tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN August 20, 2021 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT
we begin tonight with new developments in the pullout from afghanistan. evacuation flights are back up and running after being on hold part of the day, the first airport transport landing in germany. at the white house what some saw as effort to project resolve and competence after a chaotic week in kabul and punishing week in washington, president biden renewed his promise to get any american home who wants to leave. he made a similar promise to evac all -- evacuate all afghans who helped in the war effort. we have breaking news on exactly how the operation played out. when asked today, the president said he's considering operations as well to get the americans and afghan allies who might be stuck behind taliban check points. he continued to portray the
country's sudden collapse as unforeseeable, down playing the internal state department memo we reported on last night which warned of such a fate as american forces withdrew. we're going to have more on all that coming up. first we want to get to the reality, the reality on the ground for so many people. clarissa ward and her team were among the evacuees today, taking their place aboard crowded air force c-17 transport. our producer took these photos, an estimated 400 people on board, most of them afghan nationals. their destination tonight, doha, qatar. we spoke to clarissa a few hours before she departed on that plane. >> clarissa, you're at the kabul airport. what are you seeing there? >> i mean, anderson, it's just chaos. right now we're actually on the airfield, which is the privileged place to be. that means you have reached the final prolong and you are in principle about to get on a bird and out to safety, although
we've now been here well over 10 or 12 hours. others have been here two days and still haven't managed to get on a flight yet. i'm looking around now. people are sleeping on the ground, on the gravel. it's a very chilly night. a woman just came up to me and asked me for a blanket. i gave her my scarf. there are babies everywhere. and the situation with the washrooms is not good at all. i had a couple of families come up and complain to me that it wasn't sanitary. they couldn't wash their children or keep them clean. i'm looking around now. inside there's an inside processing area. it's just children lying all over the floor. mothers desperately trying to stroke their backs and calm them. and this is what we've been seeing all day, only earlier it was under the blistering hot
sun. and the only thing that the marines had to give out were little strips of cardboard to be used as improvised fans to try to help keep them cool, these babies. one baby we saw had to be evacuated because it was a newborn baby and the sun was so hot he was dehydrated. so, it's a desperate situation, anderson. >> the people who are around you, about how many people right now can you see who are just there waiting to get on flights? and are all of those people -- are most of them afghan or are they people who have already gotten the visas? are they people who have been expedited? do you know? >> so, in this area where i am by the flight pad, there are hundreds of people. but there are thousands in other parts.
there's many nodes in this process you start outside with that crush trying to get in a tiny gate, which we had to do today, as soldiers kind of try to pull you in as the crowd push in on you to try to squeeze through. and then you go through different processing centers basically to get closer and closer to the flight pad. you see a lot of people get turned away if their paperwork isn't sufficient. all the people who we're with now are afghans. and actually as americans we were offered a separate flight out, but we are traveling with some of our locals. we didn't want to be separated from them. we're waiting to be able to get on a flight with them. the majority of the afghans i have talked to, some have green cards, some have sivs, which are the special visa that you need. their paperwork is in order for the most part. they worked as translators, a lot of them, for the u.s.
military or for the u.s. embassy, a lot of people affiliated with the u.s. embassy as well. >> you heard president biden today tell reporters that the u.s. government has, and i'm quoting, no indication -- that was his two words -- that the taliban had been preventing americans from getting to the airport. he then later suggested he may not have understood the question he was asked. but in general how does that square with reality? >> the taliban is trying to push everyone back from getting in the airport. and they have whips and traunches and they're firing into the air and they're an intimidating force. when we had our run-in with them a couple of days ago, they were willing to try to help us because they could see that we were westerners, to try to help us get toward the front gate. but here's what you have to remember, anderson, is that a lot of the americans in afghanistan are dual nationals, they're afghan americans.
and the taliban is not interested in letting them pass and not interested in letting them in. so, the people are carrying small babies and spending seven hours standing in a huge crowd with imminent threat of stampede, with taliban fighters brandishing traunches and whips, as i said. and i talked to one british soldier earlier, and he started weeping within, like, 30 second of talking to me. and he said, you know, i did two deployments in heldman, and i've got worse ptsd from one week in this job watching people get trampled, watching mothers throw their babies over the razor wire to try to get them out safely to a better life. i think that gives you a sense of what you're dealing with. >> the president said the u.s. would bring home, his words, any american who wants to come home. he said he's making the same commitment to the afghans who are trying to get out.
