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New Audio Evidence From The School Shootings In Uvalde; Justice Department Will Review Police Response In Uvalde; President Biden And The First Lady Mourns With Families And Paid Respect To The Victims In Uvalde; Ukraine: Russian Shelling "Does Not Stop" In Northeast And South; Biden: U.S. Will Not Send Rockets That Could Strike Russia; Russian Foreign Minister Denies Putin Is Ill; Multiple GOP Lawmakers Ignoring Subpoenas As January 6 Committee Closes In On Public Hearings; COVID-19 Cases, Hospitalizations Increasing Across The Country; U.S. Baby Formula Crisis Deepens, At Least 70 Percent Out Of Stock During Week Ending May 22. Aired 5-6p ET

Aired May 30, 2022 - 17:00   ET



PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST: And on this Memorial Day we honor the fallen men and women who died serving their country. Our coverage continues now with Jim Acosta in THE SITUATION ROOM

JIM ACOSTA, CNN HOST: Happening now, a new outpouring of grief and anger as funeral services begin for the victims of the Texas school massacre, and new evidence emerges about the delayed police response. An audio recording appears to confirm that a dispatcher told officers about a 911 call from a child during the shooting who is, quote, "in the room full of victims."

Also tonight, Ukraine reports nonstop Russian shelling with new attacks at maximum intensity in the east, just hours after President Zelenskyy visited the front lines for the first time since the invasion. This as President Biden is now ruling out weapons to Ukraine that could strike Russian territory.

Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. Wolf Blitzer is off today. I'm Jim Acosta and this is a SITUATION ROOM SPECIAL REPORT.

And we begin our coverage this evening in the town of Uvalde, Texas. Still heartbroken and grasping for answers nearly a week after the Robb Elementary School massacre. Let's get right to CNN's Lucy Kafanov in Uvalde. Lucy, new audio and video evidence keeps pouring in from the crime scene. What else can you tell us?

LUCY KAFANOV, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Jim. Official accounts of how police have responded to the shooting have changed wildly over the past few days. Some of the new information includes dispatch audio informing officers on the scene of a child calling 911, saying they were in a room full of the victims. The police response now the subject of a Justice Department investigation.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) KAFANOV (voice-over): A chaotic scene as police rushed to evacuate

children. Dispatch audio revealing some police were aware at some point that kids were still trapped inside.

UNKNOWN: Child is advising he is in the room full of victims. Full of victims at this moment.

KAFANOV (voice-over): More devastating details from officials of at least two children calling 911 multiple times. Pleading for help as the gunman is still inside the school for more than an hour before police enter a classroom and kill him. Frustrated at the scene by one account, the border patrol decides to go in without orders from the police chief and command.

ROLAND GUTIERREZ, TEXAS STATE SENATE: What's been made clear to me is that at that point, the CBP team that went in in frustration said we're going in.

KAFANOV (voice-over): The police response is now under investigation by the Department of Justice.

GUTIERREZ: At the end of the day, everybody failed here. We failed these children.

ADRIAN ALONZO, UNCLE OF UVALDE VICTIM ELLIE: There were maybe some errors that were made. I am filled with anger, but I feel no hatred towards him. We were thankful to have Ellie for the 9 years of her life with us.

KAFANOV (voice-over): Two services are taking place today. Visitation and rosary for Amerie Jo Garza and then tonight, a memorial service for Maite Yuleana Rodriguez. President Biden visited Uvalde on Sunday to offer support for the victims, the second time he's visited a community devastated by a mass shooting in the last two weeks. The most critically wounded were brought to San Antonio's University Health Hospital.

LILLIAN LIAO, PEDIATRIC TRAUMA MEDICAL CENTER DIRECTOR: So, anesthesia is on their way, blood bank is on their way.

KAFANOV (voice-over): CNN got exclusive access inside.

LIAO: This is one of the teams that we formed in the day of the mass casualty event.

KAFANOV (voice-over): As pediatric trauma medical center director Dr. Lillian Liao and her team drilled for another mass shooting.

(On camera): Four of the victims were brought right here to University Hospital. Three little girls and the shooter's grandmother. Some of the doctors and nurses say that responding to these kinds of mass shootings is taking a personal toll.

