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tv   Erin Burnett Out Front  CNN  February 16, 2021 4:00pm-5:00pm PST

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>> thanks very much for watching. i'm wolf blitzer, be sure to tune in for cnn's town hall with president biden at 9:00 p.m. eastern. erin burnett "out front" starts right now. >> "out front" next, joe biden about to touch down in milwaukee for his first cnn town hall as president to shift the nation's focus to the deadly pandemic and his response to it. plus, breaking news this hour, donald trump releasing a new statement tonight that targets mitch mcconnell specifically, leveling a warning to any republican who stands by leader mcconnell. and why horrific and deadly attacks have been aimed at one group of americans ever since the start of the pandemic. let's go "out front." good evening, i'm erin burnett, out front, biden about the use the power of the presidency to shift america's attention back
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to his agenda and coronavirus. in just a few minutes, biden is expected to land in milwaukee for his first time as president. as of this hour, the virus killed more than 87,000 americans, 74,000 of those americans died since biden took office now, since biden left on his first official trip, he was asked about his covid relief package which he is expected to sell to the american people tonight. >> mitch mcconnell said opposing covid relief would unify republicans. what do you say to that? >> it hurt america badly. >> the president also will be taking questions on reopening schools and the vaccination rollout. on vaccination, the biden administration today fully back pushing the time line back for when everybody can get a vaccine. here is dr. anthony fauci today.
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>> if you stop talking about when vaccine will be more widely available to the general population, i was hoping that that would be by the end of april. that time line will probably be prolonged maybe into mid- to late-may and early june. that's fine. >> all right, they're being honest. it was a big push back. it is april. biden also is expected to take questions about reopening schools tonight. it's an issue that affects tens of millions and many in milwaukee a. few hundred students only were allowed to return to class. now, president biden had made this promise. >> my team will work to see if a majority of our schools can be opened by the end of my first 100 days. >> 100 days. we are, of course, almost a third of the way there now. there is growing frustration among parents. as it turns out, the administration's plans to reopen schools does not mean what
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americans thought it meant. >> his goal that he set is to have the majority schools, so more than 50%, opened by day 100 of his presidency and that means some teaching in class roomgs. so at least one day a week. hopefully, it's more. >> they're walking the line here dealing with unions, but one day a week, i'm saying the reality here, that in anyway that matters is not opening schools. so there will be questions about that tonight. jeff vel my is "out front" in milwaukee at the town hall. are you in theater now. obviously, joe biden, i've done a town hall with him. i know he really likes this format. he thrives on the audience, interacting with the people there and their questions. what is his goal for the town hall tonight? >> reporter: erin, i think without question, president biden as he enters his second month of his presidency is trying to seek the spotlight and the megaphone and the bully pulpit, which he has been
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sharing with his predecessor. president biden is trying to focus the country's mind on the challenges at hand. first and foremost, he is trying to held sis plan for covid relief. we know he is flexible to some degree on the numbers. i do expect we will hear the flexibility this evening. also talking about vaccines and vaccination supplies. this is something that local officials and peel living here, other parts of the country have seen through their own eyes. having a hard time getting appointments. he as president will be, he owns this problem. he realizes that. so taking these questions directly from voters. from will be up to 50 voters or so in this auditorium. it holds about 1,300. it will be socially distant, a much smaller forum than normal. but these questions give him an opportunity to make his case to the american people. in turn, the white house hopes the american people push the
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house and senate into approving this bill. time is running short on that they want to try to get this bill done within the next few weeks. we'll see when it happens. it also givers joe biden a chance to show empathy. this is something he clearly was elected on. erin, all of these challenges now are his and it's his burden. >> that's right. all right, thank you very must've, jeff zeleny. >> let's go to floria borger, the white house secretary jen psaki also said, i quote her, certainly the president of the united states owns the response to the americans, likievr jeff said. she continued to say it's important for people to know what we inherited when the president came into profit. already, they got a bipartisan group of governors complaining about communications from the biden administration on vaccines. can they continue successfully to blame what they have inherited much longer. >> reporter: well, welcome to