it seems clear -- is it clear to you that he can deliver on that promise given that the u.s. doesn't seem clear on how many americans are in afghanistan, let alone getting those afghans who want out who worked with the u.s. military to the airport. >> i mean, judging by what i'm seeing here at the airport, i don't think the u.s. right now is able to deliver on any promise really because despite whatever the best intentions might be, despite the hard work of u.s. military servicemen and women here, the reality is it's chaos. there isn't a plan in place that would streamline or improve this process. we were here for a period of at least eight hours where not a single bird flew out. not a single u.s. bird flew out. only one and it only had u.s. military personnel on it.
it did not have any u.s. evacuees on it. it's impossible in this environment where you can't predict five minutes into the future let alone five weeks into the future to be making those promises and giving those assurances because they sound like vagaries when you're confronted with the reality of this gargantuan task on the ground. and, yeah, i think that's why so many people here are so frustrated. i was speaking to one afghan woman who said to me, you know, this is an insult to human dignity. it's an insult to human dignity. another man came up to me and he said, i thought america was supposed to be the greatest super power. what the hell is going on? and what do you say to that, anderson? i don't have a good answer for them to be honest. >> there have been reports of british and french forces extricated their citizens from neighborhoods in kabul so they don't have to risk the journey to the airport on their own.
is that something that is an authorized part of american mission? it seems right now that they seem limited to the airport itself. >> to the best of my knowledge, i've not seen american forces operating outside the airport. that doesn't mean that it's not happening. there might be special forces operating outside. i wouldn't necessarily have knowledge of that. we have definitely seen some other nato partners taking a slightly more proactive role in trying to pull people in even through those gates. but it's a complicated situation for everyone. there aren't any easy answers, and it would be unfair to pretend there are. i think the main thing in terms of the resentment people here on the ground feel, it's not so much that, oh, wow, now that we're in this situation it's
really tough to deliver on our responsibilities. it's more that how does -- how did this situation come to be in the first place? why weren't there plans for the worse as opposed to just for the best, maybe? >> and clarissa, just finally, we're watching video taken inside the crowd outside the wall trying to get in. you can see the wall in the background. some women have fallen on the ground. they're at risk of being crushed. people are shoulder to shoulder, pushing, trying to move. how does somebody in that crowd who's -- everybody's afghan or at least they may be u.s. citizens but they're also of afghan descent, how does somebody with -- even if they have paperwork in their hands, how -- who do they show it -- how do they get out of that mob and through a small door and through that wall?
>> you don't, anderson. i mean, i was in it earlier today. not as bad. i know exactly the video that you're talking about there. i was lucky i was going in a gate that had a much smaller group of people, maybe 50, 60 people. but when you're in it and you're just being crushed from all sides, it's survival of the fittest. and you try to form a human chain and push your way in. and, yeah, there is no sort of my documents -- people are holding up their passports if they have u.s. or nato country passport. but at the end of the day, it's who can push the hardest, who can scream the loudest, and who can get in. >> and what -- is it a door opens in the wall and soldiers grab whoever is right in the doorway, or is anyone -- is there -- i just -- >> yeah, we've seen a lot of that going on. we've seen a lot of that going on.
i can't comment really specifically on how we got in. >> sure. >> but, yes, there's a lot of that going on. a door will open very briefly, suddenly everyone will rush the door, and whichever forces are behind the door, if they know there are nationals outside, they'll very quickly try to pull them in. it's a very intense situation, a lot of shouting and screaming, children screaming. i mean, honestly i'm not -- i'll never forget it. i'll never forget it. >> clarissa ward in kabul. thank you for your reporting. be careful. thank you. >> thank you. thank you so much. we're now in a military mission, which has we learned today has involved operations outside the perimeter and as the president said could extend behind taliban check points. oren liebermann joins us with more. you heard what clarissa said about americans trying to get to the airport, which is different than what president biden said today. what's the latest from the department?
