tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN October 11, 2021 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT
john berman here, in for anderson. one of the joys of this job used to be wondering what the new day -- no plug intended -- would bring. not anymore. now, it's watching headlines like these pop up. quote, here's why you should be worried about u.s. democracy right now. that's from cnn.com political analyst zach wolf and, yeah, it's a thing. >> the ding dongs who sacked the capitol last year.
that was like when al qaeda tried to take down the world trade center the first time with a van. it was a joke. but the next time, they came back with planes. >> bill maher misspoke there. as for the rest, the notion that former president incited in january was only a dress rehearsal? well, listen to someone who does serious for a living. yesterday on cbs news, former-national security council senior official fiona hill was asked about joint chiefs chairman mark milley's quote in bob woodward and robert costa's new book "peril" comparing january 6th to, quote, the great dress rehearsal. her answer is chilling. >> well, you're a russia analyst. you know immediately what that phrase is which is what lennon called an uprising that preceded the revolution. i read that and i said, dear god. >> yeah. >> i mean, he -- the -- the general is saying that this is a precursor, potentially, to further violence? is -- is this overstating things in a historical sense?
>> he's not overstating it at all because i mean we all saw, in real-time, what happened on january 6th. at the capitol building. i mean, this is exactly the thing that you think of in revolutions, storming the bastille during the french revolution. storming the winter palace during the russian revolution that general milley was alluding to. and as he was saying, we have seen many historical episodes where there is violence. people discount it. they think that this is just a passing occurrence. >> just a passing occurrence. you mean, like mike pence, the one rioters wanted to lynch calling it quote one day in january? that kind of thing? well, if that were all it was, it would be bad enough and destructive enough to the truth which any healthy democracy arrests on but it's not just rewriting the history of one day. it's rewriting the history of another. election day, 20 20.
here's a member of the house republican leadership doing it over the weekend when asked if he thought the election was stolen. >> well, chris, i've been very clear from the beginning. if you look at a number of states, they didn't follow their state-passed laws that govern the election for president. that is what the united states constitution says. they don't say that the states determine what the rules are. they say the state legislatures determine the rules. >> but the states all certified -- the states all certified. right. but at the end of the day, are we going to follow what the constitution says or not? i hope we get back to what the constitution says. but clearly, in a number of states, they didn't follow those legislatively set rules. >> so you think the election was stole -- stolen? >> what i said is there are states that didn't follow their legislatively set rules. that's what the united states constitution says. >> do you think the election was stolen? >> and it's not just irregular -- it's states that did not follow the laws set which the constitution says they're supposed to follow. when you see states like georgia cleaning up some of the mess, and people calling that jim crow law, that's a flat-out lie. >> he simply could not say what
election officials in 50 states certified in 60-some-odd court cases reaffirmed. but it's not just the rewriting the history of that day, either. here's senator chuck grassley who certainly knows better trying to rewrite january 3rd. that's the day, according to testimony from someone in the room, the former president discussed decapitating the justice department and appointing as attorney general someone who would support his demands as he tried to overturn the election. >> that was the advice that one person in the justice department was suggested but just one person. and he -- he rejected all that. and they're trying to make it a scenario that he was trying to get the justice department. >> yes, that's the same senator grassley who is running for re-election and who stood on stage saturday with the man he once said -- and i am quoting from his statement here -- quote, displayed poor leadership in his words and actions.
