tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN February 8, 2021 5:00pm-6:00pm PST
we end tonight on a sad note, representative ron white of texas passed away after being admitted today hospital for coronavirus and he's the first sitting congressman to die after being diagnosed with covid. he tested positive on january 21st, at the time he had mild symptoms. white was 67 years old. "ac 360" starts now. good evening, this country has only seen three presidential impeachment trials in the entire history. tomorrow it will see the second in about a year. of the same president, the first was for trying to pressure the state to win the 2020 election. this is for trying to overturn it by force. tonight jim acosta has reporting that goes to the heart of the case. it speaks to the former
president's state of mind as insurrectionists invaded the capitol. a white house official saying he was loving watching the capitol mob. think about that. this former senior official says the president of the united states was watching on television as the seat of our democracy was being over run in an assault that would leave five people dead and dozens of police officers badly injured and he was loving it. that said, it's not all we're learning tonight. sources telling jim acosta, the former president is taking his acquittal for granted and is fix sate -- fixated on punishment. he sees the republican party as his own personal play thing. late today chuck schumer laid out rules. the same for the former president 's side, after that te vote on the article of impeachment followed by another if needed unbarring the former president from holding future office. if house managers want to call
witnesses, a vote will be held on it. >> the structure we have agreed to is imminently fair. it will allow for the trial to achieve its purpose, truth and accountability. that's what trials are designed to do. to arrive at the truth of the matter and render a verdict and following the despicable attack on january the 6th. there must, there must be truth and accountability if we are going to move forward, heal and bring our country together once again. >> proceedings are slated to begin tomorrow afternoon. cnn will bring that to you live. earlier today both sides presented the final pretrial papers. house managers writing a five-place replay to the defense and the evidence of president trump's conduct is overwhelming and he has no valid excuse for defense for his actions and betrayed the american people.
that's plain to see to a number of republicans including the third ranking member of the house liz cheney asked whether she'd convict if she were a senator. >> i obviously, believe and did then that what we already know is enough for his impeachment, what we already know does constitute the gravest violation of his oath of office by any president in the history of the country, and this is not something that we can simply look past or pretend didn't happen or try to move on. >> well, she -- reporting. she's also minority in her party now, most of which seems inclined toward the defense case no matter how little sense it might make to republicans who are not beholden to the man from mar-a-lago. a member of the federal society and the republican national lawyer's association that named him republican lawyer of the year in 2010 in the "wall street journal" he writes this in response that trying an ex
president is unconstitutional giving that the contusion imposes the penalty of permanent disqualifications on former office holders, it defies logic to signiuggest the senate i imposing the penalty. nor is he cherry picking the case as the former president's team seems to be doing their clients words quoting mr. trump concluded his speech stating so let's walk down pennsylvania avenue. i want to thank you-all. god bless you and god bless america. thank you-all for being here, this is incredible, thank you very much, thank you. they go on, quote, despite the house manager's charges against mr. trump, his k0comments canno be called for a violent over throw of the united states government. keeping them honest, the sentence they cited might not
but other things were interpreted that way. the organization synced it up how many of the mob responded using video from social media. >> we're going to walk down to the capitol. [ cheers ] >> we're going to walk down to the capitol! >> yeah! >> capitol! >> men and women and probably not cheering so much for -- take back the country. you have to show stlerength. >> yes. >> invade the capitol building. >> do the right thing. >> take the capitol. >> take the capitol. >> take the capitol! >> take the capitol! >> take the capitol!
