A rush transcript of "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" airing on Sunday, April 25, 2021 on ABC News is below. This copy may not be in its final form, may be updated and may contain minor transcription errors. For previous show transcripts, visit the "This Week" transcript archive.
ANNOUNCER: "This Week With George Stephanopoulos" starts right now.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC "THIS WEEK" ANCHOR (voice-over): Judgment.
BENJAMIN CRUMP, ATTORNEY FOR FAMILY OF GEORGE FLOYD: America, let's lean into this moment.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This can be a moment of significant change.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Derek Chauvin convicted.
PETER CAHILL, HENNEPIN COUNTY, MINNESOTA, JUDGE: Guilty. Guilty. Guilty.
KEITH ELLISON, MINNESOTA ATTORNEY GENERAL: I would not call today's verdict justice, but it is accountability.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Amplifying calls to reform American policing.
BIDEN: But it's not enough. We can't stop here.
SEN. TIM SCOTT (R-SC): We have been working on the police reform legislation, and we will continue to work on it.
STEPHANOPOULOS: The latest from Capitol Hill with Democratic Congresswoman Karen Bass and Republican Senator Rick Scott.
Plus, our powerhouse roundtable analyzes Biden's first 100 days, with the results from our brand-new poll.
DR. ROCHELLE WALENSKY, CDC DIRECTOR: We at the CDC and FDA took the time needed to fully investigate this issue.
STEPHANOPOULOS: The Johnson & Johnson vaccine back on track.
Dr. Anthony Fauci joins us live with the latest on the pandemic.
BIDEN: This is a moral imperative.
STEPHANOPOULOS: The president promises action on climate change.
GINA MCCARTHY, WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL CLIMATE ADVISER: We can do it in a way that benefits people now.
STEPHANOPOULOS: White House adviser Gina McCarthy on the challenges ahead. Ginger Zee reports.
ANNOUNCER: From ABC News, it's "This Week."
Here now, George Stephanopoulos.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Good morning, and welcome to "This Week."
Nearly a year after George Floyd's horrifying final moments shook this country to its core, a Minneapolis jury delivered justice. The guilty verdict for Derek Chauvin was unequivocal, but, as deadly shootings continue to raise questions about American policing, calls for reform are accelerating.
In our new ABC News/"Washington Post" poll, 60 percent of Americans say the country should do more to hold police accountable for the mistreatment of black people. Forty-two percent say the president is doing too little to reform policing practices.
Both President Biden and Republican Senator Tim Scott expected to focus on the issue when they address the nation this week.
And our first guest, the top House Democrat in charge of negotiating police reform, Congresswoman Karen Bass.
Welcome to "This Week." Thanks for joining us this morning.
REP. KAREN BASS (D-CA): Thank you.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I want to begin with your reaction to this Derek Chauvin verdict. How significant a change does it represent?
BASS: Well, I was definitely relieved. I was relieved when it happened and it was guilty on all counts.
I do have to say, though, that now we have to see what the verdict is. And we need the verdict to be at the maximum level, because when we have seen the occasional guilty verdict, it is rare followed by the maximum sentence.
And considering the egregious nature of the torturing, the death of George Floyd, a maximum sentence, I think, is absolutely needed.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's talk about the issue of reform. As I said, our poll shows a solid majority for police reform.
The legislation you've been working on would institute many changes, including a ban on choke holds, no-knock warrants and racial profiling by law enforcement.
Where do negotiations stand this morning?
BASS: Well, first of all, we've been having information conversations with one of the caucuses in the House called the Problem Solvers, which is a bipartisan caucus, along with Senator Scott and Senator Booker.
And so I believe that we can get these. I absolutely do.
What's most important is that we come up with ways to hold police officers accountable, so we will stop seeing these videos, so ending qualified immunity, decreasing the standard that is needed to prosecute an officer, so we won't see so many times, when we know that a person has been killed or brutalized, and then we find that they're not even prosecuted.
And that's because the standard to prosecute officers is so high.
We also need to raise the...
STEPHANOPOULOS: You just hit on...
BASS: I'm sorry?
STEPHANOPOULOS: You just hit on the biggest sticking points in the negotiations, though, right now.
Senator Tim Scott, who is leading the Republican side on the negotiations, says lowering that standard for prosecutions is not on the table.
BASS: Well, we still have to talk about it. Oftentimes, people say there are red lines, I won't cross them, and then, in negotiation, we find a pathway forward. And I'm hoping that we will be able to do that.
But it's also about raising the standard of policing in the United States. We have 18,000 police departments, and no national standards, which is why you see some practices legal in some areas and illegal in other areas. And so I think that that is critical.
And then, aside from that, when we do get the bill on President Biden's desk, there will still be much more that needs to be done. We really do need to look at policing in America.
And, so, we know that officers are trained to shoot to kill, but maybe much more emphasis could be placed on de-escalation, why some incidences result in people being killed. Maybe there were other ways to respond, other than firing.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Some of the critics are saying you can’t just invest in policing. You can’t just focus on police reform, you have to infest in entire communities.
