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Medical Examiner Who Performed Floyd's Autopsy Testifies; House Ethics Committee to Investigate G.O.P. Rep. Matt Gaetz; House Ethics Committee To Investigate GOP Rep. Gaetz, Who Is Already Facing A Federal Probe Into Sex Trafficking Allegations; Pfizer Asks FDA To Allow Covid-19 Vaccine For Children 12 To 15 Years Old; More Than One In 4 U.S. Adults Now Fully Vaccinated; Prince Philip, Husband Of Queen Elizabeth, Dead At 99. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired April 9, 2021 - 20:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The hurt is still there, the hurt my mom went through. I just visualize her face, and I go like, I'm not going to talk about it today.

My mama, Beulah Mae Donald, was a quiet woman. She was a good-hearted person. Our neighborhoods that we have lived in, everybody loved her.


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: "The People v. The Klan" premieres Sunday night at nine.

AC 360 starts now.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. The 10th day of witness testimony in the Derek Chauvin murder trial may prove to be one of the most important. Two physicians including the Medical Examiner who performed the autopsy on George Floyd and ruled his death a homicide faced intense questioning from both prosecutors and the defense, a pivotal moment for the defense that rests in large part on trying to create doubt in the mind of at least one juror about the factors that actually contributed to George Floyd's death.

We have our own forensic and legal experts for analysis to today's testimony, but first we want to take you inside the courtroom. Our Omar Jimenez tells you the day in court.


OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In one of the most highly anticipated moments of the trial --

JERRY BLACKWELL, PROSECUTOR: You conducted the autopsy on Mr. George Floyd.

DR. ANDREW BAKER, HENNEPIN COUNTY MEDICAL EXAMINER: I did. JIMENEZ (voice-over): Hennepin County's Chief Medical Examiner, Dr.

Andrew Baker took the stand.

BLACKWELL: With respect to Mr. Floyd, you didn't see any damage to the heart muscle?

BAKER: That's correct.

BLACKWELL: Did you know anything resembling either a pill or pill fragments in the stomach?

BAKER: I did not.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): His autopsy report on George Floyd listed the manner of death as homicide, but specifically cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement's subdual restraint and neck compression.

BAKER: I would still classify it as a homicide today.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): No mention of asphyxia and no physical findings to support it either.

BAKER: In my opinion, the law enforcement's subdual restraint and the neck compression was just more than Mr. Floyd could take by virtue of that -- those heart conditions.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): According to testimony, Friday, in June 2020, he even told investigators of George Floyd, "If he were found dead at home alone and no other apparent causes, this could be acceptable to call an OD or overdose." But he added at the time, "I'm not saying this killed him."

ERIC NELSON, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Have you certified deaths as an overdose where the level of fentanyl was similar to the level of fentanyl in Mr. Floyd?


NELSON: Does methamphetamine further constrict the vessels and ventricles and arteries?

BAKER: As a general rule for forensic pathology, methamphetamine is not good for a damaged heart, a heart with coronary artery disease.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): Earlier Friday, Dr. Lindsey Thomas, a forensic pathologist and former Assistant Medical Examiner for Hennepin County took the stand.

BLACKWELL: Did you rule out drug overdose as a cause of death?

DR. LINDSEY THOMAS, FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: Yes. In this case, I believe the primary mechanism of death is asphyxia or low oxygen. There's no evidence to suggest he would have died that night, except for the interactions with law enforcement.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): Dr. Thomas even pointing to the autopsy itself, saying ordinarily, that would be all she needed. Not this time.

THOMAS: In this case, the autopsy itself didn't tell me the cause and manner of death, and it really required getting all of this other additional information, specifically, the video evidence of the terminal events to conclude the cause of death.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): The cause of death the jurors are now left to wrestle with.

NELSON: So in your opinion, both the heart disease as well as the history of hypertension and the drug -- the drugs that were in his system played a role in Mr. Floyd's death.

BAKER: In my opinion, yes.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): The prosecutors pressed the doctor further.

BLACKWELL: Those other contributing conditions are not conditions that you consider direct causes, is that true?

BAKER: They are not direct causes of Mr. Floyd's death.


COOPER: And Omar Jimenez joins us now from Minneapolis. Was there any sense of how the jury reacted to the Chief Medical Examiner's testimony particularly the part about heart disease and drugs?

