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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Voting Rights Bill Fails To Advance, All G.O.P. Senators Vote Against It; Interview With Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE); Interview With Colorado Secretary Of State, Jena Griswold (D); Soon: Polls Close Shortly In The NYC Mayoral Primary; Dr. Fauci: Delta Variant "Greatest Threat" In COVID Fight; Carl Nassib Has Top-Selling NFL Jersey After Coming Out As Gay. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired June 22, 2021 - 20:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


RACHEL CRANE, CNN BUSINESS INNOVATIONS AND SPACE CORRESPONDENT: So far, fewer than 600 people have been to space and whether it is Bezos or Branson, this first flight is sure to kick off a new type of tourism, allowing those that can stomach the price and the adrenaline rush their own set of astronaut wings and bragging rights for life.

Rachel Crane, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: All right. Thanks to Rachel, and thanks to all of you. Anderson starts now.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. We begin tonight with breaking news.

Senate Republicans tonight unified and blocking further action on sweeping voting legislation backed by Democrats. By withholding the 10 votes needed to break a filibuster, though they didn't really vote the bill down, nor did they vote against having a vote on the bill. All they did, which was enough under the rules of the Senate was to defeat a motion to proceed with S. 1, what Democrats call the For the People Act.

In other words, agree or disagree with what's in the bill, what Republicans did tonight was foreclose any possibility of even opening debate on it. Now, none of this was unexpected, or particularly unusual, except perhaps for the degree of the nothing to see here folks coming from Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, nothing to see in his view and nothing for the Federal government to do about it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): I'm okay with the state sorting this sort of stuff out. You know, the most important election in the country is the presidential election. It's not decided in Congress, it is decided in the Electoral College. Those are state by state decision.

And so, regardless of what may be happening in some states, there's no rationale for Federal intervention. They all figure it all out. They'll go to court. They'll determine whether or not there's any rational basis for this.

That's not unusual in this country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: It's not unusual in this country, he says, for states to work it all out. And it's true that many things like this do ultimately end up getting worked out in courts. But then in the next breath, literally one minute later, he says there's really nothing to work out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCCONNELL: There's nothing broken around the country. The system upheld very well during intense stress in the latter part of the previous Congress. There's this -- there's no rational basis for federalizing this election. Therefore, there's no point in having an election in the U.S. -- a debate in the U.S. Senate about something we ought not to do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: There are two thoughts, "nothing is broken" and "let the states work it out" are the Republican strategy in a nutshell, but keeping them honest, it can't really be both.

I mean, there is one way it could be, both statements could be true if Republicans across the country accepted the fact that there were -- there was no widespread fraud in the last election, that a record number of people in both parties made their voices heard in the middle of the worst public health emergency in a century. That in this vital respect, nothing was really broken. But they don't.

If Republicans accepted that reality, truly nothing was broken, then why are G.O.P. controlled state legislatures finding much they say they need to fix. If everything's A-Okay, then why according to the Brennan Center have at least 14 states already enacted 22 new laws as of May of this year, limiting access to the vote largely based on nonexistent voter fraud?

If nothing is broken, why are Republican state lawmakers foisting sham ballot audits on Democratic leaning counties in already certified elections? I mean, if he truly thinks that nothing is broken, perhaps Senator McConnell should speak to guys like this Republican elected official from Georgia who ended his non-broken 2020 experience with his very own security detail due to death threats, who spent part of his tenure, literally begging the President of the United States to stop inciting violence with his election lies.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GABRIEL STERLING, GEORGIA SENIOR ELECTION OFFICIAL: Mr. President, it looks like you likely lost the State of Georgia. We are investigating, there's always a possibility, I get it. You have the right to go through the courts. What you don't have the ability to do -- and you need to step up and

say this -- is stop inspiring people to commit potential acts of violence. Someone is going to get hurt, someone's going to get shot, someone's going to get killed, and it's not right. It's not right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: At this moment, a Judge in the state is weighing demands to set up an Arizona-style sham audit there. If nothing is broken, why is this even in front of a Judge?

And of course, if nothing is broken, then what were all those rioters doing at Senator McConnell's workplace?

Clearly, something is broken largely to the extent that lies about stolen elections and voter fraud have broken it. Something, a number of Senator McConnell's fellow Republicans are actually complicit in, something Senator McConnell tolerates, and we might add, something that Senator McConnell seems to think his party benefits from.

[20:05:06]

COOPER: Some portions of Senate Bill 1 would have prevented the kind of voter restriction laws we're seeing across the country. Others would have established Federal standards for early and mail-in voting, putting all states on a level playing field. Yet, other language would have put redistricting into the hands of bipartisan commissions chosen not by the Federal government, as some G.O.P. senators have falsely claimed, but by the states themselves.

And of course, Republicans, had they voted to begin debate on it, might have demanded that parts of the bill be changed, removed, or replaced, and they might have gotten at least some of what they wanted. But they chose instead, not to talk at all and that makes a statement, too.