BASS: I absolutely agree with that, and as a matter of fact, what we have done over the years is we have divested from communities. We've cut health care. We've cut social services, and then when there are problems that result, we expect the police to pick up the pieces.
So one of the most glaring examples is with mental illness in our country. We don't treat mental illness properly, and then people -- people get -- go into a crisis, so they end up calling the police and the individual gets killed. Why do we do that? Why do we incarcerate people who are mentally ill? Why don't we treat them, provide health care and services up front so they don't deteriorate into a crisis?
So I -- when I said much more needs to be done, that is absolutely an example of it. We need to look at communities as a whole, and one of the things that the bill does is provide resources to communities to reenvision public safety. What do communities need in order to be safe?
So I think much is needed to be done. I think the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act moves us a step forward. After it's passed by President -- after it's signed by President Biden, we need to get started on all of the other issues that need to be dealt with.
STEPHANOPOULOS: President Biden addressing Congress and the country on Wednesday. What do you hope to hear from him?
BASS: Well, I hope that he lifts up the issue again, and that he talks about the urgency of doing something right now, and I think that will provide encouragement for us to move the ball forward.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You're a member of Congress from California. It looks like a recall is going to happen on Governor Newsom this fall, and Caitlyn Jenner announced her candidacy for governor on Friday. You remember the Democratic Governor Gray Davis was recalled in 2003. Arnold Schwarzenegger became governor. Worried that history’s going to repeat itself?
BASS: Well, I absolutely hope not. That recall shouldn't have happened, and this recall shouldn't happen. If you are going to recall a governor, it's because the person has committed a crime, is corrupt. There has to be a reason.
You're mad at him because he enforced public health guidelines to keep the state safe? I think that's ridiculous. And also considering all of the anti-trans legislation around the country that Republicans have put forward, I have a hard time imagining that Republicans are going to vote for a trans -- a Republican trans candidate for governor.
So this is completely unnecessary. It's a waste of taxpayers' money. We're going to wind up having to spend millions of dollars for an election in November when another election is going to be held just a few months later. So if people are mad with the governor, he is up for re-election next year. That's where their focus should be, not on a recall.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you think her candidacy is real or a stunt?
BASS: I'm not sure. I'm really not sure. Whatever it is though, you know, she is getting a lot of publicity. Maybe that's helpful, but it's certainly not helpful to the State of California.
We’ve been doing well. We have a lot more to do there, in terms of getting ahold of the virus and opening up the economy. The economy is going to open up again in a few weeks. That really needs to be our focus. I think that it is completely unnecessary and inappropriate that the governor has to spend time now fighting a recall.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Congresswoman Bass, thanks very much for your time this morning.
BASS: Thank you.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's get a Republican response now from Florida Senator Rick Scott. He’s Chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
Senator Scott, thanks for joining us this morning. Let's start out with the Chauvin verdict. Was justice served in that case? Your governor, Ron DeSantis, suggested the jury might have been scared of what a mob may do. Do you agree with that?
SEN. RICK SCOTT, (R-FL): Well, first off, it's tragic what happened to George Floyd, and I think for all of us, our hearts go out to his family.
Justice is never perfect, but we've got the best justice system in the world and justice prevailed. I am disappointed that people like Maxine Waters and Joe Biden spoke about it before a verdict. I think we ought to bring people together, not sort of incite people to do the wrong thing, but it's horrible that it happened. I don't -- I hope it never happens again.
I'm disappointed in the Democrats. Tim Scott worked hard last year on a police reform bill, and the Democrats blocked it in a filibuster. So all of us would like to make sure we keep our communities safe.
When I left as governor of Florida, we were at a 47 year lower in our crime rate, and I was proud of our sheriff department and police departments. The vast majority do the right thing each and every day.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's talk about that police reform bill. It seems like there's an awful lot that Republicans and Democrats can agree on. Senator Scott, you mentioned, is hoping for a bipartisan negotiation but you just heard Congresswoman Bass right there.
It certainly seems like this issue of shielding individual police officers from lawsuits, and lowering the standard for prosecution seems to be the main sticking points. Are those redlines?
SCOTT: Well, I think what we ought to do is let's find best practices. I think if you go back to what Tim Scott proposed, let's have more transparency so we can find out what's working and what's not working. In his bill, we had incentives to -- you know, to stop chokeholds as an example.
But I think you start with more transparency, and I think you bring in -- you do what I’ve done when I was governor. You sit down with law enforcement and say, okay, what can we do to be better, and why are some -- some officers better, some departments better than others? Rather than saying, oh, everybody is doing the wrong thing, and creating – incenting people not to do their job.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So you don't think there should be new standards for prosecution or lawsuits?
SCOTT: I have -- you know, I always listen to everybody's proposal, but what I’m not going to do is put our law enforcement community in a position that they’ve got to second-guess themselves when they're trying to make sure people are staying safe. We were at 47 -- when I left as governor two years ago, we were at a 47-year low in -- here low in our crime rate, and that's what I want to focus on.