JIMENEZ: Well, jurors were very engaged during Dr. Baker's testimony, especially during cross examination. A few of them, for example, seemed to take extra notes during the part where Dr. Baker talked about if he had found George Floyd inside a locked home without any other factors, he would have considered this an overdose case, while another juror seemed to be annoyed at the line of questioning coming from the defense, squinting his eyes and shaking his head at various points.

And these are the dynamics that really matter at this point. How these jurors are interpreting these exchanges on arguably the most important topic in this trial, George Floyd's cause of death.

Now also, in court, we had a representative from the Floyd family who was there, who had to look through these incredibly graphic autopsy photos, but for the first time in over a month, we actually had someone seated in the family representative's spot for Derek Chauvin, a woman who appeared to be of East Asian descent, testimony will continue on Monday.

COOPER: Omar Jimenez, appreciate it. Thanks.


COOPER: I'm joined now by Lawrence Kobilinksy, a forensic scientist, Professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

So, Professor, what did you make of what we heard today from the Chief Medical Examiner?

LAWRENCE KOBILINSKY, PROFESSOR, JOHN JAY COLLEGE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Well, the primary cause of death, cardiopulmonary arrest, was brought on by law enforcement. In other words, the subdual of George Floyd, the restraints that they used, and the neck compression made -- created a situation, a condition that his body couldn't overcome.

But the important part of Dr. Baker's testimony involved all of these different significant contributing factors.

He spent a lot of time talking about Mr. Floyd's coronary arteries, two of which were occluded to the level of 70 percent, while one, the other, a large -- these are large vessels was occluded 90 percent. So this is a significant occlusion of these very important vessels that feed blood to the heart.

The fentanyl level that he had, as we now know is 11 nanograms per milliliter, which is a lethal dose for a normal healthy person. What I didn't hear much about is tolerance.

George Floyd was a drug abuser and had built up a tolerance and that's an important factor here. But fentanyl depresses respiration. Also, methamphetamine is dangerous to the heart at any level. And although there was a small dosage, it could have impacted on the heart.

The other point is, is that the restraint created by law enforcement created a very stressful physiologically, a stressful situation that resulted in adrenaline flowing throughout his body, and adrenaline speeds up the heart. All of these factors create difficulties because there isn't enough oxygen coming into the body, especially with a knee on the neck, compressing the area, the very small area where oxygen or air has to come in to feed the lungs.

I found all of this fascinating because it simply contradicted the other experts. Remember, he is a Medical Examiner dealing with post mortem cases, after death. But somebody like Martin Tobin, who is a pulmonologist dealing with living people --

COOPER: Who testified yesterday.

KOBILINSKY: Monitored the respirations, found it to be normal, and basically said, no, fentanyl played absolutely no role in the death. Methamphetamine played no role in the death. Floyd's hypertension and coronary artery atherosclerosis and enlarged heart played no role in the death.

So you know, real contradictions. These are all prosecution experts.

So I think, Eric Nelson, as the defense is trying to push the point that it's the drugs and his underlying health conditions, his heart, and that really should be focused on, but I think most people would look at the mechanism of hypoxia. Ultimately, it's the lack of oxygen that caused the death.

The focus of Baker was on the heart. The focus of the others was the impact on the brain, resulting in an inability to breathe. COOPER: Lawrence Kobilinsky, I appreciate it. Thanks.

I want to get perspective now from our CNN legal analyst, Laura Coates, former Federal prosecutor, and Catherine Flynn, criminal defense attorney, representing the Baltimore police officer cleared in the death of Freddie Gray.

Laura, do you think the prosecution got what they needed from the Chief Medical Examiner to convince the jury that Derek Chauvin's knee to George Floyd's neck in the prone position he was in is what caused his death?

LAURA COATES, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I think they did, only because it came at the end of other medical experts who laid the foundation for the Medical Examiner.

See, when these reports are written, they're not really written to be fictionalized novel or dramatic readings. They are meant for people who are in their own colleague base.

So when he writes things like cardiopulmonary arrest, what does he mean? He talks about the complicating -- is that the normal usage of the word or otherwise?

The other two experts, the forensic pathologist, the pulmonologist, literally laid the foundation, because this is a very unique circumstance where normally the Medical Examiner only has the process of elimination to guide his or her analysis.