LIAO: I kind of thought back too -- when I was 10 years old and -- so when I was 10 years old, my family immigrated to this country. And my biggest challenge was learning to speak English. And you just can't imagine what these children are going through. And it's really unfair. It's really unfair.

KAFANOV (voice-over): Trauma nurse Kristell Flores recalls the agonizing wait for patients and the realization that it was too late for most.

KRISTELL FLORES, TRAUMA NURSE: It felt like forever for the next victims to come in as well. I just wish they would have been able to get to them quicker, for sure.

KAFANOV (voice-over): She tears up when thinking about her little ones.

FLORES: Just crying, my husband started crying and he did tell my son, like, there is something really bad happened.

COLLEEN DAVIS, TRAUMA PATIENT CARE COORDINATOR: There was a lot of crying that day.

KAFANOV (voice-over): Nurse Colleen Davis says she keeps thinking about the pain suffered by the victims' parents.


DAVIS: Most of us have children so it's very difficult. Just trying to imagine them calling around desperately, praying that their child is there and us having to tell them we don't have that patient here.


KAFANOV (on camera): You heard the emotion from the surgeon and the nurses. And these are people literally trained to be with human beings in their worst moments. And I keep thinking about the concentric circles of trauma that are created in the aftermath of a mass shooting, for the first responders, the doctors, obviously the parents and the survivors of the shooting, but also the community at large. Many of whom have been gathering here all weekend to pay their respects. Many of whom, Jim, will be carrying invisible scars for the rest of their lives. Jim?

ACOSTA: All of our hearts are broken over this. Lucy Kafanov, thank you very much.

Now, let's get more on the Justice Department's investigation into the shooting. Our senior justice correspondent Evan Perez is joining us. Evan, the department is reviewing the police response at Robb Elementary. It's a big step. What are we learning?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: It is a big step. And look, one of the things that they want to do here, Jim, is to look at whether the best practices such as they are, whether there's a problem there, whether there needs to be more training for police departments. Unfortunately, we have a lot of these incidents in this country. We're unique around the world in having these types of incidents.

And so, the police are having to fine tune their responses. In this case, this was a review that was requested by the mayor of Uvalde. And it's going to be done by an independent group of experts that the Justice Department is going to bring in. These things take sometimes three months or so. We expect that they're going to do hundreds of interviews.

They're going to talk, they're going to want to talk to survivors if they can, some of the family members who were there outside urging police officers to go inside to rescue their children.

And you know, at the end of this, this is being done with the community-oriented police unit of Justice Department, and we expect what that's going to do is provide some guidance for police officers going forward. We're also going to hear maybe an independent account of what exactly happened that day.

I'll read you just a part of what the Justice Department says they're trying to do here. It says, "The goal of the review is to provide an independent account of law enforcement actions and responses that day and to identify lessons learned and best practices to help first responders prepare for and respond to active shooter incidents."

And that's the thing that, you know, I think going forward for police, they want to know, is there something we can do better.

ACOSTA: Yes. So, it doesn't happen again, but unfortunately, we know it probably will.

PEREZ: Unfortunately, (inaudible).

ACOSTA: In this country, yes. Evan Perez, thank you very much.

Let's continue this discussion with CNN law enforcement analyst Jonathan Wackrow and Peter Licata alongside CNN legal analyst Elliot Williams. Peter, how disturbing is it to hear that apparent dispatch audio advising a child is in a room full of victims knowing how the police response played out?

PETER LICATA, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Jim, it's beyond disturbing, let alone the 911 call. The officers that were there, that were outside that door, within about 10 minutes. We know that from the accounting of the DPS when they put out what they'll call, we'll call the actual timeline. They had to hear those children in there screaming. No one is keeping 9 and 10-year-olds quiet in a situation like that.

So, they had to hear if they stood outside that door, those children screaming, people yelling, and the wounded. And again, we talked about it previously. It's a lot of indecisiveness. This investigation will talk -- will dig into training records, weapons qualification records, how do they exercise crisis management, command and control, and the decisions that go along with that.

