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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES

Florida COVID Patients Asking for Vaccine Once it is Already Too Late; Former Trump Adviser Strikes $250 Million Bail Deal; Trump's Obsession with Arizona; Trump To Travel To Arizona To Rally His Supporters Around The Lie He Won The Election; Why The Resistance In Alabama Is So High; Next: "Eating Planet Earth: The Future Of Your Food". Aired 8-9p ET

Aired July 23, 2021 - 20:00   ET

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


[20:00:00]

ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: In fact, Massimino told me that Bezos's trip made a big step towards helping humans manufacturing space, settle in space, and use resources from space. Well, let's see how this plays out.

The F.A.A. order says an honorary award can be considered for those who contribute to commercial human spaceflight. We'll see if Massimino gets the last word. Stay tuned.

And thanks for joining us. AC 360 starts now.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. We begin this Friday night with the weight of a week's worth of evidence that our struggle with COVID will not be over anytime soon, unless, of course, a lot more people get vaccinated. Without that, even though this is a pandemic of the unvaccinated, it's going to continue to limit what the vaccinated can do as well. That's where we are tonight.

The country is now averaging close to 45,000 new cases a day, about four times more than a month ago. At the same time, only about 600,000 vaccine doses are being administered daily now. That's down from a peak of more than four and a half million a day in March.

So, now with a much faster spreading delta variant, by far the dominant strain, hospital intensive care units are once again getting crowded, filling up. Localities are once again imposing mask mandates.

The NFL this week imposing new penalties on teams with outbreaks due to unvaccinated players. Even a number of red state governors and other conservative politicians and TV personalities began shedding months of vaccine denial and defiance, but not soon enough.

In Alabama, for example, the governor today pushed hard on people to get the vaccine, only 33.9 percent in her state have. That's the worst in the nation.

Another thing that's become clear this week is that some people for many reasons, just don't want to get the shot. Not even as seen CNN's Elie Reeve discovered when they've got the best reason in the world to just roll up their sleeve.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ELIE REEVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Did anyone you know get COVID?

JOY STARR, ARKANSAS RESIDENT: My son had COVID.

REEVE: How old is he?

STARR: Eight.

REEVE: Wow. So that's like pretty rare for like a young kid. What was that like?

STARR: He was sick a lot. He's been sick a lot for a while and he is still sick. So we are getting him looked at and see if there's further damage. I don't know. I mean, he got real sick. Fever every day for weeks.

REEVE: Are you guys going to get the vaccine?

STARR: No, No vaccine.

REEVE: How come?

STARR: I just don't trust the government.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: It is extraordinary to hear that. An eight-year-old child, a child sick for weeks with fever, still sick, maybe going to go see a doctor. But the parents, the family still won't get vaccinated.

Tonight, conservative radio talk show host, Phil Valentine is in the hospital with COVID. For months, he has downplayed the need for most people to get vaccinated. Today, his family posted this on social media. It reads in part, "Phil would like for his listeners to know that while he has never been an anti-vaxxer, he regrets not being more vehemently pro-vaccine and looks forward to being able to more vigorously advocate that position as soon as he's back on the air, which we all hope will be soon."

The statement concludes quote, "Please continue to pray for his recovery, and please go get vaccinated."

A vaccine doubter's family telling people on his behalf to get vaccinated, which is certainly welcome. Every voice helps. But again, this comes after far too many people have died unnecessarily, including some who in their very last unassisted breaths, before being put on a ventilator have begged for a dose of the vaccine.

It's a story our Randi Kaye heard quite a bit during her visit to a hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, and she joins us now. So, you went to the COVID floor of the hospital. What did you see there?

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, we were at Baptist Medical Center on the COVID floor in Jacksonville and I saw doctors and nurses desperately trying to save lives, but they're really up against the numbers. The number of COVID patients is increasing right now.

They have 349 COVID patients, 74 of them are in the ICU, and 72 of those 74 are on ventilators. That's how serious it is. They're also turning regular hospital beds now into ICU beds because they need them so badly.

We were there yesterday and on that same day, they had 60 new COVID patients come in, and I'm told that 57 of those 60 were eligible for the vaccine. And Anderson, only one of them had actually received it and that's the problem, 99.6 percent of the COVID patients at that hospital are unvaccinated.

So, I spoke to one nurse and she told me that in their desperate times, here they are facing a ventilator or being intubated, these unvaccinated patients are begging for the vaccine. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KAYE: People who are here who are unvaccinated really staring down death, are any of them asking for the vaccine or voicing regret?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's a great question. Yes. I mean, every single day on most of -- somebody was just saying, we are getting ready to intubate the patient in the ICU, which means putting them on a ventilator. And they said, if I get the vaccine now could I not go on the ventilator? So I mean, they are begging for it.

