ABC News Live Prime: Monday, May 23, 2022

The FDA announced its review of COVID-19 vaccines for kids 5 and under; Trevor Reed speaks out after his release from Russia; Slane Hatch, Grandmaster Flash discuss new series, “Origins of Hip-Hop.”
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Transcript for ABC News Live Prime: Monday, May 23, 2022
[MUSIC PLAYING] LINSEY DAVIS: The end of an era-- the last public payphone in New York City was removed today. The Manhattan Borough President, though, wasn't particularly nostalgic. He remembered how you had to fish for change to make calls, and how often people would find phones with no dial tone. Encouraging data tonight from Pfizer on its vaccine for America's youngest children. The company says its three-dose regimen is 80% effective against symptomatic Omicron infection in children six months to five years old. It follows Moderna's submission of results from its two-dose vaccine. This as child COVID cases continue to rise across the country. The first shipment in Operation Fly Formula has arrived from Europe. It's enough formula to fill half a million baby bottles, and it's just the first of many deliveries expected in the coming days. Former US Marine Trevor Reed tells ABC News about his nearly three-year ordeal in a Russian prison, and how he did not think he would be going home alone. - The United States got me out, but they-- they left him there. I can't describe to you how-- how painful that feeling is. ANNOUNCER: And major new developments in the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial-- the superstar model expected to testify later this week. And a new series, The Origins of Hip-Hop. We talked to co-creator Slaine Hatch and living legend Grandmaster Flash on the music, sounds, and people who help shape an entire culture. Good evening, everyone. I'm Linsey Davis. Thank you so much for streaming with us. We begin tonight with a glimmer of hope for the parents of the roughly 18 million children under the age of five. We now have a clear timeline on when their kids could get shots of a COVID-19 vaccine. The FDA has set a June 15th date to review Moderna and Pfizer's application to vaccinate the final group of Americans still not yet eligible for the vaccine. Both are expected to be reviewed for doses much smaller than the ones used on adults. Today, Pfizer also announced the results of its clinical trial in children under five, making the determination that three shots are better than two. They also say the full course is 80% effective against infection. And the help from the vaccine cannot come soon enough. More than 100,000 children tested positive for COVID-19 in just the past week. Overall, America is averaging 105,000 new cases every day. Tonight, though, a major parents group is calling the FDA's decision to not review the vaccine sooner than June 15th "extremely disappointing." Stephanie Ramos leads us off. - Give mommy a hug and kiss. STEPHANIE RAMOS: Tonight, Pfizer releasing the data some parents of young children have been waiting for-- - Good girl. STEPHANIE RAMOS: --the company reporting its three-shot vaccine is 80% effective against symptomatic Omicron in children under five. - Now it'll be up to the FDA in June to determine if this antibody response is sufficient enough to protect against severe illness and hospitalization. STEPHANIE RAMOS: The Pfizer vaccine for the youngest children is a tenth of the dose for those 12 and older, and will be given in three doses, after data showed two were not effective. - When the first vaccines were designed, that was pre-Omicron. We're in a completely different era now, where three doses are likely what's necessary to give an adequate immune response. STEPHANIE RAMOS: Moderna is already asking for authorization for its two-shot vaccine for kids under six, but after data showed efficacy was 51% or less, the company is now testing a third shot. An FDA review of the pediatric Pfizer and Moderna vaccines now scheduled for June 15th. For many parents, a vaccine can't come soon enough. - 1, 2, 3. STEPHANIE RAMOS: Megan Dunphy-Daly enrolled two of her kids in the Pfizer trial. MEGAN DUNPHY-DALY: To see the rest of the world move on has been really-- has been a really big challenge for many of us. So we are eagerly awaiting good news. STEPHANIE RAMOS: It comes as more than 107,000 children tested positive for COVID last week, the highest since February. Today, Philadelphia bringing back its mask mandate in public schools. - As the cases were rising, I figured the school probably will do something. STEPHANIE RAMOS: Several cities, including New York City, Milwaukee, and Boston seeing an uptick for weeks, now recommending but not