Let's go for more on all this now from CNN's Ryan Nobles at the Capitol for us tonight. So, getting to 50 was the best case scenario for Democrats going into this vote. Sure, they'll be able to say, well, they were united, but they still fail to move the bill. It's dead. What happens now?

RYAN NOBLES, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You're right, Anderson. This bill is not moving forward and that is a huge blow to many Democratic activists across the country who listed this among their highest priorities in this session of Congress.

And, you know, the Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said that they are not giving up, that they have a number of avenues to try and pass some form of this legislation in the near future. But he hasn't outlined exactly how they get there. And the big obstacle remains the fact that the Senate filibuster remains in place, and that there are a small group of Democratic senators who are unwilling to break that up for anything, even something they consider to be their biggest priority.

And that includes West Virginia's Joe Manchin and Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema, who both said that the filibuster breaking it up now would lead to long term consequences that they just don't want to entertain.

So, Chuck Schumer can continue to tell his base that he is not giving up on this. But right now, he is yet to outline a true path to getting there without convincing those wayward senators, they need to break the filibuster, and they need to do it now.

COOPER: There are progressive Democrats who believe that President Biden and Vice President Harris should have done more to get this passed. Now, the Vice President spoke after the vote. What did she say? What did she have to say?

NOBLES: Yes, you're right, Anderson. I've talked to a lot of progressive Democrats, particularly in the House of Representatives that are really upset with President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris that they weren't more forceful in using the bully pulpit of the White House to try and encourage Democrats to do everything they possibly could to get this passed in the Senate.

Harris pushed back on that after the vote today. Listen to what she said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KAMALA HARRIS (D), VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I am here today, and I was here today, because obviously, this is one of the most critical issues that the United States Congress could take up, which is about the fundamental right to vote in our country.

And I think it is clear, certainly for the American people that when we're talking about the right to vote, it is not a Republican concern or a Democratic concern. It is an American concern. This is about the American people's right to vote, unfettered. It is about their access to the right to vote in a meaningful way.

Because nobody is debating, I don't believe, whether all Americans have the right to vote. The issue here is, is there actual access to the voting process? Or is that being impeded?

And the bottom line is that the President and I are very clear. We support S.1. We support the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, and the fight is not over.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NOBLES: Harris didn't answer any questions after making that statement, Anderson, but what most reporters were asking is, yes, you support it. What's your plan for getting it passed? And right now, the Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, the White House, President Biden, and Vice President Kamala Harris, they don't seem to have an answer to that question.

And I talked to Pramila Jayapal. She is the chair of the Progressive Caucus in the House tonight. She said that the patience is wearing thin, particularly with progressive members of the House who want to see action. They're done listening to the words, they need to see action behind those words.

COOPER: Ryan Nobles, appreciate it. Let's get perspective now from Democratic Senator Chris Coons of Delaware. I spoke to him just before airtime.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Senator Coons, is it clear to you why Senator Manchin waited so long to put forward his version of an acceptable voting rights bill? I mean, if he had done that sooner, do you think you could have actually gotten some Republicans on board?

SEN. CHRIS COONS (D-DE): Well, I don't know if there's anything we can do to get Republicans on board with protecting access to the ballot with voting rights. But I'll remind you, Anderson, that the restrictive laws that are being passed now in states across the country, states like Georgia and Arizona, they are trying to do it in Texas -- they hurt voters, both Republicans and Democrats alike.

They make it harder to access the ballot box. They make it harder to vote under conditions, not just like the pandemic, but in ordinary times. So, the kinds of reforms that the For the People Act would have put in place would have guaranteed better and broader access to the right to vote for Americans of all backgrounds in both parties.

I think if Joe Manchin had come forward with a clear proposal earlier, we might have sharpened the focus today, but the outcome still would have likely been the same, 50 Democrats supporting moving ahead with it, 50 Republicans opposed.

[20:10:11]

COOPER: So, what happens now? I mean, if there's no chance really of getting Republicans on board and you know, Manchin and Sinema have said they will not support eliminating the filibuster, is this just no longer -- and it is just dead?

COONS: Well, Anderson, the Rules Committee, which has responsibility for elections is going to have a series of hearings, both about the laws that are being passed around the country and about the provisions that could be included if this is taken up again.

A number of us are going to reach out to Republicans and see if there is any path forward. But frankly, given the facts, as you just stated them, Anderson, I am gravely concerned that this will be a greenlight to Republicans, particularly in state legislators around the country to move ahead with more steps they will restrict the right to vote.

COOPER: And there's nothing Democrats in Congress can do about it, you're saying.

COONS: Well, unless we change the filibuster, and we've got at least two members who are publicly saying they won't do that. Having this vote today was an important part of having a discussion in our caucus about whether or not we're willing to change that position, and instead move forward with just 51 votes for something as important as protecting access to the right to vote.