When you're in ICU with COVID, it's not the time to get vaccinated. You've got to do it now before you get sick.

[20:05:03]

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They are desperate because they're gasping for air. They can't breathe. They are scared. They feel like they're going to pass away and so they're just asking for whatever they can do to possibly keep from being put on a ventilator. Because once patients get on a ventilator, it's really hard to wean them off.

KAYE: And you say they're begging for the vaccine.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They are. They are begging. They are just at a loss for whatever they can do to stay alive.

KAYE: What do you tell someone who is begging for the vaccine now?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. We just tell them, we're going to try to make it easier for you to breathe. Relax. We're going to intubate you. We're going to keep you as comfortable as we possibly can. When you get better, we will vaccinate you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KAYE: And Anderson, the nurse there, you heard her saying that these unvaccinated patients are terrified. They are struggling to breathe. They are afraid they are going to die. But these are patients now who chose not to get the vaccine, but now desperately want it -- Anderson.

COOPER: Were you able to speak to any patients?

KAYE: I was. I spoke to three patients, all of them were on breathing machines, struggling to breathe as I was speaking to them. They are in a lot of pain. All of them said that they regret not getting the vaccine, they all had the opportunity to do so.

One woman told me that she was more afraid of the vaccine than getting the disease. Well now, that has certainly changed for her. And they all told me that if they do survive this and they get out of the hospital, they will get the vaccine.

But Anderson one other note, they're also seeing a lot younger patients here at this hospital. They told me that 44 percent of the COVID patients they have now are 40 years old or younger, and they are also staying in the hospital much longer because they are much sicker -- Anderson.

COOPER: Randi Kaye, I appreciate it. Thank you.

Joining us now, Dr. Jerome Adams who served as Surgeon General in the former administration. In a recent op-ed for "The Washington Post," he calls for tighter new guidelines on masking in light of the delta variant saying this about the move to loosen them just two months ago, quoting now, "I was among those who initially thought that the revised guidance might encourage more people to get vaccinated. After all, they could enjoy more pre-pandemic freedoms at lower risk. But things have not worked out as I and other public health experts had hoped."

"In hindsight," he continues, "It's clear that the message many Americans heard was that vaccinated or not, masks were gone for good."

We're pleased that Dr. Adams can join us tonight. Thanks so much for being with us. I want to read more about what you said in "The Washington Post" op-ed. But first of all, you know, I don't know if you hear, but just a second ago, we played a sound that our reporter, Elie Reeve, was talking to a mom in Alabama, and the mom's eight-year- old child got COVID. And according to her, had it bad and had been sick for weeks with a high fever, and was still not feeling good and she was planning to go back to a doctor and try to figure out if there was any damage or anything that could be done.

And yet, she still will not be vaccinated because she says she doesn't trust the government.

As a doctor, I'm sure you've had patients like that. How do you convince somebody who sees their eight-year-old child sick and still sick and still does want to get a vaccine for anybody?

DR. JEROME ADAMS, FORMER U.S. SURGEON GENERAL: Well, Anderson, that story breaks my heart because I have an 11-year-old daughter who is unable to be vaccinated right now. And what I would say to your viewers, first of all, is the best way to protect the unvaccinated -- and remember, a lot of the unvaccinated are our children who aren't eligible to be vaccinated -- is for adults around them to be vaccinated.

But to your point, we have to remember that there are people who don't wear motorcycle helmets, there are people who drink and drive, there are people who don't get cancer screenings. There are people all the time, who don't do what health officials say and as doctors, as public health officials, it's our job to continue to treat them with compassion, to build that relationship, to build that trust, and you will win them over.

And I know people don't believe this, but I win people over every single day with a compassionate touch, really approaching them, and trying to show them that I care because when people know that you care, they'll actually care what you know.

Six hundred thousand people are getting vaccinated every single day. That's not as much as we'd like. But that's still 600,000 people who are now protected and protecting those around them. So, we've just got to keep at it.

COOPER: So, I want to read more of what you wrote in the in "The Washington Post." You said, "I know what it's like to be well intentioned, but wrong on masking." You went on to say, quote, "After realizing you've erred, the best way forward is to own the situation and hit the reset button. That's what I did, and that's what the C.D.C. needs to do." Unquote.

Do you think at this point, it's even possible to hit the reset button when it comes to masks?

I mean, you know, everyone is sort of -- the idea of putting on a mask for a lot of people feels like a huge step. They don't want to take a huge step backwards.

ADAMS: Well, I do believe it and we have to have faith in that. We've got to start treating Americans like adults. We try to make everything binary. We try to make it simple. We try to make it into a tweet.