>> president joe biden saying americans can get through, the pentagon says, look, the vast majority of americans as far as they know are able to get through. there are some limited reports of the taliban giving americans problem. and that's where the on the ground daily almost constant communication between representative for taliban commanders and u.s. commanders helps to move that along and make sure americans can get through. the pentagon acknowledges they have seen limited reports of that because the information isn't perfect because their entire presence is focused at kabul international airport. most reports are of americans being able to get through to get to the airport to get out. but again they acknowledge the information isn't perfect. >> i was surprised to hear the president saying that 169 americans were at a hotel in kabul and were extricated from the hotel by u.s. forces. i mean, i assume those are the
kind of things you usually wouldn't necessarily announce because it makes it more difficult to do that in the future. what more do we know about it? >> we were surprised as well that biden simply came out and said that during the press conference earlier today. but we have learned more information about that. there were 169 americans at the baron hotel, which is very close to the airport, but it's on the south side, where the u.s. military are on the north side. the original plan was for them to simply walk through a gate that was 200 meters or 600 feet away. the abbey gate, as it's called. there are a tremendous amount of afghan civilians trying to get through any gate, especially the moment it opens. instead the local commander on the ground decided to make a last second or on the spot call to send in three large helicopters to get these 169 americans from where they were at the baron hotel, an area that is secured by a third country that the u.s. won't identify and bring them back to the airport.
it was done quickly and safely according to the pentagon. it was a decision made on the ground and not one that was checked all the way up the chain to the white house. as far as what we know from the pentagon, that is the first and only time that chinooks, these helicopters, have left kabul international airport to pick up americans and bring them back. there have been a limited number of instances where americans have got ton the airport, got to the barer there and been helped over by u.s. troops according to the pentagon. >> there's been mixed messaging from the administration about the threat al quaeda could pose. >> biden said there is no al quaeda there. and that's not at all what we've heard from the pentagon either today or in the past. al qaeda is there. it's not at the level they say where al qaeda is able to pose a threat to the u.s. homeland or the homeland of its allies. here is press secretary john kirby.
>> we know that al qaeda is a presence as well as isis in afghanistan, and we've talked about that for quite some time. we do not believe it is exorbitantly high, but we don't have an exact figure for you. what we don't think is -- what we believe is that there isn't a presence that is significant enough to merit a threat to our homeland as there was back on 9/11 20 years ago. >> the question of course is how fast can al qaeda reconstitute to a level where it could pose a threat. the initial estimates before the last bit of withdrawal happened could be two years. now without u.s. troops throughout the country, they don't have the intelligence gathering capability. now al qaeda could pose a threat. that is something the pentagon and the administration will try to keep an eye on moving forward. >> we've seen images of the taliban getting their hands on weapons, the u.s. provided to the afghan military.
is there any kind of sense of exactly what they have now? >> look, over 20 years of a u.s. presence there trying to build up an afghan military, the u.s. has given a lot to the afghans over the course of that time. what the u.s. is trying to figure out is exactly how much is left over the course of not only the last couple of years or so since the trump administration's agreement with the taliban but even before that as the u.s. brought troop levels down from the peak nearly a decade ago, seven, eight years ago. the u.s. has been bringing equipment out of the country, destroying some. yes, of course, some of that was handed over to afghan militaries in the hopes they would fight back against the taliban. but the u.s. was aware that the taliban could overtake the afghan military. they just never expected it to happen this quickly. defense officials have told us that as the u.s. was conducting some of those last strikes three or four weeks ago, some of those strikes targeted u.s. military equipment that as the taliban was making this advance the u.s. didn't want it falling into the hands of taliban.
but a perfect answer to that question, what does the taliban have, not likely to get that one. >> thank you. john kirby also gave an update on the baby that was handed to marines at the airport. he says that the child was ill and was returned to the father. he said he did not know whether parent or child or special immigrant applicants. general, first of all were you surprised to hear the president talk about rescuing 169 americans from an area outside the perimeter of the hospital? i mean, i -- you know, it's very -- i assume those kind of things might happen. i wasn't -- i was surprised to hear the president acknowledge it publicly. >> yeah, i was too, anderson. that's not something in my view he should have addressed at the podium. but i think it probably was just meant to say, hey, we're doing more things than a lot of people think we're doing.