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incumbency. they can to a certain degree. we know this. there wasn't much of a federal distribution plan for vaccines when the biden administration came into office. we know that they have upped the number of vaccines that will be available by about 200 million. they've upped the number of total daily inoculations to about 1.6 million. but people want to get vaccinated. they want to get vaccinated sooner. and now this is a problem that they have and they own and they have to explain to the american people why it is so a difficult and complex process to get those vaccines in your arms and what they are trying to do to speed it up. i mean, tony fauci today said today, well, as you pointed out, it won't be april. maybe it will be may or june. that's because johnson&johnson is slower in producing these vaccines. people have to understand, it's
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not incompetence, that there are actually problems here that need to be solved. that's something he needs to do tonight. >> really, i think people need to understand. explicitly, here's what we can do about it. that transparency is what really matters. so michael biden is also seeing the school's comments, right? it was schools opened in the first 100 days, unions pushed back. now it's well, okay. maybe one day a week, that would count. how does biden what you can the line of what is increasingly becoming unions versus american families across this country when it comes to schools? >> i think you put our finger on what is most important i base that not only on polling data but also anecdotal information from telephone callers to my radio program. miami want to know two things. when am i getting a shot and
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when can kids be back in school? on both of those issues, there has been a cloud, some confusion that has come from the administration. i think the administration you raise is walking a very fine line because there is a tempest brewing now, perception that unions have too much of the president's ear and parents saying, hey, it's not enough for that 100-day guide post to be in school one day a week is not enough. so i think he is very carefully balancing that line already. >> it is a huge challenge. they have been trying to walk that. they don't want to be forced to make a choice here. but it is becoming a fault line. you know, an epidemiologist writing if anyone hasn't read it, editorial in box. three children in public school, epidemiologist saying i've had enough. i have empathy here, but i've had enough.
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this is becoming a huge issue. >> it's a huge issue for parents and women, if particular, who are dropping out of the work force in huge numbers because they're staying home to take care of their kids because they're not in school. so it has all kind of repercussions and biden and his people understand this. i think a part of the problem, quite honestly, is that the science disagrees sometime about how safe it is or isn't and -- >> the unions, to your point, the unions are demanding flies in the face of what cdc and scientists says are necessariry, right? >> reporter: that's the point. >> you will be the administration of science? >> reporter: right. >> you say no to the unions? >> reporter: that's right. either you are an administration of science or an administration governed by the unions. if they disagree, you have to figure out where you're going to stand and you know that the
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population wants their kids back in school. >> michael, the republican mayor of maryland, mary hogan, met with biden in the oval office on friday. here's what he said he told president biden. >> and i said it was good for his agenda, if he started out getting republicans on board in a bipartisan way f. you jam it down your throat, a "take it or leave it" democratic bill. have you republicans being obstructionists, democrats enforcing their will, it's not going to be as easy to get things done on infrastructure and rebuilding our economy. >> we're not looking at anything bipartisan. how much at stake for it to be bipartisan? >> so i'm so glad you raised this. what i most want to see in the town hall is to who is the audience? is the pitch being made to republicans? maybe those ten republicans who met in the oval office not long
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ago with president biden or is it the democrats to try to keep say joe manchin or senator cinema in the tent. i think we will be able to tell right off the back, who has his focus. thus far, it looks like he is prepared to do it alone and we can argue whether that's the fall of the republicans or the administration for a lack of outreach. >> i'm going to argue you a little bit with governor hogan, if i might to say that just because a republican doesn't vote for the stimulus package, i think that's a tough road for republicans. if they don't, it doesn't mean they will be against joe biden on new bridges and roads in their state. >> we all know infrastructure is the big sale over multiple administrations, maybe people are experiencing it in texas. thank you very much. don't miss cnn's live town hall, it starts at 9:00 p.m. eastern. we will check with anderson