Well, how do we -- how do we make our systems better all the time? The vast majority of law enforcement officers show up every day, put their lives on the risk every day, and do the right thing.
STEPHANOPOULOS: The vast majority do, but you've seen this spate of killings as well.
SCOTT: Well, I mean, look, I -- it's horrible what happens. I mean, I -- also I went through, you know, 51 law enforcement officers in my eight years as governor lose their lives in line of duty showing up and defending people's, you know, safety each and every day.
So I think what we've got to do is we've got to respect our law enforcement community and then figure out how can we figure out how all -- everybody in our community is staying safe?
I always said when I was governor, three primary jobs, give people a job, get their kids good condition and keep people safe. And that's what I try to do every day, and that’s what -- that's what Republicans are trying to do all across the country, keep people safe.
STEPHANOPOULOS: What do you hope to hear from President Biden on Wednesday?
SCOTT: Well, first off, you know, I’m sure he's going to talk about unity and bipartisanship which he’s not done since -- since he's been up there. I wish he would talk about the crisis on the border, which he created. I mean, it’s a crisis. I’ve been down there with Governor Ducey to see. That he's created this crisis.
I like him to talk about why aren't all of our schools opened? Why would he -- why would -- why are we -- what is he going to do about $33 trillion in debt, and this inflation that’s picking up? Gas prices up since he got his election, significantly over 70 cents a gallon. I hope he talks about that.
And how he's going to hold people like Shia -- the ayatollah, and the Castro regime, or the Maduro regime accountable. That's the things I like him to talk about.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You talked about the crisis on the border. You said that President Biden created it. Your own former president, Republican President George W. Bush, spoke out on the issue of immigration this week.
I want to play it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT: It's a beautiful country we have, and yet it's not beautiful when we condemn and call people names and scare people about immigration.
INTERVIEWER: If you were to describe the Republican Party as you see it today --
INTERVIEWER: -- how would you describe it?
BUSH: I would describe it as isolationist, protectionist and to a certain extent, nativist.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: Those are pretty harsh words from a former Republican president about the current Republican Party.
SCOTT: I’ll tell you, the Republican Party is the land of opportunity. I live in an immigration state, but I believe in legal immigration.
I mean, if you look at what Joe Biden's done, I took an aerial tour of the border with Governor Ducey from Arizona. He stopped building, you know, the wall by not putting up the fences, didn't electrify the lights and cameras so the Border Patrol could make sure people are safe.
But, look, the Democrats don't want to do anything. I believe we’ve got to figure out how to take care of the DACA kids. We have to create -- you know, we have to create security at the border and let's figure out how we make this a country where people that want to live the dream that we want to live can come in here on a legal basis.
But I have been in D.C. for a little over two years, and I mean, I had a bill that every Republican signed off on to improve temporary protective status, and Democrats blocked it on the floor twice, and part of it was to give TPS to Venezuelans, which are fleeing Maduro.
And they -- and would they talk to me about it? No. They would not have a meeting with me about it. They had no -- interest in getting anything done. They wanted to have an issue for campaign.
I want legal immigration. I -- my state's full of legal immigration. We have done -- we've prospered because of legal immigration.
And why the Democrats don't want to secure the border and figure out how to fix things like -- take care of the DACA, the kids and fix TPS, I don’t -- it doesn't make sense to me, but they won't.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Finally, a couple of weeks back, you gave former President Trump something you called the Champion of Freedom Award. That was on April 10th. And you did that despite the fact that the former president continues to spread lies about the election, about Mike Pence and Capitol siege on January 6th. He said there was no threat there.
Doesn't giving the president an award like that endorse that kind of behavior?
SCOTT: I gave him that award for the right reasons. He -- he worked on border security. He worked on creating the best economy we've had probably in my lifetime. He -- he worked on holding Xi and China accountable, the Castro regime accountable, Maduro accountable, helping Israel, got the Abraham Accords signed. So, I mean, he -- I mean he worked hard. You know, every president I know would like to get more things accomplished, but, I mean, he -- he did some things that prior presidents had not gotten done.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, except you gave that award after he spread the lies about the election. And also you're in charge of getting Republican senators elected in 2022. You've asked the former president to endorse all GOP incumbents, but he refused to do that and he's going to actively campaign, he says, against Senator Lisa Murkowski.
SCOTT: Well, I think -- well, Lisa Murkowski will have a great win. You know, we're going to have -- we're going to -- you know, Republicans are united. We don't like the Biden agenda. We actually -- Republicans like a secure border, open schools. They don't want to be dependent on energy for -- to a foreign country. They don't want immigration reform or packing the Supreme Court that the Democrats want because they -- they know it's not good for the country. And Republicans believe in this country. We know we're a beacon of light. We're not talking like Democrats are that they trash the country every day and say everybody's a racist, because this is not a racist country. This is a country, we're the land of opportunity. And I'm proud to be a Republican. And I know we're going to have a big win in '22, and Biden'ss helping us each and every day.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Scott, thanks for your time this morning.
