baby formula supply crisis.

Catherine Rampell, joins me with what got us here, and really some potential answers. Is Washington D.C. willing to consider those? That's coming up.



COATES: So, in the wake of the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion, which is not final, we're told, by the Justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts, Democrats vowed to fight for abortion access. But, as expected, today's effort, to codify Roe v. Wade, has failed. So what does that mean for their fight, now? Joining me now is Democratic senator, Catherine Cortez Masto, of Nevada. She actually co-sponsored the bill that was in fact defeated, today. And she is running for re-election.

Senator, thank you for joining me, tonight. It's important to hear your voice, in particular, on this issue.

You know, Senator, one of the things that people have been talking about, is this word, symbolism. And the idea of was this a symbolic vote that was an exercise in futility. You say no, it was about actually trying to codify Roe v. Wade, and trying to get those votes.

How do you see it tonight?

SEN. CATHERINE CORTEZ MASTO (D-NV): Well, I think it's the same way. Listen, Laura, I think, we all agree, in this sense, the individuals, who voted for that legislation, tonight, is it's about women's rights.

It's about giving women, and trusting women, in this country, to make these decisions, and pro-choice decisions that we know for the last 50 years women have been living with, when it comes to their reproductive freedom rights.

That's what this is about. So, it's really a clear distinction, of who's going to stand for women's rights, and stand up for women, and who isn't. And that's really what's at stake, right now.

And I know, in my race, in Nevada, I come from a state that in the 90s, codified Roe versus Wade. And we have in that vote alone, almost two-thirds of the voters supported Roe versus Wade, and they still do. And this is - this is - crosses party lines from Republicans, Democrats, and Independents, in my state.

So, this is about trusting women, and giving - making sure we're not taking away women's rights, when it comes to their health care. And unfortunately, we have seen Mitch McConnell, and far-right extreme Republicans, don't trust women, and they want to take away their rights.

COATES: Senator, are you concerned, speaking of the idea of bipartisanship, are you concerned that maybe the vote by fact that it was 49 to 51, with in fact, Senator Manchin, joining with Republicans, does this give some fodder, and ammunition, for the Republican Party, to say, "Hey, not only did it fail, it failed on a bipartisan basis," undermining what you're saying.

What's the retort to the notion that this is not to be considered a bipartisan defeat?

CORTEZ MASTO: No. This is clearly what we have happening here. And we've seen it from Mitch McConnell, who has been very clear, about this, and are - previously defeated a precedent.

This idea that they need to take a women - away women's rights to choose, when a majority of this country, when I know, in my state, we have protected women's rights. So, what's at stake here, is electing candidates, and individuals, who are going to protect a woman's right, to choose. And it shows that this election is so important.

Listen, I have an opponent, who's running against me, I have no doubt would take a woman - away a woman's right to choose, would actually support Mitch McConnell's decision, to pass some sort of federal legislation that would ban a woman's right to choose, and further restrict a woman's reproductive health care, in this country. There's no doubt about it.

So, elections matter. And at this juncture, we need to make sure we are electing candidates that respect women in this country.

COATES: It's interesting, Senator, about that notion of Senator Mitch McConnell.

He did try to walk back, as you know, a little bit of that notion, of talking about a nationwide abortion ban, which would make sense, given the fact that well, if the Alito opinion, is to be believed, it's trying to return to the States, the ability to have electorate - members of electorate actually weigh in, on this, and having a nationwide ban would really remove that particular premise of that opinion, if it's to be believed.


Do you see that statement of Mitch McConnell, as him saying, the quiet part out loud, in a way that gives some leverage, to those seeking reelection, or Democrats, in general, to say, "Hold on! He has just said what he would intend to do. Believe him the first time."

CORTEZ MASTO: Well, believe him the first time, and look at what's happening across the country.

If the Supreme Court's draft opinion, becomes the law, there're already 18 States that have passed trigger laws that would outlaw abortion. And there's no doubt, over half the States would follow and further restrict abortion in this country. And that's just getting ready - those States are really following suit of the Supreme Court.