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later on this hour. next, the breaking news, donald trump released a fiery takedown of mitch mcconnell, promising to destroy the career of any republican who doesn't side with trump in what is clearly officially a civil war in the gop. plus a leading house democrat suing president trump for inciting the deadly capitol insurrection. does he have a case? i will talk to a congressman joining that lawsuit. and a new warning for american who's have already been vaccinated. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ (quiet piano music) ♪ ♪ comfort in the extreme. the lincoln family of luxury suvs. this is the planning effect. as carla thinks about retirement, she'll wonder,
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breaking news, former president trump declaring war on the republican party, breaking his silence, unleashing a blistering attack on mitch mcconnell. this is a two-page statement and this is the declaration, the republican party can never again be restricted or strong with political leaders in quotes like senator mitch mcconnell at its helm. the statement is a nasty and personal takedown of mcconnell. trump says mitch is a dire, solemn and unsmiling political hack and if republican senators will stay with him, they will not win again. he will never do what needs to be done or right for our country. cnn is learning this statement was actually watered down. that's personal, nasty, trumpian, right? the original statement said mcconnell had too many chins and not enough brains. yeah, that line was removed by someone before it was issued.
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remember, mcconnell did not convict to impeach the former president. the outrage, what he said was incredibly damming and accurate about trump after the trial. >> president trump's actions preceded the riot were a disgraceful, disgraceful der lex of duty. president trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day. the people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of our president. >> trump apparently finding those words unbearable. in a statement, saying the republican party is his party and will take down any party -- this is significant when you talk about the war on the republican party. he says, where necessary and
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appropriate, i will back primary rivals who espouse making america great again and our policy of america first. this is a big moment for our country. we cannot let it pass by using third grade leader. out front, our chief correspondent raj just manu and jim, acosta, as nasty as this is, right, dire, solemn, unsmiling political hack, it was the nice version? >> reporter: it could have been trumpier, that's for sure, no question about it. i am told by jason miller one of trump's advisers that in his words there was never a consideration of a personal attack in the earlier version. when you talk about how the earlier version was supposed to have a reference to mitch mcconnell's chin, jason miller saying that is not the case.
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but setting that to the side, erin, obviously, there is no love lost between these two men. they now represent two riempbal factions of the republican party. this party is either going to go in mitch mcconnell's direction or in donald trump's direction. there are plenty of mitch mcconnell critics who say mitch mcconnell had his chance to break free from donald trump in this republican party and he missed his chance. but having said all that erin, one of the things i think overlooking in that statement from donald trump is that he engages in a good bit of georgia trutherrism. >> yep. >> reporter: he tries to blame mitch mcconnell for what happened in georgia and not himself. you talk to people even inside the trump campaign or what is left of the trump campaign, the president's current team of advisers, aides and associates and so on, they will tell you that donald trump is largely responsible for what happened in georgia. so it's donald trump, alone, who feels that way. but make no mistake, this statement that trump put out, i
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talked to an ad advisor earlier this evening who said he had no choice but to make that kind of response. mitch mcconnell's op-ed in the "wall street journal" required a response and donald trump gave one. i think we will see much more of this to come. this is a sneak preview of coming attractions, no question about it. >> certainly could responded. as usual, expect him to take out denigrations, smiling, non-smiling would be asking for a personality change. so, jim, thank you. manu, what about mcconnell now? like i said, at the beginning of this statement. the republican party can never be strong with senator mitch mcconnell at its helm. it is a clear declaration of war on mcconnell and his arm of the party? >> reporter: yeah, it's remarkable, given the fact that mitch mcconnell was a central ally of donald trump for the past four years. mcconnell rarely criticized donald trump and was central in getting his supreme court nominees confirmed and pushing
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his agenda and even as late as december 15th, he would not criticize donald trump's rhetoric about a stolen election. i asked him on december 15th, the date after the electoral college, declared joe biden the victor, whether or not he has concerns with donald trump saying the election was stolen. at the time mitch mcconnell said, i don't have any advice to give the president. then on january 6th, his tune changed. he became much more critical about the efforts to overturn the elections, even before the riot occurred and afterwards, we heard his voice get louder and louder up until saturday after he voted to acquit donald trump on a constitutional concern, but then later said that donald trump was spiblg morally for what happened and also saying he could be in legal jeopardy as well. now, this is all going to play out, erin, in the primary fights for the control of the senate over the next two years. mcconnell wanted more of this. he will come one a trump loyalty set of sorts for senate