COOPER: But you have no confidence that this will move them.

COONS: I don't know that yet, Anderson. We're having robust debates within our caucus about that. There is right now, an ongoing effort, and bipartisan progress on infrastructure, on policing reform. But on this issue, on voting rights, there is a very clear 50/50 split between Democrats and Republicans in the Congress.

And because the right to vote is so foundational, so defining of our democracy, I remain hopeful that we may get persuade folks to change position.

COOPER: The Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, when asked about the so-called audit that's been going on of 2020 election ballots in Arizona, which is really not a legitimate audit at all said today, he is okay with states sorting this stuff out and there's no role for Congress in election laws. What -- are you okay with that?

COONS; Well, Anderson, the audit in Arizona is searching for some shred of evidence of voter fraud or of vote irregularities. President Biden won Maricopa County by 45,000 votes, and after months and months of effort and several attempts at this audit, no significant evidence has come forward.

I do think it's important that we take action federally, to ensure that the guardrails of our elections are strong. I think we should look back at the 2020 election and be improving access to the ballot and the ability of states to ensure that the will of the electorate is respected, rather than some of the steps that are being taken as in Arizona to re-re-re-litigate through an audit the election of 2020.

COOPER: There's a lot of Democrats who see what happened today on voting rights and are obviously very upset. Earlier today, progressive Democratic Congressman Jamaal Bowman of New York said that President Biden needs to be more vocal, a lot more vocal, and out front on voting rights. You're obviously one of the President's closest allies in the Senate. Was he involved enough in these negotiations? Is there something more he can do?

COONS: Look, President Biden has been clear, has been forceful and has been engaged about the importance of protecting the right to vote. Vice President Harris and President Biden have spoken to senator, have spoken out publicly, have used their bully pulpit and social media, in person, and on camera. But I do think there's more work for all of us to do.

If it's going to be harder for us to win elections going forward, then we're simply going to have to work harder to demonstrate that we're delivering results for the American people and to take the fight to state legislatures around the country, and to try and persuade folks, both in our caucus and nationally that the right to vote is too precious a thing to allow it to be taken away by state legislatures around the country.

COOPER: Senator Chris Coons, I appreciate your time. Thanks. COONS: Thank you, Anderson.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Well, next, breaking news in what we've just learned about how Speaker Pelosi plans to investigate the January insurrection in the face of Republican opposition to an independent commission. Also, with all the talk about so-called ninjas, and their so-called suspicions of ballots in Arizona, some facts, a rare look inside the plant where those ballots were actually made and a talk with the CEO.

And later, and this striking, the C.D.C. Director said today that nearly every adult COVID death that takes place now is, quote, "entirely preventable" if people just get vaccinated. With that in mind, we'll talk about the biggest threat right now to the unvaccinated, the delta variant and how quickly it is spreading in America.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:18:08]

COOPER: In light of tonight's unified and successful Republican effort to block debate on voting rights legislation, you heard Senate Minority Leader McConnell proclaiming election normalcy in this country. "Nothing is broken," he said. No need for what he called federal intervention.

Well, tonight there's someone he might want to talk to, the guy who supplies the ballots in Arizona's Maricopa County. The same ballots being scrutinized for Chinese bamboo or copied and shipped to Montana or heaven knows what else.

CNN's Kyung Lah met the man and visited his company and has this report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): In these final days of the so-called Arizona audit, the focus is on the ballot paper itself.

As we peek in from our perch in the nosebleed press box, we see workers photographing the nearly 2.1 million 2020 ballots cast in Maricopa County using multiple microscopic cameras to zoom in on the paper. It's a mystery what this is all about to us, and to Jeff Ellington.

LAH (on camera): What are they looking for?

JEFF ELLINGTON, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, RUNBECK ELECTION SERVICES, INC.: I don't know. I wish we knew.

LAH (voice over): Ellington would know something was wrong with the ballot paper. He is the President and CEO of Runbeck Election Services. Nearly every single 2020 printed ballot from Maricopa County, Arizona was produced here at Runbeck, an airtight secured 90,000 square foot facility where every ballot is bar coded, sorted and assembled, and the specialty paper itself cut and measure to the nanometer.

ELLINGTON: This is ballot paper.

LAH (on camera): So, this has to be specially made.

ELLINGTON: It's heavy, it's hard to ship and the stuff that, you know, a thousand pounds for each one of these rolls, but we don't have paper made out of bamboo.

LAH (voice over): Bamboo in ballot paper has been a wild conspiracy the controversial audit has chased.

JOHN BRAKEY, ARIZONA AUDIT CONSULTANT: There's a lot of accusations that was said about the balance coming from China. Bamboo in the paper, that 40,000 ballots came in that were forged or whatever.

ELLINGTON: My first response was, there's no way.

[20:20:03]

LAH (voice over): But as this unorthodox audit continued, and Ellington watched workers use UV lights on the ballots Runbeck printed, it started getting to him.