mandating masks indoors. - Stephanie Ramos joins us now. Stephanie, while this news is certainly progress, it sounds like one parent group has expressed some disappointment in the timeline. What are they saying? - That's right, Linsey. One parent advocacy group is criticizing the FDA's decision to hold this meeting mid-June. They call the June 15th date "extremely disappointing and unacceptable." They say it's concerning that even if the Moderna review is completed sooner, the FDA is still going to wait for this scheduled June 15th meeting. Now as COVID-19 infections rise, this group says they are-- this is an urgent matter, especially ahead of the next school year. But we should note that if the FDA authorizes both Pfizer's and Moderna's pediatric vaccines, it then goes off to the CDC for their review. So a vaccine for kids under the age of five could be given the all-clear by late June or early July, if everything goes as planned. Linsey. LINSEY DAVIS: All right, Stephanie Ramos, our thanks to you as always. And we turn now to ABC News medical contributor and Stanford Children's Health pediatrician, Dr. Alok Patel. And Doctor, we just heard you in Stephanie's piece there. Now we'd like to just ask to--to flesh out a little more advice for parents with little ones. Thank you so much for joining us. So why do young children need the three-dose regimen? - Well, Linsey, simply put, children need a three-dose regimen just to make sure that they have the highest amount of antibody protection at a time when we're seeing an unprecedented amount of cases, given what we've seen in the last few months. Now if we look at previous vaccines, when those first two-dose series were done, that was pretty Omicron. So things have completely changed. We want to make sure that children have the best protection they have to prevent those severe illnesses and hospitalization. That's what the real metric is. But then also, what parents need to understand as well is that in order for any of this to get approved, safety has to be a front and center priority. That's what we're all looking for right now. - And for parents eager to vaccinate their little ones, we heard potentially a June, July timeline. Is that your thought, as far as when these vaccines could be available? - It is. That's what it's looking like, as of today. We're waiting to see what the final agenda will be, Linsey, for those FDA meetings in June. But it looks like in mid-June, the FDA will be meeting to talk about both the Pfizer shot and the Moderna shot, which-- remember, that's only two doses-- to look to see what the decisions will be. So hopefully, parents have an option by the end of June, if not early July. LINSEY DAVIS: And many parents are nervously watching the current surge in cases and their summer travel plans. What's your advice for those parents who want to take the trip, but they haven't been able to get the shots yet for their children? - Well, the first thing I'll say to all those parents is I get it. As someone with a very young baby, I totally understand. One thing about COVID-19 is it can absolutely derail entire life plans, aside from causing that-- burdensome elements as well. So with parents, especially of these young children, layered protection is still everything. BA.2.12.1 is nearly as contagious as measles, which is one of the most contagious respiratory viruses we've ever seen. Now some younger kids may not be able to tolerate a mask, but you have to augment all your other strategies around that. It's only about two more months before we get a vaccine to those kids, especially those who are high-risk. Parents are going to do everything they can to hang on-- which I know is asking a lot, given the fact that parents of children of this age group feel so neglected right now. But we're almost there. - Almost there. And we've learned that the vaccines lose their strength in adults over time. Many are advised to get those booster shots. Will kids need boosters as well? - I think it's too early to tell what we're really going to need in fall regarding kids, Linsey. But you know, you mentioned earlier why we need a three-dose shot for kids, at least with Pfizer. And I think that's part of it-- is not only do we have Omicron, but we want to make sure that we're amping up that level of antibodies so it's sufficient degree, so that they not only provide a very quality immune response, but that it's durable. We'll have to wait and see what happens with Moderna, who is expected to submit data for a third dose as well. I think parents on either track should expect to give their kids three doses. - And changing gears now to monkeypox, as you know, President Biden has been addressing concerns