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candidate races in key countries. >> let's go to republican governor and congressman from carolina mark sanford and chief correspondent for politico and politico playbook, ryan liza. governor, let's just be clear here. this is a declaration of a war going on. this is clear, the republican party can never be strong with leader mitch mcconnell at its hem going on to say he will back primary rivals who espouz making america great again. >> well, i have rather first-hand knowledge of that given that trump came against me in a primary. so, yes, this is further declaration of a war that has been brewing for four years. it's a further lockdown as to how trump is going to behave going forward and it's a continuation of political double speak. it's astounding to me that in the text of what trump sent
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forward was among the other hits on mcconnell was a personal hit saying you can really say nothing about china based on your wife's holdings with regard to china. this is the massive double speak. this is a guy who appointed elaine chow, mcconnell's wife, to be secretary of transportation. he doesn't mention that. again, i could go through paragraph after paragraph of the double speak, which i think is incredibly damaging. >> we should remind everyone elaine chow resigned when that insurrection hachlts that's what she gets for that. one other point, he brings up trump, georgia, he came to el paso and blamed mitch mcconnell for the loss in georgia, when everyone knows, of course, the loss in georgia happened because of president trump. republicans were likely to keep both those seats. he goes on, many republicans in georgia voted democrat or didn't
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vote because of their anguish at their inept governor. the secretary of state and the republican party for not doing its job on the election integrity on the 2020 race. >> that revision is history. he's coming up with a counternarrative of what happened in georgia. this is less than, you know, 976 about what donald trump requires from republican office holders is complete loyalty. if you are completely loyal to donald trump, you can remain in his good graces for as long as that lasts. now, i know a lot of people who are not fond of donald trump, are saying with mitch mcconnell, he's sort of getting what he deserved here. they will argue he made a fausty bargain with donald trump, thought he could make some
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conservative policy during the four years of his presidency. we will defend the journals trump got through. once mcconnell broke with trump, this kind of statement, of course was inevitable. right? we all knew that. let's be honest, given trump's record, he may finish off mitch mcconnell's career. we all know that donald trump is a stronger player in the republican party than mitch mcconnell is and has a stronger grip on the republican base. look what he did to mark. i mean and mark, you in 2016 were right before the primary in south carolina hedged about whether you supported trump or not and once he took power, he just rode through people like you, once you broke with them. made fun of you for your affair, your girlfriend and made
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personal attacks on you. you know first hand what happens when you cross this guy. >> here's my question. i talked to a lot of republican who's say that they believe the mcconnell wing will win in that 20-minute speech. which is the best speech of his career. but the numbers don't show it. the numbers show that three-quarters of the republican party want trump to have a big role. there was a new poll today that show people disapproved what he did, didn't want him to be at the head of the party. there was this big drop. then it's back up to where it was before now that he's been acqu acquitted. >> again, i don't have a clue. i can't figure it out. i'm disappointed, disillusioned, i'm discouraged. but it is what it is. those numbers are amazingly
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accurate based on conversations i've had at home. until this fever breaks, you will see crazy continue to reign. >> i appreciate both of your time very much. sobering. but thank you. >> and next, trump's long-term attorney guiliani, now he is no longer representing him, why my next guest says this could be one of trump's biggest problems. now an epidemiologist is warning of another spike in covid cases in the coming week. . you can both adjust your comfort with your sleep number setting. can it help me fall asleep faster? yes, by gently warming your feet. but, can it help keep me asleep? absolutely, it intelligently senses your movements and automatically adjusts to keep you both effortlessly comfortable. will it help me come out swinging? you got this. so, you can really promise better sleep? not promise... prove. and now, during the ultimate sleep number event, save 50% on the sleep number 360 limited edition smart bed. plus, 0% interest for 24 months on all smart beds. only for a limited time. this is how you become the best!