SCOTT: Thanks, George. Have a good day.
STEPHANOPOULOS: The roundtable's up next.
Plus, Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT (February 1993): Tonight I want to talk with you about what government can do because I believe government must do more.
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT (February 2001): America today is a nation with great challenges, but greater resources.
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT (February 2009): We will rebuild. We will recover. And the United States of America will emerge stronger than before.
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT (February 2017): America must put its own citizens first because only then can we truly make America great again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: A series of presidents there giving their first address to Congress. President Biden will do that on Wednesday this week.
Let's talk about it on our roundtable with Chris Christie, former Republican Governor of New Jersey, Heidi Heitkamp, former Democratic senator from North Dakota, Republican strategist Sara Fagen, and Angela Rye, host of "On 1" and former executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Let's start out talking about President Biden. He'll be giving that speech on the eve of his 100-day. And, Chris, I want to put up a poll, our new poll out this morning, that shows where he stands coming into the 100-day mark, 52% approval, about 10 points better than President Trump but below every other former president in the modern era, basically. What does that tell you?
CHRIS CHRISTIE, FRM NJ GOV AND ABC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I think it's reflective of two things. I think, first, it's just a very, very divided country. It has been for a long time.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So presidents have ceilings now, don't they?
CHRISTIE: I don't know if they do, but I think they do when they act in concert with the divided times. And President Biden's problem in his first 100 days is he spoke, and we all sat here and listened to him on Inauguration Day, talking about bringing people together and doing all that. And he has governed as a far-left president.
Every policy proposal he's put forward has been to appease the far left of his party. And, in fact, he's really become a part of the far left of his party.
STEPHANOPOULOS: What he said on COVID is broadly popular, though, according to that poll, more than 60 percent approval.
CHRISTIE: Given the fact that he has shown compassion regarding COVID, which President Trump did not do, and given that vaccines have now been going out at a very rapid pace, which is as much his benefit of the timing of his entry into office as it is about what his administration has really done, you know, of course, he's going to do well on COVID.
But the bigger issue, George, is I really believe by this fall COVID will be a less important issue to the country. And they're going to be looking at all the proposals he's put forward, and that's going to be a -- that's why you see that 52 percent.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Heidi Heitkamp, I want to bring this to you. Because the poll does show that this is something of a vulnerability to the president on bipartisanship.
HEIDI HEITKAMP, FRM ND SEN. AND ABC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, clearly, but -- but you've got to remember that there's bipartisanship and then there's unifying the country around an agenda. His COVID relief package, incredibly important and very successful even in a state like North Dakota.
I think President Biden's problem is that he's playing in Washington, D.C. as opposed to getting out into the country, starting to talk to normal people, regular people, people in my state, your state, about what he intends to do.
And I think he can bring a coalition, a bipartisan, uniting coalition, around his agenda. But he can't do it from Washington, D.C. That place is toxic. They don't want to make a deal. They don't want to get things done, because it's all about power politics. I think he's on the right track with the right agenda. The question is, how does he sell that agenda?
SARA FAGEN, GOP STRATEGIST: It's too big. It's too bold. It's too far left, as Chris said.
I mean, at every stage of the spending debate, which, of course, COVID relief package was a huge package, now to come back with over $2 trillion of spending masked as infrastructure -- there are some really good proposals in there that he can get bipartisan support on in an infrastructure bill, roads, bridges, ports.
But so much of it is social spending -- and social spending that is not a one-time deal. It is another entitlement. And so, when you look at that and how to pay for it -- and, look, we can debate whether corporate taxes should be 28 percent or 29 percent or 32 percent, and individual taxes going up, but when you look at almost doubling the capital gains tax, you're talking about half the investment going into small businesses. And that is going to have a long-term very devastating impact...
STEPHANOPOULOS: Angela Rye, so far, at least, huge approval for the president among Democrats, about 90 percent.
ANGELA RYE, ON 1 WITH ANGELA RYE HOST: Here's the thing. I think it's so rich to hear folks talking about Joe Biden's far-left agenda. If it is far left to sign 60 executive orders overturning the hatred that was in Donald Trump's executive orders, at least 23 of them; if it is far left to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord; if it's far left to end the Muslim travel ban; if it is far left to restore the partnership with the World Health Organization, then I think most of the country is far left.
These are things that are common-sense to do. When you talk about infrastructure, yes, there are some social things that need to happen in infrastructure. Because it just so happens that discrimination and inequitable conditions exist even in our infrastructure. That is not something that was originated in this administration. Actually, Transportation Secretary Anthony Fox talked about the division just in the roads in his own community.
So it is incumbent upon this president and his administration to undo all of the hatred from the last one.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So, Chris, address that point. It does seem that these specific proposals the president is making are broadly popular.
CHRISTIE: George, they're not. It's -- look, we can set up strawmen and say, "Well, he overturned this executive order and that executive order. That's not what we were talking about this morning. What Sara just talked about, the capital gains issue, is nothing more than income redistribution. It's socialism.