as bad as this thing operation, this non-combatant evacuation mission looks, there are some success stories and there will be more. i think that was his intent. but it did certainly surprise me he mentioned it during the conference. >> the person that said he's seen no indications that americans are having trouble getting to the airport, obviously journalists, pentagon are saying something different. now the white house is trying to walk back his comments. can you just talk about how -- what is the military facing here in an operation like this? i mean, they have to secure the -- their part of the airport and then figure out who's who in the crowd and get the right ones in. >> yeah. what i tell you, anderson, is a non-combatant evacuation operation, which clarissa has gone through from front to rear and is headed i guess to germany, is a tough act to execute. the facts and the environment change daily. it's just not a normal operation.
when a military force goes out, they are driven by intelligence about the enemy, the terrain. there are so many unknowns and most of the unknowns are never resolved. it's things like a permissive versus a contested environment. so, what kind of support are you going to get from the government or the host nation security forces? what's the enemy look like around the operation? is the weather going to change to affect the aircraft? what's the priority of evacuation? who's going out first, second and third? how do you work with the state department and their perhaps changing dynamic? but most importantly -- and this is a critical piece. how many people do you need to get out? no matter what you anticipate, that figure will double, triple, quadruple. there was a story today about an afghan interpreter who had all the paperwork and then he said, well i also want to bring my 23 family members. that throws planning factors and aircraft seats out the window.
i once planned and prepared for and started to execute a neo in a country i can't talk about and i got a feel as a commander how crazy it was. and it was the toughest mission i ever faced to include multiple combatants. >> what do you do when someone says i want to bring 23 family members? >> that's where the heart wrenching and i think clarissa has reported on some of these things. when you get somebody with 23 family members or someone comes up to the gate and says i want to get out of here but they have no paperwork, they have no proof of working with the afghan government, they just want to get the hell out of the country, that's the tough call. and unfortunately because you have a set number of airplanes, a set number of seats, you have to turn those people away. there are plenty in the crowd outside of the airport who want to get out of kabul. they want to get out of country
because they're afraid of what's going to happen next. not all of them -- in fact i would say probably just a small percentage of them have worked for the u.s. government, are part of our allies. and it's separating those who have the so-called paperwork. and by the way, that paperwork has been thwarted by our government for the last several years. we haven't processed the siv paperwork. so, that adds another dynamic. you know, you want to bring these folks in, but it's so incredibly tough. >> you also have a situation where it's people who are fearful -- afghans who are fearful of the taliban with good reason, you know, reports of taliban going to houses looking for people who worked for the u.s. government, particularly ones in high positions. but those afghans who are afraid of the taliban and are leaving because they worked for the u.s. against the taliban, they actually have to go through the taliban and somehow get past the taliban explaining to them why they deserve to get past to be
evacuated when it's clear why they deserve to get evacuated which is they were working against the taliban. >> exactly. to that point, i've heard a lot of pundits say today that we just have to expand the perimeter or we just have to go out and get the people. when you talk those things from a military perspective, it's a good idea. but -- and by the way, it can be done, but it requires a significant amount of forces to expand that perimeter outward and to potentially fight the taliban while you're doing it. you know, they have the perimeter outside the airfield. so, if you're going to put a force out there that says we want to expand out to give more room for people to come in, the taliban probably won't see that in such a good light. when you're talking about making runs downtown to different caches where people are hiding out, that brings some certain
danger as well when you're talking about a combat mission. that would be the equivalent of the term of thunder run that we used in baghdad a long time ago of having a force just shoot out to an estimated location where a bunch of people are, grab them up, bring them back through enemy lines basically. so, all of those things can be done, but they're all extremely difficult and require a significant amount of forces, which right now we probably have the right amount of forces on the ground to secure the airport, the inside of the airport. and that's about it. >> anybody seen the movie "blackhawk down" knows the difficulty of going into a city center to reach a given area and bring people out. it's not easy, especially when the forces now know, oh, the u.s. is thinking about doing that or has done that in some cases.
>> and by the way, you know, people tend to forget too the taliban are still involved in an insurgency. this has not been -- the dynamics are such that there's still combat. the thugs we're seeing on the street with the taliban gear, i mean these aren't security force officials. >> right. >> these are not members of the new government. these are the pipe swingers who have been out in the rural areas killing people for a while. so, of course they're beating folks and acting like the thugs that they are. >> general, i appreciate your time. thank you. >> no problem. next, unique insight into the president's thinking on afghanistan, the roots of his desire to close the book on it and how he sees his role on the world stage. breaking news on covid, what could be the one thing at least some people hesitant to get the vaccine are needing to hear. what we're being called imminent full fda approval for one of the vaccines. at carvana, we treat every customer like we would treat our own moms, with care and respect. to us, the little things are the big things.