while on his trip in Asia. And it seems like we're hearing more about possible US cases daily, Uh, give our viewers a sense of exactly what is monkeypox, and do we need to be concerned about yet another disease outbreak? - Well, everyone should know that we are learning about this in real-time, as everyone else. The vast, overwhelming majority of US physicians will never see a case of monkeypox. Now monkeypox is in the same viral family as smallpox, which we eradicated from planet Earth because of vaccines. Now because of this, we've not been vaccinating the youngest population. So a virus that's related to smallpox, like monkeypox, may be able to start to impact more humans. Now what's remarkable about this specific outbreak, Linsey, is that monkeypox is now going to countries where it's not endemic, meaning where it's not usually found. That's what's causing some alarms right now. Now based on decades of research from scientists and data that we know, it's not easily transmissible from human to human. So what scientists are looking at right now-- is it-- is it human behavior that's causing the outbreak-- and about 20 countries, with five suspected cases in the United States-- or is it something that's changed regarding the virus? And scientists don't suspect that it's the latter. So long story short, the general public need not panic. But pay attention to what's happening right now in headlines. And pay attention to local guidance, especially if there's anyone that you suspect may be infected. - Dr. Alok Patel, always so helpful to have you on the show. Thanks so much. - Thank you. - And today, the CDC held its first briefing on monkeypox, detailing at least one confirmed and four presumptive cases here in the US-- all of them men who had traveled outside of the country. The agency said that it's not believed to be a risk to the general public, but they want to raise awareness. Elwyn Lopez reports in from the CDC in Atlanta. ELWYN LOPEZ: Tonight, the CDC is reporting two new suspected cases of monkeypox in Utah and another two in Florida-- the latest in a global outbreak now reaching four states. And health officials are bracing for more. - Transmission is really happening from close physical contact, skin-to-skin contact. So it's not-- it's quite different from COVID, in that sense. ELWYN LOPEZ: The rare virus, a milder cousin of smallpox, usually found in Africa, is now spreading, with more than 200 suspected or confirmed cases in at least 18 countries. JENNIFER MCQUISTON: I don't think that there's a great risk to the general community from monkeypox right now in the United States. I think that we need to pay close attention to the communities in which this might be circulating. ELWYN LOPEZ: The CDC is saying anyone can get it. But they are now trying to raise awareness in the LGBTQ+ community, since many of the cases so far worldwide involve men who identified as gay or bisexual. And while monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted disease, some symptoms-- like rashes or blisters-- could appear like it. - It shouldn't make anyone worried. This particular strain has a very low mortality rate, as far as we understand. - Elwyn Lopez joins us now from outside the CDC. And Elwyn, it sounds like the CDC is urging calm at this point, reminding Americans that there are treatments for monkeypox. - Yeah, that's right, Linsey. There are also antivirals. And the CDC tonight saying that it is releasing some vaccines from the National Stockpile that can prevent illness, if given soon after exposure. Linsey. LINSEY DAVIS: All right, Elwyn Lopez, our thanks to you. Next tonight, to the major cleanup by White House officials today, trying to clarify what President Biden said and meant overseas on his Asia trip on a very sensitive topic. At a news conference in Tokyo, he said the US would intervene militarily if China invaded Taiwan-- an apparent departure from the decades-long US policy described as "strategic ambiguity." Mary Bruce is traveling with the President tonight. ANNOUNCER: The Prime Minister of Japan and the President of the United States. President MARY BRUCE: Biden with a blunt warning to China, saying if they invade Taiwan, they can expect the US military to respond. - You didn't want to get involved in the Ukraine conflict militarily, for obvious reasons. Are you willing to get involved militarily to defend Taiwan, if it comes to that? - Yes. - You are? - That's the commitment we made. That's the commitment we made. MARY BRUCE: That breaks with the longstanding US policy of "strategic ambiguity," which says that the US will help Taiwan defend itself without committing American troops to the effort. [FANFARE PLAYING] But today, Biden