But here, as was explained earlier in the testimony today by Dr. Thomas, you have the benefit of the terminal event, all of the steps that led up to it. The widely covered video from different vantage points to allow them to get the full complexity of what happened, and it informed them.

But I think his positioning and the sequence of witnesses is what was so convincing and compelling.

COOPER: Catherine, the Medical Examiner said today while Floyd had heart disease and drugs in his system, they were contributing conditions. They were not direct causes of his death. Police restraint was the main cause.

Under the law, does that mean that the jury should find Chauvin guilty or should they take into account these other factors?


CATHERINE FLYNN, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I mean, that's obviously going to be up to the jury. They certainly could reach the conclusion that the state is asking for. But you have to keep in mind, the defense this setting this up for their experts to testify. Those defense experts have had -- will have the opportunity to have listened to all of this evidence, and they're going to be prepared to respond directly to the State's evidence. And those are, I assume, highly regarded experts, and they've been

well prepared, and the defense is going to be prepared to answer all of those points that were established today, in order to argue to the jury that if the experts are disagreeing as to the cause of death, that's reasonable doubt.

COOPER: Yes. I mean, Laura, the defense did zero in on the level of fentanyl found in in Mr. Floyd's system and they were able to get the Medical Examiner to testify that that amount of fentanyl, if he had been found in a hypothetical home with no other evidence, no police attack or handling that that could have been, you know, listed as a cause of death.

How much of a problem do you think that presents for the prosecution?

COATES: Well, you see, the defense can't play the games of being too cute with hypotheticals and both prosecution and defense need to be very wary of them. Because of the obvious contradictions here.

Remember, you can't take away all the different factors that are suited to this particular fact pattern. You can't say, if there had never been a police encounter, could you say the police officers caused the death? I mean, the idea here of trying to take away and strip down to the bare bones, to the point that it becomes absurd is very aware and obvious to a jury.

So you have to be very careful about this, especially since yesterday, they got caught up, the defense, I believe yesterday, trying to take a sliver of something, talking about whether George Floyd said he ingested drugs or otherwise. They have be careful about this.

But in any event, there's not too much contradiction here. Remember, cardiac arrest, as has been described by multiple witnesses now is the sudden cessation of the heart. That's how every human being dies.

The real issue here is the mechanism of death, how it actually occurred, and you add to that, it was a cardiopulmonary arrest meaning the lungs and the heart stopped, and they've identified the mechanism by the law enforcement's restraint.

There's not a lot of contradiction here to point out if you're the defense.

COOPER: Laura, were you surprised that the medical examiner answered a hypothetical question? I mean, does one have to answer a hypothetical? Because it seems like they're -- in any hypothetical setting, there are so many factors that may go into something? It's a hard question to actually answer.

Well, they're not required to answer the hypothetical as if they had their -- you know, their own druthers outside of the courtroom. But until the Judge says they don't have to answer the question, or there's an objection that allows them not to have to answer it, they are compelled by virtue of being a testifying witness.

However, they handled it quite well to really point out why this was not the case here. And I think it also buttresses their credibility when they're willing to answer and concede certain points, but then you have to bring it back around, as the prosecution did to say, okay, fine. Well, what were the facts in this case?

And remember, the jury recalls, there was a nine minute and 29-second video that reminds them that there was a police encounter. And at the end of it, we're here.

COOPER: Yes. Catherine, what do you think of the defense thus far and how they are -- how they're doing?

FLYNN: Well, I think they're doing generally as well as they can. I think, you know, we have to wait and see what their experts are going to testify to. I mean, they're clearly laying the groundwork for their witnesses' testimony. They're setting it out. They're doing it bit by bit.

What you try to do as a defense attorney is get pieces from every witness that you ultimately can weave together for your closing argument, and they are trying to present a situation so that their expert witnesses can come in and testify, and hopefully be as equally persuasive as the state's witnesses have been.

So it's clear to me that they are methodically building the opportunity for their witnesses to come in and sort of answer the questions that they have been sort of opening up with some of the questioning of the state's witnesses.

COOPER: Catherine Flynn, I appreciate it. Laura Coates as well. Thank you.

In a moment, we'll have more reactions to the trial, the attorney for the family of George Floyd will join us, Benjamin Crump, sharing what he believes jurors will take away from today's testimony, and whether he thinks the defense did enough to create doubt in the mind of jurors.