Mitch made it very clear that he would really further follow, and pass some sort of federal ban, restricting women. I mean, I've got my colleagues, are already in a backroom somewhere, Republican colleagues that are looking at how to restrict abortion, in this country, in the hopes that the Supreme Court will overturn Roe versus Wade.

That's why elections matter. That's why it is important for so many people to come out, and stand up for women, and women's rights, and our right to choose in this country.

Again, it goes back to why don't we trust women to make this decision? Why doesn't Mitch McConnell trust women to make this decision on their own?

COATES: Well, Senator, I know you appreciate the legality issues that are at stake here as well, given your background, on these notions.

And I do - I know you've expressed concerns, about data privacy, or how one, if it were to be overturned, how would one have their medical health privacy, and their data privacy, actually maintained, and preserved?

Is that something to consider, going forward?

CORTEZ MASTO: Well, here's a couple of things that I absolutely know.

If this is overturned? We already have a Texas law that pits neighbors against one another, and turns them into bounty hunters, to really focus on those individuals that they think are violating women's rights. And, again, this is an issue that will just take it to the next level.

Think about this. Everybody that has a phone can be tracked, geolocation. And that information is tracked. And where you go, can be tracked, and actually is collected, and can be used to determine, where you are, and if you are seeking health care or not. I mean, it goes one step further.

And these are things that we should be thinking about. Because if we already have bounty-hunter laws, in this country, because of what Texas has done, and the Supreme Court refused to strike it down, we're going to get even further down the road here.

And again, at the end of the day, this is about a woman's right to choose. Why are we taking away, the rights of Americans, and individuals--


CORTEZ MASTO: --in this country, particularly for women, when it comes to the reproductive freedom rights?

COATES: Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, thank you so much.

CORTEZ MASTO: Thank you.

COATES: So as we've discussed, the Senate vote didn't go the way Democrats hoped. Which means that if Alito's final majority opinion is anything like the leak draft that we saw, Roe v. Wade is likely to be struck down.

Now, you know, that 26 States are certain or likely to ban abortion, the minute that happens, leading to a whole patchwork of abortion laws, in this country. In fact, several already have trigger bans that would criminalize abortions, possibly even for the patient.

Now look, as a former federal prosecutor, there are so many questions that come to mind. But it begins with this. How would one go about enforcing a violation of that law?

It's the prosecutors' job to charge and prosecute those who break the law. We obviously have a burden of proof and we have to prove our cases beyond a reasonable doubt, which requires evidence.

We have to rely on an officer, to identify a law breaker, and then arrest that person. And I'm curious as to how will that arrest happen? Is it an anonymous tip? Is it monitoring surveillance cameras at medical offices? Is it word of mouth?

And we talked about it with Senator Cortez Masto. Already, there are reports of a firm selling location data of people, who have visited abortion clinics.

And there are growing concerns that maybe even menstruation tracking apps could have been subpoenaed, to show, when a pregnancy starts and stops. Could that be collected to help prove someone has had an abortion?

And how would prosecutors - I'm asking this seriously. How would prosecutors obtain medical records without violating privacy laws? Would those trump?

Will they have the probable cause to search a woman's home, for medication, perhaps, or obtain her personal gynecological history records, which is when she was expected to ovulate, or proof that she was no longer or at one time was pregnant?

Will it be a violation of her Fourth Amendment rights that it's against the unreasonable search or seizure?


Do we get a search of the medical office? Do you question the nurses and receptionists about the patient's medical history? How about her statements to her doctor, or to a relative, or maybe a spouse? Would spousal privilege attach to those statements? And who would own that privilege?

Will I be required to have a practitioner, perform a medical examination, to confirm that she was pregnant, and has had some sort of medical procedure to terminate the pregnancy? I mean, is there any way to have this crime, on someone's record, so to speak, without violating medical privacy laws, in the long run?