I'm sorry, COVID is just not that simple. It's not. There is a lot of nuance and we've got to trust our health officials to give the best advice they can at the time, and the C.D.C. gave the best advice they could at the time, but guess what? That was pre delta surge. The delta variant is changing things. That was putting trust in the American people to really do the right thing.

[20:10:12]

ADAMS: But unfortunately, people chose to go out and pull their mask off whether they were vaccinated or not.

And so the messaging needs to be adjusted, it needs to be clarified on the part of the C.D.C. and the American people need to own up to, hey, we're all in this together, we rise or fall together. And you know, I push back. I don't think this is a pandemic of just the unvaccinated, we're all suffering through this pandemic. But we need to help people understand that when you're unvaccinated, you are putting yourself and other people at risk for sure. CARLSON: I think that's an important message because I do think a lot

of people -- I mean, we've heard a lot of people who have chosen not to get the vaccine say, well, what do you care? You're vaccinated, you're fine. It ignores the fact that, you know, especially with the delta variant, we know that even those who are vaccinated now can become sick. And even though you may not be hospitalized or die, it's still not pleasant to be sick, and you're sick, and perhaps you can pass it to your child or that person who has chosen not to get the vaccine.

It does affect those who are immunocompromised and can't get vaccines or children, and there are millions of children running around who can't get vaccinated right now, and they are threatened by people who are choosing not to get vaccinated.

ADAMS: Absolutely, I have an 11-year-old daughter, I have a wife who is still dealing with a cancer diagnosis. I have a mother who had a stroke last year. These are all people who are vulnerable and are made vulnerable by the individuals around them

But there are also social consequences. We're going to see masks come back, whether we like it or not in many communities, because when you've got a 20 percent positivity rate, when you have hospital wards full, that forces us to have to re-engage in mitigation.

So young people, if you want the bars and restaurants to stay open, if you want to be able to go out and communities without your mask, then you've got to do your part and get vaccinated. The NFL, you mentioned, the Olympics. There are people missing out on great opportunities simply because they wouldn't get vaccinated.

And so there are social benefits to getting vaccinated, but also know, this delta variant. There was a recent study that showed that you have 1,000 times the viral particles when you are infected with the delta variant than when you were infected with previous variants. This is a different beast that we're dealing with and it requires a more intense response.

So please, I'm pleading with you, get vaccinated, it is safe. Most of the problems you see with vaccines in history occur within the first couple of months. We've gotten hundreds of millions of people vaccinated. If this vaccine weren't safe, we'd know it by now.

That's not to say there aren't side effects, there aren't problems, but the benefits far outweigh the risks.

COOPER: So just on masking because, you know, you're saying the C.D.C. needs to revise their guidance. What would your guidance be right now to friends and family members and Americans out there about even if you're vaccinated -- if you are vaccinated, where should you wear a mask?

ADAMS: Well, that's a great question. The C.D.C. put a lot of responsibility on individuals to make decisions, but I don't think they gave them granular enough recommendations to be able to act on their own best behalf. If you're unvaccinated. You need to get vaccinated as soon as

possible, and if you choose not to, then you need to mask up. If you're vaccinated, you need to understand that you still could be spreading this delta variant, but not as much as if you were unvaccinated, but you still could be spreading it.

If you're going out in a public setting, then I suggest that you mask up especially if you're in a community that is seeing high prevalence numbers and if you're taking care of someone who is sick or someone who is unvaccinated, then you should also consider masking up when you go out in public around mixing vaccinated and unvaccinated and that's what we're seeing in schools, too.

Schools are struggling with this because you've got unvaccinated and vaccinated mixing. If you're in a high prevalence area, then please, listen to your health officials and consider masking up even if you're vaccinated. But if you're unvaccinated, especially, mask it up.

COOPER: All right, I'm going to follow your advice. Dr. Jerome Adams, I appreciate it. Thank you very much.

ADAMS: Thank you, Anderson.

COOPER: Just ahead, a report from the least vaccinated state in the nation, Alabama on efforts there to get more shots in people's arms.

Next, though, breaking news on bail for one of the former President's old associates and why this one is anything but a get out of jail free card.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:18:23]

COOPER: There is breaking news tonight and one of the former President's many friends, associates, former friends, and former associates who have fallen afoul of the law. In this case, Tom Barrack, the very wealthy, very well-traveled investor who learned today what getting out of jail will cost him while he's facing a string of Federal charges.

The figure is staggering. A quarter billion dollars bond secured by $5 million in cash. CNN's Paula Rid joins us now with more. So, when this indictment first came out, the Justice Department said Mr. Barrack was a flight risk, that he had vast wealth, friends in countries that don't have extradition treaties with the U.S., access to private jets. What changed?

PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, he has the best lawyers money can buy, and as they said today, they moved mountains to convince prosecutors that he had put up enough to convince them he wasn't going to flee. Now, as part of this deal, he has to wear an ankle monitoring bracelet, he has to surrender his passport, and abide by a curfew. But this is still a really good deal for him because he narrowly avoided a flight on the notorious Con-Air the plane that the U.S. Marshals use to move people across the country because he is in California, his case is in New York.

So overall, this is a really good deal for him.

COOPER: What are your sources telling you about whether or not he'll cooperate with officials?

REID: I talked to a lot of sources close to this case, Anderson, and I continue to hear that there is no expectation that Mr. Barrack will cooperate in any ongoing investigations, specifically those involving the former President or his family.

Now Anderson, we know a lot of people say that, right? And then they realize they really just don't have the resources to defend themselves against the Justice Department and they wind up having to cooperate. But here, I think we've established that Mr. Barrack certainly has the resources to fight, not sure if he'll win, but he certainly can fight.

[20:20:00]

COOPER: And just lastly, two Democratic lawmakers, House Representative Ted Lieu and Kathleen Rice are requesting an investigation into whether Mr. Barrack's case was potentially suppressed by the previous administration. After CNN reported earlier this week, the prosecutors were confident they had enough evidence last year to bring charges. What more do we know on that?

REID: That's right, Anderson, me and some of our colleagues, we learned the prosecutors had this evidence, but the case didn't move forward. And what's not clear is did it not move forward because they knew the U.S. Attorney at the time, Richard Donohue didn't support it, or was it because Mr. Donohue did something to intentionally stall that case.

And we also know, then Attorney General Bill Barr wasn't a big fan of these illegal lobbying cases. So it was unclear if the Inspector General is going to take this up. But I think you can expect both sides of this case, Anderson, to be arguing their politics at play.

COOPER: Paula Reid, appreciate it. Thank you. It's fascinating.

We're joined now by CNN legal analyst and former Deputy Assistant Attorney General Elliot Williams. So Elliot, this obviously -- I mean, it's a lot of money. Have you seen an amount like this for bail, $250 million bond and $5 million in cash?

ELLIOT WILLIAMS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I have not seen an amount like that, but I've also never seen anyone with foreign agent registrations that they failed to do with the United Arab Emirates and being a former friend of the President of the United States.

Look, this is a remarkable case, Anderson. But just step back, and let's look at what the law is. There are two reasons why people are detained prior to their trials, either they're a danger to the community or they're a significant flight risk. And the prosecution was saying quite accurately that he presents a significant source of risk. Number one, the wealth; number two, the jets; number three, one of his

co-defendants actually has already fled the country and they haven't found him in a couple years. And so, yes, this is an alarming amount of money and it just goes to show what $250 million can buy you in our criminal justice system.

COOPER: How does someone disappear in this day and age? I mean, his co-defendant fled in 2018, still remains at large. I find that kind of remarkable. I mean, anyway, I digress. But with Barracks access to money and private jets and powerful people in other countries, does it make sense to you on what the strategy the Justice Department is employing here? I mean, I guess it would be $250 million at stake if he split town. I don't know what his form of wealth is.

WILLIAMS: Well, it's not just the $250 million at stake, Anderson, because number one, so imagine that he gets on his private jet and flies to the UAE tomorrow, number one, okay, he loses the $250 million. Number two, he becomes a fugitive from justice and is subjected to additional charges for that. Number three, any bank that transacts with him is considered aiding and abetting his flight and any individual that helps him get to his assets in the United -- anybody individual in the U.S. who helps him is also subjected to charges themselves.

So, he would bring a whole bunch of other people into this. And for a 73 or 74-year-old individual who is already facing a significant amount of jail time, that's just incredibly risky.

COOPER: There is also reporting of a potential investigation to whether or not the Justice Department may have quashed this under the former administration. What do you think? What do you make of that?

WILLIAMS: Yes, so look, there are two different outcomes. And two different things that could have happened here. Number one, look, if in fact that the Justice Department was squashing it and hiding things, then absolutely, both Congress and the independent Inspector General within the Justice Department should look into this and get to the bottom of it.

However, there's an entirely plausible explanation here. And believe me on this, that imagine they have the evidence in June, July, August, September of last year in the run up to a presidential election, it would have been very poor form for the Justice Department to bring charges against an ally of a President of the United States, regardless of what people think of Donald Trump. That's just bad for the Justice Department and risky and a violation of Justice Department procedure.

So, perhaps it's not sitting on it or suppressing it. It's just waiting until after Election Day, or even after months after Election Day for a new Justice Department to come in. That's not incredibly uncommon.

COOPER: Elliot Williams, appreciate it. Thanks.

