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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  March 24, 2021 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT

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good evening. chris cuomo is off tonight. vigils are under way in boulder, colorado. a police officer with wife and seven kids was honored separately as well. at the same time, investigators have a lot to learn about what motivated the alleged killer and why he chose this particular store to attack. i spoke to kimberly moore last hour, pharmacist at king soopers. >> i stood back. i wanted to make sure that my other colleagues in the pharmacy were okay. we ended up hunkering down more in the back of the pharmacy. but for the beginning of the initial part of the attacks, it was really terrifying, because you felt extremely exposed. all he had to do was jump over a counter. >> so you were, what, underneath
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the counter or -- >> so there's these shelves that go behind the pharmacy where we keep our medications. we eventually moved our way back there, which is pretty deep into the corner as you can get, being inside the pharmacy. we just hid there. >> wow. >> those grieving for loved ones, robert olds lost his niece, rikki. >> she was 25 years old. she didn't get to experience a lot of the stuff that we get to experience in life, and i'm saddened for her, and i'm saddened for all the rest of the victims. there's a hole. there's a hole in our family that won't be filled. you try to fill it with me
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memories. it's tough. >> joining us now from boulder is cnn's lucy cavanaugh. i understand there's vigils around the city. >> reporter: anderson, we're hearing shock. we're hearing grief and we're hearing outrage. this is one of seven vigils across the city this evening. people have been trickling in. there's a band that's playing solemn music. people have brought therapy dogs to comfort some of the mourners here. one thing you don't hear from people is any sense of disbelief. colorado, sadly, no stranger to this kind of violence. i spoke to one of the survivors this morning, logan smith. he grew up in this city. he went to school in boulder. and at his age, he has had regular active shooter training drills. it's a grim reality that he said he was sadly prepared for. at the same time, you know, to have this happen at your local grocery store, which during this pandemic became one of the only familiar things for so many of us, as one person placed it,
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said to me, no place feels safe anymore. they want answers. people want justice. more than anything, they want to know what we can do to prevent this kind of violence from happening again. >> what are you learning about the latest in the investigation? >> reporter: first telling cnn that the fbi is looking at virtually everything, scrubbing his online activity, social media. they're interviewing friends and relatives to try to understand his motivation. we also understand, according to one senior law enforcement official that federal investigators are aware of friends who say the suspect harbored grievances over his perception of how muslims were being treated but cautioned it's too soon to draw any conclusions. they're also trying to understand whether he had any particular connection to that specific king sooper's location because he lived 30 minutes away. there are plenty of grocery stores closer to his home. another thing we're learning, investigators say they are examining possible mental health issues and possibly, more importantly, they believe that
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attack was planned, given the fact that he bought, on march 16th, that ruger arr-56 pistol. they're also taking note of the fact that there were no wounded survivors. that is a very unusual things in a mass shooting. usually there are people who are wounded that you're able to talk to. >> and tomorrow, the gunman makes an appearance in court? >> reporter: that's right. so we're expecting that first court appearance early tomorrow morning. now, he does have the right, if he chooses to, to waive that appearance. it is a procedural hearing. so he will be advised his rights and sort of the charges against him. officials are saying they do expect it to be a lengthy hearing, so perhaps we might get some more details about what investigators have learned in the days following that mass shooting. anderson? >> lucy kafanov, thanks. appreciate it. >> more now on those red flags in the shooter's background and
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what police are saying he armed himself with. i'm wondering what stands out to you right now in terms of reconstructing what happened. >> so i think what's important is that nothing is being ruled out. and i think the fbi's continuing involvement suggests they don't know yet. it could be that they're never going to know. but some combination of a family alleging he has mental illness. we know most people who have mental illnesses are not violent. allegations of bullying and other things that went on in his high school and a life that his family did not seem to know about, one that was slightly obsessed with weaponry and violence. those may complete some story about motivation. they may not. they'll figure out whether there was a triggering event, whether there was something about this store. had he sought employment there? those are the questions. y think nip anything is ruled out right now in terms of motivation. we simply know that he was able to walk in and kill a lot of people very quickly.