ACOSTA: And Jonathan, it's unclear if there was ever an order to breach the classroom. A Texas state senator says Border Patrol Agents ultimately went in out of frustration. You believe this delay cost children their lives, don't you? JONATHAN WACKROW, LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: I absolutely do. And you

know, the other day I said to you, Jim, that I think and wholly believe that this incident is the worst police failure in modern U.S. history, and the more information that comes out about that day, just reaffirms that statement.

I mean, as my colleague had just said, they were defenseless children that were in that room screaming. They were on the phone calling 911. They were defenseless. The people that were there to rescue them waited outside. They had the tools. They had the techniques. They had the experience to go and breach that room.

Why was that call to wait? Why were they held back? Basically, this comes down to a complete breakdown of the incident command structure in responding to this critical incident. The wrong person was in charge. That person is, you know, going to be reviewed. But they made the wrong call about not breaching that room.

Level of frustration, when you had federal agents, you know, show up at the site who were trained, who had the -- all of the equipment that was necessary to breach and take out that active threat, when they were told to stand down, that is astronomical to hear that actually occurred.


Killing was active at that time. That was an active shooting situation, and the first priority of all officers is to stop that attack, to go in and draw that, you know, gunfire away from defenseless children. It's stunning, the information that we're hearing, Jim.

ACOSTA: It just doesn't make any sense. It doesn't add up. And Elliott, what are the most pressing questions the Justice Department review will need to answer for these families, do you think?

ELLIOTT WILLIAMS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think there are several, Jim. Number one, just as we have already heard, human error and judgment. There were a series of staggeringly bad decisions made up and down the chain of command. Who made them, why, and do they speak to sort of a broader failure of training and experience within the Uvalde police department? That's number one.

Number two, communication. Who is giving the orders to whom, right? You know, as the point was just made that, you know, when the Border Patrol agent showed up, it wasn't clear who was in charge and who is telling people to breach the building go in? There was, you know -- law enforcement can be notoriously territorial about turf. And when you have multiple agencies together, who is calling the shots there? And that and sort of how that played out is another important question.

Number three, just equipment and training in some of these technical questions that were clearly failures. Like, you know, there was a report of someone having to borrow a shield from a deputy U.S. Marshal. They got to get into the school, and at a certain point, where is the equipment? Who's got it and who's in charge?

So, it was just sort of a bit of a comedy of errors that the Justice Department really needs to get the bottom of to ensure that this doesn't happen again. Again, Jim, the most important point to be made here is this is about looking forward. Yes, there's very important opportunity to look backward as to what happened and to grieve and to mourn, but we cannot let this happen again. And that's really the Justice Department's charge as Anthony Coley's statement laid out.

ACOSTA: And Peter, the Justice Department did review also the Pulse nightclub massacre and after the attack in San Bernardino. We thought lessons were learned from Columbine and Sandy Hook. Is this really the root of the problem or is it the accessibility of these deadly weapons?

LICATA: From the law enforcement standpoint, it's really about -- it's the prior, Jim. It's about their training. That, you know, the weapon is the weapon, but that situation could have been mitigated a lot more with proper decisions, proper communication. I have been on numerous crisis situations in the FBI.

I have been a recipient of the training from the lessons learned from Columbine, from San Bernardino, from all these active shooters, from Sandy Hook, from all of these active shooter, horrible active shooter situations.

Communication is the first thing that breaks down every time, but you have to work through it. And that training about being properly equipped, part time SWAT Team, somebody not having a shield, officers all supposed to have tactical gear in the trunk of their car. A helmet and a vest, proper weapon. And they didn't have that or they weren't prepared to. And that's what the lessons learned are going to take.

And then hopefully, right, we're not going to stop this active shooter situation in America again, unfortunately, but the response, the lessons learned should be taken to prevent this from happening, these delays from happening on further responses.

ACOSTA: And Jonathan, I mean, we can't neglect to mention that over the weekend there were more shootings. A 1-year-old killed in Pittsburgh. Five injured in Chicago. Eight injured in Oklahoma. There you see Chattanooga, the list goes on and on. What does this constant gun violence do to a country with so many people on edge, and what's the bottom line for you?