And later, Congressman Matt Gaetz moments ago spoke to a woman's group as he faces a Federal sex trafficking probe. He told the group quote, "I have not yet begun to fight." This, as a key House Committee announced a new investigation today. Details when we continue.



COOPER: The defense attorney for Derek Chauvin spent much of his day trying to press the medical experts who were testifying about other factors that could have contributed to George Floyd's death, and while the Medical Examiner did say that drug use and heart disease were contributing factors, he said that Floyd's encounter with police as the main factor, quote, "It was the stress of that interaction that tipped him over the edge."

I want to get perspective now from the Floyd family attorney, Benjamin Crump. Mr. Crump, thanks for being with us. I'm wondering your impression of what you heard in court today.

BENJAMIN CRUMP, ATTORNEY FOR GEORGE FLOYD'S FAMILY: Well, Anderson, I thought it was consistent with everything that we saw on the video. Everybody said that George died as a result of the interaction with the police, even though they may have had nuances. They also were very consistent with what the pulmonologist said yesterday and what we heard from the Police Chief and all the police that what Derek Chauvin did, Anderson Cooper was unnecessary and a violation of policy.


CRUMP: And so we still believe that the jurors have enough evidence to base their verdict of guilty based on not only what they saw, but on the volume of medical testimony.

COOPER: The Chief Medical Examiner did testify today that the heart disease and drugs likely played a role in Mr. Floyd's death, were not a direct cause. Do you think that -- I mean, does that concern you? Does it open it up for somebody on the jury and you know, it only takes one person to have some reasonable doubt?

CRUMP: Well, Anderson, as I've said many times before, we don't take anything for granted when it comes to a police officer being held accountable for killing a black person in America unjustifiably.

We know that history normally allows the police to escape any accountability no matter how much evidence we have. But when you think about Dr. Thomas, the doctor who testified before the Medical Examiner, who actually helped train the Medical Examiner, she said that the manner of death is homicide. But the mechanisms of death is something that a Medical Examiner doesn't normally put in a report. They would all refer back to the pulmonologist.

And yesterday, he clearly said George Floyd died as a result of Derek Chauvin and the other police officers causing him not to be able to breathe.

COOPER: Do you have a sense of how long the prosecution may continue to present their case?

CRUMP: Well, it is our understanding that they're nearing the end, and I know that the Floyd family members are scheduled to testify early next week.

COOPER: And do you -- I'm wondering what you think of what the defense has been doing?

CRUMP: Well, I honestly think the defense has done exactly what we thought they would do. They would try to distract us. They would try to have us look over here, look over there and not focus on the video. They blame everybody and everything except Derek Chauvin.

They blame the crowd. This innuendo is the angry black people who were begging for George's life as a reason why Derek Chauvin kept his knee on George Floyd's neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds. They tried to blame the paramedics. They tried to blame trace amounts of drugs. But, Anderson, we all know when we watched that video on May 25, 2020 what killed George Floyd, and I believe the jury listened to every word of this testimony and they know what killed George Floyd.

The only thing that we all doubt, Anderson, is another thing we all want to steal, is can we get equal justice in America as a marginalized minority when a police officer use excessive force against us?

COOPER: Do you think Derek Chauvin will take the stand in his own defense?

CRUMP: I think, it is going to be a very desperate attempt to salvage his defense of him taking the stand, and the more strategic the prosecution is in building this very compelling case, it may necessitate that Derek Chauvin take the stand.

Most lawyers would never let their client take the stand in a case like this.

COOPER: Yes, Benjamin Crump, I appreciate you being with us. Thank you.

CRUMP: Thank you, Anderson.

COOPER: Up next, Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz just wrapped up a speech moments ago to a group of women as he faces another investigation in the wake of that Federal probe into whether he violated sex trafficking laws. We will have the details of that when we continue.



COOPER: The House Ethics Committee is opening its own investigation to the conduct of Florida Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz. He is already facing a Federal investigation that started under former Attorney General Bill Barr that's examining allegations he had sex with an underage girl who was 17 at the time and with other women who were provided drugs and money in violation of sex trafficking and prostitution laws.

Today, Congressman Gaetz's office once again denied any wrongdoing and said, quote: "These allegations are blatantly false and have not been validated by a single human being willing to put their name behind them."