was clear the US would be involved militarily. It's a step he's been unwilling to take to protect Ukraine against Russia, but something he now says he would do to protect Taiwan against China. - It would dislocate the entire region and be another action similar to what happened in-- in, uh, in Ukraine. And so it's a burden that is even stronger. MARY BRUCE: In the room, Biden's advisors appeared shocked, the White House quickly insisting there is no change in policy, while trying not to contradict the President. Back in Washington, the Secretary of Defense put on the spot. - Is the US making a commitment to send troops to defend Taiwan, in the event of an invasion by China? - As the President said, uh, our one pl-- one China policy has not changed-- to help provide Taiwan the means to defend itself. MARY BRUCE: But the reporter then pressing, "Does that mean giving weapons to Taiwan, the current policy? Or does it mean something else entirely-- the possibility of American boots on the ground?" - I think the President was clear on the fact that the policy has not changed. - Mary Bruce joins us now from Tokyo. And Mary, how is China responding to the President's comments? - Well, Linsey, they are paying close attention to what Biden says here. And they were very quick to respond, telling the US not to underestimate its resolve to defend what they believe is their territory. This all comes as the President is wrapping up this trip, now on his final full day in Asia. And one of his big goals here, of course, has been to work with allies to try and take on the rise of China. Linsey. LINSEY DAVIS: Mary Bruce in Tokyo for us tonight. Thanks so much, Mary. Today, one Russian diplomat took an unprecedented stance by resigning from his post at the UN, and even said that he has quote, "Never been so ashamed of my country." This as Russia continues to escalate its attacks in Eastern Ukraine. And that's where ABC's Ian Pannell is reporting for us tonight. IAN PANNELL: Tonight, Ukrainian and Russian forces toe-to-toe here in the Donbas region. What happens here could decide the outcome of the war. This part of Ukraine has now pretty much become ground zero for the war in the country. Thousands and thousands of Russian and Ukrainian troops are now facing off against each other. The air is thick with the sound of artillery barrages and the sound of air raid sirens that ring out everywhere. And it's not just THE military that's hitting each other, but often its civilian targets like this-- causing a loss of home and a loss of life. [SIREN BLARING] Tens of thousands of people have fled the area, and many are still trying to escape. We met one group today who fled the hardest hit frontline town of Sevier Donetsk. - [SPEAKING NON-ENGLISH] IAN PANNELL: Helena says, it's a horror. There's shelling everywhere. There's no gas, no power, no water. They all have similar tales of trauma. They've lived through unimaginable hell. Many still have families trapped inside. The Donbas, they're the main focus of Russia's campaign. But in Kyiv today, one of Putin's soldiers was sentenced to life in prison in the first war crimes trial. He admitted killing a civilian in the early days of the invasion. Linsey, the fighting out here is intense, and both sides are clearly taking heavy losses, President Zelenskyy admitting that the Ukrainians are losing as many as 100 men a day here on the front lines. Meanwhile, the UK estimating that the Russians may have lost as many men here in just three months as the Soviets did in their occupation of Afghanistan over nine years. Linsey. LINSEY DAVIS: Wow what numbers there, Ian. Our thanks to you. Tragedy on the New York City subway once again-- this time, a man murdered on his way to meet his sister for brunch. Now a manhunt is underway for a suspect, and new leads tonight. ABC's Janai Norman has the latest. JANAI NORMAN: Authorities tonight identifying a person they want to question in that random, unprovoked attack on a New York City subway-- seen here in new surveillance images they say is a 25-year-old Brooklyn man with nearly 20 prior arrests. Witnesses say the gunman was pacing in the last car of a Manhattan-bound train Sunday morning, before suddenly opening fire, killing 48-year-old Daniel Enriquez, an analyst at Goldman Sachs, who was on his way to brunch. GRISELDA VILE: This could be anybody. That's the part that's horrific. At 11:40 in the morning, this man got on the train with the intent to kill somebody. JANAI NORMAN: Other passengers ran for their lives. - Our car cleared out relatively quickly. And so I just started following everyone else. Everyone isn't running for no reason. JANAI NORMAN: Investigators believe the suspect