WACKROW: Listen, the constant killing of innocent civilians at the hands of individuals is, you know, deteriorating our community's day after day. And it's broken up only by these really tragic mass shooting events. But every single day, this is a persistent threat that faces the United States. And we have to take a different approach on how to deal with this, a whole of community approach and, you know, that's what I think this review will start to bring to light.

ACOSTA: Yes. I mean, everybody is wondering, you know, is my community next? And we shouldn't live that way. Alright, gentlemen, thank you very much. We appreciate it. Coming up, after a heart wrenching visit to Uvalde, President Biden is showing new optimism on gun legislation, hoping some Republicans will budge. That's next. This is a SITUATION ROOM SPECIAL REPORT.



ACOSTA: President Biden said he hopes everyone is getting, quote, "more rational about guns" in the wake of the horrific school shooting in Texas, this after he and the First Lady paid respects to the victims and the grief-stricken town of Uvalde over the weekend. CNN's Phil Mattingly joins us live from the White House. Phil, has the administration announced any plans to tackle this issue?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: You know, the president made clear his belief that some of those he believes are now rational, coming to a realization that the nation, quote, "can't go on like this" in the wake of the Uvalde shooting are Republicans. The Republicans he would need to actually move anything forward on Capitol Hill.

Now, when it comes to specifics, the president and the White House have been very cautious, giving lawmakers on Capitol Hill space to try and find some type of a pathway to get something done, something that hasn't gotten done in decades of efforts, efforts the president has often been involved in, either as a legislator or in an administration. One thing, however, Jim, the president made very clear, he doesn't believe he can do that much on his own. Take a listen.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Oh, I know I have to, but, there's the Constitution. I can't dictate this stuff.


I can do the things I have done and any executive action I can take, I'll continue to take, but I can't outlaw a weapon. I can't, you know, change the background checks. I can't do that.


MATTINGLY: Jim, those actions obviously are in the purview of the legislative branch. Now, one of the Republicans that President Biden labeled as a potentially rational Republican, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell who has often opposed any gun reform efforts. At this point, he has given some of his members the green light to negotiate.

Other Democrats on Capitol Hill very skeptical McConnell may be there in the end, but the point person on those negotiations, John Cornyn, said Republican and Democratic lawmakers will meet via Zoom tomorrow. The negotiations are ongoing, Jim.

ACOSTA: And Phil, we also heard from President Biden today at Arlington National Cemetery. How did he mark this Memorial Day?

MATTINGLY: Yes. It was a day really laying out in detail the somber moment that this day represents. He had breakfast with Gold Star families, laying a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, followed by remarks at the amphitheater there where he acknowledged that this is a day that comes with a mix of pain and pride.

He also referenced his late son, Beau. Today happened to be the seventh anniversary of his death. In fact, the president started his day in Delaware visiting Beau Biden's grave and came here to commemorate Memorial Day, Jim.

ACOSTA: Alright. Phil Mattingly, thank you very much.

Sadly, some parents know all too well what 19 families are going through now in Uvalde, Texas. One of those parents is Nicole Hockley. She is the co-founder and CEO of the Sandy Hook Promise Foundation. Her son, Dylan, was 6 years old when he was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. She joins us now.

Thank you so much for making time for us. We appreciate it. The families of the victims in Uvalde are starting to say their good-byes with funerals getting under way. It's something no parents should ever have to do. What advice do you have for them and how can they possibly get through this?

NICOLE HOCKLEY, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO, SANDY HOOK PROMISE FOUNDATION: The only way I got through it was through the support of friends and the community around me. No parent thinks about how do I plan a funeral for my child or a memorial service or pick a casket or an urn, and for me, it's really about leaning on your friends and family. They are there for you. Allow them to help you.

Everyone is hurting. And the more that you can rely on other people to do these horrible tasks for you, then you'll be able to focus on yourself and any surviving family members that you have or surviving children because that is what is needed for you and your family right now.

ACOSTA: They're just dealing with so much unspeakable grief right now, it's hard to imagine. President Biden promised to act after a crowd in Uvalde was chanting at him for him to do something. He was saying back to them, we will. But congress failed after Sandy Hook, as you know. What do you think it will take to actually enact changes that could prevent another massacre?