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>> and, i mean, how long does it take, do you think, investigators to process a scene like this, to get a full picture of what happened? >> so he may be speaking. and i actually think, you know, he may be disclosing information that will be helpful. but what you want to do independently of anything that he says, he's an unreliable witness. he may not speak at the trial. he will have his own perceptions of what happened. the reason it's going to take so long, they have to reconstruct what happened that afternoon. it's both outside and inside. you'll have hundreds of witnesses determining where was he at any given moment. that's because there is going to be a court case. each of those individuals who perished deserve an accounting of how it happened. their families deserve an accounting of how it happened. that's why it's going to take so long. at the movie theater in aurora, it took almost two weeks to construct what happened until it was no longer a crime scene.
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four or five days may actually be optimistic. >> the arrest warrant says that he purchased -- again, we don't know the motive the alleged gunman may have had but purchased a firearm six days before the shooting. clearly one of the things prosecutors are looking for is trying to build a case of planning and track whatever planning there was for premeditation. >> right. and when the gun was purchased, the gun that was utilized was purchased is going to be relevant. six days is a long time. it's not a crime of passion. it's something he had been thinking out and may have been looking at that particular market or at a particular time. what's important, as we keep talking about this ar-556, it's called a pistol. but what people have to know is that in 2014, it was introduced into the market as a competition to the ar-15. in other words, purchasers of this gun perceive it to be as
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powe powerful as the ar-15. the reason why is that the bullets come out at higher velocity. so they're killing. and they're destroying human bodies. and that's why we see no one really survive it. and it has a shorter band rifle. it's easier to carry, so to speak. the idea that it's a rifle, pistol is -- that's like terminology that makes no sense in most people's minds. we have to remember, it was introduced into the market not as a handgun or a pistol but actually as competition to the ar-15. and that's why it's important that we begin to discuss. why everyone knows you're not going to end all gun violence. these weapons that make it impossible for people to survive in most instances and impossible for law enforcement to stop because they're so fast and they're so deadly. as we saw a police officer that maybe rational people can start there and get these off the
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market. >> juliette kayyem, appreciate your time. obviously still early on in the investigation. we're joined by someone traveling the road that people in boulder are just embarking on. cameron kasky was a student at park land, florida, co-founder of march for our lives. cameron, appreciate you being with us again. sil sickening that it is under these circumstances yet again. i've spoken to other people who have lived through shootings in the years since parkland. what do you want to say to folks at that vigil and in a lot of pain right now? >> well, it's more of the same, obviously. you know, mass shootings are just part of what reopening is going to look like in this country because mass shootings are part of the american narrative. they are inherently engrained in our laws so that people dealing with the outbreak are going to be facing grief that, unfortunately, is all too known but still impossible to wrap
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your head around. it's difficult in this time of insurmountable loss for americans where people all over the country have been forced to face in all different sorts of ways. when this affects somebody it feels so personal. we're an entire nation that's traumatized right now. everybody is grieving. to the people at the vigil right now, i would say, understand that it's going to get more difficult. it is going to get easier. you never know what days you're going to be feeling worse. you're never going to realize when everything seems like it's okay, everything can fall apart. but again, this is just what's going to happen in this country. exactly three years ago, we had the march for your lives in washington, d.c. where hundreds of thousands of people came from across the country in support of immensely popular gun legislation and we still haven't seen anything change. with three openings, it's going
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to become the return of mass shootings. >> i remember talking to you in the days after parkland, and at the march for our lives, you were optimistic at march for our lives. i mean, looking back on it three years ago, did you believe we would be in a different place right now in terms of laws? >> i did. i guess i didn't take into account that donald trump was the president and mitch mcconnell was the senate majority leader, allowing bipartisan bills passed by the house to collect dust on his desk for months and months. i will say now that we have the biden/harris administration and democrats are largely in power, a lot of people are expecting some serious changes. we're expecting, again, bipartisan-backed house bills to pass. so many people support background checks, red flag
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laws. over 90% of people are in favor of this. the majority of card-holding nra members are in favor of expanding background checks. only people who are not are the people who are in the pocket of gun lobby and, therefore, the gun manufacturers, because that's the same thing. it is very, very obvious that people in the country want to see these changes. and if we don't see them, that's going to be a different story. >> the issue of mental illness, mental health has been brought up in relation to this particular alleged shooter. and i understand obviously some people, most people who have mental health issues are not violent. some people, perhaps this person, does have mental health issues. it does seem ironic, though, that there is still, for those who say this isn't a gun issue, it's a mental health issue, a lot of those same people are not necessarily fighting for greater