Just moments ago, Gaetz spoke to a group of conservative women at a rally at the former President's golf club in Doral, Florida. Randi Kaye has the story.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tonight, Congressman Matt Gaetz taking to the stage under a cloud of suspicion, promising he is built for battle and not going anywhere. REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): The smears against me range from distortions

of my personal life to wild and I mean, wild conspiracy theories. I won't be intimidated by a lying media.

KAYE (voice-over): Still, the accusations against Gaetz have at least one member of his own party calling for him to resign.

Why does Rep Adam Kinzinger think he should go? The accusations are stacking up. "The Daily Beast" now reporting that Gaetz sent two late night Venmo transactions in May 2018 for $900.00 to his friend, Joel Greenberg, a former Seminole County, Florida tax collector, an accused sex offender.

The next morning according to the outlet, in an eight-minute span, Greenberg used the same app to send three young women money totaling the same amount.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Extremely young meaning what?

PAGLIERY: Well, one just turned 18 about six months before that happened.

KAYE (voice-over): CNN hasn't independently confirmed this report or what the money was used for.

From the start, Gaetz has denied doing anything wrong.

GAETZ: It is a horrible allegation, and it is a lie.


KAYE (voice-over): And there is more, separate from the allegations of sex crimes, "The New York Times" is also reporting investigators have been told of a conversation where Gaetz in a prominent Florida lobbyist, discussed arranging a so-called Sham candidate in a state Senate race last year to siphon votes from an allies opponent. They caution that aspect of the inquiry was in its early stages. Gaetz did not respond to the Times request for comment on the allegations.

All of this starting to hit closer to home for the Congressman in an unavoidable way. A liberal political action committee has put up this billboard in the Florida Panhandle, which reads, Matt Gaetz wants to date your child.


COOPER: Randi joins me now. So, what kind of reaction did Matt Gaetz get at the event tonight?

KAYE: It's interesting Anderson because the group that organized this is called Women For America First, so certainly an interesting group considering the allegations that Gaetz is facing. But they loved him here. He got a lot of cheers. This was certainly friendly territory. The woman who runs this organization is a longtime supporter of Donald Trump. So it was friendly territory, as I said, but he was trying to bring the crowd to his side even more so, basically, making it sound like they were all in this together.

He told the crowd, when you see the leaks and the lies and the falsehoods and the smears and the insiders forecasting my demise. They aren't really coming for me. They're coming for you trying to bring them into it. He also mentioned that this was a week full of encouragement, and plenty of donations, Anderson.

COOPER: Yes, he has been fundraising office (ph). Randi, thanks very much.

Some perspective now from Harry Litman, legal affairs columnist for The Los Angeles Times and a former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania. He also served as a former Deputy Assistant Attorney General.

Harry, thanks for being with us. So, we heard Randi referenced The Daily Beast reporting about the alleged Venmo transactions again, CNN has not been able to independently confirm that report. If it's accurate, how damaging could that be for congressman Gaetz?

HARRY LITMAN, FMR DEPUTY ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL: Well, the big thing now Anderson is it's really the web is becoming so much more tangled. So in fact, the ethics committee charged actually gives a litany of the criminal allegations. And we start with all the sort of sex, drugs and videotape that we've known about in this sort of fratish ways with Joel Greenberg. But it really is broadening now into a series of financial missteps, and possible crimes, and I mean of all sorts, bribes, illegal gratuities, misuse of funds and alteration of documents.

So, the Venmo itself, I think, in more shows how sort of ham handed he was to have used both this. And by the way, as soon as this came out, it quickly was made invisible from his records, which had been public before. He also uses Apple Pay. There's just an overall sense of him as a kind of entitled guy, smug, arrogant, the sort of person really that people like to see brought down. But that's in his dealings with Greenberg.

And what's really I think, happening now is where understanding it's about much, much more than did he or didn't he have sex with an underage minor, and rather a whole kind of broad potential series of crimes that would justify the Department of Justice, having Greenberg cooperate against him, because there's enough out there.

So, you'd have Greenberg and some of the women victims, and now in the financial crimes, even other witnesses. I think we don't know the full letter and of the law, but we know that it's broader and broader.