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was unsparing. >> american troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves. it is wrong to order american troops to step up when afghanistan's own armed forces would not. the political leaders of afghanistan were unable to come together for the good of their people, unable to negotiate for the future of their country when the chips were down. >> to whatever degree that's true or not, the words struck some observers as ungrateful with little regard for afghans, many of whom can't leave and facing unsure future. and many who died on the battlefield. contrast that with his words today. >> the last week has been heartbreaking. we've seen gut-wrenching images of panicked people acting out of
sheer desperation. you know, it's completely understandable, they're frightened. they're sad, uncertain what happens next. i don't think anyone -- i don't think any one of us can see these pictures and not feel that pain on a human level. >> joining us now, the new yorker magazine's evan, the title is "joe biden: the life, the run and what matters now." it's interesting when he was talking to george stephanopoulos, george stephanopoulos talked about the images of the packed plane and the people running on the runway and people falling from the sky. president biden's immediate response was not, it's heartbreaking. it was, that was four days ago. there was clearly frustration there. he's clearly trying to soften that tone.
what do you make of that? >> well, frustration is the word, anderson. i think what we began to hear at the beginning of the week and all the way through that interview with george stephanopoulos was accumulated frustration of a president and before that a vice president who has had serious differences about managing this war, how it was lead both at the political level and the military level. and you heard -- i think what they clearly recognized in the last 48 hours was what the president was saying was simply not matching up with what americans were seeing on their television screens, what they're seeing around the world and what clarissa ward has been reporting, absolutely heroic reporting on the ground. and there was simply no way for the president to be able to persuade the american people that this project is something that we have under control if he did not explain it more honestly, more accurately and acknowledge the fear, the heartbreak, the devastation and ultimately the cost not only to the united states but obviously and desperately to the afghans on the ground. and i think that's what you've begun to hear over the course of the week is a more realistic recognition of just how difficult this really is, how painful this is. >> it is because obviously the
administration has sold itself on being an administration of competence and that they are, you know, experienced people who know how to do things. the vice president biden was involved in conversations on afghanistan, as you pointed out, had had a difference of opinion with president obama's policy and u.s. policy there. but it does sort of -- if this is his first foreign policy crisis, it certainly doesn't reflect well on this administration. >> no, you know, there is a saying in politics that a week is an eternity. in a war zone, it's longer. in afghanistan we have elements of both of that. the last six days have been a painful reckoning for the white house and senior leadership that have a lot of experience in afghanistan and the issues. they've had to come to terms with the fact they were flat footed. there are the beginning of a couple of things becoming clear. they're not ironclad, but the
outlines of next steps like for instance making u.s. military bases more available in germany and kuwait and qatar. they're going to run out of space pretty soon. we may see other bases drawn in. that's a way of building weigh stations for evacuees. the fundamental point they had to pick up the pace. over the first six days they've evacuated about 13,000 people. but they have to get up between 5, 7 and 9,000 a day. they have a very difficult few weeks ahead. >> roberts gates who served under obama said that biden has, quote, been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and issue over the past four decades. gates also called biden a man of integrity, we should also point out. but i also saw a video of then senator biden talking about the vietnamese who had worked for the u.s. in vietnam and whether or not, you know, huge efforts are being made to get them out.
and he seemed to not -- that was not a priority for him. is this just a -- i mean, is that a -- is it a blind spot or what do you make of gaetz's comments and the way president biden viewed this in vietnam? >> well, this reservation which i think you rightly identified that goes within president biden's conception of america's obligations abroad runs very, very deep, meaning he really does draw limits around what the united states owes to its partners in places like vietnam all the way back to 1975. he was saying that he wasn't convinced of how much the united states could do there for the south vietnamese. as he said, they have no chance of holding off, ultimately being overtaken by the north. and in this -- in the current moment, he has been saying and in fact has been sitting across the table from then secretary of defense robert gates during the
obama administration, whether was rational, whether it was safe, whether it was winnable, and that was a bitter fight. and i've spoken to president biden about his -- about the criticism from secretary of defense gates at the time and he said secretary gates has had his wrong calls too and he listed off a series of them going back in his mind to vietnam. i eventually asked somebody sort of impartial referee on this to say what do you think? he said nobody bats 1,000 but nobody bats 0 either and both of these have some things right and some things wrong. this runs really deep for biden. even in 1972 when he was running for the senate he talked about the idea that americans had been told that the war in vietnam was winding down and they saw the casualties continue to come home. you heard a version of that today where he said, you know, i could not imagine a world in which i didn't have to send your sons, your daughters back to afghanistan. he put this in personal terms. >> appreciate it.