HOCKLEY: I really hope that this is the moment. You know, that we've been -- we've been building to this for the last 10 years since Sandy Hook. The movement has been building. The demand for sensible reform has been building. And I think this second huge massive shooting at an elementary school is finally the tipping point.

There are conversations taking place with some surprising people and people are leaning in. Members of Congress do want to find a solution and I have a feeling that this is the time we're going to see -- we're going to see things happen. It's not going to be the perfect solution and we know there are other steps that we might have to take along the way, but I think we're going to see some genuine, sustainable, and meaningful movement happen within the next couple of weeks.

ACOSTA: Just seeing one thing happen, one proposal gets passed and signed into law would be remarkable given what we've seen over the last decade. One Texas state senator says they're looking into razing Robb Elementary School, just leveling it and building a new elementary school. That's what happened after Sandy Hook with the new school, incorporating more safety features.

Is that something that you think could give survivors some peace of mind and give the community some, I guess some sense of calm that they can send their children there?

HOCKLEY: You know, that's a really tricky one, and each community has to deal with that in their own way. It took some time. We were very fortunate that there was (inaudible) school next door that all of our kids could go to while they figured out what to do and the town did decide to raze the school and then had to rebuild it on the same footprint practically because there was no other viable land available, but I don't think that is, I mean, that doesn't give closure.

That might make it easier for some people to return because it's a new space, it's fresh. Those memories of what they have seen and heard aren't there, but there's a lot more that's required in terms of therapy and support than buildings and changing buildings. And think this is just the start of a long journey for this community.

ACOSTA: And you've shared that you were afraid of forgetting what your son sounded like, what he smelled like. But you say that you never forget. Is that something these families are going to experience?


HOCKLEY: No. That's certainly a fear I had and I've heard of other survivors who have the same thing, just forgetting what it's like to hold your child, what exactly they sounded like and their laugh. And as one parent, I can definitely say that fear is unfounded. You never forget your child and how special they were. And you just pray for those moments that the memory comes back or a dream comes back and you're holding them in your arms again.

ACOSTA: Yes. And we're just showing pictures of little Dylan there, such a beautiful boy. Nicole, thank you so much and thanks for what you do, speaking out when these terrible tragedies happen. Your input is greatly appreciated. Thank you so much.

HOCKLEY: Thank you. Thank you.

ACOSTA: Alright. And up next, Ukraine says regions in the east are suffering from maximum intensity, a maximum intensity Russian assault. Can Ukrainian defenders hold on even as President Biden is ruling out sending long-range artillery to the war zone? (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


ACOSTA: Ukraine is warning Russian forces are striking with maximum intensity in the east as Vladimir Putin's army makes a furious push to capture key cities in the Donbas region. President Biden says the U.S. won't send Ukraine rockets that could reach Russian territory.

CNN's Nick Payton Walsh has our report.

NICK PAYTON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR (voice-over): This is the last road in Lysychansk, Putin's forces have moved with rare focus here. They may soon encircle the pocket of two cities on a river we're driving into.

The Ukrainian forces we saw here mobile tense at times edgy. And this is why across the river here, the besieged city of Severodonetsk increasingly more in Russian hands, whoever you ask. We can hear the crackle of gunfire down towards the river below.

(on-camera): What we were told the Russians have tried already to get into town and it looks like we might be witnessing another attempt over there. That smoke near one of the remaining bridges into the city.

(voice-over): Our police escorts shout drone, often used to direct artillery attacks. We are on high ground exposed and scattered. It is a tale of two desperations here that which makes people stay and that which makes them finally flee.

LEONID, LYSYCHANSK RESIDENT (through translation): We've not slept for three months.

WALSH (voice-over): Leonid is the latter.

LEONID (through translation): Shooting. Windows shaking. It's a catastrophe. One man told me the Germans in the war were better.

WALSH (voice-over): Some who stay are increasingly angry of what's left of a Ukrainian state here. A young woman was killed here a day earlier by a shell. And locals told us not to film saying cameras attracted shelling.