>> again, those are the president's 's words along wit realtime reaction to them and here is what it looked like in cell phone data obtained by "the new york times", that swarm of dots is people going from the ellipse where the former president spoke to the capitol and staying there in mayhem, yet the defense denies any cause and effect quoting again house leadership cannot have it both ways, either the president incited riots or they were preplanned by a group of criminals that need to be bun niche -- punished to the fullest extent of the law. they over lap as logic tells you significantly so because this already radicalized group was radicalized over the span of many months by the former president himself. the same one who then called on them to go to washington on january 6th to take action there by putting his seal of approval and it's not like he couldn't concede of the type of people
that might be there that day. be there, be wild calling people to washington. it wasn't for love. jim acosta's reporting under scores the point he was loving watching the capitol mob end quote. if he truly did not intend to stir up violence, wouldn't he have been appalled and doing everything he could to stop it? his defense team say he and his team took steps to coordinate with authorities to counsellor act the rioters and say quote there was a flurry inside the white house working to activate assets. he like the rest of the country was horrified at the violence. wow. horrified. if that's the case, eye did they have to be pushed to finally put out a video half hearted recalling on the insurrectionists to stop and why did that video prrepeat the
election was a lie and praise the attackers as very special people whom the president loved? why during the attack with rioters looking to hang vice president pence was the president attacking pence on twitter? was that part of the flurry of activity and giuliani trying to lobby the vote count as they huddled in a safe room? the calls went mistakenly to mike lee which is the only reason they knew about it and from tommy tubberville and said he handed the phone to tubberville who spoke to the president for about ten minutes. he said he had to tell tubberville quote i don't want to interrupt your call with the president but we're being evacuated and i need my phone. sounds like a comedy of errors but no comedy. the point is it was not an example the president trying to stop the siege or prevent loss of life, it was simply one more indication the president wasn't going to let a little thing like a deadly insurrection interfere with his plans. former white house chief of staff mark meadows went on fox
news this weekend to mention that or any constructive steps taken in the heat oif the attac but tried to place the blame elsewhere. >> there is all kinds of blame going around, but yet, not a lot of accountability. that accountability needs to rest with where it ultimately should be and that's on capitol hill. >> well, now, in a way it does with senators, republicans who will have to decide whether they belong to the accountability wing of the party or the majority of it. joining us now, one of the senate jurors, minnesota democrat amy klobuchar. thanks for being with us. the former president's legal team is making two arguments. one, the trial is unconstitutional and if it was unconstitutional and he was exercising the first amendment rights and did not direct anyone to commit unlawful actions, as a former prosecutor yourself, does that second argument hold water? >> no, it does not. the first amendment is designed to protect people from their
government. in this case, he literally incited people to attack the government, to attack a co-equal branch of the government. this wasn't about his first amendment right. he's more than exercised that over the years. this was about him literally inciting a riot and you laid out the evidence so well from his tweets leading up to this from his statements at rallies and what i remember was the dog whistle when he said january 6th. that was, of course, the day of the electoral college votes. that was the day that turned out to be the insurrection. i remember it because i was preparing. i was leading our caucus in our response to ted cruz and josh hawley and i thought to myself, well, this is trouble because he literally was putting that day out there, telling people to go wild and then as you point out, as he is glued to the television watching this horror in which a
police officer dies as a result of injuries and two officers later die of suicide and we have a woman trampled on the steps of the capitol, what does he do? he waits hours and hours and hours and it is only the president elect that is willing to speak up, joe biden, not the president himself. and there were plenty of republicans in that room with us that were saying when is he going to speak? when is trump going to say something? they understood that he controlled this violent mob. so that is the evidence. this is not about his first amendment rights. it about him inciting a riot and for your first question about constitutionality, i love your quoting the republican lawyer of the year mr. cooper, who made it very clear that the plain language supports going forward for this and we have actual precedent with the former secretary of war in the 1800s who was i'm peeached after he ws out of office. >> the question whether or not there will be witnesses, that's still undecided and i want to
read something cheuck schumer said. he said you cannot have a fair trial without the facts, with knowledge of the events and related documents. should the standard be any different this time around? >> this is up to the house managers and they are going to have to decide if we should have witnesses or not, and i will say one thing, all 100 people in that room witnessed it. we have videotape that i think we're going to see, i've been told, that we have never seen that has never shown the light of day yet because it was law enforcement videotape. we didn't have that in that other impeachment hearing. now, whether they decide to call witnesses or not, that's up to them. they asked the president to come forward and he declined. the point is all of that, most of the evidence in that other case was behind closed doors. this is right out there on video for us to see. >> cnn is reporting that aides to the former president say he was enjoying the spectacle, the riot and quote loving watching