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these entrepreneurs have a fierce work ethic and drive to achieve - to change the game and inspire the team of tomorrow. more breaking news to report on a major development in the efforts to get more americans vaccinated. a senior federal health official tells cnn that the full fda approval of the pfizer vaccine is imminent as full approval could come as early as monday. no date is scheduled. another source tells cnn that the decision is expected early next week. so, all three vaccines are now used under emergency authorization. full approval would allow public and private organizations including schools and hospitals to mandate vaccines. health officials also hoping it may sway some vaccine holdouts. the news comes the same day the cdc reported more than a million doses were administered thursday. the second day in a row that has
happened. they're the first million dose days we've seen since early last month. the white house says even states with low vaccination rates have seen a rise in new patients. overall the cdc says more than 200 million people in the u.s. have received at least one dose. to get perspective from dr. peter hotez from texas children's hospital. he's also the author of "preventing the next pandemic: vaccine diplomacy in a time of antiscience" and former surgeon general dr. jerome adams. dr. adams last month you tweeted u.s. citizens were dying while the country is waiting for full approval of the pfizer vaccine. approval to be imminent. how important is it? >> right now as you mentioned, this is still just conjecture, but i'm praying -- i'm really praying, anderson, that this comes to pass. this will pave the way for organizations to have more aggressive tactics in terms of getting their employees
vaccinated. to put it plainly, it will make it easier for these organizations to come to a decision to mandate these vaccines. >> dr. hotez, what happens once the fda gives approval? what is the next step? >> well, i think it's important to point out that the fda doesn't unilaterally just do this. i think there's some steps. they're going to have to or will consult with the committee, the vaccines and related biologics committee, for their input and take their advice. so, i think that's a step. and of course they will consult with the centers for disease control and the acip. so this is not a one-day thing. i think it's going to take a little bit of time to move all those processes through. but i think it eventually will happen and it's going to have very important implications, certainly as dr. adams points out. but i think there's another really important piece here. that is it's a tremendous validation for the work of the
fda. you know, the fda was under tremendous pressure last year from the president, president trump then, and you know they really worked hard to closely approximate the emergency use process to make it as close to full approval as humanly possible in order to expedite this quickly and save lives. they did it. and the fact that this is moving towards formal approval i think is a credit to the fda. we're so critical of our federal government. this is a time when i think americans can be proud of their service. >> dr. adams, just yesterday schools in culver city, california, mandated all eligible students 12 and over be vaccinated by mid-november. now that full approval is imminent, do you expect more school districts to follow suit? >> well, i absolutely do. you know, the fact is we already mandate a number of different vaccines in order for students to attend schools so we can keep them open safely.
you may have seen i recently tweeted out a story from hills borrow, florida, 10,000 students out on quarantine right now. this is about keeping our kids in school this year and getting them an education to. all of those people who said they've been waiting for full approval, i hope -- i hope you'll go to vaccines.gov this weekend and make your appointment for next week. it's coming. what you asked for is coming. the fda did their job as dr. hotez points out. it's one less reason to avoid your vaccination. >> once the pfizer vaccine receives full approval, what's the possibility of off label use? for example, would a pediatrician be able to write a prescription for a child under 12 years old or would a person who received the johnson & johnson vaccine be able to get a dose of pfizer? >> all of the above. and i think you're especially going to see -- i can't tell you how many calls i'm getting from people who got the j&j vaccine
who feel abandoned. they want to know what to do. i think you will see a lot of physicians write uses for that. i think we're also going to see a lot of physician approvals for third immunizations, not waiting for september. and i think you will see some pediatricians write prescriptions, especially for the 11 year olds who are a year away from being eligible for vaccines. and i think it's going to be really important that the fda and cdc not ignore this, that they come up with a system in place, maybe create a registry to follow what's going on and not have blinders on and pretend that it doesn't occur because there's an enormous amount of information that could be collected because of this. and it's going -- it's already happening, right? people are throwing away their vaccine cards to get extra doses. you can imagine what's going to happen now. >> dr. adams -- >> and anderson, incredibly important, as dr. hotez points out, the communications aspect of this. we've seen some less than ideal communication in the past with major announcements.