Joe Biden’s proposal to do that -- let's remember that that investment income, they have already paid taxes on it.
You paid taxes on it before you invested it. And now you're going to pay taxes on it again at the same rate that you pay...
STEPHANOPOULOS: But a difference in the rate changes the capital gains tax into socialism?
CHRISTIE: It sure -- of course it does.
It's redistribution of income, George. And I just want to warn everybody out there, wait until you see what happens to your retirement funds. If Joe Biden gets a 39.6 percent capital gains, wait to see what happens to the market.
And as most people in America who have their IRAs and their 401(k)s and self-directed retirement invested in the stock market, they're going to see their retirement income and their college savings income and 529s drop significantly. That's going to be the problem.
RYE: It's so interesting -- it's so interesting to hear this allegation of socialism. I know these are buzzwords that work very well with the Republican Party.
So, congratulations for using them this morning.
But I think what is so interesting is, we have people in the middle of a pandemic that you said wouldn't matter by the time we get to the fall. And on -- and, on the left, there's a conversation happening about student loan debt, how much should be forgiven, $50,000 vs. $10,000.
And we're talking about a capital gains increase, when you all just had basically the reparations that my community has been asking for in your last tax proposal. So, I don't even understand what we're talking about here as it relates...
HEITKAMP: I just want to say, first -- first off, let's correct this idea you have already paid on your capital gains.
You paid on the initial investment, which then you only pay on the actual gains from the initial investment. So, let's not say you already paid taxes on it.
CHRISTIE: You did.
HEITKAMP: You're actually earning income. You're actually getting dividends or you're getting interest, or you're -- when you sell it, you make money.
And this is one of the biggest scams in the history of forever on income redistribution. If you have a tax -- if you have a stock, you can pass it on to your kids with stepped-up basis, and it's never taxed. You know that there needs to be reform on unearned income.
And so to demonize it and say it's going to hurt the little guy, yes, that just is not factual, Chris. And you know it.
CHRISTIE: It is going to hurt the little guy.
FAGEN: Well, there's proposals to undo a lot of the inheritance tax benefits as well.
But, look, this is really a matter of, how do you want to help Americans? And there's been so much investment in diversity and inclusion, and ESG and climate change companies.
And what Joe Biden has proposed, factually, will take half of that money and, as Chris said, redistribute it in another form in social programs that, to date, in many cases have not proven to be the most effective way to help lift people up.
And so, look, politically speaking, most people in Washington -- it's early -- think that Republicans will regain the House. Joe Biden has roughly 11 months, maybe up until next March, to get an agenda passed.
And he has gone out with such large packages that he risks not having big accomplishments beyond COVID.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Is police reform -- Chris, let's talk about that.
Does it -- there does -- there did seem to be at the beginning of the week, after the Chauvin verdict, an acceleration of calls for bipartisan reform in the House and the Senate. Tim Scott has been suggesting that he thinks something can get done.
Are you optimistic?
CHRISTIE: I do think that it can get done.
And I think, if they work with folks like Tim Scott and others in the Senate, they will get something done. And it should be done. And this is where the president could be leading. And that's where that number will go up from 52 percent to a higher number, if the American people actually see him saying, OK, I will work with some Republicans in the Senate who are willing to do it.
They could do the same thing on infrastructure. And there are plenty of Republicans who will vote for a large, large, historically large infrastructure bill to get that done, because they want to invest in America's infrastructure, and they're willing to pay for it.
But if you continue to go the other ways -- and we talk about buzzwords like socialism, and Heidi gives the -- kind of the Senate speak on, you're not paying taxes twice, even when you are paying taxes twice.
HEITKAMP: That's not...
CHRISTIE: Those people are paying taxes twice.
They pay taxes on their money when they invest it. And that's...
STEPHANOPOULOS: I want to go back to police reform.
HEITKAMP: ... Chris, and you know it. They pay on the gain, not on the initial investment.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Angela, it does seem like this issue I talked about with both Congresswoman Bass and Senator Scott...
STEPHANOPOULOS: ... this issue of how much to shield police from lawsuits, what the standard should be for prosecution, that that is going to be what determines whether we get a compromise or not.
RYE: It does.
And I think what we have to look at is, this verdict this week, with Derek Chauvin, this wasn't his first incident. It wasn't even his fifth. And it's -- we like to talk about bad apples a lot, but the issue is that the way the system of policing is currently set up, it doesn't punish bad systems or bad apples.
Derek Chauvin, before George Floyd's nine minutes and 29 seconds, knelt on the back of a 14 -- a 14-year-old black boy for 17 minutes in 2017.
In North Carolina, just this week you have Andrew Brown, the father of seven children, Ma’Khia Bryant in Columbus, Ohio. You have Miles Jackson in Columbus, Ohio, who was shot in an emergency room. Andrew Hill dropping off Christmas presents, right?