the capitol mob. that was a senior official telling jim acosta. what about issuing subpoenas t that were with him or the capitol police that were with them? wouldn't that be the best chance of changing republican minds? >> look, any of this is possible, anderson. i demand maybe enviable position of being the juror in this case. we are not the managers of the case, the prosecutors of the case even though it's not a criminal case, let me make that clear. that's going to be up to them. let see what evidence they put out and we have plenty of testimony, as well, that has been garnered from what people actually said in the moment when they were there and we have plenty of evidence of what the president said leading up to it in the report. so i'm going to let them run their own case, but i do think it's significant senator schumer and mcconnell reached a bipartisan agreement how this trial will proceed including a
decision about witnesses, which will be made at some point during the trial. >> republican senator langford said quote i don't coknow of anyone that their mind is not made up. do you think he's right? >> i don't know about that. as a former prosecutor, i saw a lot of cases go good or go bad depending on what the evidence is. look in politics, did people think we would win georgia? i don't think they did. and we did because people listened and made a decision. so i'm not going to concede that right now before we have even seen an ounce of evidence in an official proceeding. this is our job. i think liz cheney did a beautiful job this weekend of describing this that you just can't pretend it didn't happen. i think she said we've got to make sure this never happens again, and i think that's really important to note that you can't have a president who just because he loses, clearly loses
an election, decides he'll mess around with our democracy and attack a co-equal branch of government simply doing its job to certify the jobs that have been certified. maybe trevor noah said it best when he said on his show, if you get fired from best buy, you can't go and steal a tv on your way out. so we can't have the precedent be that you can go do anything you want. in president trump's own words go wild and reek havoc on the democracy to the point people die and police officers are killed and not have any kind of responsibility for it. i look forward as you pointed out at the end of your segment there of carrying on that mantle of accountability and i think we have to take it very seriously. >> senator klobuchar, appreciate your time. >> thanks, anderson. thank you for being on again. joining me is noah feldman in the first impeachment trial
and konlconstitutional scholar. thanks for being back. is there any merit the former president's team put forward today, impeaching a president is constitutional? >> the trial is definitely not unconstitutional. there is strong precedent for trying someone once they are out of office and the history suggest the framers understood that was a possibility. i don't think there is much to that. the first amendment claim, the key point to understand is that the constitution says you have free speech and what it means by that is you can't be criminally prosecuted or otherwise harmed by the government for speaking freely. it does not say you have a get out of jail free card as it were as president to commit a high crime and misdemeanor so long as you do it while you're talking. that's what trump did. he did it while talking and that's what he was doing while inciting people to violence and that's the allegation and what he'll be tried for. it a mistake to see the first amendment as the feature there so i think that argument, as well, is not a legally correct one. >> we just learned that at least
two alleged capitol rioters are arguing in court the former president himself is the reason for the violence with one even going as far as calling him quote an unindicted co-conspirator, i mean, remarkable how supposedly supporters of the president with their back up against the wall in a court turn on him and name him as a co-conspirator but do you think democrats might make that part of their case? does that matter? would that hold any weight? >> i don't think they will make direct reference to what is happening in those trials but could say the same thing. they could say the president and are saying that the president was a central cause of the attack on the capitol by virtue of insitieinciting it. in some fundamental way, his words led to the events that followed. they don't have to prove it was the but for cause, if it wasn't for the president people wouldn't have attacked but have to show the president's words led in some meaningful way and they knew he would lead in a
meaningful way to the attack on the capitol and that's what they're trying to do. >> it seems the entire fact this rally was called for january 6th, it's not a random date. it not, you know, a date -- just a random date to protest election, you know, alleged election fraud which was not actually, you know, real. it is the last date, i mean, if you have a coup, this is the day to try to -- this is the day you have to try to stop the electoral votes from being counted. >> yeah, no, it's clearly the context of what happened. that's the context of president trump's speech and the context of the riot that followed. his lawyers will try to say it was planned without -- in fact, they did say this in the long brief. it was planned independently and wasn't because of him. the attack would have happened no matter what he did and that's a defense on the facts. the way to refute that is say, did you watch tv that day? did you see the president's
speech? did you see what followed? that's the core of the factual case they're making and the president has to defend on those grounds, as well, not on these inconclusive and not convincing legal theories. >> one argument left out of all 78 pages of filing today that was in the defense's initial filing a week ago is the accusation that helped foment this insurrection the first place the election was stolen. despise how focussed the president is on pushing the big lie, do you think that will come up during the trial? >> it was very note worthy the lawyers did not include that and that was the first piece of good lawyering they engaged in. it's not a good way to defend the president against the impeachment charge to say the election was stolen from us because that seems like doubling down on the issues that started the attack anyways. having omitted it from the brief they probably themselves will not bring it up. that's not to say some senators might not bring it up when they get to the point to deliberate what took place and when they