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all right. air force one just landing in milwaukee as you can see. president biden is there going to the cnn town hall with anderson cooper. we will check in with anderson in a minute later. you see air force one there. we will let you know as the president disembarks and head over to our town hall this comes as former president trump is facing his first lawsuit related to the attack on the u.s. capitol, benny johnson accusing rudy guiliani of conspireing
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with the proud boys to incite the riot. the statute protects the kkk, prevents the kkk from intimidating lawmakers. it says defendants trump, guiliani, proud boys coordinated and executed a common plan to prevent congress from discharging its official duties in certifying the results of the presidential election. outside now, democratic congressman hank johnson of georgia, who will be joining this lawsuit. i appreciate your time. you are a lawyer, nearly 40 years of experiencing practicing law. 12 years as a judge in georgia so you know the merits of the case. why are you confident that you can win this one? >> well, i mean, it is clear that president trump in public, i mean, out in your face at his rally on january 6th incited insurrectionists to come to the capitol to disrupt our proceeding and that fits
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squarely within the confines of this statute that he is accused of conspirekt with rudy guiliani and others to violate. that is the klu klux klan act of 1871, which as you said was put in place to stop the intimidation and violence against southern congress people, often black, who traveled to washington, d.c. for official business. so this is exactly what donald trump and rudy guiliani, consorting with the proud boys and the oath keepers did. they tried to stop us from doing our constitutional duty to count those electoral votes and certify the winner of the presidency and vice presidency. >> so, congressman, there is something significant in here that is very significant. the lawsuit accuses trump of delaying his speech that day, for a specific reason. so that members of the proud boys can advance to the capitol
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and overcome the police presence there. do you have time line evidence to support that? >> yes. no question about it. the proud boys split off from the rally about a half hour early and started walking toward the capitol at that time and when they got to the capitol, they created a pretty much a diversion, which then allows the larger crowd to approach at which time they were able to gain entry into the capitol and so it was a carefully coordinated event. there were, who ill the president was speaking, while president trump was speaking, the proud boys were marching and then when the main crowd approached donald trump was tweeting and there were bullet horns and radios in use telling
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the public who was approaching the capitol what the president was saying to further incite the crowd. so it was a carefully coordinated and staged event and effectively pulled off. >> so you know, obviously, you knew that trump was not convicted. right? you only had seven republicans him they were seven republicans who stood up, courageously and said that trump did what he did. and but yet in this lawsuit, obviously, it's democrats who have signed on board. are you concerned that that could make something which should be non-partisan partisan? >> you have to keep in mind that this lawsuit is filed by the naacp, which has a history and a legacy of protecting black people and the rights of black people and it was, this was a race riot. it had as its basis racism.
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i mean, this whole big lie that trump told to incite the insurrectionists was based on the alleged theft of votes in places like atlanta, detroit, philadelphia, milwaukee. this is where black voters are and he wanted to stop the steal incentivizing his people to go attack based on them thinking that black folks had taken something from them and so this whole affair was built on racism and that's why the naacp came in to file this lawsuit along with congressman benny thompson and i look forward to joining it. >> all right. i appreciate your time. congressman johnson, thank you very much. i want to go now to harvard law school professor lawrence tribe.