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access to mental health coverage or easier access to mental health treatment. >> shooter in boulder allegedly had an outbreak where he threatened to kill classmates. that's not me saying these things are indicative that someone will commit an act of mass violence. the shooter at my high school had an immensely -- terrifying record. had the police called on him many times, had very, very clear reports that he was somebody who was violent, treated others violently. treated women violently, which is a sign that someone will commit an act of violence. all of these things, passing red flag laws, we need to expand background checks. like you just said on the program this shooter was able to buy something that's essentially an ar-15 marketed as a pistol
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because ruger ar-556 is 9.5 to 10.5 inches which makes it a handgun under colorado law. you've got the nra bragging that they knocked out an assault wea weapons ban in boulder just weeks before the shooting. a lot of the most popular and most rudimentary changes that can be made are being ignored and being brought to light by these shootings. there was a shooting in atlanta a couple of days that i don't see people talking about anymore. the news cycle isn't ready for this new uptick in mass shootings that again have just been part of this country the whole time. the obvious legislation people need to pass is on the table. biden/harris administration campaigned on making these changes. in the vp debate, vice president harris said in the first 100 days if congress doesn't take
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action, she will step in. we need that now and it just has to happen. >> cameron kasky, appreciate your time tonight. thank you. >> thank you. new reporting on how president biden is preparing for his first press conference in what almost certainly will be questions about his push for tougher gun laws and we'll speak with virginia senator tim kaine, who was governor when a shooter shot 32 people at virginia tech.
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as park land survivor cameron kasky said before the break, this is what a tragic picture of return to normal looks like in this country. legislation they think could change that, president biden holds his first formal press conference tomorrow. some of the questions will certainly be about gun violence and gun legislation. we're learning more about how the president is preparing. kaitlan collins joins us with reporting on that. what are you hearing, kaitlan?
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>> reporter: he kind of jokingly wrote it off saying what press conference? behind the scenes we know he has been prepping pretty extensively for this. this is the first time he is going to be one on one with the white house press corps in a lengthy formal session. he has done interviews and taken questions at times in the oval office or on his way out to marine one. this is the first chance reporters will have the time at the mic to press the president on his thinking on several issues, what's happened in atlanta and boulder will be one of the top priorities that people want to get his opinion on and his thinking on, given, of course, he is now pushing for new gun laws. where that's going to go remains to be seen. so i'm being told that he is preparing for this by meeting with senior advisers of his inner circle but also he did do an informal prep session earlier this week to also get prepared for it. there is a lot of planning going on behind those scenes. they want to make sure this is a
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president who stays on message. tomorrow will be a much more expanded session for him to talk about his policies, his priorities and what's coming next for him. >> and what about the president's efforts to try to move congress on gun safety legislation? >> i think if you're looking at it realistically and talking to advisers in the white house, yes, this is something they're pushing for. you even heard vice president harris saying this morning, they're pushing for legislation over taking executive action. but it just doesn't seem that there is an appetite for this in the senate right now. and the filibuster, of course, would require any kind of legislation that they are willing to get. they would have to get republican support. you hear from republicans who say they don't even agree with those house-passed bills that would strengthen and expand it's a steep, uphill climb. whether or not it's going to go anywhere seems unlikely at this moment unless there's some grand plan that the white house has
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that they haven't revealed yet. i think that's the real question. is he going to take executive action? what are those executive actions going to look like? how long will this push for gun changes last? >> kaitlan collins, appreciate it. thanks. colorado senator michael bennet took to the senate floor late today to grieve the victims in boulder and urged his colleagues to act. >> what a sacrifice of their right to be free from fear. who are we to insist that they live terrified in their own country? nobody insisted that we live that way, but our failure to act has helped create these conditions. and we can't wait any longer. the senate needs to act.
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there's nobody else to act but the united states senate. >> joining me now is one of those colleagues, virginia democrat tim kaine, who has seen his share of these fights as well as one of the deadliest mass shootings in virginia. you were governor of virginia in 2007, 32 people were killed in the mass shooting at virginia tech 13 years ago next month it happened. what goes through your mind when you see yet another tragedy like this? >> i'm sick to my stomach, anderson, that the united states congress has just decided to be a bystander to this carnage. and i was sick in 2007. my legislature wanted to be a bystander. i had two republican houses and we did some significant reforms in mental health and campus safety. but they wouldn't join with me to do reforms on gun safety.