unquote. he said on the 13th of february, and before that on january 7th -- the day after the insurrection -- so another two days rewritten. but, it takes more to create the danger of a political uprising than just the wholesale creation of an alternate myth to explain a defeat as confederate states did with the lost cause or nazis claimed that the betrayal from within was the reason germany lost the first world war. it also takes some to rally behind which is why this program tries to play the ramblings of the former president sparingly, if at all. but in this case, because he is the man whom republicans like chuck grassley, mike pence, steve scalise, and all but a few lawmakers have chosen to supplicate themselves to, here is a sampling of what he said in iowa this weekend. >> i'm telling you, the single-biggest issue, as bad as the border is, it's horrible. horrible. they're destroying our country. as bad as that is, the single-biggest issue, the issue that gets the most -- the most
pull, the most respect, the biggest cheers is talking about the election fraud of 2020 presidential election. justice department was scared or impotent. they didn't want to do anything about it. the supreme court refused to hear the case by texas and almost 20 other states. they rule against me all the time. all the time. very personal rulings. it's been going on for years but never like this. this, again, they used covid in order to cheat with all of these ballots and all of this early voting and late voting. we are one movement, one people, one family, and one glorious nation under god. and together, we will make america powerful, again. >> the former president this weekend. also, here trying, yet again, to turn a member of a violent insurrectionist mob into a hero. >> my great honor to gather today to cherish the memories of
ashli babbitt. a truly incredible person. there was no reason ashli should have lost her life that day. >> just to remind you, ashli babbitt was a woman who fell under the sway of the qanon conspiracy, then incited by the former president's rally that day was part of a violent mob that broke into the capitol. the mob beat and wounded 140 police officers and wanted to lynch the vice president. she was shot and killed trying to break into a secure hallway with fleeing congress members just steps away. and now, those very same republican lawmakers, with only a few rare exceptions, are hitching their wagons to the man and the idea responsible for the worst act of political violence since the civil war. and in red states across the country at the former president's prompting, state legislatures are imposing new laws making elections tougher to vote in but easier for partisan forces to challenge. also, at the former president's urgings, republicans have been begun replacing election
officials, including republicans, with trump loyalists. each day seems to bring another headline. none seems to bring any joy. joining us now, two cnn political commentators. both of them, conservatives. mike shields, who advises house minority leader kevin mccarthy. and s.e. cupp. s.e., they are leaders in the republican party. scalise is perpetuating the big lie. and grassley is kind of coming up with this new lie that trump was somehow the victim in the insurrection. what does this do to the party? and what does this do to the country? >> well, it's an embarrassment to the country to watch two grown men so emasculated. so afraid of losing donald trump's support and supporters. um, and unable to say what is -- what we all know to be true. um, it' deeply disappointing. but i actually think it's worse.
in some ways, people like steve scalise, lawmakers like chuck grassley -- um -- leaning into this and really giving it their full weight is, i think, worse than trump doing it. the idea that trump lies and doesn't know how to tell the truth or doesn't care about facts, that's almost baked into the cake, even amongst his supporters. but the idea that lawmakers are going along with it, very seriously, not flippantly but seriously going along with it, i think, gives it a lot of credit to people who are tuning into fox news, maybe are disaffected voters and think, well, if they are saying it, surely it must be true because no one seems to be fact checking this on, you know, some of the right-wing media airwaves. so i think it's -- it's actually incredibly dangerous, what steve scalise and chuck grassley and many other republicans, by the
way, are doing. in -- in some ways, worse than trump saying it in the first place. >> mike, chris wallace couldn't get a straight answer out of congressman scalise. let me try to get a straight answer out of you. do you think the 2020 election was stolen? >> well, hey, john, good evening. i'll give you a straight answer and maybe you and s.e. can give me a straight answer, too. i don't -- i believe that joe biden's our president. he was elected. i would love it if you and s.e. would say that donald trump won the 2016 election and call on hillary clinton to say i read the mueller report. and you know what, everyone? i was wrong. donald trump won fair and square. i would love it if you guys would say to stacey abrams, it's time for you to concede the 2018 election. maybe, you should tell terry mcauliffe who just said the 2000 election was stolen from al gore that he ought to do the same thing because the intellectual dishonesty of these arguments is what is -- is what causes republicans to say, you know what? i'm just not going to take the bait on these political arguments anymore because the left has created a situation where people don't trust the elections. and what we need is trust in elections. we need people to believe when they go and vote that their vote