escaped when the train arrived at the station, revealing today they've recovered the gun, saying the shooter gave the murder weapon to a homeless man, who then sold it for $10. This latest shooting coming just six weeks after 10 people were shot on a subway in Brooklyn. ERIC ADAMS: It is the worst nightmare. Just sitting down, going to brunch, going to visit a family member-- a person walks up to you and shoots you for no reason. - And Linsey, there were no subway shootings here in New York City at this point last year. But already this year, 14 people have been shot on the city's transit system, an uptick in violence being seen nationwide. Today, Mayor Adams now pushing to put gun scanners at a key transit hub, to try to help police seize more illegal weapons. Linsey. LINSEY DAVIS: Janai, thank you. Finally, a bit of relief for parents, as a second shipment of formula is expected to arrive in Washington DC on Wednesday. But in the meantime, the waiting game for some families is just a brutal one. Here's ABC's Erielle Reshef. ERIELLE RESHEF: Tonight, ABC News confirming a second shipment of specialized baby formula is expected to arrive in the US on Wednesday, this news just a day after the first plane packed with 78,000 pounds touched down in Indiana. - This shipment provides enough formula to take care of 9,000 babies and 18,000 toddlers for a week. ERIELLE RESHEF: The emergency supply expected to be delivered in a matter of days, initially offered by prescription only for children with the highest need. But that first wave falling far short of addressing the urgent nationwide demand. The Vice President acknowledging the growing fear. - I know this is a scary situation for our parents and the caregivers. ERIELLE RESHEF: The Biden administration announcing the first two authorizations under the Defense Production Act, hoping that will help major companies ramp up production. But 45% of formula across the country sold out. And as desperate parents from coast to coast scour for supply, in New York City, Mayor Eric Adams declaring a state of emergency to protect vulnerable families from price gouging. Doctors now warning the dire shortage is growing more dangerous. Four babies in South Carolina recently hospitalized, three of them after their parents were forced to switch them to a different brand, one after their caregiver attempted to mix their own formula. - If we continue down this path, we're going to see more and more infants who are going to need specialized medical care because of it. - Parents just so desperate to get more formula. Erielle Reshef joins us now. Erielle, what kind of timeline are parents looking at, when it comes to seeing more formula on the shelves? - Well Linsey, frankly, that timeline is still pretty vague, the head of the USDA saying that this crisis could ease in the next 30 days, the Vice President saying this is a top administration priority. They are working around the clock on this. But bottom line, it could be at least a month until families see some real relief. Linsey. LINSEY DAVIS: Still a long time. All right, Erielle Reshef, our thanks to you. And when we come back, the deadly plunge hundreds of feet off an LA cliff, and the investigation into just what caused it. The Depp-Heard defamation trial enters the sixth week-- what both sides hope to prove in the days ahead. But up next, after nearly three years in a Russian prison, Trevor Reed, a Marine who once guarded President Obama, is speaking out about his harrowing ordeal and what he hopes will happen next, now that he's free. [MUSIC PLAYING] United Airlines and Newark Airport officials are investigating this violent incident between a passenger and a wheelchair operator who was fired after this viral video was reviewed. Sources say this began when the airline worker asked for a wheelchair that former NFL player Brandon Langley was using to carry his luggage. The two quickly exchanged blows. Langley was charged with simple assault. Next to our interview with Trevor Reed. The ex-Marine who spent nearly three years in a Russian prison is now speaking out, after his release in exchange for a Russian serving time here in the US. Our Patrick Reevell, who's been covering this case for us since the beginning, recently caught up with Reed and his family about life after the prisoner swap. - It's amazing to see you. PATRICK REEVELL: After 985 days imprisoned by Russia, Trevor Reed is finally free. - I remember thinking, like, is this real? You know, you're thinking maybe this is not happening. Maybe I'm still going to wake up right now in solitary confinement. - This is the first time that we've sat across from each other and been talking, where we're not looking