COOPER: You know, it's actually I saw a number of your tweets about this, and you were talking about how the Department of Justice, as it is currently configured, they would not be looking to do a plea deal with this Greenberg character. If that what does it tell you that they're looking to do a deal with Greenberg that about the potential crimes that they believe Gaetz may have committed?

LITMAN: I think it does tell you a lot. And you start with the premise that we now have a sort of conscientious by the book Attorney General. So the rule is you don't cooperate down even if you're getting a big scalp of a congressman, you need the conduct to be equally culpable. So, when a prosecutor stands up in front of court yesterday and says we expect a plea, that's not a casual statement. It means it's been run all the way through probably to garland himself since there's no deputy yet in in the seat in DOJ.

And they've determined two things. One, that Gaetz overall is as culpable when everything is put together. And that's what we don't know yet. And two, that they're going to be able to use Greenberg and he is a troubled, flawed witness, of course, to give substantial assistance. They just wouldn't say it otherwise garland wouldn't say it otherwise. So of all the sorts of swirling possibilities it was that fact I think that shone through as the most significant interesting.


COOPER: Interesting. Harry Litman, I appreciate you being with us. Thank you very much.

LITMAN: Thanks very much, Anderson.

COOPER (voice-over): Still to come, one vaccine maker who request expanded use of its vaccine for children ages 12 to 15. I'll talked with Dr. Sanjay Gupta about that.

And later, remembering Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth husband of more than 70 years, who died at the age of 99. We'll have a live report from Windsor.


COOPER: Major step today in the effort to get more children vaccinated. Pfizer is asking the FDA to expand its emergency use authorization and allow 12 to 15 year olds to get its vaccine. It's already authorized for ages 16 and up.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us now with more. How likely is it you think the FDA will approve the Pfizer vaccine for 12 to 15 year olds?

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: It looks very promising Anderson, and this is sort of a dancing the timetable. You remember Dr. Fauci said it might be the fall before we would see this but now Pfizer is applying. Actually they're applying for an amendment to the emergency use authorization. And that might expedite it even faster because they're just trying to change the existing emergency use authorization to include this age group.


If the data holds up that Pfizer has released, it should be pretty promising. It had a very good side effect profile. And there were no cases of illness in the vaccinated group of people in this 12 to 15- year-old. So, we'll see. But it does look promising.

COOPER: There have been some reports of adverse reactions, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, both in the United States and in Europe. Can you kind of put it in scale in context?

GUPTA: Yes. I mean, this is important to keep an eye on again, there's this significant monitoring that's going on of all these patients who are receiving the vaccines. We're talking about for patients who had developed blood clots Anderson, one was actually during the trial, and three in the in the rollout since then, here in the United States. And these patients developed blood clots, they're not sure if these was directly related to the vaccine or not. And that's part of what this review is going to be looking at.

I should point out that about five and a half million doses have been administered in the United States. So that gives you an idea of just how rare this is. But we'll see what this review shows. We went through the same process, as you know, Anderson, with AstraZeneca.

COOPER: What have the trials of the Pfizer vaccine in the age group of that we're now talking about shown? Because that was the question, you know, that there hadn't been trials of this.

GUPTA: Right. So there's now there's been these trials. And in fact, they've started trials, even on younger children as well, those results aren't out yet. But for the 12 to 15-year-olds, it was around 2,300 kids, half got placebo, half got the vaccine. And what they found was that there were about 18 kids who got sick in total, and all of them were in the placebo group. So that was a sort of an indicator that the vaccine was working well.

But also Anderson, they measure antibody levels, antibodies, something everyone knows about nowadays, they sort of measured these to give an idea of just how much immunity these kids were developing, and it was high immunity. So that was another good sign. And then as I mentioned, the safety profile was very similar to what they've seen with the other trials and older kids and adults.

COOPER: You had begun prior to the pandemic work -- began working on a documentary about the anti-vaccine movement. It's airing tomorrow night. Can you just tell us a little bit about it?

GUPTA: Yes. I mean, that we started working on it before, you know, the pandemic just goes to show I mean, vaccine hesitancy is not a new phenomenon. What we really wanted to get at in this because I've always been, I always sort of wondered this Anderson, the -- where does the anti-vaccine -- vaccination movement, where does it start? What are its origins? What sort of fuels it? Here's a small clip.


PETER HOTEZ, VIROLOGIST, BAYLOR COLLEGE OF MEDICINE: When the anti- vaccine movement started as a fringe element, there was a strategic decision by the federal agencies and the scientific societies not to talk about it. The thinking was, that'll just give it oxygen.