WILLIAMS: Thanks, Anderson. COOPER: Tomorrow, the former President heads to Arizona, ground zero

for his lies about election fraud. We'll discuss his obsession with that state, plus a new report that spells out just how much of the money his PAC is raising, claiming it is going to the ballot recounts to fund that, how much is actually going to the fraudulent ballot recounts like the one in Arizona.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:27:54]

COOPER: "The Washington Post" reports that of the $75 million the former President's Political Action Committee has raised in the first half of this year, none of it has gone to pay for the Arizona recount or to support similar efforts across the country, and that is despite fundraising e-mails that talk extensively about the need to support so-called election integrity.

According to "The Post" sources who are familiar with the finances, the Political Action Committees spend some money on travel, legal costs, and staff, but mostly, it's just holding on to all that cash that good people gave them.

The former President heads to Arizona tomorrow. Kyung Lah has more on his focus on that state.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): As the so- called Arizona audit begins its fourth month, there has been a constant drumbeat from Donald Trump.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you very much.

LAH (voice over): Since it started in April, Trump has blasted off more than two dozen statements to his loyal followers, amplifying the big lie and praising Arizona Republicans. Despite what Arizona Senate President and leader of the effort, Karen Fann publicly says --

KAREN FANN (R), ARIZONA STATE PRESIDENT: This is not about Trump. This is not about overturning the election. This has never been about anything other than election integrity.

LAH (voice over): Her e-mails tell another story, obtained by watchdog group, American Oversight last month. Fann writes in a December e-mail that she spoke with Mayor Giuliani at least six times in two weeks and mentions a private two-hour meeting with Giuliani and the Trump legal team.

In November, Fann writes, she asked the Trump legal team to please file a lawsuit to halt vote certification in the state. She tells another voter last December about a personal call from President Trump thanking us for pushing to prove any fraud.

But Fann wasn't the only elected official who received calls from the Trump orbit. Maricopa County Board supervisor Bill Gates got a voicemail on Christmas Day 2020 from then Trump lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER PRESIDENT TRUMP'S PERSONAL ATTORNEY: I have a few things I'd like to talk over with you. Maybe we can get this thing fixed up.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

LAH (on camera): Do you believe that this entire thing was always about Donald Trump?

[20:30:00]

BILL GATES, MARICOPA COUNTY BOARD SUPERVISOR: Yes, Yes, I do. That's what this is about. This is about an effort to continue to raise doubts about the election system.

KIRK ADAMS, CONSILIUM CONSULTING: He thinks somehow in Arizona, the election was stolen from him. And it's just not true.

LAH (voice-over): But Trump wants it to be true says Kirk Adams, lifelong Republican and former chief of staff to Arizona's Republican governor.

(on-camera): Why is Donald Trump's so obsessed with Arizona?

ADAMS: He believes if here Maricopa County can somehow be proven that the election was stolen, that it will therefore mean, it was stolen in other states like Pennsylvania, or else Georgia or elsewhere that he needed to win.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: So, the sort of the former president is going to Arizona tomorrow, this audit, obviously has been ridiculed as a sham. It's not an official audit at all. It's still going on anyway, behind you and Arizona Republicans are still clamoring to get on stage tomorrow with the former president. What do you expect to happen tomorrow the rally?

LAH: Well, we're expecting to hear the former President say exactly what he's been saying in the statements, he is going to perpetuate the big lie because he wants it to be true, even though it is not true. Even though this audit, which has been maligned by federal election officials, independent auditors independent, the people who run these audits, legitimate audits say that this is completely a sham and a show and an exercise. So, we're expecting him to perpetuate that myth, Anderson.

But that's not stopping a number of very long list of 2022 Republican candidates for Arizona governor, for the U.S. Senate to want to be on stage with him because the Republican base finds Donald Trump popular and they believe what he says.

COOPER: Yes. Kyung Lah, appreciate it. Thank you. And I just want to repeat what we mentioned earlier, according to Washington Post, the former president's PAC has raised $75 million this year on the back of these election fraud conspiracies, all those newsletters, all those appeals about, you know, what they call an election integrity. But to quote The Washington Post, Trump has been uninterested in personally bankrolling the efforts. The PAC has mostly been sitting on all that cash.

Perspective now, from Maggie Haberman, Washington correspondent for The New York Times and a CNN political analyst. And David Axelrod, former senior adviser to President Obama and a CNN senior political commentator.

Maggie, I mean if the former president actually believes that the election was stolen and that these recounts could find evidence to prove it, you would think he would be using every single resource, including the money that his supporters donated to him that he was asking them for in order to kind of fight these battles to uncover evidence, but he's not.

MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: You would Anderson. And you raise a key point, which is that he raised this money on this premise that this was about fighting the election results that he is repeatedly falsely claimed, were the result of widespread fraud. But this is in keeping with who Donald Trump is. Number one, he uses other people's money when he can. He tries to have other people pay for things when he can. And two, he often tries to have other people do things for him. He tends to try to not have his direct fingerprints on things that could be controversial, as some of this might be a strategic choice by him.