Russia's bloody persistence and unbridled firepower is bringing the kind of victory in the ruins they seem to cherish. This cinema was a bomb shelter. Local officials said it's unclear if when their huge airstrike hit, that the Russian military was aware it had been empty days earlier.

(on-camera): Just startling how whole chunks of this cinema have been thrown into the crater there. This is the ferocity of the airstrikes we're seeing here designed simply to get people out of this town.

(voice-over): Those who stay among the shards of glass feel abandoned already. ANYA, LYSYCHANSK RESIDENT (through translation): Many, many people but there is no gas or water or power or anything. We asked the aid workers today when it will all come back. And they said there are only prostitutes, junkies and alcoholics left. That means the aid workers have left here.

WALSH (voice-over): Lydia is carefully picking up the pieces of the air strike, which she felt the full force of in her apartment eight floors up.

LYDIA, LYSYCHANSK RESIDENT: (Speaking Foreign Language).

WALSH (voice-over): There's an old lady on the first floor and me with my disabled son, she says. He doesn't really understand the war is happening.

Retreat lingers in the empty air. If Putin takes here, he may claim he's achieved some of his reduced goals in this invasion. It's now the unenviable choice of Ukraine's leaders. If this is the hill, it's men and women will dial.


WALSH: The possibility of a limited victory there for the Kremlin edged closer today when Ukrainian officials admitted Russian troops have got further towards the city center of Severodonetsk and clearly that pressure will extend into Lysychansk square.

Today, a French 32-year-old journalist Frederic Leclerc-Imhoff was killed as he filmed in an evacuation truck heading into Lysychansk killed by Russian shelling. Jim?

ACOSTA: Terrible news about that journalist. And Nick, while we have you, let me ask you this, the U.S. is considering sending Ukraine a rocket system. But President Biden today told reporters he will not send anything that can fire into Russia. Just how badly does Ukraine need these weapons? What do you make of that?

WALSH: They certainly need something to match the ferocity of the older grant type MLRS rocket systems that Russia uses on an hourly basis, frankly, across that eastern front there. The HIMARS system which they're requesting Ukraine from the United States is a technological leap ahead of that frankly, and has a range of hundreds of miles potentially.


Joe Biden's comments? Well, if you pass them carefully, he's not saying he's not going to give them the rockets, he's just going to not give them in such a way that they might be able to fly into Russia. That mean Ukraine might get them under strict conditions, not to fire them into Russia? Clearly, the White House worried about the escalatory message. There could be, if indeed, those rockets were used to strike deeper inside Russia.

But you got to remember on all of this, Jim, the U.S. has not been holding back in arming Ukraine. They've said massive amounts of stuff. And we'll continue to do so in an increasing fashion in the months ahead. And that's changing the war in Ukraine's favor. But here in all of this, Biden administration, very cautious about giving Moscow, frankly, the excuse to change the narrative here from being one about them invading their lesser militarily equipped neighbor to one about the United States somehow being more involved in this war. Jim?

ACOSTA: That is the Kremlin line that we hear over and over again in state media, that this is Russia against the world in all of this. And let me ask you this, today, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov commented on rumors about Vladimir Putin's health, which is remarkable in and of itself, what can you tell us?

WALSH: Look, it's important to be absolutely clear, there is at this stage, no evidence that Vladimir Putin has any health problems apart from that you might normally expect from a man in his 60s who spend much of the pandemic in isolation. And so the comments from Sergey Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister, are essentially responding to rampant speculation in the Western media, often anonymously sourced, often poorly sourced that he may have cancer, he may have other debilitating diseases.

Sergey Lavrov said, look, none of that is the case. This is a man who daily goes about his work in full public view, I'm paraphrasing here. And he has no ailments, or sicknesses. But the fact that we have a pretty senior Russian official having to comment on this kind of speculation is probably a reflection, frankly, of how loud it's got. Maybe it's a reflection of concerns inside of Moscow.

But, you know, you and I, Jim, reading the Kremlin is almost impossible. That's the whole point. There have been Kremlinologist to been failing to do that for decades. But still, certainly, this question will continue to reverberate. But at the end of the day, it doesn't appear to have loosened Putin's grip on power, despite whatever you might read from these videos about how visually, physically he may have changed over the past 10 years. Jim?