through the bars of a cage. - Yeah. PATRICK REEVELL: Earlier this month, the 30-year-old former Marine freed in a dramatic prisoner exchange between Russia and the US-- traded for a Russian convicted in the US on drug-smuggling charges a decade ago. The trade taking place on a runway, recalling a Cold War spy swap. - I remember looking at him, and he looked over at me. And I think both of us probably had that same feeling, that same thought of, like, that's what that guy looks like? PATRICK REEVELL: Reed was a presidential Marine who once guarded President Obama. But his nightmare began in summer 2019, while visiting his girlfriend in Moscow. After a drunken party, Reed fell into the hands of Russian police, who charged him with attacking an officer. In reality, he and US officials say the case was fabricated by Russia's security services to take Reed as a bargaining chip. TREVOR REED: I asked, you know, one of those officers-- I said, why are you guys doing this? Why did you write this, like, false accusation against me? And he looked around at the door to make sure that there was no one there. And he looked at the other police officer, and he said, we didn't want to write this. They told us to write this. PATRICK REEVELL: Sentenced to nine years' prison, Reed was sent to a forced labor camp, subjected to harsh treatment, placed repeatedly in solitary confinement. He went on multiple hunger strikes, refusing to work for his captors. - I decided right away that I was never going to be part of that process. They were not going to make one ruble off of me. And whatever punishment I received for that, you know, it was worth it to me. I didn't care. The prison in general is extremely dirty. It's dilapidated. There's rats. It looks like something out of a film that you watch about, like, prisons you know, 1,000 years ago. That's really what it looks like. I mean, everything there is just ancient, as well, apparently, as the court system, as the judicial system. It's cold there. There's just a hot water pipe, basically, that you have to use to stay warm. If you lay down, um, while you're in there, they will extend your time in solitary confinement. - I mean, that must have been hard psychologically to be in solitary confinement. - I mean, it was difficult but, uh, you know, I wasn't going to let that change my actions. It was pretty terrible-- blood on the walls. There's crap all over the floor, also on the walls. The guards there really treat those-- those prisoners like animals, the medical personnel there as well. Just completely unprofessional. - Were you afraid that you might be kept there indefinitely? - Yeah, absolutely. I was afraid of that. I thought that maybe they had sent me there to chemically disable me-- you know, give me sedatives or whatever and make me unable to-- to fight. - Turn you into a vegetable, basically. - Yeah, exactly. That's what I was afraid of, and, uh, that was one of my biggest fears the whole time that I was in prison. PATRICK REEVELL: But Reed's family never giving up, his father Joey spending over a year alone in Russia. Repeatedly demonstrating outside the White House. - Do you remember the first thing you said to Trevor? - I said I love you. I'm so glad you're home. Give me a kiss and a hug-- a long, long hug. PATRICK REEVELL: Reed first undergoing intensive counseling on a military base in Texas, but last week discharged. - Now he's got us all day long again so, uh, which-- we're loving, I'm sure-- - He may need a break soon. - He's like, oh, my God, put me back in prison. I don't know, but-- - How are you finding adjusting to life at the moment? - Just being free-- it feels-- feels different. I've been trying to get used to-- to being free again. It's like kind of having this huge weight lifted off of you. PATRICK REEVELL: But Reed himself can't stop thinking about another ex-Marine left behind in Russia-- Paul Whelan, held hostage there for three and a half years on trumped-up espionage charges. - You know, I thought, when I found out that it was an exchange that was happening, that they had probably exchanged Paul Whelan as well. - What did you think when you heard that Paul wasn't coming home? - (WHISPERS) Sorry. I thought that, uh, that that was wrong that they got me out and not Paul. And-- [SWALLOWS] I'm sorry. And I knew that as soon as I was able to, that I would fight for him to get out, and that I would do everything I could to get him out of there. The United States got me out, but they-- they left him there. I can't describe to you how-- how painful that feeling is. PATRICK REEVELL: Reed now determined to help get Whelan out, and Brittany Griner, the WNBA star held in Moscow since February on drug charges, and