Some of this, I think, is also being driven candidly by the fact that most of his advisors are not happy with his focus on these Arizona efforts and his efforts to -- his attempts to try to find similar efforts in other states or at least push another stance. They think it's counterproductive. They think it's not helping him, and they think it's going to make it harder for other Republicans to keep supporting him going forward.

COOPER: You know, David, I don't know what the technical definition of a grift is. But the former president's PAC was formed in the wake of the 2020 election laws with a barrage of e-mails going out to raise money for election recounts. I mean, we reported the time that given the very loose rules about how that money could be spent, this could very well end up being a political slush fund that he had control over how it was spent. Isn't that exactly what this has turned into?

DAVID AXELROD, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Hundred percent. You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes here, Anderson. It's very, very clear. This is a con. He's asking people to contribute money to fight a legal battle that has no foundation. I mean, it's been thrown out of just by every court in the country where it's been contested. And, but he gets to pocket the money. And let's point out, you know, we know from other reporting that, you know, he is he's got financial pressures and so on. And he can offload a bunch of his -- certainly a bunch of his political expenses and other expenses on to this fund. So this is -- yes, he's taking advantage of his cult here. And, you know, meanwhile, he's propagating these myths about the election, particularly the Arizona one, I mean, that have been just so rarely debunked, including by the Republican election officials in Maricopa County.

COOPER: Right.

[20:35:00]

AXELROD: So, you know, it is a con, it is a scam. And people are involved in fantasy fulfillment for Donald Trump.

COOPER: And it goes on. I mean now Maggie, he's going to Arizona to go on stage, they have all the politicians who are going to be running, are going to be on the stage with them or dying to get a photo with him. And there will be I'm sure more e-mails going out about sending money to him to continue fighting for what they're calling his election integrity, even though that's a ruse.

HABERMAN: It's interesting, Anderson, you know, he was talking to some reporting that he was talking to an advisor a couple of weeks ago, and he was trying to push this person to say, you know, that this idea that he could be reinstated in August is real, that which it isn't, to be clear, and that he was trying to push this person to say that, you know, this Arizona effort and other efforts could really be productive in terms of undoing the results of the election, they won't be.

But when this person told him that they weren't going to do that, that it just wasn't true, he said something to the effect of, you know, I know that this is almost impossible, but I want to keep the focus on election integrity. He is knowingly letting people have this hope. And whether it's just because he wants to believe it, whether it is just because as David says, he wants to raise money, you are correct, his efforts are going to be focused tomorrow, I suspect not just on e- mails going out. But his actual words to this -- to the people he's talking to, are going to be encouraging of trying to undo the election. And yes, there is profitability for him it is it just can't be ignored.

COOPER: And David, I'm -- yes, go ahead David.

AXELROD: But we should -- if I could just comment on this. You know, we've -- it has really dramatic consequences. Because there are people who believe him, we know that they're the same people who send the money. They're the people who showed up on January 6, and by propagating these myths, he's also inciting what we've already seen can be very, very dangerous actions on the part of people. So --

COOPER: Yes.

AXELROD: -- you know.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: And David -- AXELROD: But he's also --

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: It's not just that people believe him, David, it's that legislators are across the country are actually trying to pass legislation based on this fantasy. I mean, they're -- they are -- they, I mean, that's what's behind all these, you know, what they're calling election integrity bills in various state legislatures, which, you know, Democrats and others are calling, you know, Tim said voter suppression.

AXELROD: Yes, the arguments for that legislation around the country, are, in fact, the real election fraud. We had probably the most certifiably honest election in the history of the country and the most litigated. And, you know, and so, this isn't about curing a problem. It's about creating anxiety and then using that anxiety to justify restrictive voting laws that they feel will advantage their party and that Trump is demanding.

COOPER: Maggie and David, I'm just told that my crack team of researchers looked up the definition of grift. And according to Merriam Webster, it is to obtain money or property -- or property illicitly as in a confidence game. Sounds about right.

AXELROD: Yes.

COOPER: Thanks for being with us. Appreciate it.

Next, more on COVID and vaccine refusal. Our Gary Tuchman has spent the day at a vaccine clinic in Alabama trying to understand why so many of its residents the most in the country, in fact, are refusing a free lease on life.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:42:04]

COOPER: Earlier in the broadcast we mentioned Alabama's governor, Kay Ivey and the exasperation she expressed when asked about the large number of people in her state, which has the lowest vaccination rate in the country not getting their COVID shots. Here's some of that exchange.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is it going to take to get people to get shots in arms?