is going to be counted. that it wasn't stolen from russians. that when you take part in the election, that your vote counts. and we're -- we're in a situation where no one believes that anymore. in fact, there is a poll -- let me just finish this last point. let me finish this last point, s.e. let me finish this last point. hang on. >> sorry. absurd. absurd. >> in may, there was a poll that came out that said more democrats believe that donald trump was elected fraudulently in 2016 than republicans believe that joe biden was elected fraudulently in 2020. that was back in may. >> s.e.? >> but that shows you the depth of distrust in the american political system. and by the way, there is a lot of people that contributed to that for the last four years. >> you're saying that as if there isn't a cause and effect to that. i mean, you're -- you're acting as if that's happened out of nowhere. when, in fact, donald trump and republicans -- >> absolutely. >> -- stoked that idea. and i think the idea that there is distrust in elections is the sole responsibility of the people screaming distrust the
elections. those are the people responsible, and the people who are willing to believe them instead of believing the myriad audits, the phony audits. they're willing to go down the conspiracy-rabbit holes and follow donald trump off a cliff because he's told them -- um -- he likes them and they're special. it's crazy. >> hey, mike? um, hillary clinton conceded the election the day after. i was anchoring a television show while that happened. something that donald trump never did. no, she did. i mean, she absolutely conceded the election. and congratulated donald trump. she did. she did. she did. i mean, that's an absurd argument. it's absurd on its face. it adds -- and as for cnn and others, you know, you are an analyst. we called the election for donald trump that night. >> that's not my point, john. >> we did. the point is is that donald trump -- donald trump, from before the election ever
happened, said it was rigged. and then, after it happened, never accepted the results. and then, he tried to overturn the results. and to try to equate any of that other stuff -- any of that other stuff -- it's absurd on its face and i think you -- i think you know that. and i think you're willing to admit what steve scalise wasn't willing to admit which was that the election wasn't stolen. it's a one-word answer and it should be the easiest answer in the world to say. >> well, john, i just -- i just said that. my point is that we have created a situation where when steve's going to -- when the leader -- excuse me, the whip is going to go on television and talk about this, he's not going to take the bait in a fight like that because it's all political now. we spent four years with the -- well, the better part of two, maybe three years before the mueller report came out with daily -- i came on this show probably 20, 25 times to talk about the russia collusion thing. and -- and there are millions of americans now who believe that
russia elected donald trump. and so, that is the context by which we have to look at these things. when you only look at it through one narrow thing, republicans go this is all politics. i'm not listening to it, anymore. so you have to have credibility when you talk about these things. stacey abrams ought to concede the 2018 election. >> that's bait is the problem, right? take the bait. as if that is some sort of bait to say acknowledge very clearly what we -- what we all know to be true which is that the election was legitimate and not stolen. there's no bait to take. he says it. he doesn't want to say it. just for the same reason that -- that mike doesn't want to have this conversation. but hillary clinton and terry mcauliffe and joe biden and russia because this conversation is why the american people do not trust our elections and our political process right now. >> i agree with that. that's right. this conversation is why. you're right. i agree with that. >> yes, you exclaiming it in the media when the people who are actually yelling it from the rooftops aren't hiding about it. we can name them. >> yeah.
>> they are going out in public, and yelling stop believing the elections. distrust everything. those people are somehow just taking the bait. got it. >> well, we have to move on, friends. i will say this. it wasn't the media and it wasn't the left chanting hang mike pence. it wasn't those people who stormed the capitol at this point and it wasn't any of them who did not concede the election in november. mike shields, s.e. cupp, thanks to both of you. next, what will lawmakers do and what can they do about witnesses who refuse to cooperate with the january-6th investigation? hear what one republican member of the select committee just said and what our own jeffrey toobin has to say, as well. and later, a remarkable look inside one hospital where vaccine refusal is jeopardizing patient health, but so is the prospect of workers quitting because they're refusing to get vaccinated. one of my favorite supplements is qunol turmeric. turmeric helps with healthy joints and inflammation support.