Would she be required to consent to an examination? Or will there be a Fifth Amendment issue, related to her rights against self- incrimination? I can tell you, having been asked, if I was pregnant, when I've just been bloated, how will I overcome the possibility of a false accusation?

And let's just say, I am able to get all of the information, to bring this charge. How will I prove that her pregnancy was not the result of a rape or incest? Because if she's in a state, where there are exceptions, for either one of those, it's going to impact my case against her, right?

Do I have to have a mini trial, beforehand, to prove that she was in fact a victim, before I can keep going with her own prosecution? Or will the burden be on her now, to prove that she in fact, was the victim, after I've given my case in chief?

And let's say, I could actually prosecute. How do I voir dire my jury? Will we be inclined to strike every juror, who is pro-choice, or pro- life?

Do I inquire, as if it were a case of somebody being a victim of a crime themselves, or a Police-involved shooting, whether they or someone they know has had an abortion? And what do I do with that answer, as a voir-diring prosecutor?

And what is the sentence that I would be asking for? Is it akin to a homicide, as it is in some jurisdictions, under their trigger laws, a misdemeanor, or manslaughter?

And what about a prosecutor, who we've already spoken to, who exercised their discretion, not to pursue the charge? Or what if one prosecutor in the office decides to prosecute women, but another declines to do so? Is it in fact luck of the draw, for the accused, at that point? Not exactly equal application or justice under the law.

All these questions, I'm wondering, do these render the law, as symbolic perhaps, as today's vote has been accused of?

You see? Overturning Roe, it may put the focus, on the judicial branch. And today's vote puts the focus, squarely, on the legislative branch. But, as a prosecutor, I was part of the third co-equal branch, the Executive. And our job was to enforce. So, how are prosecutors supposed to do that?

It may end up back in the States. But it's going to land on a prosecutor's desk. So, how exactly do we define, or pursue justice, exactly?

We'll be right back.



COATES: So, the price of everything keeps going up. Those looking, for a positive spin, point to the fact that they aren't going up as fast.

Prices rose by 8.3 percent compared to last year, according to the latest Consumer Price Index. And that's down from the 8.5 percent annual increase in March. That's maybe little consolation, when everything, from the cost of gas, and food, to used cars, and a roof over your head, is still way higher than a year ago.

Talk about how we got here, and what can be done, with CNN Economics Commentator, Catherine Rampell.

Look, Catherine, we know in part how we got here, right? I mean, higher demand, you've got constrained supply, with its equal shortages and price spikes. But I think what people are really wanting to know about, more importantly, is what can really be done about it. I mean, are Biden's hands tied? Can Congress do more?

CATHERINE RAMPELL, CNN ECONOMICS AND POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, WASHINGTON POST OPINION COLUMNIST: That is the million-dollar question. I mean, the main tool that is available, is the Fed raising interest rates. It is the Fed's job, by law, to promote maximum employment, and stable prices. They have been raising interest rates, for exactly that reason.

The goal is to make it a little bit more expensive, to get a mortgage, or a car loan, or have a higher interest rate, on your credit card bill et cetera, which should tamp down demand, a little bit. Hopefully not so much that we get a recession. But that's a whole separate question.

Now, and in terms of what the President can do, or Congress can do, there are some limited tools available. But my view is they've sort of been reluctant to use them.

There're things like repealing some of the Trump-era tariffs, or getting our immigration system, our legal immigration system, more functional, again. So far, they've been dragging their feet.


RAMPELL: I guess they see a lot of political risk. I think for too long, Democrats kind of dismissed the economic and political threat of inflation itself. They were sort of in denial about all of this.

They did some window-dressing kind of things, like ranting against corporate greed, or directing the FTC to investigate anti-competitive behavior. Things that sounded nice that didn't really do very much.

I think they were really worried about upsetting organized labor, for example, if they repealed some of these Trump tariffs, or if they might get accused of open borders, if they made again, the legal immigration system, which was severely broken by Trump, and then COVID, if they made that more functional again.