make their decision how to vote. >> professor noah feldman, appreciate it. thank you. >> thank you. one other quick note, georgia secretary of state tells cnn his office started an investigation into the former president's attempt to overturn the state's election results and will prove that call he famously made, the former president made caught on tape asking to find him the votes needed to win. the investigation will be fact-finding any further legal efforts will be left to georgia's attorney general. >> much more ahead tonight, coming up next what president biden said about the impeachment trial and the question how he can avoid it overshadowing his agenda and the welcome news on covid and worrying items including word how much less effective might vaccines be against new variants of the virus. ♪ ♪ (quiet piano music) ♪ ♪
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that completes the circle, and reduces plastic waste. please help us get every bottle back. breaking news from caikaitl collins on the timing of the impeachment trial. the call to be paused friday night through saturday, it can proceed as planned but he won't participate. more on timing and president biden with a full slate of things he'd like to get done quickly. here he is when asked about the former president testifying. >> look, we've got an offer for him to come and testify. he's decided not to. we'll let the senate work that out. >> the president as you know has stayed conspicuously mhands off impeachment. incentives for moving on, chief
correspondent dana bash and david. no stranger to the white house, david. you are taking over amidst a crisis. he has an economic battle over the covid relief package, divided country and now a lot of oxygen in washington is going to be going to this trial. how do you navigate all that at the same time? >> well, you try and steer around it and hope it ends quickly and i think that's clearly what we're seeing here. look, you know, you asked senator klobuchar a couple of minutes ago whether she thought this was cut and dry, and she, you know, hopefully said no but everybody kind of knows how this is going to go down. the accountability for donald trump will be in the case that is produced by the house prosecutors but we know how people are going to vote, and you'll see it again tomorrow when they vote on the whether
this is constitutional or not, that's the life raft that 45 senators chose to grab on to before they will do it again and i think that's fine with him. you know, there needs to be accountability most democrats believe that. a lot of the country believes that. a lot of republicans don't and i think this is one place where he and trump may have something in common. they probably both want to get this over with. >> dana, we heard the senate needs to work it out. we know for weeks he wasn't hot on the idea of impeaching the former president and trying to convince democrats not to i impeach. is there any up sside for the president short of a conviction? >> upside for joe biden? >> yeah, the president, president biden. >> no, no, no there is no upside politically. there really isn't. i mean, there is not necessarily that big of a downside, i don't think but not that much of an
upside, either. this is what it is two weeks for president biden and my understanding in talking to democrats on the hill is that, you know, what they're hearing privately is what we hear publicly, which is you guys work it out. i won't give you guidance or pointers, i'm not going to put pressure points on anything that is going to go on. i'm going to stay out of it and try to, as much as i can, work on other issues primarily the covid relief package. >> david, president biden obviously campaigned on unity bringing the country together, bipartisanship, it was the focus of his inaugural address and moving forward on the covid package without republicans and plenty of reporting about lessons he learned early on in the obama administration. what do you think he took away from that experience? >> well, he probably took away particularly on the affordable care act that, you know, don't chase the unicorn of unity on an
issue like this and lose six months, which is what happened on the affordable care act. president obama had numerous meetings with republicans and discussions went on and on and democrats in the senate believed that it was possible to forge a bipartisan coalition around the affordable care act but there was a policy in place set by senator mcconnell that nobody was to stray and we lost six months. joe biden understands with a raging virus and all the problems facing the country right now, he doesn't have a lot of time to spare here and he'll be measured how quickly and decisively he moves on this virus and gets the country out of the economic hole that it's in, gets people back to work, provides the support that's necessary to keep them whole until they get back to work and if that's what he's rightly focused on. when you ask before what the downside is of this impeachment, it's the loss of time. you know, there are going to be
some discomfort and wrangling among members here and that's not great, but at the end of the day, the time lost is the problem and what he doesn't have is a lot of time here given the nature of the crisis he faces. >> dana, in the wake of the insurrection, even around the inauguration as there always is, there was a lot of talk about bipartisanship and the potential, hope for unity. it certainly seems like everybody has dug in their heels, which is i guess a lesson we learn every four years that there is always this talk of it and hope of it and isn't this what absolutely happens all the time? >> yes. it is. having said that, i am going to say that i am optimistic that there could still be bipartisan deal making on other issues that are more right for bipartisan deal making. covid, the covid relief package just really never was given how big joe biden is determined to
go and republicans just aren't there. other issues down the pike even something like the child care tax credit, which mitt romney says that he wants to do. that's a great example of something that they can genuinely do but after they get this big package done but likely -- >> let me just say. unity doesn'tunamity. i think his tone is good because he hasn't vilified the repub republicans. he hasn't foreclosed the possibility of working together even on this and that's really valuable moving forward. >> yeah, david axelrod and dana bash, appreciate it. just ahead, more about the impeachment trial today and more from goodwin when we return.