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investigations before. and now, with steve bannon, one of the four big names subpoenaed to appear openly refusing to cooperate, the answer seems to be the committee will get tough. here's congressman adam kinzinger, one of two republicans on the panel this morning. >> it's my impression and my intention and the committee's intention that they will be compelled. you know, there's some little back-and-forth nuances between the lawyers right now but i think if it gets to a point where we realize they're stonewalling or they're not serious, there's contempt things you can file. you can do it through congress. you can do it through the doj, criminal contempt. i think that's our leaning is to say criminal contempt. >> so joining us now, cnn chief legal analyst, jeffrey toobin. you heard what congressman kinzinger has said there. you can refer it to the justice department. what would that look like, jeff? what would the process there be? >> well, it tells you something that as far as i can tell, this process has not been used in decades. it's -- it's very difficult, cumbersome process to the extent
we can identify how it works at all. but basically, it works like this. is the committee says this person is defying a legitimate subpoena. the justice department says we agree, and we are going to prosecute this person for contempt -- for criminal contempt. however, what that means is they have to impanel a grand jury, present evidence to a grand jury, indict, say, steve bannon if he continues not -- not to cooperate. and then, offer him a jury trial of the criminal contempt. all of that is possible. it takes a long time. even if the justice department pursues it as congressman kinzinger -- kinzinger and others are trying to do. >> you say even if the justice department pursues it. why wouldn't they? and i understand this hasn't happened, as far as you can tell, in a long time. and if so, hardly ever. but isn't an insurrection the type of thing that you want to get serious about if you have to?
>> i do think it's likely that they will pursue it. i mean, you know, when you are dealing with these archaic legal doctrines like criminal contempt, like inherent contempt, which is -- which is a related point, is that, you know, the justice department is very careful about its institutional role and trying to make sure that they follow precedence that subsequent administrations would and should follow. i think it's likely. but all i'm saying is that in a congressional investigation that has a real time limit with, you know, this -- this congress ending in a little more than 12 months. the idea that steve bannon will be actually forced to testify or actually jailed for criminal contempt strikes me as remote. >> gum up the works beyond january -- whatever -- 3rd, 2023, which is when they would have a new congress? >> absolutely. and -- and that goes for -- for all of these disputes, not just criminal contempt.
the president has -- the former president -- the former guy, as president biden calls him, has said he wants to exert executive privilege for certain documents -- um -- that -- that are at issue. he is also asserting executive privilege regarding mark meadows, his former chief of staff. those arguments, i think, are at least semi-plausible. they're not plausible with -- um -- with -- with bannon because he didn't even work in the government. but those -- those claims will have to be litigated. that means district court, circuit court, possible petition for -- all of that takes months. that's the tragedy of all this is that the trump administration learned that you can defeat congressional oversight even if you have bad legal arguments simply by delaying things in the courts. >> jeffrey toobin, counselor, always a pleasure. thank you very much. still ahead. we will take you inside a hospital in rural missouri where the man in charge says he is
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xfinity xfi. so powerful, it keeps one-upping itself. can your internet do that? there is some good news tonight in the fight against covid. new infections and hospitalizations are down according to data from johns hopkins university. the average rate of daily-new cases has dropped below 100,000. also, the fda is scheduled to meet this week to discuss
boosters for people who received the johnson & johnson and moderna vaccines. and as we have been reporting, states with vaccine mandates have seen an uptick in vaccination rates. but there is still vaccine resistance across the country, including in rural missouri where a county hospital only 60% of workers are vaccinated. elle reeve went to that hospital and spoke to an employee who is willing to lose their job instead of getting the shot. >> i do believe covid's terrible. i believe it's dangerous. i watch people every day and i watch the fear in people's eyes every day. and that's -- that's the saddest, most terrifying part is to see our society become so fearful. but i do not think the government has the right to step in and mandate and tell us what we have to do. >> how do you think that's going to affect you if there is a vaccine mandate at this hospital? >> i think that i will then seek further employment.