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however, years later, virginia, the headquarters of the nra, has now done a series of gun safety rules. if we can do it in virginia, we can do it in the u.s. congress and this will be a tremendous task of democratic majority. we have been saying for years what we don't have the white house or we don't have the senate or we don't have the house, we have all three now and we should certainly be able to expand background checks to keep americans safely. >> not even all democrats are on board. joe manchin, who clearly is not in agreement with even some of the things in the house bills. >> well, anderson, every democrat is on board that we need to have more comprehensive background checks. you're right, there are some differences on subtlies. remember, joe manchin was the lead patron of the bill that got nearly enough votes in 2013. and he hasn't gone backwards.
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here is what we have to do. democrats have to find something that unifies 50 out of 50. and then we have to go out and get republican colleagues, including those like pat toomey and others who voted with us in 2013, but bottom line, we've got to act. we told the american public, if we got a majority, if we got the white house, if we had the house, we would do something about gun safety. and so now we have delivered a big recovery plan for america over republican stonewalling. they're likely to stonewall this. but we have to deliver results. >> president biden's calls for assault rifle ban is certainly ambitious, cheered by democrats. the political landscape is daunting. republicans unified opposition. democrats don't have the caucus on board. is that even possible? i mean, that's way out ahead of, you know, red flag laws background checks. >> you're right.
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assault weapons is tougher. my attitude on legislation is climb the ladder. get the first thing done. and my belief is that the single-most important thing you can do that will make the biggest difference for people [ poor audio ] let's do that first. don't load it up with everything. let's do background checks. 77% of republican voters want us to do comprehensive background checks. the numbers with independents and democrats are higher still. so, let's unify the democrats behind that and let's test the republicans. are they going to oppose 70% of their own voters on this? we have to find a path, put this on the floor for a vote and i hope we'll do it soon. >> are those conversations happening, not just between democrats but democrats and republicans? >> yes, they are. they're happening because, look,
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when we came close to 60 votes in 2013, i was four months in the senate. we had the vote nearly on the anniversary date of the shooting of virginia tech. they were sitting in the senate holding hands with sandy hook families and it felt horrible that we fell short. we did have republican votes. to get this past the goal line on background checks, get all democrats to unify and say we accept this is a test of us. we said if we got a majority we would do it. we have to do it. then we can go out and see about getting republican support like we had in 2013. >> senator cain, appreciate your time. thanks. >> absolutely. >> torn apart by oppression, uig uighuyr parents had desperate to find their lost children.
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if confirmed it would be the second of the biden administration. paul hancocks joins us from seoul, south korea. what do we know? >> anderson, the first we heard about this was when the japan coast guard warned ships in the area to look out for falling objects. we then had confirmation from a u.s. senior official that two ballistic missiles had been
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fired. we hear from japan they landed off the coast. they had a range of 260 and 270 miles. that would put it in the range of a short-range missile, which is less dangerous and less offensive to much of the world, but, of course, it is a ballistic missile, which means that it does violate the u.n. security council resolutions and is banned by the international community. south korea has convened a national security council emergency meeting, the same in japan, and both have upped their surveillance in the region. >> this is not the first missile test since president biden took office. there was reportedly one this past weekend. do we know what prompted it, if anything? >> this is the first short-range missile for a year but there was a weapons test over the weekend that we didn't hear about until just yesterday when washington released information about it. that was not ballistic, so it
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was not banned under u.n. resolutions, but it was the first weapons test. it was downplayed by the biden administration, simply because it didn't break any of the rules. president biden himself was asked about it. >> north korea and firing of rockets that you've learned? >> we have learned that there's nothing much has changed. >> reporter: so they said it was on the low end of the spectrum. obviously, this changes things today with what we have seen. we know that north korea has rebuffed any approach at this point by washington to have any kind of a discussion. secretary blivennken, when he w here in the region, admitted they have been reaching out but north korea has been pushing back at this point. they don't want to talk, anderson. what they've done today is make sure they will be talked about when president biden has his press conference. >> paula hancocks, thanks. now to a cnn investigation.