The Columbus Police Department isn't about one bad apple. It's about an entire department. So we have to talk about qualified immunity without fighting with buzzwords, but really talking about how we solve for a system that by design from its inception was designed to capture and return and enslave people back to their masters. If we can't uproot what was intended, we will forever have this problem, and we have to be willing to have honest discourse.
FAGEN: Well, in the case of Derek Chauvin, the system worked because he's going to spend most of the rest of his life in jail as he should.
You know, but, we run the risk of overreaction. You know, we need police reform in this country, and I think we can get it, and it's in many ways a layup for Joe Biden.
Republican senators will not go against Tim Scott on this issue. So if the president can get a deal with Tim Scott, there will be a package.
HEIDI HEITKAMP, ABC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Sara, if people thought the system worked, Chauvin wouldn't have been a police officer, and --
FAGEN: My point is that the system worked.
HEITKAMP: My point is this is a subject that has gone so far because of all the work that's been done.
Tim Scott is a hero on this. If you ever want to hear an amazing group of floor speeches, and they so seldom mean anything, but Tim Scott did three floor speeches that I think helped educate the country as a conservative, Republican senator, what he experienced from law enforcement intervention.
And I think he truly can be a bridge on this issue if we lower temperatures and we start talking about how we can reform police systems, but also recognize that there's a lot of history here that needs to be completely --
FAGEN: Of course, there does. There needs to be police reform. We all agree on that.
At the same time, we can't have the White House at the podium every time there's an altercation, you know, say that it's systemic racism because it is not.
RYE: I’m sorry --
FAGEN: There are instances -- there are instances that are of systemic racism and they need to be addressed. There are instances where a cop simply makes in a split second decision a very terrible call. And there are instances when the cop makes the right call, and it's a tragic outcome.
And, you know, right now, every single altercation is being presented as systemic racism, and that's just not accurate.
RYE: I don’t think --
FAGEN: We need to dial it back and figure out how to do a better job in this country by teaching and educating police officers.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Isn't that a fair point though? You mentioned several different instances and, again, in every single case is tragic because a life was lost.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But they were very different cases.
RYE: Well, we're talking about, for example, with the Columbus Police Department, 30 black people killed in the last five years. Systemic racism isn't something that you get to cherry pick and decide when you want to apply it. It means the system at its core is rotten. It means that it has to be re-imagined and revisited as Karen Bass talked about earlier in the show who also is a champion and a hero on this issue of having the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act passed the House twice.
What is incumbent upon, I think especially people who are perpetuators of said system is to understand that it's not just my experience. It's not just me being emotional. There is literally trauma that I carry in my body.
I encourage you all to read a book called "My Grandmother's Hands" by Resmaa Menakem who talks about how we carry trauma in our bodies. White body supremacy, black body trauma, and police body trauma.
It is not fair for us to allow for a police officer to shoot and kill because they have an irrational fear of a black person or a person of color. That's something that has to be addressed at the systemic level.
CHRIS CHRISTIE, ABC NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Listen, I think the only way we're going to get these things solved is to bring the emotion and the rhetoric down on both sides, and I think Tim did a very good job of that, in terms of talking very honestly and directly about these issues.
And if what we're going to do is have high emotion on both sides of this, we're not going to come to a resolution. Listen --
STEPHANOPOULOS: That emotion is there.
CHRISTIE: Of course, but, George, the job of leaders is to control that emotion and to channel that emotion in a productive way, and that's what leaders on both sides of the aisle are going to have to do with this.
We did this in New Jersey when we did prison reform and sentencing reform in New Jersey that lowered our prison population by 50 percent during the time that I was governor. And people thought that couldn't get done, but what we did was we talked about the facts, and we laid the facts out with not no emotion, but with controlled emotion on both sides so that people would come to the right result.
That's the right result. That's the right result for -- for civil justice and social justice in my state and it's the right way to do police reform.
STEPHANOPOULOS: We will see what both President Biden and Tim Scott say about that on Wednesday.
Thank you all very much.
We'll be right back with Dr. Anthony Fauci.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROCHELLE WALENSKY, CDC DIRECTOR: We at the CDC and FDA took the time needed to fully investigate this issue. We paused use of the vaccine out of an abundance of caution. The CDC, in partnership with the FDA, is recommending that administration of the Johnson & Johnson, or Janssen, vaccine resume. In the end, this vaccine was shown to be safe and effective for the vast majority of people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: CDC Director Rochelle Walensky explaining the Friday decision to put the Johnson & Johnson vaccine back into circulation. And now that vaccine supplies are starting to outstrip demand, 538's Nate Silver analyzes how the move will impact vaccine hesitancy among Americans.
NATE SILVER, FOUNDER, FIVETHIRTYEIGHT: So I'm really happy the CDC decided to restore Johnson & Johnson to our arsenal of vaccines. But I don't know that the pause was the right move in the first place. And the question is, will there be any lasting damage from it?
Keep in mind, the blood clots the FDA and CDC found are extremely rare events. After further digging, they found they occurred in about one in about 500,000 patients. That's literally the same odds of being struck by lightning in any given year.