it is going to be critical that the fda, the cdc, the white house really lays out what this means and how people should go about getting vaccinated in the future through different routes because the hesitancy that's out there is not going to be overcome unless they explain why this is happening, how it's happening and what it means for you. >> dr. jerome adams, appreciate it, dr. peter hotez as well. we have new breaking news ahead. new advisory about tropical storm henri that's expected to become a hurricane and a serious threat posed to parts of new york and new england. g] i may not be able to tell time, but i know what time it is. [whispering] it's grilled cheese o'clock.
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more breaking news. a hurricane could be headed to new york and new england as early as sunday. hurricane warnings are in effect for parts of long island, new york, and southern new england as tropical storm henri makes its way north in the atlantic and gains strength. last time a hurricane made landfall in this region was hurricane bob back in 1991. what is the latest on the storm? >> well, anderson, the 8:00 advisory came out and it is still a strong tropical storm but nearly a hurricane.
could become a hurricane sometime tonight or tomorrow morning. new york city is now in the forecast cone and the hurricane warnings have been issued for new england, as well as parts of long island. so here is the latest. 70-mile-per-hour winds. gusts of 85. the storm is moving to the north at 7 miles per hour. it should pick up a little bit of forward speed over the next 24 hours. becoming a category 1 storm. could be a category 1 storm by the time it makes landfall. looks likely that it's going to make landfall along long island, or even portions of, say, rhode island could be portion of the landfall, as well. so still, yet to be determined. there is still a little bit of uncertainty there but it does look like we could see a hurricane impacting the northeast and new england as early as sunday afternoon. we'll start feeling the impacts, though, earlier. and you can see all the watches and warnings in place right there. anderson. >> how far inland could effects be felt after it makes landfall? >> well, the interesting thing about this storm is it is going
to slow, dramatically. and so, that's going to lead to a lot of rainfall across the northeast and new england well inland. we are talking about anywhere from 2 to 4, maybe 6 inches of rain inland. and this is an area that's been incredibly saturated. so when you have any additional rainfall, it's going to lead to flooding. we could have a flash-flood threat here. and that is just from the rain, alone. that's not even counting the storm surge. also, the winds. you will have longer duration of strong winds with a slower-moving storm and so you are definitely going to see some trees come down. power outages. a lot of the trees still have the leaves on them, which makes it heavier. you can see the wind threat here. hurricane-force wind, of course. right around where the storm makes landfall. but very strong winds will be far reaching. 3 to 5 feet of storm surge. also to note, this storm is happening on a full-moon day. and so, the tides are going to be running higher than normal. so we could see higher storm surge than we would typically see in a storm like henri.
so we could see some pretty significant storm surge, especially along long island. we have some very vulnerable coastline across portions of new england. >> there is also going to be the big concert that we are covering tomorrow in central park in new york on saturday. is that -- is there going to be rain? >> we could see some indirect rainfall. almost like a surge of moisture ahead of the storm. so yeah, we could see some rain during those hours, for sure. so stay posted. >> jennifer gray, appreciate it. coming up, remarkable report out of haiti. cnn's matt rivers making it to a part of the country hammered by the earthquake that the government hasn't, yet, reached. what he saw, next.
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wake of the earthquake in haiti rises above 2,000, rescuers still haven't been able to reach some of those affected in the most remote parts of the island nation. but cnn's matt rivers, along with the team from the aid group world central kitchen were able to make it to one such area. here's matt's report. >> reporter: our chopper takes off with no clear destination in mind. flying with charity group world central kitchen, or wck, we want to find remote villages in haiti that still need help. a week after this earthquake, just finding out where the needs are remains a challenge. a tip led us to an island off haiti's coast. on the ground, we're told the damage is actually a bit further west. which it is, seen from above. dozens of structures were damaged and a contact in town told us no one has come to help them, yet. but we can't either. so there was damage in that town. the people there, clearly, wanted us to land. but ob