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we're about to take you inside one of the world's great humanitarian crises that's been going on, crisis that the chinese government would rather you not see, children being ripped away from their families. loved ones left behind are turning to us for help. cnn international estimates china's policies toward ethnic uyghur muslims have split up thousands of families. china denies the human rights abuse allegations, claiming their actions are justified to combat religious extremism and terrorism. senior producer steven jong and photo journalist justin roberts traveled to the region. with parents' permission they went in search for the lost children. >> reporter: followed by a convoy of suspected undercover chinese police vehicles. >> the tail is still on us. >> reporter: mimicking our every turn through china's far-western
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region, blocking roads that lead to possible internment camps and kee keeping us from getting too close to so-called sensitive sites. how we ended on this journey had less to do about us and more about who we were looking for. cnn searching for the lost uyghur children in a region in which several countries including the u.s. claim that china is committing genocide. we tracked down two of them. now in australia, constantly replaying the only videos he has of his daughter and son. >> da da. >> he has not held his wife or their children in more than five years. he is among thousands of families who have been torn apart, according to a new amnesty international report. >> april. mass internment that started.
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and as one of those people detained, my wife was detained, too. >> reporter: before they were separated, he was studying for a phd in kuala lumpur. his wife was studying english there. >> we were happy as a family. it was the good old days. >> she lost her passport while abroad in malaysia. chinese officials told her to renew it, she had to go back to xianjiang. she brought her two young children with her, thinking they would be able to soon go back to be with their husband. that was 2014. allowing china to control the narrative, keeping something precious to dissuade their love ed ones from outside the country from say ing bad things about china. calling it preposterous adding -- >> we welcome more people around the world to visit xijiang. it's the best way to debunk
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rumors, he said. we decided to find the missing children ourselves with permission from their parents. five-hour plus fight ending with a strange request as we approach the airport to land, all window shades had to be shut. no explanation why. we went through a standard covid test for all arrival passengers. >> bye, thank you. >> loaded up a rental car and roamed without anyone stopping us. like much of china, you're always watched. you immediately encounter the vibrant and richly diverse culture of this region, the faces all so different, perhaps not what you would expect in china, the grand bazaar to the central mosque, it's here we began to notice people trailing us. >> there are usually individual men on phones and kind of keeping a social distance, shall we say? it seemed they wanted to know who we were searching for. this video was a critical clue
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for us. we matched the alley ways of old kashkar with the backdrop in the video. first day, no luck. >> another dead end. >> let's try this. >> 24 hours and 20,000 steps later, we weaved our way through one last corridor and, suddenly -- >> that's her. >> do you know this man? is he your father? >> papa. >> that's your dad? >> the daughter and her grandparents, his mom and dad, were not expecting us, but they let us into their home. she told me she will turn 11 in may, but amidst her innocence an awareness not to say too much. she told us she had not spoken to her father since 2017. when we asked her, what would you want to say to him if you could talk to him?
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i miss him, she later told me. >> can you tell me some of what you're feeling? >> translator: i don't have my mom with me right now. i don't have my dad either. i just want to be reunited with them, she told me. >> reporter: off camera, her grandmother, overcome by grief. as i asked about her mother and if she had been sent to a camp, how long was she away for? >> she quickly bolted to her grandfather, translating our question from chinese to uyghur for them. camps are too sensitive a topic to discuss. notice the sudden murmurs in the background. our visit had gotten to officials and to the family, bringing an abrupt end to our visit. >> she wants the family together. she didn't want to say they want to go abroad. >> we still wanted to know where his wife and son were.
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the family says they've been living with her parents at a house nearby. >> it's locked on the outside. unless they're gone for the day or they're gone permanently. >> we asked the chinese government if the wife is currently in a camp. they've not gotten back to us. while on the ground in xijiang, there was a second set of children we wanted to track down. their parents are in italy. >> translator: my children thought we abandoned them, that we don't care about them. >> reporter: after having five children and getting pregnant with the sixth, authorities wanted to force the mother to have an abortion and throw the father in jail. >> translator: the policies were too strict. it was impossible to take all of our children together with us. so we left our homeland and our children in desperation. >> reporter: the older children now aged between 12 and 16, were left behind with their grandparents. they hoped the separation would be temporary until they could secure more visas, but they went nearly four years, unable to
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contact their children, and they got word that family members were being rounded up and sent to camps. determined to reunite the family, their cousin in canada choregraphed their escape attempt from half a world away. their parents had finally secured visa approvals from italy for their children. in june 2020, arafat managed to communicate to the kids. >> translator: this is your only shot. you should just stay. your life will be safer there. there is nothing we can do. >> on their own, they traveled more than 3,000 miles, farther than going from l.a. to new york, recovering hidden passports, eventually flying into shanghai. when the children arrived here in shanghai, they were excited and happy. they never thought they would make it this far. but their repeated attempts to obtain visas failed. multiple hotels turned the kids away because they're uyghur. finally finding a place to take them in. all the while dropping geo
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location pins for arafat to let them know they're okay. last pin dropped a few blocks from the hotel do you know who these children are? arafat in canada watched then silence, minutes to hours to days to weeks. >> they might have been de detained. they stop crying like they cannot believe it. >> reporter: after several phone calls he learned police had tracked them down. china's giant surveillance network zeroing in on the children. later found out they had been sent back to xijiang and sent to an orphanage. they begged for help outside they foreign ministry affairs office. china has not responded to request for comment on the two families' cases. having found the one girl, we
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hoped to find the others. that's the eldest boy standing in front of the building a month ago. as we drove, we watched as one car after another trailed us. after making a pass by the orphanage, we headed to one of the kids' schools. we asked to see the kids. eventually, a local official showed up and asked for about 30 minutes to get back to us. that was more than two hours ago. they've yet to let us talk to the children. we later made contact through video chat. do you want to be with them? do you miss them? i do, he says. he answered quickly and kept looking off-camera. someone was directing him to answer. tell them you see your sister every day. >> he has been coached. >> can you tell us about your journey trying to reunite with your parents last year? when we asked about the shanghai escape attempt, he deflected.