ELLINGTON: And so, we were like, well, maybe there is something. So, we went in a room like this, and we got our flashlight. And we would shine it on the paper trying to figure out what they could possibly be looking for. We couldn't find anything on the ballot that reflected or was a watermark or anything.

LAH (on camera): This is where -- what it's come to.

ELLINGTON: Yes, this is what it is come to.

STEPHEN RICHER (R), MARICOPA COUNTY RECORDER: I think that this is an exercise in just nonsense.

LAH (voice over): Stephen richer is a Republican Maricopa County Recorder, loudly denouncing this partisan exercise by the Republican- controlled Arizona Senate, and what this will mean for American democracy,

RICHER: We are going to have division, and we're not going to have moved the needle at all. And we're going to give them further oxygen to some of these absurd conspiracy theories. And so, you know, I don't see what the endgame is here and I don't see how this really helps.

LAH (voice over): Or makes any sense at all, says Ellington.

LAH (on camera): In 2016, you did the ballots.

ELLINGTON: Correct.

LAH: In 2020, you did the ballots?

ELLINGTON: Yes. For Maricopa County, we did the ballots in both elections.

LAH: So, what changed between 2016 and 2020 that there's now this outrage in 2020?

ELLINGTON: The outcome.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Kyung Lah joins us now from Phoenix. So, what are you learning about when and how this so-called report of this so-called audit will be unveiled?

LAH: Well, you know, when we spoke about this last night, Anderson, we were hearing that it could be late July, early August. And there's a lot of this guessing game, a lot of this uncertainty because Arizona Senate President Karen Fann isn't exactly talking to a lot of election officials here in Arizona like they anticipated.

Another source is telling us, it could be 60 days, that's the last word that they got, that it could be 60 days before they figure out what is going to be revealed, what it is going to look like, and what it could mean for the voters here in Arizona and in Maricopa County, specifically Anderson.

That though creates a lot of uncertainty to have all that time, that gap, as this question and all of these conspiracies are still swirling out here -- Anderson.

COOPER: Kyung Lah, appreciate it. Thanks.

More now on the effort to spread these sham audits. Jena Griswold, Colorado Secretary of State recently took action to head off a push for them in her state. Some of the demands have apparently been inspired by the privately run audit in Arizona, and Secretary Griswold joins us now.

So Madam Secretary, I appreciate you being with us. I want to get your thoughts on the situation in Arizona and what it has prompted you to do in Colorado. But first, I just want to get your reaction to the breaking news out of Washington, the failure of the Senate along partisan lines to move forward to a federal voting rights bill.

Senator McConnell is saying it's not necessary. This is something that should just be left up to the states and go through the courts if necessary.

JENA GRISWOLD (D), COLORADO SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, Anderson, thank you for having me on. My reaction from what happened in D.C. is Democrats are united in protecting voting rights, and Senate Republicans are united in allowing states to suppress their voters. And that's what we're seeing across the nation, a concerted effort, coordinated to undermine democracy, and then justify the passing of voter suppression. So, I believe that it's urgent that we do have the Senate take action,

and really call on every single senator to do a carve out of the filibuster. We cannot allow the filibuster to be the reason that democracy is destroyed by these voter suppression tactics, these fake audits, and literally insurrectionists running to be the chief election officers of states as Secretary of State.

COOPER: Isn't there an argument to be made, though, just arguing the other side here that there's a reason that the system is set up the way it is, and if for those who don't like -- didn't like the former President, had the Federal government been able to have a one size fits all policy for how the election should be run in each state, there could have been something done untoward by the former President, whereas the fact that this is done on a state by state basis and states make up their rules about the voting rules, isn't there some protection for voters in that?

GRISWOLD: Well, what voters need is protection and the freedom to cast a ballot and they are secure and accessible elections. And what we are seeing is that our freedoms are being under attack in state legislatures across the nation. And I believe that every American deserves access to have their voice heard in elections, regardless of the color of their skin, the amount of money in their bank account, or where their zip code is.

So, I disagree with that assessment. We are at an urgency point for democracy.

And what Federal legislation would do, would not say you have to run your elections, this, that, and the other way and that's it. It would put a floor in, so that states and partisan elected officials stop suppressing their voters.

And Anderson, with these voter suppression bills, it is not only about taking away Americans freedoms, it's about partisan G.O.P. members trying to tilt future elections in their favor. That's about as an un- American as you can get.

[20:25:14]

COOPER: You heard the latest from Kyung Lah on this so-called audit in Maricopa County. You took sort of a preemptive action in Colorado. There was reportedly a conservative group seeking to do something similar with your ballots. Can you explain what was going on and what you did?

GRISWOLD: Yes, so in Colorado, our local county election officials were getting pressured to run these sham audits; and at times, they were getting pressured with threats. And I believe that in Colorado, we need to take action to protect our democracy. That is how I see my role as Secretary of State.