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and how this country remembers the previous four years. the first time he was impeached sow zero republicans crossed the aisle and this time seven did and the author of "leadership in turbulent times." great to have you here. two impeachments for the same person never happened before in america history. what do you think of the significance of this in terms of his legacy and the unprecedented nature of this? >> i think the significance of the trial is indeed for history. i mean, i think what the argument of the house managers is that if this is not an impeachable offense, then what is? and if that's not made for history and for the future, there is no question that that's the important thing that's going forward now, and i think when people look back on this presidency, there may be presidential historians who will question what were the first four years like, could he have done this thing or that and did
he have achievements? the crisis we found ourselves in from the moment he lost the election and refused to accept it was a crisis in his making, historians will regard that with great disforever. the first president that refused to concede created the story of a fabricated story of a stolen election, mobilized supporters and told them to come on january 6th. tame timetables matter in history and if the impeachment people can layout the timetable and show the story from beginning to middle to end, stories matter and tell it to somebody else and historian wills tell it to the children and the children's children and that's what will be lasting. >> it's so interesting how one's eye changes as time goes by and things that looked one way at one point look different through the lens of history or through the lens of time. you know, under this former president, things that were completely abnormal began to seem normal and one was sort of,
you know, after awhile it didn't seem so crazy that, you know, he's tweeting about ratings of morning news shows or, you know, on cable news and, you know, pardoning the husband of one of the anchors over at fox who is now being sued by, you know, the company that has -- who, you know, she allegedly defamed on voting machines. i'm wondering through the lens of history, how abnormal this will seem. >> i think it will seem very abnormal. somehow we became numb over the last four years to things that were not true being said to the idea that normal relationships between people in congress were going to seem each other as triable enemies. i think that's really the measure in a certain sense of success of the trial may not be the two-thirds conviction people seem to think will not happen
but whether the trial can tell people this is what happened and this has never happened before in history and we cannot allow it to happen again. that's why the public sentiment is the key and in a certain sense, everybody is saying well, it will be a failure. it won't be a failure at the triable mobilizes the public to realize what happened and judge the former president by that so that everybody is assuming he gets acquitted and he'll be tri triumph. what if the public is mobilized to understand how serious this was and change that protect the people that voted to impeach him? they can vote the primaries. that's what lincoln said with public sentiment, anything is possible. without it, nothing can be achieved. the real goal it seems to me is not necessarily the 100 senators and how they vote but does the trial mobilize public sentiment when they see what happened,
when they feel what happened, they know priieces of it. if they can have a story to tell to the people next door and say this is wrong, the majority of the people feel it's wrong and majority in the states. that's the battle to be fought once this impeachment trial is over. >> there is that famous faulkner line the past isn't dead, it's not even the past. i think about this with this impeachment trial coming up and it's fascinating how the history is so alive. it's not just that we're living through a historical event but we are looking back to the impeachment of the attempt to impeach the former secretary of war in the 1800s, i think with stanton and that's -- that informs the arguments that's being made today. i just find that kind of fascinating. >> no, it's really true. i think there are certain times you know you're living through history and when history becomes
really important, that was true obviously during the civil war and true during the great depression and world war ii and the 1960s and certainly true now. but the key thing that we know about history is we know how those other situations ended. we know the civil war ended with the union restored and emancipation restored and the mobilization of the war and we know world war ii ended with allies winning. we don't know the end of our story. we have the chance to write that ending and that's important knowing about history. maybe in the '90s or the '80s or '70s you didn't feel you were living through history but now we know. the citizen haves a huge responsibility to figure out how to tell this story and make right what was wrong. >> my mom just shortly before she died, i remember her saying to me, i just want to see how it all turns out and i have that feeling very often these days, how is this all going to turn out? we shall see. doris -- >> sometimes i wish i were in a
story from 50 years from now to tell you how it would turn out. >> great to have you. thank you. while the impeachment trial plays out this week, there is undeniable everyday the trend lines for the coronavirus are improving but these more very lant strains across the u.s. are stronger. more on that when we come back.