So, they haven't really pushed hard on those levers that are available. And they've, instead, leaned on these other things that are not as effective. And now, they're finding themselves, a little bit tardy, in trying to figure out, how to make a difference, here. I mean, they've done some other stuff too, trying to get the ports more functional, et cetera.

COATES: Right.

RAMPELL: But, again, not making a huge difference.

COATES: So, is there an inevitability about all this, if you don't focus on the fixes, rather than trying to assign blame, or have this sort of umbrella talking points that sound good on the campaign trail, but ultimately don't lead to what you're talking about, in terms of the results?

RAMPELL: I think there is a sort of fatalism, amongst a lot of Democrats, right now, regarding inflation, and the risk that it poses, for them, in the midterms. Again, there's not a ton that they can do. So, I want to be very clear about that. [21:35:00]

The President doesn't control prices. He doesn't control gas prices. He can make some changes on the margin that can maybe help a little bit. At this point, even those little things that are still available to them may not kick in, soon enough, to make a big difference, heading into the midterms.

They really have to hope that the Fed gets rates high enough, again that inflation comes down, not so high that we have a recession, which would also doom them, in the midterms. But it's a little bit out of their hands. It's out of the Democrats' hands, at this point.

COATES: Well, you wouldn't know that by the political talking points, about these issues, of whose hands it actually is in.

Catherine Rampell, thank you so much.

RAMPELL: Thank you.

COATES: Let's get personal for a second on the infant formula shortage emergency. This could actually be a life-and-death situation, for many families. This mom just wants to feed her baby. And she's not alone.


COATES: We're going to talk to her, next.


COATES: Look, there's desperation, rising tonight, for parents, all across the country. They're trying to feed their babies.

Look at what you're seeing on the screen right now. In eight States, do you realize that more than half the baby formula is out of stock? There are actually 28 other States that are looking at out-of-stock rates between 40 percent and 50 percent.


Now, the problem is there's an already tight supply chain that's breaking down, after a recall of three brands of formula that were forced a production facility to, in Michigan, to actually shut down. Now, that plant is still waiting on the FDA to approve them to reopen.

But, in the meantime, mothers, like my next guest, Carrie Fleming, are spending hours, hunting for any formula, they can get their hand on, and paying extraordinary prices, to do so, just to feed their babies, like her 3-month-old daughter, Lennix (ph). How beautiful is this little girl!

Carrie, I'm glad you're here tonight. We should be talking about frankly, this beautiful young daughter of yours. But instead, you're out trying to find formula, just to be able to give your daughter, the nutrition she needs. Tell me about what it's been like, for you. A 3-month-old daughter, this should be the time, you're taking a 1,000 pictures, and having nothing but joy. And you're trying to figure out how to feed her! Tell me about that.

FLEMING: Hi, Laura. First of all, thank you for having me on to share this.

This has been one of the scariest things, as a parent, to encounter, not being able to get the formula that my daughter needs to survive.

COATES: I can only imagine. I'm a mother of two myself. And I remember the times, and I can see the emotion in your eyes.

And I can, even though my children are older, I remember the desperation, of figuring out, if your child was getting enough, of what he or she needed. And to know that this is about not having what you even need, available!

How much time are you spending? And it's not just you. It's coworkers, it's family members, who are all trying to help you get this formula. What do people need to know, in particular, members of Congress, and the government, about what's this doing to your family, and families, like others?

FLEMING: This is a massive issue. This should be the nation's number one priority, because we're literally right at crisis mode. I'm learning that people are just now finding out that there's a shortage of formula. I've been dealing with this for like a month and a half.

And I have been begging, and calling, all over the United States, to try and get formula, for my daughter. And I not only want to be able to feed my daughter. I want the rest of these families, to be able to feed their babies.

COATES: It's pretty shocking, to think about, this conversation happening, between you and I, in the United States of America. The idea of when any country, frankly, it should never be happening.

But particularly, in a country like ours, where we pride ourselves, on the ability to provide, and the idea of being able to have the nutritional values available, what does it meant to you to see what you're going through?