So, I issued rules prohibiting sham audits in the state. We are not going to allow unprofessional, unaccredited firms, with no experience in elections to get a hold of our voting equipment. And on top of that, we already have the best audits in the nation. There are bipartisan risk limiting audits that show us to a statistical degree of certainty that outcomes are correct.

But I think we should make it really clear what these sham audits are trying to do. They are trying to undermine confidence in elections. And through the undermining of confidence in elections. Some of these partisan G.O.P. members are really setting the stage for further voter suppression.

And lastly, I think it's noteworthy that although we're seeing these types of fraud, it has spread across the nation, although we're seeing voter suppression and Senate Republicans really refuse to move to protect the right to vote

American voters, including Republican American voters, support the reforms in the For the People Act, support the idea that every American should have access to making our voices heard and choosing our elected leaders.

COOPER: We should also point out just in the last election, there was a record turnout on both sides. It was actually a very successful election for Republicans in statehouses across the country. Huge turnout on both sides. So, the idea that that you know this shouldn't be a partisan issue is -- it just -- it's very strange. Jena Griswold, I appreciate your time. Thank you.

We have some more breaking news right now. CNN has learned from two sources familiar with the subject that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to appoint a select committee to investigate the January insurrection. They tell us she said so this evening to Democrats in the chamber's Steering and Policy Committee.

One source telling us the Speaker indicated she believes a regular standing committee of several dozen members just would not work and notes the House has already given the Senate several weeks to get a bill on an independent commission, something Republicans have blocked.

Speaker Pelosi later denied that she had made a decision. CNN stands by its reporting and the sources who confirmed her initial reports.

Next, breaking news, polls close shortly in the New York City mayoral primary. The latest on a race that could have a long drawn out ending when we continue.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:31:38]

COOPER: There's breaking news about half an hour from now, polls in New York close an end to a rough sometimes bitter party nomination process to elect a new mayor. The Democratic nominee is expected to win in November and then lead a far different New York than the one of just a year ago. But it may be a while before we learn which of the 13 candidates that is.

Our national correspondent Athena Jones joins us now with the latest. So, it's a big field. It's been a tough campaign even by New York standards. Any sense of how the candidates are feeling tonight? ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Anderson. You're right. It has been a long campaign. It's gotten bitter, especially towards the end, there are 13 candidates vying for the Democratic nomination. But they're really four names that have risen to the top in the limited public polling we've been looking at in the last few weeks.

And those are in fact the names that we've been hearing the most here at this polling place in the Upper West Side of Manhattan and also at a polling place my colleagues were at in Crown Heights in Brooklyn.

Those names are Eric Adams, who is the Brooklyn borough president. He's a former New York police captain. He's appears to be leading the polls. But of course, this race is hard to hold due to the rank choice voting aspect. He's a name we're hearing a lot.

Also, Kathryn Garcia, the former Sanitation Commissioner, who worked under Bill -- Bill de Blasio, the current mayor and former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a lot of people have mentioned ranking her first. Also Maya Wiley, she's a civil rights lawyer who was counsel to the current mayor, Bill de Blasio. She's a name that's come up a lot here at this polling place, and the one in Crown Heights in Brooklyn. And Andrew Yang, the businessman and former 2020 presidential candidate.

Those are the four candidates that appear to have risen to the top here. It's going to be weeks before we find out who's ultimately the winner. But these are folks who are projecting confidence at the end. Eric Adams the last few days and hours saying, I never doubted that I would win.

Of course, we won't know tonight if he did win, but he's projecting confidence sharing some of the union support and others who are making calls for him helping to get out the vote. Wiley and Garcia both tweet, and Yang tweeting about how the polls are about to close in less than an hour now urging their voters to get out and have their voices heard.

So there's reason for confidence. But this has been a difficult race to pull because we don't know how much movement is going on when it comes to people figuring out or strategizing about who to rank first, second and third, and how that's ultimately going to affect the tabulation.

COOPER: Yes, Athena Jones, I appreciate it. Thank you.

Want to get perspective now from Christine Quinn, former Speaker of the New York City Council and ran for mayor in 2013. And Harry Enten, CNN senior political writer and analyst.

Christine, great to see what was going through your mind on primary night when you were a candidate for mayor. And what do you expect is going on inside these campaigns tonight? Because I mean, this is unlike anything we've seen in New York. I mean, this whole system is confusing.

CHRISTINE QUINN, FMR NYC CITY COUNCIL SPEAKER: You know, I didn't get the result I wanted on primary night, but at least I knew it was over. So, you know, and so for these folks, I can't imagine -- I cannot imagine two, three, maybe four weeks of waiting and waiting.

That's really challenging and are they going to keep campaigning? How much of a press -- presence are they going to have? It's a totally different world and I -- my heart kind of goes out to them because it's going to be hard to not know.