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so professor tribe, you know, look, we talked about whether trump will be held accountable. mitch mcconnell said he hasn't been held accountable yet. implying there should be accountability. that implies people should bring cases. this is the first one that has come forth. what do you think of it? >> i think it's a powerful lawsuit. i agree with the complaint, i studied carefully. i see no reason why liz cheney and adam kinzinger and others ought not join in. i suspect they might. this is the lawsuit for which the include clux act in 1871 was designed. it's a lawsuit built on the federal law that says that if people conspire to interfere with the performance of federal official functions and surely the counting of the electoral
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votes by congress on january 6th was the most official of all functions, then they can be held liable. this lawsuit is extremely powerful. the evidence is strong. the law is clear. there was an 1883 supreme court decision that in a scater shot way negated some parts that this was a part. but they never took i'm at this statute. this statute is strong. it will be upheld. it will be a basis for liability. >> okay. so then in that case, you get to appoint where you will have discovery and depositions and all of those things. what happens next? i know the lawyer says they want to depose both trump and guiliani. are we ever going to get a deposition of the former president? can you vote the executive privilege because he was president at the time? or do we all get a deposition
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and we get so see it? >> he is being sued in his private capacity. not at president. there is no version of the job description as president that includes interfering with the smooth transition to the next president. you know, it takes a while to enforce these subpoenas. but he has no legal basis whatsoever for resisting a deposition. his name will come. it's right around the corner. >> so let me ask you about the legal issue, his long-time personal attorney rudy guiliani is not representing trump in any legal matters. that's the quote from trump adviser jason miller. any legal matters? we saw the lawyers who just represented him in the senate. it was an embarrassment. they won. but they won because the senators had made up their minds, themselves. right? that, is he going to get represented -- people can say what they want about guiliani,
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but at least he was there. >> when you say they won, there was a 57-43 verdict in favor of you know. >> yes, i understand. >> they needed two-third. no, they embarrassed themselves. i don't know if alan dershowitz or jonathan turley or somebody else will come out of the woodwork. it can't be rouge rouge, because he's one of the co-conspirators who is a defendant in this lawsuit. they will have to dig pretty deep to find lawyers that will defend this president. maybe they can hack someone. the point is, not the lawyers, the point is that there is no good defense. as mitch mcconnell, himself, said, having delayed the trial to the point where the clock ran out. he said, oh, too bad, it was too late to try the president. but, of course, he was guilty. that's what mitch mcconnell said. >> yes. >> it seems to me that when the people who vote for you sa i that you were guilty, are you in trouble. >> that's true. he said both morally and practically.
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he laid it out. thank you very much, professor, as always. next, joe biden just arriving in milwaukee for our town hall. anderson is there. he will be moderating it. keep wearing your masks, keep social distancing. and all of it. what you need?ou only pay for i mean it... uh-oh, sorry... oh... what? i'm an emu! no, buddy! only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty, liberty, liberty, liberty. ♪ you can't plan for your period's... what the gush moments. but the right pad can. only always ultra thins have rapiddry technology and, they absorb 40% faster. the gush happens fast. that's why always absorbs faster. at philadelphia, we know what makes the perfect schmear of cream cheese. the recipe we invented over 145 years ago and me...the world's best, and possibly only, schmelier.