And given that almost one in 500 Americans have already died from COVID, I think it's important for experts to help the public keep tiny risks like that in perspective.
It's also not clear that the pause made people feel safer. A YouGov poll during the pause found that only 37 percent of Americans thought the J&J vaccine was safe, way down from 52 percent beforehand.
The number of Americans getting vaccinated was also going down. The seven-day average for vaccine doses administered peaked at 3.4 million on the day the J&J suspension was announced. It's since fallen below 3 million.
Maybe it's all a coincidence, but we really want to get those numbers back up. Data from the Harris poll meanwhile found that, while some people became more reassured about vaccines after the pause, people on the fence about being vaccinated became more hesitant. For people who just read headlines, the brief suspension may have looked like a very drastic step.
The bottom line, I do not buy that the pause was a good idea, but we righted the ship this week, and now the White House has the chance to restore confidence and momentum in the vaccines.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Thanks to Nate for that.
Let's bring in President Biden's chief medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Dr. Fauci, thanks for joining us again this morning. Start out by responding to Nate's argument right there that the pause may have hurt more than it helped?
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, NIAID DIRECTOR: No, I don't think that's ultimately going to be the case, George. I think, when we get now back in tune with getting this vaccine, not only here in the United States, but also globally, because the rest of the world was looking at the United States' decision, particularly because they know that the CDC and the FDA are the gold standard for both safety and the evaluation of efficacy.
I think, in the long run, what we're going to see, and we'll probably see it soon, is that people will realize that we take safety very seriously. We're out there trying to combat the degree of vaccine hesitancy that still is out there. And one of the real reasons why people have hesitancy is concern about the safety of the vaccine.
And I think, if you make the argument that we take safety really very seriously, and there was a pause; it was examined, and now we're going ahead with it, which tells you that, if you look at all of the other vaccinations that have been done, you know, we've had about 141 million people have received at least one dose of the vaccine, a very small proportion of that, about 8 million, has been J&J. The rest have been the MRNAs from Pfizer and from Moderna.
So if anybody has any doubts about the safety of those other vaccines, and including J&J, we can now say, you know, we take this very seriously; we've looked at it; now let's get back and get people vaccinated. And that's what we're going to be doing, get as many people vaccinated as we possibly can, as quickly as we can, because we have a very, very effective vaccine for the people here and throughout the world.
STEPHANOPOULOS: We have seen vaccination rates level off, coming a little bit off their highs from the last couple of weeks, and you still see pockets of people resisting the idea of mass vaccination. One of the most prominent skeptics is Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin. Let's show what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RON JOHNSON, (R-WI): The science tells us that vaccines are 95 percent effective. So if you have a vaccine, quite honestly, what do you care if your neighbor has one or not? I mean, what is it to you? You've got a vaccine and, you know, science is telling you it's very, very effective. So why is this big push to make sure everybody gets the vaccine?
STEPHANOPOULOS: What's your response to that?
FAUCI: Well, the fact is that people who have been infected in this country now and have died, if you look at the numbers, there's been about 570,000 Americans have died. We have a highly efficacious and effective vaccine that's really very, very safe.
That is the reason why you want everyone to get vaccinated, so I don't understand the argument, if I get vaccinated, George, and I'm protected, that you, George, don't have to get vaccinated. It doesn't make any sense.
The more people you get vaccinated, the more people you protect. And there is the issue, when you get a critical number of people vaccinated, you really have a blanket of protection over the entire community.
So, to get vaccinated, you have a responsibility to yourself, to protect yourself. But, also, even if you're a young person who may not get any symptoms, you don't want to get infected. You may think it doesn't make any difference because you may not get any symptoms, but you may inadvertently and innocently pass the infection onto someone else, who could have a serious consequence.
So, there are so many reasons why we should get as many people vaccinated as we possibly can.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Our situation continues to improve here, but there's a real crisis right now in India, record cases four days in a row right now.
It could spread across the developing world. Their health care system could collapse if the situation doesn't improve. What more can the United States be doing right now to help address this crisis?
Well, we are doing things that we have mentioned before, part of COVAX, $4 billion, and other things. But we really do need to do more. I don't think you can walk away from that. And we are.
Right now, even as we speak, George, there's discussions about really ramping up what we can do on the ground, oxygen supplies, drugs, tests, PPE, as well as taking the look into the intermediate and long run about how we can get vaccines to these individuals, both immediately now, as well as in the situation where you help them to be able to essentially make vaccines themselves.
So, bottom line, George, it's a terrible situation that's going on in India and other low- and middle-income countries. And there is more we can do. And I believe you will see shortly that all these things that we're talking about are on the table, and we will be moving towards that.
It's the proper thing to do.
STEPHANOPOULOS: We have about 30 million doses of that AstraZeneca vaccine that aren't approved for use here. Shouldn't we just be sending that over?
FAUCI: You know, I think that's going to be something that is up for active consideration, George, certainly.
I mean, I don't want to be speaking for policy right now with you, but, I mean, that's something that certainly is going to be actively considered.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's talk about masks.