and i hate to do that because i love my patients. i love the people i work with. but at the same time, i'm not going to personally go against something that i feel very, very deeply in my soul that would hurt me. >> reporter: only about 60% of staff are vaccinated at scotland county hospital in rural northeast missouri. the hospital's ceo doesn't think a mandate will make unvaccinated staff get the shot. he thinks it will make them quit. >> our reality is we need staff to work. and in return for your working, we're not going to -- a vaccine mandate. there were people in the hospital that freely shared that if a vaccine mandate happened on our account or on anyone else's, they would not work here. that's just something they weren't going to put in their body and we thought well, why not take advantage of people's perceptions and people's fears? because everyone wears an n95 mask when they're giving patient care, anyway. a lot of people were pleased that -- that we honored their right to choose what they want to do with their body. and i think that may have helped retain some staff that may have been tempted to jump to other places because of salary or what
they perceive as different working conditions. >> reporter: the strategy reflects the reality of where he lives. only 22% of people in the area are vaccinated. >> for someone who is on the fence or has previously been rejecting vaccines, for whatever reason, the closer that they see someone, you know, that they either know or love that suffers a grave illness or tragically dies, that often is the switch that -- that -- that flips their mind. >> how do you square that with healthcare workers, though, who saw so many people sick and then still don't want the vaccine? >> i can't, other than it doesn't make common sense to me. i just -- i can't explain it. it's inexplicable. >> the supreme court upheld a vaccine mandate for smallpox in 1905. still, a small portion of hospital workers around the country have protested vaccine mandates. but the opposition matters a lot more here because scotland county hospital struggles to have enough staff. and ten of its 57 nurses left
during the pandemic. it even made pamphlets advertising it had no mandate to nurses across missouri hoping to entice them to come. but two days later, president biden announced a federal mandate that would affect workers at all hospitals that accept medicare or medicaid. >> if you are seeking care at a health facility, you should be able to know that the people treating you are vaccinated. >> i criticize president biden's -- um -- mandate. i thought it was a mistake because i think it's going to backfire. >> i think it's going to hurt our people and our healthcare because if you lose your healthcare workers, then who is going to take care of the people that do have this disease? you know, it's just -- it's a ridiculous mandate. and i just, personally, it's my own choice. >> reporter: he saw his own dad hospitalized with covid here late last year. he is also sheila's doctor. >> do you talk about it with staff members? or do you just try to avoid? >> i talk with them. a lot of the people i have
talked with around here that aren't vaccinated are concerned about mostly the unknown of what if this vaccine causes an issue with whatever in the future. and they're just skeptical. it's incredibly frustrating to try to get -- um -- the education, the understanding across that you're not just protecting yourself. we're doing this to try to keep our neighbors healthy. um, we're doing this to try to keep others from losing people and that's what i try to do is to try to sit down with staff members and patients so i can explain why it is that i would prefer that they get vaccinated. what our goal is is, what the end goal is here and -- and it's not an individual thing. >> reporter: the doctor also tried to convince his high school best friend, kurt triplet, who co-owns triplet farms with his brothers. >> for me, personally, i have no problem with the vaccine. but what has turned rural america or conservatives against it is basically turn it into a political football.
>> are you vaccinated? >> i am not. >> reporter: you're not? how come? >> we live very secluded where we're at. i don't feel like the risk either to me or to someone else is high enough to justify taking it. >> reporter: i'm sorry if this is a dumb question but you can yell at me if you think it is. >> no. >> but like, don't you vaccinate your animals? >> to some extent. herd immunity does happen. and maybe the vaccine would speed that up. other times, it isn't that big a deal. >> reporter: like, what about a farm dog? >> we do take our dogs in for rabies and things like that. >> yeah. parvo. >> yes. we don't want them to be sickly. so, yes, we do. >> reporter: well, just explain it to me like i'm an idiot. why -- why do you see those things as different? >> really, i'm not going to say that i'm not getting the vaccine because i don't believe it wouldn't do the job, that it wouldn't work. i just -- i don't know what all
the risks are out there for the vaccine. i mean, they're well documented. we don't have to go over all the risks. and -- and i just feel like my risk of being exposed to covid and what it'd do to me is not greater than the risks that the vaccine has is what it really comes down to. if you wanted to get opinions, there's no telling what. you'll get opinions both ways. you just step into lacey's diner out there at a certain time, and you'll get exposed to lots of opinions and ideas about everything you've asked me. and some might agree with me, and some would definitely disagree with me and that'd just be the way it is. >> reporter: are you guys all vaccinated? >> nope. >> reporter: no? how come? >> i don't believe in it. >> reporter: you get the covid vaccine? >> oh, yeah. >> reporter: okay. >> yeah, right off the bat as soon as i could. everybody should get it. >> reporter: he doesn't think so.