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trusted experts. guaranteed accurate books. intuit quickbooks live. covid's still a threat. and on reopening schools, we know what happens when we don't put safety first. ignore proper ventilation or rates of community spread, and the virus worsens. fail to provide masks or class sizes that allow for social distancing, and classrooms close back down. a successful reopening requires real safety and accountability measures. including prioritizing vaccines for educators. parents and educators agree: reopen schools. putting safety first. covid has made clear that having health insurance is more important than ever. at covered california, every plan is comprehensive, covering everything from preventive care
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to mental health. and it's the only place that offers financial help for health insurance. enrollment is open due to covid-19. if you or someone you know isn't covered, now is the time to sign up. covered california. this way to health insurance. enroll now at coveredca.com. tonight a warning for anyone who has received the coronavirus vaccine. a harvard epidemiologist warns the virus could mutate if it infects people who are getting sick of it. mutated to a variant. that could be much harder to stop. >> the more opportunities we give the virus to come in contact with somebody who is near, the more opportunities there are for the virus to find a way around that level of
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immunity with those anti-bodies. >> jonathan reiner who had advised under george w. bush. i think what he is barrackally saying here is we know the vaccine can prevent you from getting really sick. it does not affect you getting infected. it has a chance to mutate andened come, joe biden heading to our town hall in milwaukee where he will be talking about this and all of the coronavirus issues we now face, doctor. but that's a big question. it could mutate to a beta vaccine or get people a lot secretaryer. what do you sa i to this? is this something you are worried about? >> well, what dr. nina is saying is viruses make mistakes when they replicate. some of these mistakes and the replication are noted a van table just to the virus. some don't matter at all. some present an opportunity and if the virus mutates in a way that can evade the anti-body
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that you have from your vaccine, or from your prior exposure to the virus, that then becomes an opportunity for the virus to take hold in you. and then become a viable variant in the community. so the notion is that while there is still virus in the community and there is still plenty of virus in the community. >> yeah. >> even if have you natural immunity or vaccine immunity, wear a mask to keep these variants from forming. that's the notion. it makes a lot of sense. we can be wearing masks for a long time. >> all right. so that's, you know arc sophisticate thing to say. let me ask that other thing, an epidemiologist warning about the variant. i will quote him, to not be deceived by cases dropping. there is a under belly much more transmissible and will cause another surge soon in march and april. obviously, there is questions on some of these variants, not just on transmissibility. whether or not they are more deadly. do you share that concern that
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there may be this surging case load of the more tran missible, i'm sorry, variant? >> not necessarily. we have to ask ourselves why are cases dropping right now? it's probably multi-factorial. we are better at masking and social distanting. there is not a lot of travel and maybe we are seeing enough fringes of people in the community who have had the virus and now with almost 40 million people vaccinated, we are starting to see just the outer reaches of some community-acquired immunity. so even if the variants become the predominant strain in the community, i don't know it's a done deal they will result in a massive surge. we're not seeing that yet. there is no sign of uptake. >> all right, well, dr. reiner, as always, i appreciate your time. here you see, president biden in that motorcade, heading toward
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the town hall in milwaukee, wisconsin tonight. over the ice and snow like so much of this country. the president just landing moments ago, you saw him get off air force one. the town hall will begin in just over one hour. anderson cooper joins me next with what we can expect from the pop theater. plus a grandfather assaulted. businesses vandalized. why one specific group of americans have found themselves a target of a growing number of hate crimes.
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president joe biden is now in milwaukee, wisconsin on his way to the theater that you see on your screen where he will be at a town hall fielding questions here on cnn in just about an hour. anderson cooper is there hosting tonight's town hall. anderson, look, this is a significant thing. the first formal trip for the president as president coming there to take questions from people you're going to have at the theater. 50 people in a theater that can fit 1,000. all coronavirus, everything is compliant. who is going to be in the crowd asking questions? >> it's a variety of people. there is people that voted for the president. there are people that did not vote for the president, that
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voted for former president trump. so a variety of people and we wanted a variety of topics. obviously, we're getting a lot of questions about the pandemic, about vaccines and school openings, a lot of questions about the divided country and concerns about that. obviously, also the stimulus bill. there is a range of questions that we're hoping that everybody in our audience gets a chance to ask their questions to the president. >> that's great. i mean, that's one of the things from having -- i know it's socially distant but imminent because you only have 50 people in the room with you and the president. so what can we expect to hear? on a lot of these issues, anderson, he has a challenge, a vaccination rollout that's slowing down a little bit from what they'd hoped a few weeks ago. lots of questions about schools and the pandemic. >> yeah, i mean, there is a lot of interest here from people about, you know, their children going to school, about their kids getting vaccinated, family
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members when they can get vaccinated. it's the questions really i think that many people throughout the country have on their minds. there is the questions we've been seeing. we've been going through them all day and we really do want this to be as much as possible a conversation between the president of the united states and the people here in the audience and obviously, the people who will be watching at home and you're right, this is a 1300-seat theater. there is 50 or so people here and as you can see, there is still a few more coming in but they are socially distanced and family members are allowed to sit together. we've given each of them a kn 95 mask so they will be wearing them throughout the presentation when they are asking questions. >> all right. really looking forward to it, anderson and interesting to see how the president will respond as we know, this is a format that he very much likes. he likes being able to talk to people directly. so we look forward to watching you in just a little bit. thanks, anderson. >> thanks.