GOV. KAY IVEY (R-AL): Oh, no, no, you kill me. Folks both to have common sense. But it's time for the start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks, it's the unvaccinated folks that let me stay.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But as the leader of the state, don't you think it's your responsibility to try and help get this situation under control?

IVEY: I've done all I know how to do. I can encourage you to do something, but I can't make it if take care yourself.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: According to the CDC, only 33.9% of Alabama residents are fully vaccinated. And the White House says hospitalizations are up 60% in the state from the week prior.

"360s" Gary Tuchman spent an entire day at a clinic and one of the largest counties in Alabama to get a better understanding about why the resistance to vaccines is so high.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's 5:00 p.m. and a pop up COVID vaccine clinic has just opened at Mobile, Alabama's annual bay bites food truck festival. There's the choice of all three vaccines, but there were no takers. Only the workers for the Mobile County Health Department. But 10 minutes later.

(OFF-MIC)

LILLIE MCCOY, RECEIVED VACCINE: I got a (INAUDIBLE).

TUCHMAN (voice-over): The CEO of the Soul Heaven Cafe leaves their food truck and becomes the first visitor choosing the Pfizer vaccine.

(on-camera): Well, you're done.

MCCOY: Yes.

TUCHMAN (on-camera): That's pretty easy, right?

MCCOY: It was, very easy.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Mobile County is more than 400,000 people. And it's one of the lowest vaccination rates of any large county in America, 37%. In a state that's the lowest in the country at 34%. The county health department is striving for more frequent outreach to get people vaccines. And that's why its employees are here. Ten minutes later, another woman gets a vaccine Cindy Renkert, she chooses Moderna.

(on-camera): You told me you have multiple sclerosis. And your doctor has given you the OK to get the vaccine. How do you feel about now getting it?

CINDY RENKERT: I feel (INAUDIBLE), my husband's been asked me to do it. And I know that I need to be done. So I'm really glad that I got and I thought they're here doing this today. Because otherwise, I'd still be dragging my feet.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Forty minutes passes by with no more vaccine customers. But two people then show up, Don Bates on the left and Brittani Williams on the right.

DON BATES, RECEIVED VACCINE: The reason I'm doing it is because I can do it.

BRITTANI WILLIAMS, RECEIVED VACCINE: Because it's right here.

BATES: Yes, yes.

WILLIAMS: And it's free. Most of my family's been by fascinated and, you know, they've been pushing me and pushing me and I've been putting it off and the Delta variant kind of scares. So.

TUCHMAN (on-camera): That's why you got it today.

WILLIAMS: Yes.

TUCHMAN (on-camera): It's now six o'clock, for one hour into the vaccinating. The curiosity level is high. But the vaccinating level is not. You've met four people have gotten the vaccine. Those are the only four who came over the first hour.

[20:45:02]

(voice-over): The Health Department is sponsoring other vaccine events in places such as truck stops, coffee shops and car dealerships. The department's director of Disease Surveillance is Dr. Rendi Murphree. She says the department must be creative

RENDI MURPHEE, EPIDEMIOLOGIST, MOBILE COUNTY HEALTH DEPT.: Since July 4, we have just had an explosion of cases. You know, a doubling or tripling of the number of cases every seven days. It's accelerating greatest and the age groups of 18 to 49.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Back at the food truck festival, Jacqueline Battaglia is 22 and says no vaccine for her.

JACQUELINE BATTAGLIA, DOESN'T WANT VACCINE: I just don't think that I need it, so I'm not going to get it.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Do you know though, that almost everyone who's dying, or being hospitalized, is somebody who hasn't been vaccinated. The people who haven't vaccinate, almost all of them are not going to the hospital or not dying. Does that concern you?

BATTAGLIA: Not really, I'm a healthy person. I don't have any underlying health issues. I'm not really concerned about it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'll just do the job (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, that's perfect.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): But those who are concerned continuous slow trickle to the vaccination tent. Jason Sullivan says he wasn't planning to get a vaccine until coming to this festival.

(on-camera): How come you waited this long? JASON SULLIVAN, RECEIVED VACCINE: Oh, based off a lot of stuff that I heard on the internet, what people were saying about the COVID shot.

TUCHMAN (on-camera): They're basically rumors.

SULLIVAN: Rumors, rumors.

TUCHMAN (on-camera): It's now eight o'clock the vaccinations at the food truck fair are over. The final number of people who got vaccinations 12, that's an average of four an hour.

(voice-over): It's not a big number. But the Health Department workers will tell you the numbers are getting higher at their various outreach events over the last week, good news, amid the Delta variant, bad news.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: And Gary joins us now from Mobile, Alabama. So are the Health Department workers disappointed with the turnout for vaccines at the food truck festival?