>> i -- i feel like -- i feel more secure after getting my shot. and i won't get it. >> reporter: do you not find that argument convincing? >> do i not find -- no. >> reporter: you don't? just -- can you explain? >> huh? >> why don't you find that argument convincing? >> my daughter. she don't believe in it, either. she worked all through last year with covid patients up there. she's a nurse. >> reporter: okay. but she didn't get the vaccine? >> nope. >> reporter: and -- and what did she tell you was the reason? >> to not get it? >> reporter: yeah. >> she don't believe in it, either. >> reporter: but can you just say why? >> i don't think it's been proven, yet. it's never been fully approved. >> reporter: it is fda approved. >> for emergency use. >> reporter: no, that's -- that was an emergency-use authorization. but now, it is fda approved. >> is it? >> reporter: yes. the pfizer shot. there had to be a mandate that
you had to get it? >> violating my constitutional right. >> and where shelby works, my daughter, she'll just quit. >> reporter: really? you think she'll quit? >> uh-huh. so will about three or four others. >> nurses? >> uh-huh. >> so if they mandate it, we're going to be short a lot of nurses. >> i think a lot of people here just feel like it's not a necessity. that they have a system that can fight that and if their system can't fight that, the likelihood is they are probably going to pass from something else, anyway. >> you're confident your body is strong enough? to repel covid? >> my mind is. now, whether or not my body is is a whole nother situation. i wouldn't know until i have had that but i have made it this far in life. >> and elle reeve joins me now. elle, we appreciate it so much. and we heard so many people questioning the safety or the efficacy often with false data of the covid vaccines but did
you get a sense of what else is driving their hesitancy? >> so, more than 400 million doses of the vaccine have been given out in america. and billions worldwide. the cdc says the vaccine is safe and that serious problems are rare. but often, when we say that to people who don't want to take it, they have some other objection ready. and what we found is that at the bottom of it, a lot of people just think it's not going to be me. that somebody else is going to be the one who gets really sick and they won't. >> it's not going to be me. sooner or later, it could be. elle, like i said, terrific reporting. thank you so much. >> thank you you. up next, a mother sues her child's school district and the school board after she says her son caught covid from a classmate. how she says the school put her kids in danger. that's next. plop plop fizz fizz. alka seltzer plus cold relief. dissolves quickly. instantly ready to start working. so you can bounce back fast with alka-seltzer plus. now available for fast sinus relief.
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a wisconsin mother is suing her school district and school board because she says her son got covid from a classmate. the lawsuit was filed on behalf of shannon jensen and other families in waukesha school district. the suit says the school board removed the mask requirement and many other covid mitigation measures that were in place
last-school year. in september, jensen says her oldest son sat next to another student who had covid symptoms and was not wearing a mask. jensen says her son tested positive two days later, and her two younger boys, after that. the lawsuit is the latest example of parent frustration with how some schools have responded to the pandemic. joining us now, cnn legal analyst -- senior legal analyst, elie honig. and cnn medical analyst, dr. leana wen. elie, let me just ask you, legally speaking, what's your take on this case? >> yeah, john, first of all, i'm surprised we haven't even more of these cases and i think we will see more going forward. these are not easy cases to make, though, if you are the plaintiff. if you are the one doing the suing. you have to show causation, first of all. that you or the person you are suing on behalf of actually got it from this classmate, for example, and not maybe at soccer practice or from someone else. you have to show -- show damages. and then, the hardest part is to show negligence. meaning, did the school fail to take reasonable precautionary measures?