who the State Department considers wrongfully detained. Russia has floated the notorious arms dealer, Viktor Bout, as a possible trade for Whelan or Griner or both. Reed in no doubt whether that should happen. TREVOR REED: Absolutely. Yeah. Viktor Bout has already been in prison for 15 years. If that's for Viktor Bout, I don't care. I don't care if it's 100 Viktor Bouts. They have to get our guys out. - And Patrick Reevell joins us now here on set. And Patrick, our team's also caught up with the man who Trevor was swapped out for. What did he have to say? PATRICK REEVELL: Yeah, Konstantin Yaroshenko, the Russian man who was traded for Trevor-- you know, he was sentenced in 2011 for-- on drug-smuggling charges. He was basically caught in a DEA sting. And he is very happy to be free, but he is also angry. He basically has never accepted, uh, that he was guilty. He never felt that the DEA should have taken him. He felt that he'd been entrapped. And so he basically was accusing the DEA of fabricating his case. But at the same time, you know, he-- he said he was glad that Trevor was free. And he said he wanted more people to be traded. - And beyond just your sit-down interview, the formality of that with Trevor, what did you observe with him, with your time with him, as far as his health and his spirit in general? - You know, I would say that under the circumstances, he looks like he's starting to recover. You know, he has color in his cheeks. But I mean, one of the things we spotted was he was wearing sunglasses all the time. And he explained that that was because he's not used to having the sunlight, and that-- that the Florida sunlight was actually making his eyes hurt because he's so used to being in these dark, dank prisons in Russia that he simply can't really bear it at the moment. But overall, you know, he was in pretty good spirits, as it goes. He was-- you know, he smiled, he laughed. And you could see that he-- he wants now to start trying to work out, how do you go back to normal life? - Good to hear that. Thank you so much, Patrick, for all of your reporting from the very beginning on Trevor Reed. We appreciate it. - Thanks, Linsey. LINSEY DAVIS: And be sure to catch our in-depth special, 985 Days-- The Trevor Reed Interview. It debuts at 8:30 Eastern, 9:30 Pacific right here on ABC News Live. Still ahead here on Prime, the world-class cyclist killed and the urgent search for the suspect responsible. Police believe both may have been part of a love triangle. Rapper Young Thug back in a courtroom over new charges. And how electric vehicles are helping us in the fight against climate change. We take a look at some new data just in, by the numbers. But first, our tweet of the day. We love a good trailer. We saw this one today for Mission Impossible 7, but not coming out until next year. [MUSIC PLAYING] Welcome back, everyone. Electric vehicles, once maybe considered a niche alternative, are now making significant inroads in the world's major markets. Who's using them, and what does that mean for oil consumption? We have some answers by the numbers. One and a half barrels of oil per day were saved by the use of electric vehicles last year, according to a new Bloomberg report. That's a huge emission savings, and more than double the last count in 2015. It accounts for 3% of total worldwide oil consumption, and is equivalent to one fifth of Russia's total exports prior to the war. 67% of the avoided oil use was thanks to electric scooters and motorcycles, which are very popular in Asia. Another 16% was saved by electric buses. Passenger vehicles accounted for 13% of the savings, but they're the fastest growing segment. Global electric vehicle sales grew by 103% last year. Europe and China are the biggest buyers. The US trails, with just 10% of the world's EV sales. 4.6% of new car registrations in the US were electric in the first quarter of this year. That's nearly double last year, but EVs still account for less than half of a percent of all vehicles on US roads. Some analysts say that our relatively slow transition to electric vehicles is due to policy differences. The European Union plans to ban gas-powered vehicles by 2030, and China is using buyer subsidies and other policies to urge the transition. President Biden set a target for half of new cars to be electric by 2030, but tax breaks and other incentives are meeting some resistance in Congress. And we still have lots to get to here on Prime tonight. The alligator tackled by police-- yes, you heard that right. The interstellar mystery that scientists say cannot be explained by our current knowledge of physics. And our conversation with rap pioneer Grandmaster Flash. But first, a