And the prices, by the way, talking about hundreds of dollars, for nominal amounts of formula, when we're just trying to keep weight on our babies, particularly, at that age. What does it meant to you, to know that this is happening, in the United States of America?

FLEMING: To know that this is where we're at that we can go without a nice fancy dinner, for a night or two, but our babies literally do not have the formula that they need to survive? It's unbeknown to me, how this could possibly happen, in our nation.

Why is this happening? How do we not have a backup plan to make sure that this never happened, like, what are we going to do to help get our babies fed?

COATES: Carrie, how much formula, if you don't mind me asking, do you have available? I mean, how - what you have in your current supply, how long could you--


COATES: --realistically feed your daughter?

FLEMING: Right now, I have about three to four weeks. And truly after that, I don't know what we're going to do. We are literally having to look at alternatives, for my daughter, which, I don't even know how her little body, is going to handle those, to be honest.

COATES: Alternatives like what? I mean, the idea of what, you're trying to portion out, or dilute? We know recommendations are not to dilute, to have concerns about purchasing things online at times. Is this going through your head?

FLEMING: Of course, it is. Like, as any parent, I just want to be able, for my baby, to get the nutrition that she needs. And I've already been trying to cut back a little bit, on how much formula, I give her.


But I am looking at other alternatives. Because she has severe allergies. I'm possibly looking into breast milk banks, and looking at goat's milk alternatives. I mean, these are literally situations, I am facing, every single day, knowing that I have a small supply, and that other families out there have even less than I do. And this just can't continue.

COATES: Carrie, this is the story of one mother, and one beautiful little girl. But, as you have said, the fact that this is happening anywhere, and multiplying it in my head, by all of the parents, who have these concerns?

I just as a mother, I remember so much, what it was like, to hear my babies cry, because they were hungry, and trying to get the bottle in their mouths fast enough. I'm so sorry, you're having to deal with this.

And I certainly hope that those listening and watching, if this is a revelation to you right now, I hope it's not, for those, who are in positions of power, to be able to do something about it.

Carrie Fleming, thank you so much.

FLEMING: Thank you.

COATES: My best to you, and Lennix (ph), and your family.

FLEMING: Thank you so much.

COATES: It's really unbelievable to think about this. And coming up, Elon Musk, vowing to let former President Trump, back on Twitter, if he buys the site. All kinds of questions of who can say what online, how Twitter will change, and how billionaires are eyeing maybe more political influence, in tech.

Kara Swisher knows Silicon Valley, as well as anyone. And she's here with us, next.



COATES: "I have no idea how to fly the plane." That was actually the message to Air Traffic Control, from the passenger, who was on board. This, after his pilot, became incapacitated, in the cockpit, of a Cessna.

Despite having no piloting experience whatsoever, that passenger managed to safely land that plane, with the help of an Air Traffic Controller, who rushed to his help.

Pete Muntean has the story.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've got a serious situation here. My pilot has gone incoherent and I have no idea how to fly the airplane, but I'm maintaining at 9100.

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The voice you're hearing is not a pilot, but a passenger, radioing for help. Audio captured from LiveATC, details the communications, between the plane, a Cessna Caravan, and the Control Tower, at Fort Pierce in Florida.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Number 333 Lima Delta, roger. What's your position?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have no idea. I see the coast of Florida in front of me and I have no idea.

MUNTEAN (voice-over): Air Traffic Controller, Robert Morgan, was on break, from working in the tower, when his colleague said he needed to come back, fast.

ROBERT MORGAN, AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER, FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, HELPED PASSENGER LAND PLANE AFTER PILOT HAD MEDICAL EMERGENCY: There's a passenger, flying a plane that's not a pilot, and the pilot's incapacitated. So, they said, we need to try to help them land the plane.

MUNTEAN (voice-over): Morgan is a 20-year veteran controller, but also a certificated flight instructor, with 1,200 hours flying experience.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What was the situation with the pilot?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is incoherent. He is out. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Number 333 Lima Delta, roger. Try to hold the wings level and see if you can start descending for me. Push forward on the controls and descend at a very slow rate.