now, the parents here are going to point to the cdc. they are going to say the school violated cdc guidelines. that's going to be very persuasive but cdc guidelines are not binding on state and local entities so it's not a gimme if they can show that. that said, i think they have a fairly strong case here. >> dr. wen, i should say you are also the author of "lifelines: a doctor's journey in the fight for public health." dr. wen, if you are a kid in school and, you know, unvaccinated at this point because they were unvaccinated when this all was happening. if you are an unvaccinated kid in school and you are wearing a mask, and you're sitting next to someone who is symptomatic, what's the likelihood you could still get sick? >> this is the issue and actually in so many ways, this is a lot of parents' nightmare because so many parents are doing everything they can. they are taking matters into their own hands to protect their children. they are having their kids be masked. but you can't control what other kids are doing. and we also know at this point that there are a lot of measures that can keep schools safe. but when you have a lot of virus
around you, you need all these layers of protection in place. you need masks. you need contact tracing. you need for kids to be staying home when they are symptomatic. it seems like these layers were not there in this case in this wisconsin school and i think a lot of parents are going to look at this and say, wow, that's what i'm really afraid of. is to your point about what are the chances? it can certainly happen. there are documented cases of outbreaks happening in schools because of lack of -- of these protective mechanisms. and i think this, again, points to why all of these measures are important. but also, why vaccines for younger children will, also, be really desired by many parents who are in cases like this because they want to do everything they can to protect their children. >> elie, in the courtroom, how much of a deal will it be whether or not you can prove you actually got covid from someone specific, from the kid sitting next to you? >> you have to prove that as a plaintiff. you can't just come in and say, gee, i could have gotten it from anyone but it probably was -- i mean, you don't have to prove to
100% scientific certainty but as the plaintiff, you do have the burden of proving that. look. think about any average school-aged kid, i think we all have school-aged kids. how many different people they come in contact with throughout the school day. maybe they have aftercare. sports teams. people at home. so that's part of the difficulty here is -- is making that case. i mean, it sounds logical that this kid would have got it from the un-masked kid who he sat next to who was positive. but it's another thing to prove it to a jury to -- by what we call a preponderance of the evidence in a court. >> so, dr. wen, when you look at this -- at this wisconsin school -- you know, where are the breakdowns in -- in the possible protections that they could've had in place? >> there are so many. so, let's talk about the layers of protection. so think about this as it's really cold outside, and you want to wear multiple layers to keep you warm. it's similar when you have a lot
of virus around you. when you have a lot of virus in a community, you need to have a lot of these layers in place. very important. kids should not be going to school when they are symptomatic. that happened here, it seems like. and we also know that masks are very important for protecting the individual but also masks work best when everybody around you is also masked. think about -- there was this case study reported by the cdc out of california where an unvaccinated, un-masked teacher went to class and was symptomatic and ended up infecting 12 out of 24 of her elementary-aged students in one class. so, we really need to have all these layers of protection in place. in addition, it's reported in -- in this wisconsin case that there -- that there is not contact tracing. and also, that parents were not notified in time about positive cases in their class. so, it does seem like there were so many holes. in a lot of ways, this is the so-called swiss cheese model that when you have so many different missing pieces, that the virus will find its way through, especially when we're dealing with something as contagious as the delta variant.
>> elie, where is the possibility liability here? is it with the school? is it with the school district? is it with the teacher? how do you figure that out? >> yeah. it would have to be at the school and school-district level. one of the really interesting things about this case is what the plaintiffs are seeking here is what is called an injunction meaning they want the court to say, hey, school district, you have to start doing things this way. you have to, for example, require masks and social distancing and the other things dr. wen laid out. that's actually a tougher ask to make of a judge than your standard monetary damages. judges give out money -- monetary damages all the time but it's a little hard for a judge to say, okay, i'm going to now dictate to you, school board, how you should be handling your health issues. >> dr. leana wen, elie honig, i appreciate you both for being with us. thank you very much. and we do have a major development. autopsy results are expected tomorrow in the death of gabby petito. what it may and may not reveal. that's next.