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here was another child, keenly aware that the way they speak and what they say could impact those they love. after about eight minutes, we ended the call. >> they are literally right over there and we can't see them. we later learned three of the children were interrogated about our conversation, despite the pressure that the children face every day, late last month they even risked sending out a photo message to their parents, the four of them lined up, holding a sign in chinese saying, dad, mom, we miss you. a rare glimpse of an uncensored truth. with each passing hour of our being on the ground in xiajiang, the number of authorities trailing us increased, adding pressure to our search. before leaving, we reconnected. we watched him as he watched her. >> it's my daughter.
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it's my mother. >> do you know this man? is he your father? >> papa. >> that's your dad. >> we've been talking -- >> that's my father. he has gotten so old. i haven't seen them for four years. >> reporter: it's part relief, seeing she's okay, even proud that she still wants to be a doctor. what would you want to say to him? but to see her break down, sending her love to her father, no dad, no matter how strong, can hide that agony for long. >> poor thing.
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what kind of country does this to people, to innocent people? she definitely misses me, too. >> so heartbreaking. david culver joins us from beijing. do we know what happened to the children after you left? >> heartbreaking is the word that definitely sits on me. this is one of the heaviest assignments i've been on since -- it's a team, well beyond me, aronderson, working weeks on this. with regards to the kids, we do know, according to one of the family, four of the children went through hours of interrogation with chinese officials. one of them telling us ten hours of sborgs, being questioned with our reporting, it was printed out, shown to them. asked them why they sent that sign, dad, mom, we miss you, to their parents. and we know with muclisa, she has been part of a propaganda
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campaign, state media rolling out video showing her in a seemingly happy situation, pointing out her school is paid for, that she wants her dad to come from australia back here to reunite with the family. what's interesting, anderson, state media broadcast gave us some information about her mom. we tracked her down and tried to find her at least, made the attempt. could not find her. according to state media, she's a criminal and has been charged with inciting ethnic hatred. they didn't specify where she was. >> and how is china likely to respond? >> they're not happy. this has been an issue that has been, in their words, an internal matter, domestic affairs. the rest of the world should just mind their business and keep out. what we're seeing is that they're now deflecting a bit more and saying, the u.s. is pointing out our flaws. so is canada, so is australia, the uk. this is coming from western countries now by the numbers. and they're saying, look within your own countries. look at the issues that you're having there.
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and that's something that we're likely to see intensify as this rhetoric increases, but we also have to look ahead to what we're expecting here in beijing next yeerks year. that's the olympics. it could play out in potential boycotts or athletes from western countries in particular, using that as a platform to push for human rights. >> policies in the region. >> yeah. i think the other aspect that we have to look at is going to be the business impact. china obviously is heavily focused on being a major player in the global economy, being the second largest economy in the world right now. but how are businesses going to respond, right? we're already seeing h & m actually just this week saying they will not take any cotton from xiajiang because of concerns of forced labor being used to produce that cotton. nike putting up a statement, saying they're going through their supply chains and making sure they're not tied to this.