Harry, can you walk us through in any way that's comprehensible how the primary process works. And I mean if I drank I would have a drink right now while you do this, but I'm just going to have to listen to hear sober.

[20:35:07]

HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL WRITER & ANALYST: Look, it may be a candidates nightmare but it's a journalists dream to be able to explain such a complex system such as this. Look, here's the situation right, you're going to bring up to five candidates on your ballot, right? Some people like my mom may rank two or three, you can rank any number that you want to rank up to five.

Then essentially what happens is, if no one reaches a majority of the vote, and it's very unlikely that anyone will, will start eliminating folks, one by one, if you have the lowest share of the vote, you get a -- you get eliminated your votes, go to your second choice, your third choice, your fourth choice.

But here's the key thing to keep in mind, as you're watching the results as they come in. If the candidate that's ahead is with less than 40% of the vote, which is very likely, and their lead is 10 points or greater, that candidate is very, very likely to win based upon history. They've won 100% of the time, and rank choice voting elections in the United States since 2000. But if let's say the leader has less than 40, and has a head by less than 10 points, that leader has only 172% of the time.

So essentially, what we're really looking at here is let's see where the leader is. It's a close race, if it's less than 10 points between the first place and the second place person, we really could be waiting a long time to figure out who wins. But at that first place person's head by let's say 15 points, that person is very, very likely to win.

COOPER: I would watch a show Harry of you and your mom talking New York politics, I would watch that show. I don't know your mom, but I would watch that.

ENTEN: She is a lovely person.

COOPER: I'm sure she is.

ENTEN: She's a (INAUDIBLE). And, you know, we used to go to the voting booth and have Stella Door cookies with the old Jewish lady. It was beautiful.

COOPER: Christine, so much in this election is centered on crime, which is obviously a rising concern cities nationwide, very much so in New York, which has seen, you know, record low crime for somebody who, you know, grew up in New York in the '70s. It was a very different New York. Do you expect this primary to be an indicator of the kind of candidates and platforms to get traction around the country?

QUINN: Well, you know, there's a lot of discussion about that, because I think if you'd have a conversation about how would prime and police pet play in this election, say six months ago, we all would have said it's going to focus on police community relations, police brutality, et cetera.

That's really shifted, and it's a more traditional conversation about crime being on the rise. And, you know, and violence being up in the city, except as you just referenced, it is nowhere near at all the quote unquote, bad old days, you know, the Bronx is Burning, et cetera.

Nonetheless, I think younger people in this city are so used to there being no crime at all, the increase really has them shook. And we're seeing that and how the discussion has changed. And even older voters have become so used to super low crime, this new increase has really had them rethink how they see this issue. And that's really a big reason why Eric Adams is doing so well, given his history of having been a police captain, and he's running on a hard on crime, lock them up kind of a platform.

COOPER: Harry Athena in her report note, it's going to take a while before we know who wins. Can you just kind of -- I mean when are we going to actually find out?

ENTEN: It could be weeks. Look, we'll get an idea of what the first choice selections are this evening, right? But that will only be the in-person voting that does not count the absentees. Then a week from now we'll get some rank choice results from the in-person voting but again, not counting those absentee mail ballots.

It's not going to be till July 6th that we'll have rank choice results including some mail ballots, which may very well total 100,000 or more. And finally, it won't be until July 12th that we -- the week of July 12th that official results should be expected. So, perhaps we should all go to a diner get some coffee a few times each week and we can discuss the results there.

COOPER: I like that idea. Harry Enten, thank you. Christine Quinn, good to see you. Thanks.

QUINN: (INAUDIBLE).

COOPER: I'm sorry, what Christine?

QUINN: As you say, lots of good conversation for your July 4th barbecue.

COOPER: That's certainly true. Thanks so much.

Just ahead, more breaking news, Dr. Anthony Fauci warns about the threat posed by coronavirus variant that very well may become the dominant strain in the United States just as young people in certain states are lagging behind the rest of the nation when it comes to vaccinations. What it means for the rest of us as well, when we continue.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:42:12]

COOPER: More breaking news tonight. Federal health officials warning of a serious uptick in the prevalence of a coronavirus variant foreseen in India. Compounding the problem younger adults in certain states not getting vaccinated high enough rates.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NIAID: The Delta variant is currently the greatest threat in the U.S. to our attempt to eliminate COVID-19. Good news, all vaccines are effective against the Delta variant.

There is a danger, a real danger that if there is a persistence of a recalcitrance to getting vaccinated that you could see localized surges.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Dr. Fauci added that this variant is doubling every two weeks in the U.S. now accounting for about 20% of tested samples.

Let's get perspective now from Dr. Paul Offit, the Director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Dr. Offit, I remember I don't know if it was a week ago or a couple of weeks ago, it was at 10% of the cases in the U.S. were this Delta variant now, we're saying 20. This is -- I mean, what's to stop this from becoming the dominant variant in this country as it has in other countries?