ACOSTA: Yes, it's difficult to take anything the Kremlin says as fact. Nick Payton Walsh, excellent work as always, thank you very much. We appreciate the time.

Just ahead, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband arrested and charged with driving under the influence. What the Speaker is saying about it, next.



ACOSTA: Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been arrested and charged with driving under the influence. CNN's Jessica Dean joins us live from the White -- or excuse me, from the Capitol with more details. Jessica, what are you learning?

JESSICA DEAN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jim, we're learning this happen to late on Saturday night in Napa Valley, California. We're told from Napa Valley officials that Mr. Pelosi was trying to cross a Napa highway that's what another car struck his car. The driver of the other car was not charged.

Meantime, Mr. Pelosi was charged with driving of a -- with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher. He was released on a $5,000 bail and we believe he was released on Sunday morning, Speaker Pelosi's spokesperson telling CNN she will not be commenting on this personal matter and adding that she was not with him at the time. She was actually on the East Coast, Jim. We do know that Speaker Pelosi was giving a commencement address at Brown University over the weekend. Jim?

ACOSTA: All right, Jessica Dean, thank you very much.

Also tonight, the January 6 committee is closing in on next week's blockbuster public hearings the first of the year. CNN Congressional Correspondent Ryan Nobles is joining us now. Ryan, there are still some subpoenas out there for five Republican lawmakers to appear and answer questions. They're digging in their heels. Where do things stand?

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's really played out the way we thought it would, Jim, but it's definitely left an open question as to how the committee is going to respond to this. The committee issuing five subpoenas to Republican lawmakers and all five of them have been one way shape or form essentially objected to the committee's request that they appear before a committee investigators and answer questions.

So that leaves the committee with a decision here. How did they proceed and how do they attempt to enforce the subpoenas? It's something they've been very vague about up until this point. There are a number of options that the committee could take. They could offer up a criminal contempt referral to the Department of Justice, something they've done with some other witnesses that have not been as cooperative.

But it is a little bit more complicated with members of Congress. And that could be one of the reasons that the committee and its Chairman Bennie Thompson have been reluctant to say what steps they will take. One other option would be to send this matter to the House Ethics Committee, which would then determine the next step forward.

But the sum total of this, Jim, is that the committee says that they need information from these five Republican members, including the House Minority Leader, Kevin McCarthy, they're essentially daring them to punish them for not agreeing to comply with these subpoenas. And at this point, the committee doesn't have answers as to how they're going to proceed.

ACOSTA: And any sign yet as to what we're going to be seeing at these hearings, how they're going to go down?

NOBLES: Yes, so we know, for sure at least two of these hearings are going to take place during the primetime hours, and that they're going to cover a number of topics that committee investigators have uncovered over the more than, you know, the 10 months or so of their investigation. The big question is, Jim, we know that they're going to try and establish a narrative of what happened on January 6, from the period of time after the election right up until the insurrection at the Capitol.

The big question, though, is will they provide any new information that we haven't seen yet? You know, they've conducted somewhere in the range of 1,000 depositions.


They have interviewed a number of witnesses tips, you know, hundreds of tips. The question is, is there something that we haven't learned quite yet? That is something that the committee's at least hinted will be revealed during these hearings.

ACOSTA: And we know Congressman Jamie Raskin has said that these hearings are going to blow the roof off the Capitol. That's the way he's describing it.

NOBLES: Well, they're certainly setting expectations, Jim. And the big question is, will they be able to meet those expectations? I think that's something we're waiting to see.

ACOSTA: All right, Ryan Nobles, thank you very much.

Coming up, COVID cases are five times higher in the U.S. compared to last Memorial Day weekend. What does it mean for your summer plans? We'll get expert analysis right after the break.



ACOSTA: As Americans kick off the unofficial start of summer this Memorial Day, COVID cases are on the rise. In fact, they're five times higher than this time last year, and hospitalizations are climbing as well.