I mean, you're seeing more and more talk about it. And I know the CDC is looking at perhaps revising their guidance about wearing masks outdoors at this time. What's your best guidance on that at this point?
FAUCI: You know, I don't want to get ahead of them, George.
But I think it's pretty common sense now that outdoor risk is really, really quite low, particularly -- I mean, if you are a vaccinated person, wearing a mask outdoors, I mean, obviously, the risk is minuscule.
What I believe you're going to be hearing, what the country is going to be hearing soon is updated guidelines from the CDC. The CDC is a science-based organization. They don't want to make any guidelines unless they look at the data, and the data backs it up.
But when you look around at the commonsense situation, obviously, the risk is really very low, particularly if you are vaccinated.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So, we're heading towards normal?
FAUCI: You know, in some respects, we are, George.
It really is a challenge. We have vaccines now. The more we take a look at the data as it accumulates, we see it is even more effective than what the initial numbers of the clinical trial. And we're doing very well.
We now have more than 30 percent of the adult population is fully vaccinated. More than 50 percent of the adult population is getting at least one dose, which gives them certainly some protection, until they get the next dose.
So, we now have been giving to people the answer to the issue of getting back to normal, namely, the question you just asked me.
But the only issue, George, that is something we need to pay attention to...
FAUCI: ... is that we're having still about 60,000 new infections per day.
That's a precarious level, and we don't want that to go up.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Dr. Fauci, thanks for your time this morning.
We will be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSEPH R. BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Those that do take action and make bold investments in their people, in clean energy future will win the good jobs tomorrow and make their economies more resilient and more competitive.
So let's run that race. Win more. Win a more sustainable future than we have now. Overcome the existential crisis of our times.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: President Biden marking Earth Day at a White House summit with global leaders. He pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by the end of the decade, and stressed the economic opportunities that can be created by addressing climate change.
ABC’s chief meteorologist Ginger Zee discussed the challenges ahead with Biden's national climate adviser, Gina McCarthy.
GINGER ZEE, ABC CHIEF METEOROLOGIST: Have we lost higher ground in the global climate discussion, out and back into the Paris agreement? Here we are, you know, it's tough to come back after you roll back a bunch of grandfather --
GINA MCCARTHY, PRES BIDEN’S NATIONAL CLIMATE ADVISER: It is. It is. It is.
Well, there's no question that we have to come back eating a lot of humble pie.
ZEE (voice over): Gina McCarthy says that America is ready to listen, learn and lead again.
ZEE (on camera): I have heard you use the term, this is not about the planet, it's about people.
ZEE: How and what will you prioritize so that we can make the biggest dent in this crisis for people?
MCCARTHY: Well, it's not that we won't look to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate, but I think the point that I'm trying to make here is that we can do it in a way that benefits people now. We can do it in a way that looks at health benefits, particularly for the environmental justice communities that have been hammered by pollution far too long, less investment then -- being made than in other communities. And we can look at opportunities to actually bring new solutions to the table that will show people that -- that it's possible to win this battle, and that the way to win it are things that are going to be better for us.
ZEE: And I imagine within the $2 trillion of infrastructure, those are the examples.
Who's going to get the jobs first?
MCCARTHY: We've got to do a lot of electric infrastructure work there to get them clean by 2035. But the most important thing I think that -- that President Biden is really focused on is that, if we do this right, we're going to grow a lot of jobs.
ZEE: I just got back from the only commercially operated lithium mine in the United States. We don't have but one. I know that more are planned.
MCCARTHY: That's right.
ZEE: How do we do it right this time while doing it fast?
MCCARTHY: Yes. So this is about -- about being smart. Really, it is about a whole of government approach and it's working with cities and states that have been busting their butts for the past five years to catch up when the federal government wasn't engaged. And I think we can continue to work with them. And if we do it right on the job side, people are going to get excited. They're going to look for the innovation, not worry that it's too small. And that's what we have to do.
ZEE: Take me into the conversations at the White House. How often does President Biden talk to you about climate change, and what does he say?
MCCARTHY: You know, we do have a leader that understands that this is an intersectional issue, that the issues of the pandemic, the issues of economic development that -- that we have to face and -- and move forward on, that issues of the climate crisis and the racial issues can all come together if we're smart enough to not act like bureaucrats, but instead act like we're serving whole people, not their portions and what their considerations are.
So these conversations are being had not to question the direction that we have or whether climate change is real.
MCCARTHY: It's really just all about, what do we do now? How do we escalate it? How do we work with the private sector to make sure that the scope and pace is as fast as it can be? And then it's all a framing of hope and opportunity. This is not sacrifice. Sacrifice doesn't pay.
MCCARTHY: I don't know about you, Ginger, but go around and ask people what they want to give up. You won't get a lot of answer. But ask them what they want to get, and they'll tell you. And this is what they should want to get.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Thank you, Ginger Zee.
That is all for us today. Thanks for sharing part of your Sunday with us.
Check out "WORLD NEWS TONIGHT," and I'll see you tomorrow on "GMA."