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end cyber attacks. from endpoints to everywhere. so here is the good news, the u.s. is now averaging half of the new daily cases of the coronavirus it was logging a few weeks ago. hospitalizations are down dramatically, as well and deaths are declining slightly with sunday's total the lowest for a single day in more than three months. add to that more than 4 2 million vaccine doses have been administered and you have a case for a positive outlook but as one former fda commissioner cautioned, these very ariants a
likely to diminish what we see from the life saving drugs. >> as a rule of thumb, we can assume the vaccines will be 20% less effective against the new variants from brazil and south africa and we also may be able to develop in a timely fashion, maybe four to six month as consensus strain that bakes in a lot of different variation we're seeing so boosters available for the fall. >> a new study suggestions a third variant is doubling in frequency about every week and a half. that study is not published or peer reviewed with a lab that shares information with the cdc. let's talk about this with our chief medical correspondent dr. gupta and nguyen a former baltimore health commissioner. let's start with the good news, cases, hospitalizations, deaths down. is this the end of the holiday surge down? is this actually turning a
corner? >> i'm always hesitant to use the term turning the corner, anderson with great humility because this virus obviously continues to surprise us in many ways but yeah, i think there is good news here as you point out. the numbers overall down. 21% as compared to last weekend as you mentioned. 52% down as compared to about a month ago. i think one of the things i'm really going to be looking for is, you know, we may see increases still in case numbers with these variants as we've all talked about. they're more transmissible, they're more contagious and that's a big concern if those transmissible vvariants because of contakousness affect more people. that percentage of deaths to cases, you know, right now if you are to do the math, it's around 2% deaths to the overall number of confirmed cases. i want to see, even if the cases go up, does that percentage come
down? if it does, i think that would give me more confidence we're starting to make significant headway. >> dr. nguyen, i know you're concerned about the variants. >> i am. i think we may be in the calm before the storm here. i completely agree with sanjay. i think there' is real''''' ly good news but we're seeing what happens in other countries with these variants take over. there is explosive surge even when the countries are in basically in shutdown in the u.k. and denmark. we've seen with this u.k. v variant cases skyrocket and places had to close as a result. i worry about people letting up on restrictions now -- >> like in new york, i think indoor dining is allowed at 25%. >> yeah, and the governor of iowa and north dakota, they have removed mask mandates. this really is the last time that we should be removing these types of restrictions.
we are in for something really potentially catastrophic, and we should be doubling down on the measures that we know to work. >> sanjay, we heard the former fda commissioner say vaccines are 25% lessfective and sound like opposing ideas. can you explain? >> yeah, i mean, i think the way to think about this is that it is pretty clear that the vaccines especially from moderate or mild disease aren't as effective against these variants as they are against the more dominant circulating coronavirus. we've seen that and shown the numbers at 66% effectiveness. the opposing ideas, scott was being consistent here because when you look at the overallfectiveness against serious disease across the board, whether it's the coronavirus that's circulating most dominant here in the united states, or the variants, it's
pretty effective. 85% protected with this johnson & johnson trial against all of these variants. he also made the comment that with these mrna vaccines, what is kind of remarkable in someways about them is that you can sort of retool them or reengineer them them pretty quickly within weeks versus months to get a new vaccine out there that may give you more protection. that's something else i know we're going to be keeping an eye out for, is there going to be booster shots that are going to be recommended that are more protective against the variants going forward? >> dr. wen, in an interview on cbs president biden called closed schools a national emergency. that was his term. he added cdc is going to issue guidance on re-opening the schools on wednesday. what do you think the guidance should say? >> well, i hope that the guidance from the cdc will be very clear because he's what we know. we know that schools can safely re-open, if the mitigation measures are put into place and if the community transmission is
relatively low. that's not the case in many parts of the country, and so i want to see a breakdown of in places where there is low community transmission, maybe here are the five things that schools have to put in place, but if you have a med yum level of transmission, you need those five things plus you need ten more and if you a very high level of transmission, maybe you need to do pretty extraordinary things like weekly or twice weekly testing. maybe teachers all need to be vaccinated prior to going into the classroom. i think if there's going to be a statement about the importance of in-person instruction, there should also be a statement, too, about prioritizing our teachers and school staff. the people who work in our schools as well. >> dr. wen, appreciate it, sanjay, thanks so much. appreciate it. the first sitting member of congress has died after being diagnosed with covid. representative ron wright was 67 years old. he died yesterday. in a statement his office says the texas republican had been treated for cancer. in december freshman-elect of louisiana also died after voting covid.