Let's discuss with CNN Medical Analyst, Dr. Leana Wen. Doctor, thanks so much for being with us. I hate that we're talking about this but here we go again. How concerned should people be about these surging cases? Or is this simply the new normal? What do you think?

DR. LEANA WEN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: I think, Jim, that it's a totally different time compared to last year at this time. We have a very high level population immunity probably well over 90 percent, when we consider the people who are vaccinated and boosted, and the individuals who have had COVID recently. And so it's a very high level of protection against severe illness in the community.

In addition, public health also has to take into account public sentiment, as in, it's just not practical for us to tell people not to gather to defer their travel, to not see each other anymore. And so as a result, I think we need to focus on how can we still make gatherings safer for those who are particularly vulnerable. So if you're getting together with somebody who's vulnerable, test to take a rapid test right before seeing them.

And for people who are immunocompromised, who otherwise have chronic medical illnesses, they should have a treatment plan. They should know where they will get treatment, what antivirals or other treatments they are eligible for, and have that treatment plan. So that in case people do get COVID, which is very likely when there are high numbers of cases, they will know what to do.

ACOSTA: And Dr. Wen, there still seems to be some confusion about exactly how long people should isolate after testing positive, particularly, if they continue to test positive after their symptoms have passed. What would people do at that point?

WEN: Yes, so the CDC says that people should isolate for five days after they test positive or start having symptoms, and then they can go out in public, but they have to be wearing a welfare mask for the next five days. I actually don't think that this is enough. I think that having a rapid test, and this is important, a PCR test will keep on testing positive for some time, but take a rapid home test. If that rapid test is still positive, even if you're on day six, or day 11, or day 12, and even if you don't have symptoms, if your rapid test is positive, you could still infect other people.

So I would really test out of isolation rather than just assume that once you hit a certain number of days, that you're fine to see others. And this especially applies to people you live with. It's just not safe to see others indoors in your home until you start testing negative.

ACOSTA: And Dr. Wen, turning to the baby formula shortage which has so many parents concern across the country, 70 percent of product nationwide was out of stock for the week ending May 22nd, that's way up from the week before. What can parents do until the shipments from abroad start to ease this crisis? It's very, you know, painful for a lot of families to deal with this.

WEN: Yes, and I think a lot of parents are so desperate. So what I would say is, first of all, find any FDA approved formula. That is always the first choice. So FDA approved baby formula, even if it's not the brand that you normally use, that's definitely by far the first choice.

American Academy of Pediatrics also says that if parents are truly in a pinch and your baby is six months or older, you can also use whole cow's milk for temporary replacement for a couple of days while you wait for formula. But here's what not to do. Don't dilute the formula down because having excess water could be extremely dangerous, even causing seizures or leading to death in infants.

And don't make your own homemade formula following recipes on the internet because some of those could have bacterial contamination, or they may not contain the right level of nutrients and in other electrolytes. And so, just find -- as much as you can, find an FDA approved baby formula.

ACOSTA: And what are the long-term solutions here so we don't have to go through this all over again? You know, people are pulling out their hair over this.

WEN: Right. I think there needs to be a reckoning over how we got to where we are. I mean, why is it that three manufacturers account for 90 percent of the baby formula supply here. We need to increase competition, and also have a stop gap so that this doesn't occur again, and I don't know what those stopgap solutions might be. But it might be allowing for re-importation faster or having ingredients that other manufacturers are able to make.

But I think this really illustrates to me the fragility of our supply chain and should be a wake-up call because this is not just about baby formula. We're now also having a problem with IV contrast, which are needed for CT scans. And there are a lot of other medications and supplies that are really crucial for people's survival. And we have to figure out those supply chain issues too.

ACOSTA: All right, Dr. Leana Wen, thank you very much. We appreciate that expertise. Appreciate your time.


Coming up, more on our top story. New evidence police in Uvalde, new children were calling for help inside Robb Elementary School even as officers waited to breach the classroom. This is a situation special report.


ACOSTA: Happening now, morning in Texas as funeral services begin for two of the young victims of the school massacre. And as we're learning more about the delayed police response, a new audio recording appears to confirm that a dispatcher told officers on the scene about a 911 call from a child inside the school who was, quote, in the room full of victims.