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A Preview Of The Upcoming U.S. Midterm Elections; Natural Immunity With Regard To COVID
Aired April 25, 2022 - 04:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hi. I`m Carl Azuz, kicking off a new week of objective events coverage on CNN 10.
One question people sometimes ask me is, Carl, what are you covering next week? I`m like, depends on what happens. But there is something coming up
in about six and a half months that`s been getting a lot of attention in America, the November 8th midterm elections.
Midterm means it`s in the middle of a president`s term. Joe Biden is not up for re-election until. But what happens later this year could significantly
change the government`s legislative branch. Currently, the Senate and the House of Representatives are controlled by the president`s fellow
Democrats. Their leads in both chambers are slim.
In the House where all voting seats are up for election this year, Democrats hold 221 seats, Republicans hold 209, and there are five vacant
seats to be determined, rounding out the House`s 435 voting members.
In the Senate, 34 seats are up for election this year. Of the 100 total seats, 50 are currently held by Republicans, 50 are currently held by
Democrats. When you count the two independents who vote with them, the Democrats are said to be in control because if there`s ever a 50-50 tie,
the vice president, a Democrat, would decide the Senate vote.
This November, many political analysts expect Republicans to make gains in Congress, possibly taking control of one or both chambers. The president`s
nationwide approval ratings are low, and most modern presidents have seen their parties lose seats in the midterms.
Republicans have pressured President Biden on issues like immigration. They want him to increase border security to cut down on illegal immigration.
They`ve also pushed for less government spending and more fossil fuel production with the goal of bringing down inflation.
Jeff Zeleny reports on what some Democrats are saying.
MARIAMA DAVIS, STORE MANAGER, THE BEEHIVE BOTIQUE: When you go to the grocery store, it feels like you`re shopping in Hawaii.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): But Mariama Davis lives in Georgia and feels the sting of inflation for
herself, and customers at her boutique, The Beehive.
DAVIS: The idea the eggs are $3 now is -- that`s a lot. People have their families to feed. So if they have an option between buying a gift or
putting food on the table, I`m going to expect folks to put food on the table.
ZELENY: Six months before voters decide of Democrats maintain control of Congress, a sour mood is hanging over the economy.
As inflation looms as a major issue in a national election for the first time in 1980, some blame President Biden.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ever since Mr. Biden took office, everything`s been going up.
ZELENY: Others do not.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s a number of things. I wouldn`t just blame President Biden solely.
ZELENY: Yet, it`s a problem he owns, and one of the biggest challenges facing the White House.
At Daddy D`z barbecue, owner Christianah Coker-Jackson sees inflation everywhere.
CHRISTIANAH COKER-JACKSON, OWNER, DADDY D`Z BARBECUE: I love that.
ZELENY: From paper goods to the cost of meat, to how often people are dining out.
COKER-JACKSON: We are not seeing the same amount of traffic that we normally do. And I think that`s the fear of just spending with the top of
inflation, inflation, inflation. Customers are scared.
ZELENY: And as a Democrat, she is scared of the consequences come November.
COKER-JACKSON: If we can`t get out and vote for the midterms, then all the work we did in 2020 is not really going to matter, because we`re going to
have a handicapped president.
ZELENY: Atlanta and the surrounding suburbs have recorded the second highest inflation jump among the nation`s largest metropolitan areas with
prices climbing 10.6 percent, second only to Phoenix at 10.9 percent, and higher than the national increase of 8.5 percent.
Georgia is also a hot political battleground, which Biden narrowly won in 2020. This year, it will help determine whether Democrats hold the Senate
by reelecting Raphael Warnock -- his early campaign ads trying to redirect any economic blame.
SEN. RAPHAEL WARNOCK (D-GA): What if I told you shipping container companies have been making record profits while prices have been
skyrocketing on you? That`s why I`m pushing to hold them accountable.
ZELENY: That message is competing with loud Republican criticism.
POLITICAL AD: Joe Biden`s ruining our country.
ZELEN: Jen Jordan, a state senator who turned a suburban district from red to blue, and is now running for attorney general, knows the Democrats face
headwinds. But she said Republicans have not offered a positive alternative.
JEN JORDAN (D), GEORGIA STATE SENATOR: We`re still in the middle of a pandemic, right? So, what people do is they respond to how they are
feeling. How are their lives, right? They are also going to tag the president for that.
But look, we have got a million miles to go before November.