GUPTA (voice-over): But then, what was once fringe went mainstream. The internet and social media put the anti-vaxx movement on steroids.

HOTEZ: The federal agencies, the scientific societies, the academic societies, all kind of stuck to their guns on the old strategy don't give it oxygen. And that had a disastrous effect because it left a vacuum that allowed this anti-vaccine lobby to really flourish.

GUPTA (voice-over): A lobby Hotez says that has become well constructed, well planned and highly effective.

HOTEZ: They'll target specific ethnic groups where they think they can make headway.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But tonight there's alarming news about the worst outbreak of measles in Minnesota.

HOTEZ: So they did this with the Somali immigrant community in Minneapolis in 2017.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don't listen doctor, don't anybody, listen to your rights, partly --

HOTEZ: They held a town hall meetings, teleconferences, et cetera, convinced the Somali immigrant community that vaccines cause autism. They responded by not vaccinating their kids.

GUPTA (voice-over): The result? A measles epidemic. Twenty-one kids ended up in the hospital.


GUPTA: It's amazing to me, Anderson, just how targeted some of these anti-vaxx campaigns are. It's very strategic, very well organized, and as, you know, more relevant than ever given over going through. Vaccine hesitancy in this country is about 20%. And the issue is that 20% of adults don't get vaccinated without vaccinating kids. It'll be very hard to get to herd immunity. That's why we wanted to show this film.

COOPER: Sanjay, I appreciate it. Look forward to that. That's a special report "THE TRUTH ABOUT VACCINES" airing tomorrow night 9:00 p.m. Eastern here on CNN.

Up next, an up close look at vaccine hesitancy in one state in particular, the effort underway to try to get people to change their minds and roll up their sleeves for a shot.



COOPER: Before the break, Sanjay told us about a special airing this weekend that digs into vaccine hesitancy but there's good news, more COVID vaccines are going to arms of U.S. adults. According to the CDC, just over one in four adults more than 66 million people are now fully vaccinated, while 112 million have received at least one dose. In some places as Sanjay mentioned, the challenge is getting people to sign up.

Jason Carroll tonight has a look at how one state is trying to fight vaccine hesitancy.


JEFF EDGECOMB, TRUCK DRIVER: I've always stayed healthy. So, I mean, I don't get fed. I eat right try to fit, you know, take care of myself.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Health officials in Maine are desperately trying to reach people like Jeff Edgecombe, a 60-year-old truck driver who has been eligible to get the COVID vaccine for more than a month but has no intention of getting one.

(on-camera): Do you have any concerns about COVID being out there and not being vaccinated?

EDGECOMB: No, not really.

CARROLL (voice-over): Edgecombe is a supporter of former President Donald Trump. He is not alone in rejecting a COVID vaccination. A recent poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows fewer than half of Republicans say they've gotten a vaccine or intend to do so as soon as possible. Compared with about eight in 10 Democrats and almost six and 10, independents.


That vaccine hesitancy is happening despite many GOP leaders, including former President Trump and encouraging people to get vaccinated.

DONALD TRUMP, FMR PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: And so everybody go get your shot.

EDGECOMB: I'm not going to do it.

CARROLL (on-camera): Your still not?

EDGECOMB: I am the way I am. You know, that's (INAUDIBLE).

CARROLL (voice-over): Joy Gillespie a part time hospitality and medical worker also says her mind is made up, she will not roll up her sleeve for a shot.

JOY GILLESPIE, PART-TIME HOSPITALITY & MEDICAL WORKER: I think it's a medical and a political. I'm not -- I'm kind of like up and down with the government as it is. And I think that there's certain things that they put out. I don't think they even know.

CARROLL (voice-over): Even though the vaccine is shown to be safe and effective, Gillespie thinks it was rushed and is concerned about possible long term side effects.

GILLESPIE: I just had to watch I guess and pray that I don't get it. CARROLL (voice-over): Health officials in Maine are encouraged by a census survey in early March showing four out of five unvaccinated adults in the state saying they do plan to get the vaccine one of the highest rates nationwide.

But at the same time, acknowledged vaccine hesitancy could jeopardize their progress. The state's CDC director cautions it's not just politics, keeping shots out of arms.