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>> all right. we'll see anderson in one hour with president biden. next, the spiking disturbing attacks on asian americans sparking calls for immediate action. >> you need to [ bleep ] leave. you asian piece of [ bleep ]. >> oh my god. so you only pay for what you need? really? i didn't-- aah! ok. i'm on vibrate. aaah! only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ psst! psst! allergies don't have to be scary. spraying flonase daily stops your body from overreacting to allergens all season long. psst! psst! you're good.
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tonight, san francisco police arresting a man for allegedly assaulting an station man because of his race. it comes after an alarming rise in unprovoked violent attacks against asian americans amid the pandemic. i'll warn you some of the video you're about to see in the special report is upsetting. kyung law is "outfront". >> happy birthday -- >> reporter: turning 84 was a milestone for he and his family. >> happy birthday. >> reporter: the san francisco grandfather had just received the vaccine and stayedpandemic,
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for an hour in his neighborhood every morning. on his walk an unprovoked attacker ran across the street. how did you find out what happened to your father? >> the officer answer the phone and told us that they found him got assaulted. he got injury very bad and he never wake up again. i never see him again. >> reporter: a 19-year-old suspect is charged with murder and elder abuse. his family calls it something else. >> this wasn't driven by economics. this was driven by hate. >> reporter: he is part of a surge in reported attacks against asian americans during the pandemic. in oakland, a man walked up behind a 91-year-old man and through him to the ground. one of more than 20 assaults and robberies like this one in
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oakland's china town. in portland, more than a dozen asian owned businesses have been vandalized. these incidents are not new. in new york, the mta retweeted this video of what they called racism. this man sprayed fabreeze on an asian american prompting an nypd hate crime investigation. >> asian piece of [ bleep ]. >> oh my god. >> reporter: a collision tracked more than 2800 anti asian hate incidents between march and december of last year. like this one at a california restaurant. before the election, this man invoked president trump. >> going to [ bleep ] you. [ bleep ]. [ bleep ]. >> you need to leave. >> reporter: the then president's words. >> china virus, kung flu. >> reporter: have lasting impacts as a professor that tracked those 2800 incidents through stop aapi hate because no governmental agency would.
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>> mean stream society doesn't believe that we face racism and we need to document what was happening. >> offering our support to the community. >> reporter: identify and change them says this group of bay area volunteers offering escorts for the elderly. offers a bridge to those who may not even know how to talk to the police. >> you want to take that rage and like let do something, this is what we're doing. >> reporter: the victim's daughter spent the last year ignoring what people said to her. >> you bring the covid, screaming, spit on us. we walk away. >> reporter: she won't do that anymore. >> you got to be proud. >> reporter: the police have not charged the suspect in her case and what happened with her
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father because it's so difficult to charge him with a hate crime because it's so difficult to prove it is indeed a hate crime. he's been charged with murder and elder abuse, something important to remember, erin, activists believe the real number of hate incidents nationally may be higher because we're dealing with an immigrant community who is often fearful to report. erin? >> that is horrific watching that. my gosh. thank you very much. thanks for joining us. cuomo prime time is on now. special time tonight because of the town hall. let's hand it over to chris cuomo. all right. thank you, erin. i'm chris cuomo and welcome to "prime time." your time is right. a big man anderson cooper is in wisconsin for the big cnn town hall with president joe biden. it begins one hour from now, but we've just received word that the president has landed in wisconsin. now, the big question is obviously about the bi

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