PAUL OFFIT, DIRECTOR OF THE VACCINE EDUCATION CENTER, CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL OF PHILADELPHIA: Well, vaccines are what stop it and unfortunately, we have a fairly large percentage of the population that is still choosing not to vaccinate. I don't know why we need to keep learning this lesson.

I mean, the first virus that came out of China was the first variant. It didn't have a Greek letter designation, but it's the one that swept across Europe. It's the one that swept across this country and killed more than 500,000 people. That was then replaced by this second variant, the so-called Alpha variant, or the UK variant, which now is a dominant strain and now we have the third variant, the Delta variant.

What this virus is doing, this bad coronavirus, is it's trying to become more and more adapted to growth and people, therefore it becomes more contagious and the more contagious it is the greater percentage of the population that you need to vaccinate. As Dr. Fauci said, we're not helpless here. Just get vaccinated. Unfortunately, there are too many people who are not making that choice.

COOPER: Yes, I mean, there's this guy Cole Beasley in what he termed a public service announcement. He's an NFL player. He tweeted this weekend, and I quote, I'm not vaccinated, I will be outside doing what I do. I'll be out in the public. If you're scared of me, then steer clear or get vaccinated. Point Blank period. I may die of COVID, but I'd rather die actually living.

I mean, what do you do? I mean, what do you do with somebody like this?

OFFIT: Let me -- so here's a here's a man, wide receiver for the Buffalo Bills, who's saying it's my choice. It's my personal choice, but it's really not his personal choice because he's making a choice for those with whom he comes in contact.

He makes to two flawed arguments. One is that that what do you care if you're vaccinated, you're good, but no vaccine is 100% effective, and even though people are vaccinated, they still it's possible they could get sick. So you need everybody around you to be as highly vaccinated as possible.

[20:45:04]

And the second thing is there are hundreds of thousands of people in this country who can't be vaccinated because they're getting chemotherapy for their cancer, or they're getting biological agents for their chronic diseases, they depend on those around them to protect them.

And if enough people are like Cole Beasley and saying, you know, the hell with you, I'm going to do what I want, then you're going to have the continued spread of this virus, continued suffering and hospitalization and death and worse yet, continued generation of variants, which makes it harder and harder to get on top of this.

There are two things that are working against us here, one of the variants, and the other is essentially this sort of anti-vaccine attitude, which is or said, another way of pro disease attitude.

COOPER: Also, you know, this guy who I, you know, clearly thinks he's tough and is showing himself off to be how tough he is. When he gets sick, he's going to end up in a hospital, he's going to go to a hospital, where doctors and nurses are going to have to waste their time attending to him because he chose not to have a vaccine.

And then at some point, when right before he's put on a ventilator, he will make a public service announcement saying, oh, gosh, I really, you know, should have got a vaccine. It's, you know, I thought I, you know, I thought it was meaningless to be on a vaccine, it's even worse to be on a ventilator.

It just seems like such a obnoxious way to think because frankly, he doesn't live in a bubble and he is going to, you know, medical attention is going to have to be paid for him. If he gets really sick, people are going to have to waste their time, you know, attending to him when they could have been attending to other people and children aren't getting vaccinated, little kids aren't getting vaccinated.

And even people who have mild cases have often have long haul symptoms for many, many months. I mean, there's so many reasons why his argument is just asinine.

OFFIT: No, you're right in the story that you just told us a story that has played out before where people have said on their deathbed that they regretted not getting a vaccine. I mean, it's a it's just a lesson that I find continually amazed that we were unable to learn.

Also when Cole Beasley plays football he wears a helmet, he wears shoulder pads, why? Because he's trying to prevent injury. This is really no different. He's he uses preventive measures on the football field, so why not here?

COOPER: Yes. Dr. Offit, I appreciate your time. As always, thank you.

Up next as President Biden prepares to address the wave of gun violence across the country, we'll take you to Chicago for look at how politicians and community leaders they're trying to rein in the gunfire when little else seems to be working.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:51:26]

COOPER: There's an update tonight in our story we brought you on last night's program. That police officer from suburban Denver shot and killed yesterday was targeted precisely because he was a cop, according to the local police chief. The 19-year-old veteran died along with the bystander. The suspect was also killed.

The chief says the officer was targeted quote by a person who expressed hatred a police officers. Now that of course is only a single incident among the surge in gun violence across the country. President Biden tomorrow plans to gather his top aides along with law enforcement officers and state and local officials to try and come up with some answers to a problem that so far at least seems immune to any real solutions.

Local authorities are expressing particular concern about violence ahead in a long, hot summer. And no big city is more in the spotlight than Chicago where gunfire has been a persistent plague.

CNN's Omar Jimenez had been tracking programs there, led by community leaders and politicians to try and turn that tide around. Here's his report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are those phone calls like when you realize that the kids have been shot?

OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Navigating between the right and wrong side of the tracks in Chicago.

JERVON HICKS, LIFE COACH, CHICAGO CRED: Everything stops in your mind meaning goes with that young man --

JIMENEZ (voice-over): Can be a difficult journey. Jervon Hicks is a life coach and outreach worker for the community and anti-gun violence group Chicago CRED, he's had his own history of guns and shooting. Now, he's trying to stop his history from becoming a future for so many.

HICKS: No amount of money kind of change what's going on if you don't have your feet on the ground?

JIMENEZ (on-camera): You were these kids at one point. And now you're here trying to change their paths?

HICKS: Absolutely.

JIMENEZ (on-camera): How do you do that?

HICKS: You have to be a people's person. Once these guys be able to trust you that you're able to help them set some attainable goals, and not just satisfy help reaching.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): Critical efforts in the city's latest plan to slow down the pace of violence. What Chicago's mayor is calling a whole of government approach.

LORI LIGHTFOOT (D) MAYOR OF CHICAGO: Our young men, the ones that are most likely to be the victims, but also the perpetrators of crime have to know at the earliest possible stage, their destiny is not preordained to be picking up a gun or an early death.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): The strategy highlights four zones. The city says is driving a disproportionate amount of violent crime all the way down to the block level. Then, using schools, libraries, family support services and more to fight violence with resources.

(on-camera): Why are you so confident that this can work as opposed to what's been tried in the past?

LIGHTFOOT: Having a strategy that relies exclusively or even primarily just on law enforcement doesn't work. And we know that. We've spent billions of dollars across the city policing without other supports for communities, and it's not moving the needle fast enough.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): But police are a major part of the public safety approach. Even down to foot chases in the wake of high profile police shootings at the ends of pursuits. Chicago's police department is set to implement a new policy that currently includes prohibiting foot chases from minor traffic offenses and positioning responding officers in a way that discourages running.

DAVID BROWN, SUPERINTENDENT, CHICAGO POLICE: It actually makes us safer because officers are safer as relates to foot pursuit policies. And the outcomes for offenders fleeing is safer.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): And on making the streets safer?

(on-camera): You're not going to be able to police your way out of this.

BROWN: No, arrest your way up, police your way. If you're not as a law enforcement leader or officer open to reform. You're in the wrong business. We have to change our culture. There's no going back to the way it used to be.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): Since January 2019, no other city has seen more mass shootings in Chicago, according to the National Gun Violence Archive. The pace only picked up.

[20:55:07]

ARNE DUNCAN, CO-FOUNDER, CHICAGO CRED: It started with a pandemic and then the George Floyd murder, which those next six or eight weeks after that, we had a staff member killed. We had three of our young men killed, we had a 20-month old baby of one of our men, he was killed. And that was just an extraordinarily dark time.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): Reality, adding urgency.

HICKS: I'm not saying I'm God, law can prevent anything from happening. But I know in my heart, I do what I can in one or two in the morning, to put this guy in a safer environment.

DUNCAN: A men who looked like that, men who live in these neighborhoods are giving everything they have. I don't want to get emotional saying, they're giving everything they have to create peace and to save the next generation.

JIMENEZ (on-camera): It's going to have to start from the ground up.

DUNCAN: It's the only way.

HICKS: We care for real. I mean, I don't get accolades for this. And if you want to be in the street, so be it. If you want to change, that's what we're here for.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Omar, is this strategy, many progress that that's actually been able to be measured?

JIMENEZ: Well, Anderson, it's still early, since the policy was actually announced in just recent weeks. But one of the ways they are trying to mark progress is by properly identifying the problem. And by that, they mean that when you look at communities that start out with inequities that ends up in violence, and nearly all of the neighborhoods that are identified in these four zones are over 80% black and nearly all of those are high economic hardship areas.

And this comes of course, as the city begins to reopen in this sort of post COVID era or at least what we're trying to get to. And while there are thoughts of maybe this could be a more violent setting, one of the interesting things I heard from officials is that it actually allows them to get into a more normal cadence with managing the violence and at least hoping they can get it back to 2019 levels. We're here in Chicago, we saw violence drop for three years in a row.

COOPER: Omar Jimenez, appreciate it. Thank you.

Coming up, how the first active NFL player to announce he's gay is getting support?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Only day after his announcement about being gay Las Vegas Raider defensive end Carl Nassib is getting a lot of support from fans. The defensive lineman is the only active NFL player to make such a declaration. Here he is on his Instagram account. And today the sports apparel retailer fanatics to Nassib's Raiders jersey is the top selling jersey on its side over the past two days.

[21:00:04]

Since Nassib's announcement, there have been dozens of messages of support from both players and league executives. And the league says it'll match Nassib's $100,000 donation to the Trevor Project designed to focus on suicide prevention among LGBTQ young people.

That's it for us. The news continues. Want to hand over Chris for "CUOMO PRIME TIME." Chris.