ZELENY: Back at The Beehive where we first met Davis a year ago, she then urged people to give Biden time.
DAVIS: Just be patient. Like, it`s coming. Everything doesn`t happen overnight. Folks know that.
ZELENY: Now, she adds this caveat.
DAVIS: Patient but frustrated. Just frustrated. Just would like to get the relief that we need so we can start operating how used to.
ZELENY: Jeff Zeleny, CNN, Atlanta.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ (voice-over): Ten-second trivia:
The thymus, the spleen, and bone marrow are all important parts of what?
Digestive system, immune system, nervous system, or endocrine system?
Along with white blood cells and antibodies, these are parts of your immune system.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AZUZ: Doctors say the vast majority of people in the United States now have some degree of immunity to COVID-10. They say that`s from a combo of
factors that include being vaccinated against the disease and/or having caught COVID and developed natural immunity as people recovered from it.
When it comes to natural immunity, what our bodies learn from fighting off a disease, the estimates of how long we`re protected from getting COVID
again are anywhere from three months to five years. Why is that range so wide?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In this lab at Emory University, scientists like Mehul Suthar are working to answer
one of the most common questions of the pandemic, how much protection does a previous COVID infection provide?
MEHUL SUTHAR, VIRAL IMMUNOLOGIST, EMORY UNIVERSITY: With infections, you`ll have lots of individuals that have very low and individuals that
have very high antibody responses.
GUPTA: Take a look at this graph of people who have immunity from a prior infection. See how varied the blue dots and lines are? They represent the
antibody response. It`s all over the place.
It is proof, Suthar says, that not all infections are the same. But how do you use this data to make decisions in the real world, especially now that
states have loosened measures like mask and vaccine mandates?
If I were to get my antibodies checked, could I then get some sort of measure of just how protected I am?
SUTHAR: There aren`t good correlates of protection, something that says that this is the measurement that one needs to know how well they are
protected. And now with these variants, we`re seeing how these antibodies responses sort of take a hit.
GUPTA: Let`s say you`re in a situation where someone essentially doesn`t have antibodies anymore. You were to measure their antibodies that you
don`t see them. Does that mean they no longer have protection?
SUTHAR: Not necessarily. So there`s several aspects to one`s immune system that can drive protection.
GUPTA: Like B cells, which can make more antibodies if the virus comes back, and T-cells which help activate the immune system and get rid of
Antibodies in your blood naturally wane over time. Think of it like security lights at your home. When there`s an intruder nearby, they should
turn on. But when there`s no more threat, you want them to turn back off.
Why do we focus so much on antibodies?
SUTHAR: One aspect is that antibodies are probably one of the easiest to measure in the laboratory.
GUPTA: Dr. Dorry Segev is a transplant surgeon who says antibody tests should be used in some cases to understand how protected people are. In
February, he published research on hundreds of unvaccinated Americans who had COVID.
DR. DORRY SEGEV, TRANSPLANT SURGEON: Almost every single one of them had detectable antibodies.
GUPTA: It`s something Segev thinks we do need to take into consideration.
SEGEV: COVID is a high risk, high consequence way of getting immunity. But if you had COVID and you went through that and you have immunity, that is
something we need to respect and we need to incorporate in the ways we draw the sort of the new social contract of COVID.
AZUZ: Parents and teachers, CNN 10 is looking for original artwork featuring the number to use in our new show opening. We`d love to see
creativity, tens that illustrate something cool about where you live.
Please send a photo of your artwork to CNN10@CNN.com, along with your name location and the best way to reach you through email or phone number.
AZUZ: There aren`t too many places in America where you`d see someone like this strolling through the neighborhood. But Venice Florida is definitely
one of them.
Police have been called recently to keep tabs on a couple of alligators. One of them more than feet long that have been wandering around as if
they`re looking for a block party. It`s possible they were looking for a mate, though they`ll probably have better luck in the water.
I wonder if that affects home values. I mean, the neighbors are cold- blooded, but they love to jaw. There are some interesting yard art, reptile floors, built-in scales, not a lot of pests or dogs or cats hanging around.
But if you`re concerned about fast drivers, they have some natural speed bumps.
We`ll see you later. I`m Carl Azuz.
Durango High School in Las Vegas, Nevada, gets today`s shout-out for subscribing and commenting on our YouTube channel. That`s the only way to
get a mention on our show.