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autopsy results for his fiance, gabby petito will be released tomorrow by the coroner in teton county, wyoming. petito's death was ruled a homicide in preliminary finding. randi kaye joins us with more on this. what are investigators most anxious to hear regarding the autopsy? >> as you said, john, her death has been ruled a homicide so investigators are certainly hoping to hear the cause of death but we spoke with a forensic scientist who said just as important as that is actually the time of death. and so we know that gabby petito's family had contact with her in the final days of august, and then her remains were recovered on september 19th. so there is that window of time that they're trying to pinpoint when she died and then they would look at where brian laundrie was at that time. so for example, if it turns out that her time of death was september 1st, we know that he was already back here at his
family's home in florida on september 1st. if it was before that, then they would look at whether or not brian laundrie was still in the area and around where her remains were found, john, so the time of death is key at least for investigative purposes. >> if gabby petito's body was exposed to the elements for a considerable amount of time as we think it was, how does that limit what investigators might be able to find out? >> well, the forensic expert, scientist, that we spoke with said they should be able to find out the cause of death. that there would be considerable decomposition because she was likely exposed to the elements for weeks, but he also said that it was very hot in wyoming and we know that from being there in, and that would actually speed up the decomposition. he still said that a cause of death could be something very obvious. if it was blunt force trauma, that would show up as a skull infrastructure. if it was strangulation, that would show up in the bones of the neck.
what's also really interesting, john, is we're also told that if it was an accident that the autopsy would be able to tell the difference. in other words, if gabby petito fell and hit her head on a rock, they would be able to tell if that happened or if it was something more deliberate where somebody hit her in the head with a rock or a weapon. the autopsy will know, we're told, john. >> so as we said, we are expecting this news conference tomorrow but do you know for sure whether the fbi or coroner will release to the public all the autopsy findings? >> no, we don't. so we're going to have to wait until tomorrow. there's a chance they will hold back information. this is information only the person responsible for gabby petito's death will know, so they may keep that close to the vest and they may not release the cause of death until they get closer to the charges. we will continue to watch this. >> nevertheless, this is a big important development in a case where often the developments are few and far between.
randi kaye, thank you so much for your reporting on this. >> sure. still ahead, a boston tradition is back after being cancelled and postponed due to covid. the boston marathon returns with a special mission for team beans. sore throat pain? ♪honey lemon♪ try vicks vapocool drops. in honey lemon chill. for fast-acting sore throat relief. wooo vaporize sore throat pain with vicks vapocool drops. who's on it with jardiance? we're 25 million prescriptions strong. we're managing type 2 diabetes... ...and heart risk. we're working up a sweat before coffee. and saying, “no thanks...” ...to a boston cream. jardiance is a once-daily pill
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after more than two years of waiting, the 125th boston marathon took place today instead of patriots day. and we were rooting on cnn's andrew kaczynski of the k file. he ran for team beans, a special mission for him and his wife, rachel ensen. team beans is in memory of their daughter francesca. this christmas eve she passed away in her parents' arms at nine months old. she had a rare and aggressive brain tumor. since then, team beans has raised money for the daniel farber cancer institute in boston whose doctors treated
francesca. if you would like to make a donation, go to teambeansmarathon.com. today, andrew dedicated each mile of the race to a different child who has fought or is fighting cancer. the last mile, as you see, was for beans. andrew crossed the finish line in four hours and seven minutes. he did it for his daughter and every child and family touched by cancer. we are thinking about andrew and his wife tonight. the news continues. let's head over to chris for cuomo prime time. >> thank you very much. appreciate it. i'm chris cuomo and welcome to "prime time." i wonder if people living through historic times know it. we sure are. do you realize that people will be talking about this period in american history for decades and decades and decades to come.