MUNTEAN (voice-over): Controller Morgan had not flown this specific type of plane. So, he pulled up this photo, of the layout of the instrument panel, and talked the passenger through it, step by step.

MORGAN: I knew the plane's flying, like any other plane. I just had to keep him calm, point him to the runway, and just tell him, how to reduce the power, so he can descend to land.

MUNTEAN (voice-over): Data from FlightAware shows the flight's path. The first challenge, to controllers, locating the flight, and pointing the passenger-turned-pilot, to the airport.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 333 Lima Delta maintain wings level and just try to follow the coast either north or southbound. We're trying to location you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 10-4. Have you guys located me yet? I can't even get my nav screen to turn on. It has all the information on it. You guys have any ideas on that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Number 333 Lima Delta Palm Beach he's telling me that you're about 20 miles east of Boca Raton. Just continue northbound over the beach and we'll try to get you some more further instructions.

MUNTEAN (voice-over): Morgan's instruction paid off, guiding the flight, to a landing, at Palm Beach. Aviation experts call it a remarkable feat that left other flights, listening in, stunned, including a commercial pilot, waiting for takeoff.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you just say the passengers landed the airplane?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's correct.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh my god. Great job.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No flying experience. We got a controller that worked them down that's a flight instructor.

MUNTEAN (voice-over): After the landing, Morgan left the tower, and went out to the ramp, to meet his newest student pilot that he taught to land, without ever getting in the plane.

MORGAN: I just feel like it was probably meant to happen.


COATES: This story to me is so unbelievable. I remember, when my own father got his private pilot license, and was practicing, and have the hour logs, and all these things. And I cannot imagine the idea of having that cool demeanor, have that happen. I mean, the idea that not one person seemed to be screaming? I can tell you, how I would be on the plane, by the way.

But the idea of the cool demeanor, coming back from a break, being able to be talked through? You're on the coast off of Florida? I mean, it's unbelievable to think this actually happened, and then to actually see it land. And I think that that commercial air pilot just summed it all up, the idea of "Oh my god. Great job."

I got to tell you. I mean, look at this landing. I can't even remember the last plane, I was on commercially that maybe had that smooth. But it's unbelievable, to think about that. And what a story!

We'll be right back. Wow!



COATES: Another important story that we're following tonight. The House Select Committee is investigating the January 6. And it's still finalizing its witness list, as we speak, right now, to figure out, who was going to in fact be able to testify publicly.

We're learning more about this as it's the first hearing is less than now a month away. It will be a broad overview of the 10-month investigation, and set the stage for more hearings. Of course, the big question is what was then-President Trump doing as the riot unfolded?

Sources tell CNN, the presentations will likely feature video clips, from that very day, as well as some of the nearly 1,000 interviews the Committee has conducted, behind closed doors. Among the witnesses, whose testimony was videotaped? Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Jared Kushner.

But a source says that at least one fact witness, so to speak, who has been deposed, by the Committee, behind closed doors, already told the panel, they will refuse to testify publicly, if asked.

Among the witnesses expected? Top aides of former President - Vice President Mike Pence, including his former Chief of Staff, Marc Short, and former General Counsel, Greg Jacob.

It's unclear if the Committee will ask Pence to appear for public hearings. But people familiar with the investigation say they would very much be surprised if he indeed testified.

Thanks for watching, everyone. I'll be back tomorrow night.

"DON LEMON TONIGHT" starts right now.

Hey, Don Lemon.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST, DON LEMON TONIGHT: Hi, Laura Coates. We're going to have more on that story. But I have - I just want you to answer this for me. Hope this never happens to you, though. So, there's an incident on the plane, and the pilot is incapacitated, and they say, "Ma'am! We need you to step up to the cockpit, and fly the plane," what say you, Laura Coates?

COATES: It would probably be a series of beeps, and then I would do it.