TUCHMAN: Yes, the workers Anderson are not disappointed. They've been holding events like this for several weeks now. And a couple of the events only had one person getting vaccinated. So this event had 12 people, that's an 1,100% increase. And these are glass half full kind of people, they will keep holding the events, and keep hoping that the vaccination numbers go up.

COOPER: Yes, I got to say the public health workers. I mean, they are unsung heroes, then they get no credit, they get people in their face probably all the time these days. Because the way things are but they do incredibly important work. So, Gary, appreciate it. Thank you. I'm glad you profiled them.

Coming up, what food costs more in terms of land water and pollution than any other? Well the answers in the new CNN "Special Report Eating Planet Earth, The Future Of Your Food." Our (ph) preview next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[20:51:30]

COOPER: According to scientists, the humble cow costs more in land, water and air pollution than any other animal on the planet. That being said the equally humble hamburger it's not likely to disappear anytime soon. I certainly like my hamburgers.

But as CNN chief climate correspondent Bill Weir discovered in his new CNN "Special Report Eating Planet Earth, The Future Of Your Food." There are substitutes made up entirely plant-based material that are coming along fast.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And it goes to a classic patty melt. We're going to show you some meatballs for the beef. And then the pork variety, we're going to do some ball buns as well as well as some pork (INAUDIBLE).

BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT (on-camera): Oh, beautiful.

(voice-over): All of this will be made with hint flavored plants. And in five years, a guy with no experience in food or business took impossible from one restaurant to over 30,000 including Burger King and Starbucks and 20,000 stores.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here we go. The moment of truth. Lots of burger.

WEIR (on-camera): Oh yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rare to medium.

WEIR (on-camera): Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely.

WEIR (on-camera): OK.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you ever heard of a burger taste? This all you do.

WEIR (on-camera): Yes, I do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE).

WEIR (on-camera): Cheers. Wow. That's really good.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Got to go on for a second.

WEIR (voice-over): And since everything is political these days, don't take my word for it. Get a load of conservative firebrand and ranch owner Glenn Beck.

GLENN BECK, CONSERVATIVE FIREBRAND: I would say A -- that's meat, it's meat, is meat. B is a fake burger.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: D is the real burger, real burger A is the impossible burger.

BECK: That is insane.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: That is insane. Bill Weir joins me now for more in his special report that airs in just minutes at the top of the hour. You know, I've actually I've had those burgers too. And I just tried them really for the first time the last couple months. And I got to say they're really good. I mean, I was surprised. What surprised you in your search for the future?

WEIR: That is one of the main things Anderson, the founder of Impossible Foods says, you know, the first time a car raised a horse, the horse won, but that was never going to happen again. Because the technology behind the car just gets better and better and better. And horses aren't really improving. Same goes for cows. And impossible is not even the biggest player in the game. And number three behind beyond and Morningstar farms, which are owned by Kellogg's.

And that technology is getting bigger and bigger as entrepreneurs figure, the only way to sort of get carnivores off of meat. If that which is ultimately the goal of a lot of science is to say, the planet just can't sustain the American diet and meat loving is you got to come up with something that tastes just as good at the same price or less. And we're kind of there and the plant based ones. That's just the beginning. There are all kinds of lab meats that are just getting underway.

We met one founder of companies that discovered a new protein in the geyser water of Yellowstone National Park. I know you've done this story --

COOPER: Yes --

(CROSSTALK)

WEIR: -- a huge thing.

COOPER: Yes.

WEIR: Yes, exactly. And they can make out of that same stuff, you can make yogurt, you can make cream cheese, you can make a chicken breast, you can make a hamburger. And you wouldn't know the difference, if you didn't know the difference. So, it's expected that these alternatives could take 40 to 60% of the meat market in the next 20 years or so.

But really, it's addressing this massive problem. There's so much waste in the system, in the food system, a billion tons of food is wasted every year. It's so hard for small family farms to compete against giant factory agribusiness these days. So, we kind of look at all of the different problems and all of the really ingenious solutions that are out there.

[20:55:17]

COOPER: Yes, I mean, it's extraordinary what they what they're doing now. And, you know, I hadn't even realized with cows that even like the flatulence of cows, is a serious contributor to methane gas and being released up and the warming of the planet. It's like three or 4% or something insane.

WEIR: Exactly it is. It's more the burps than then the toots as it is, but that's the case there's 1.4 billion cows and all of them have four stomachs. And they put out more methane, more sort of planet cooking greenhouse gas than the Permian Basin, all the oil wells there that leak all that as well.

So, they're also working on engineering a more planet friendly cow. It turns out if you feed them a little seaweed that goes down by 90% and as a result, lobstermen in Maine are also growing kelp to feed cows and people. COOPER: Wow. Love them. Cool. Bill Weir, I look forward to this. Thanks so much. The CNN "Special Report Eating Planet Earth The Future Of Your Food," is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)