tonight, fox news claims the official reason for cancelling lou dobbs' show is a post election programming adjustment. it's raising eyebrows because dobbs was the highest rated host on fox business. there was no mention of the multibillion dollar defamation lawsuit dobbs is named in along with other filed by a voting technology company. more on the mysterious cancelation from cnn's chief media correspondent brian stelter. >> everybody, i'm david asman filling in for the vacationing lou dobbs. >> reporter: dobbs was not vacationing last friday. he was being booted from the fox business network. >> president joe biden -- >> reporter: fox is now putting a generic show in his old time slot and giving no believable
rationale for the sudden change. dobbs declined to comment to cnn on monday. a review of "lou dobbs tonight" highlights just how extreme his rhetoric had become. >> donald trump dealing an early blow to the radical dems venal unconstitutional impeachment farcical fraud. >> reporter: that's how he opened his final show calling democrats dims, calling impeachment manager jamie raskin a sinister clown, and calling the trial illegal. >> it's sad to watch. >> reporter: and that was his daily approach. >> i watched lou dobbs last night. >> reporter: there were no limits to dobbs' propaganda for trump. >> this is a man who's a natural-born leader. he outworks them. he outthinks. he is remarkably resourceful and we are lucky to have donald trump step up. >> reporter: at one point, even thanking him for making weekends possible. >> have a great weekend. the president makes such a thing possible for us all. >> reporter: so, last november dobbs gleefully joined trump's
crusade to steal the election from biden. >> why isn't the republican party en masse demanding the department of justice move in here? >> reporter: later he blasted then-attorney general bill barr for admitting there was no evidence of mass fraud. >> for the attorney general of the united states to make that statement, he's either a liar or a fool or both. >> reporter: name calling, smears, calling the truth a lie. this is how radical right-wing tv shows distort american politics. now, some dobbs targets are trying to hold fox accountable. suing the network and naming dobbs for defamation. >> dominion. >> dominion. sm smartmatic. >> dominion. dominion. smartma smartmatic. >> reporter: dobbs was canceled one day after smartmatic sued. the damage to dee democracy was done months ago. >> this is an assault. >> reporter: painting trump as a victim. >> the crimes that have been committed against him and the
american people. >> reporter: and eerily saying in december that there would be consequences. >> i guarantee william barr this, it will not be a quiet surrender of this constitutional rep republic. >> bri an stelter joins us now. gosh. i hadn't watched lou dobbs in a long time. that's quite a show. so what more are you learning from sources as to why he was fired? >> you know, he ticked off management many times, probably one too many times. there may have been a falling out with the murdochs. dobbs is not commenting. but even though he's gone, and he won't be a part of the senate trial coverage, there are a dozen tv hosts on fox and newsmax just like him. that's the big-picture point here, anderson. all of that incendiary rhetoric, all of those lies that led up to riot are still being broadcast all over the airways every day. dobbs is gone but the kind of hateful rhetoric that he created and he promoted, it is still all over the place and that's going to be an important part of this senate trial, i believe. >> lou dobbs, return to your
post. kind of an inside joke around here. brian stelter, thanks very much. remind ever, don't miss "full ci circle," our digital news show. 6:00 p.m. eastern at cnn.com/fullcircle. watch it there or the cnn app at any time on demand. news continues. let's hand it over to chris for "cuomo prime time." >> appreciate queue, coop. happy monday. i am chris cuomo. welcome to "prime time." the question is simple, did trump encourage or stir up the events of january 6th? if you think he did, that is called incitement. and it is why he was impeached. it's hard to argue his constant lies about the election being rigged, lies about proof that didn't exist, lies about bias judges, some of whom he put on the bench, and bad politicians, many of whom he supported and were from his party, did not make people distrust to the point of this insurrection. that's why almost all the seto