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that's caused another backlash domestically here with . >> david culver, fascinating reporting. i appreciate you and your team. thank you. >> thanks, anderson. up next, there is new information coming in this hour on the astrazeneca after dr. fauci criticized the drug company on an unforced error. new data on the drug company when we continue.
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this just in, astrazeneca has released new data on its covid vaccine after receiving criticism in the past few days. it has 79% efficacy in preventing ethical disease and 100% in presenting death or hospitalization. dr. fauci called them out and said the data they posted monday was somewhat outdated and possibly misleading. i want to bring in dr. leana wen and the doctor who works on inequities. they said 70%, now they're saying 68%.
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this is very confusing. do you know what's going on? >> i don't know what's going on, and you're absolutely right, it's confusing. astrazeneca is not explaining why on monday they didn't just issue the results they have now. it gives the impression they were trying to cherry pick the data that looked better, when actually the data they released today is are still very good. 76% against preventing infection, 100% against severe disease, those are very good results. but it begs the question of why we're only getting data by press release, and i think we need to wait for the fda to receive data from astrazeneca, and i feel very confident that they will go through a very thorough review at that time. >> doctor, what do you think of the vaccine? >> i think it is a safe and effective vaccine, but this communications error can further undermine a public confidence in a vaccine that works quite well. so i think astrazeneca has had a series of missteps, but we need to be able to see the complete
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data, and i also feel confident that the usda will review this data with a fine tooth comb. >> when dr. fauci said the vaccines are all preventable against covid, because it's not just they're effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths, he's saying they're effective in preventing getting infected. >> it's very important, and we're getting cumulative evidence that the vaccines we have work well in the real world, and they not only help against the disease, which is very important, but it also helps them from becoming an asymptomatic carrier at spreading infection as well. so i think that adds to the element that vaccines will be our ticket out of this pandemic. >> dr. blackstock, are you worried about the trend we're
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seeing now, new hospitalizations and cases and deaths? >> i am definitely seeing a slight bump in the daily average are incredibly concerning. it's the combination of variants and relaxing of restrictions, and essentially we just need to get those vaccines into the arms of americans as soon as possible. i'm hoping that the johnson & johnson vaccine will be able to reach their goals. next week there will be 20 million vaccinations that can potentially go into the arms of americans and make a big difference. >> doctor, fooive states have opened up vaccine eligibility to anyone over the age of 16, and by april we expect 20 states that have done so. does this track getting to some degree of normalcy by july? >> it does, and i'm very glad these states are opening up
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their eligibility. because the last thing that we want at this point is for many doses to be sitting in freezers while the eligibility criteria is too narrow. i think we need to do everything we can also to increase access to the vaccines and accessibility of the vaccines. so open up eligibility, get everyone who wants to be vaccinated vaccinated, but then also be really attentive to those who may want the vaccine but just are unable to get it. so i think the next thing states should really be focused on is making sure every single doctor's office, every single pharmacy has access to the vaccine, because these massive vaccination sites don't serve everyone. we also want to get them into churches, schools, businesses, everywhere people are, and i would hope people don't have to go more than a half mile to get a vaccination. >> doctor, how do you feel on that front, about getting the vaccine to people where they are? >> well, you know, as of last week, we're still seeing data that shows there are real
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inequities in who is receiving the vaccination. black and latino americans are still receiving it lower than their share of the population as well as the representation of their cases and who is hospitalized and dying from this virus. so i agree with dr. wen that we need to allocate vaccinations to the communities that are hardest hit, we need to make it easier for people to be registered to be vaccinated so those who don't have smartphones or laptops can text to register for an appointment or call for an appointment. and we also need for vaccinations to be allocated for the people and communities that need it most despite opening up eligibility. we can't leave those communities behind. >> dr. blackstock, even to that point of people who do have access to computers, in new york, what iver've seen for the system of finding where you can get vaccinated, it's incredibly
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confusing. not to mention those who don't have easy access to online. >> agreed. i think we need to have a uniform -- you know, one place where people go to register for these vaccinations. what's happening is we had multiple sites and it's incredibly confusing, and i'm hoping that over the next few weeks to months that states will be able to work out these kinks in the registration process and have a centralized way for people to register quite easily for these appointments. >> dr. wen, dr. blackstock, thank you so much. i really appreciate it. the news continues right now. i want to hand it over to don lemon for "cnn tonight." this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. we thank you so much for joining. important message tonight, because there is another massacre and we have another chance to do something about the epidemic of gun violence, and it's slippin