NIRAV SHAH, DIRECTOR, MAINE CDC: It's not a monolith. There's a diversity of views. Some folks have questions because they are skeptical of the government. Other folks have questions because they are skeptical of pharmaceutical companies. Other folks have questions because they're skeptical of vaccines in general. And I think the trick that we as a public health community have to do is meet those folks where they are.

CARROLL (voice-over): Androscoggin County has one of the highest percentages of positive COVID cases in the state. On this day, volunteers from a local health advocacy group are going door to door urging Lewiston residents to sign up for the vaccination. They're targeting members of the immigrant community but they will engage with anyone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you get vaccinated?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't want to?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What if I tell you that this medical approval is approved by the doctors, I got my shots, he got his shots, all my team got their shots.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I understand but --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's safe.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't believe in it.

CARROLL (voice-over): Health volunteers say conversations like this are not unusual.

(on-camera): Why the hesitancy you think?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Basically, it's something to do with conspiracy theories that's going around.

CARROLL (voice-over): The state is planning more outreach by mobilizing local doctors to address the concerns of those across the anti-COVID vaccine spectrum.

SHAH: They may not listen to me, they may not listen to someone in D.C. they may not listen to the pharmaceutical company, but they will listen to their doctor.

CARROLL (voice-over): Still for some, there may be little convincing.

(on-camera): Is there anyone that could influence you perhaps to get the vaccine?


CARROLL (voice-over): Jason Carroll CNN, Portland, Maine.


COOPER: Still to come, remembering Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth the Second has died at the age of 99. How the Royal family will pay tribute is next.



COOPER: Tonight, the United Kingdom is mourning with Queen Elizabeth at the loss of her husband Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh.

CNN Royal correspondent Max Foster remembers his life and Royal legacy.


BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: It was with great sadness that a short time ago I received word from Buckingham Palace that His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh has passed away at the age of 99. Prince Philip earned the affection of generations here in the United Kingdom, across the Commonwealth and around the world.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tributes pouring in from all over the globe for the Duke of Edinburgh, the longest serving consorts in UK history. Dutifully by the queen side for more than 70 years, a descendant of Queen Victoria, Philip was born into Greek and Danish Royalty. But he renounced those titles in 1947 when he married then Princess Elizabeth, and took British citizenship. By then already a decorated naval World War II veteran.

KATE WILLIAMS, CNN ROYAL COMMENTATOR: He fought so bravely on the allied side and saved many, many men from German bombs on the ships. He was a brave and determined and devoted man in the Navy. And I think that was when he completely excelled, and it was really very difficult for him to give that up.

FOSTER (voice-over): Philip solidifying a Royal love story for the ages, taking a backseat publicly, at least to his wife, the Queen.

ROBERT HARDMAN, ROYAL BIOGRAPHER: His number one job from the word go has been to quote support the Queen, everything he does is in support of the Queen. It's just been one of the great Royal romances I think of history. FOSTER (voice-over): His devotion and duty on display whilst in private, a commanding presence as patriarch of the Royal family. And whilst always at the Queen side, finding his own stride, a renowned environmentalist, long before it was publicly fashionable. He served as head of the WWF and was president of some 800 other charities, attending some 22,000 events on his own, before his official retirement in 2017 at the age of 96.

With news of his passing on Friday, mourners arrived at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle to pay their respects to the beloved Royal consort.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he embodies everything about the country ready and --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This morning I was in tears.

FOSTER (voice-over): And whilst the pandemic will prevent a large scale public ceremony to remember Prince Philip and the days to come. The legacy he leaves is everlasting.

JOHNSON: Her Majesty said that our country, owed her husband, a greater debt than he would ever claim or we show ever no rules change.


FOSTER: The Queen then Anderson spending her first night without Prince Philip here at Windsor Castle. And the nation very much speaking to the sympathy they have for her tonight to this moment and she's having to sign off on the final details as well on the funeral.

Prince Philip was deeply involved in the plans but they were expecting to have a much bigger one, but under the current conditions, they won't be able to maybe as few as six people allowed in the chapel at Windsor. We'll have to wait and see how things pan out details tomorrow.


COOPER: All right, Max Foster. Thanks very much.

That's it for us. The news continues. Have a great weekend. Want to hand things over to Chris for "CUOMO PRIMETIME." Chris?