look at our top trending stories on abcnews.com. [MUSIC PLAYING] [MUSIC PLAYING] REPORTER 1: In Japan, President Biden's making news during his high-stakes Asia trip, after making these remarks about Taiwan. - Are you willing to get involved militarily to defend Taiwan, if it comes to that? - Yes. SPEAKER: You are? - That's the commitment we made. REPORTER 1: The President suggesting US armed forces could be called in to defend Taiwan from Chinese aggression. - We agree with the one-China policy. We signed on to it. But the idea that it can be taken by force-- just taken by force-- is just not-- it's just not appropriate. REPORTER 1: The White House tried to clarify Biden's comments, saying the President only reiterated the US' ongoing commitment to provide Taiwan with military means to defend itself. China's Foreign Ministry responding, urging the US to abide by its one-China principle and to not underestimate China's ability to defend itself. REPORTER 2: Authorities investigating a deadly fall from a cliff in Los Angeles County, California-- one person killed, three others hurt after plunging 300 feet down the side of the cliff. A rescue helicopter airlifting at least two of the victims to safety. No update yet on their conditions. Authorities say they fell around 4:30 in the morning. Still no word on how they fell or what they were doing at the time. REPORTER 3: An urgent manhunt for 35-year-old yoga instructor, Kaitlin Armstrong, who police say vanished days before being charged with the murder of professional cyclist, Mariah Wilson. According to court documents, Armstrong's boyfriend, Colin Strickland, told police he was briefly in a relationship with the 25-year-old Wilson last year. Investigators say the pair, both pro cyclists, met up at 6:00 PM on May 11th after Wilson arrived in town for a race. Police say they went swimming together and had dinner, before Strickland dropped Wilson off at a friend's home at approximately 8:30 PM. Moments later, police say this surveillance camera captured a dark SUV, matching Armstrong's Jeep Cherokee, approaching that apartment, where later, her friend finds her lying on the bathroom floor, bleeding and unconscious with a gunshot wound. Strickland, who police say bought 9 millimeter handguns for himself and Armstrong, issued a statement saying his friendship with the slain cyclist was strictly platonic. Armstrong's family telling ABC News while they don't know where the wanted 35-year-old is, they believe she is innocent. REPORTER 2: An Atlanta judge denying bond for rapper Gunna, whose real name is Sergio Kitchens-- - I'm not inclined to-- to grant bond at this point in time, unfortunately. But what I will do is I will go ahead and grant your client as most expeditious trial date as I possibly can, for the 9th of January of 2023. REPORTER 2: --and delayed proceedings for rapper Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffrey Williams. The two are part of the 28 people named in a sweeping gang indictment, centered on accused members of the Young Slime Life Gang, also known as YSL, which officials say engaged in Atlanta criminal activity for a decade. The 88-page indictment gives a detailed account of various crimes the alleged members of YSL are accused of, and document social media posts and rap lyrics that reference YSL. REPORTER 1: Well, NASA's scientists studying new data from the Hubble Space Telescope. And what they are finding has them scratching their heads. They found that our galaxy is expanding much faster than first thought, and other galaxies are moving away from ours faster than before thought. Scientists can't explain it yet, and even say we may be seeing a brand-new form of physics at work-- all of it underscoring how little we know about the universe, and how much more we still need to learn. REPORTER 4: Check this out-- French fashion house Balenciaga taking over America's capital of capitalism for a fashion show, complete with models in full latex suits and masks-- not exactly the three-piece suits Wall Street is known for. And if these looks seem familiar-- remember Kim K. provided a preview last fall, when she wore Balenciaga to the Met Gala. Some bad news, guys-- Balenciaga won't be offering those latex suits for sale. I know, devastating, right? I was planning on wearing one later this week right here on this very show. But they do have a new collaboration with Adidas. - Welcome back. Today marks day 20 of the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard defamation trial. Just a quick refresher for anyone who may not have been watching. Depp has sued his ex-wife for $50 million over a 2018 op ed that she wrote in The Washington Post. He claims the article, which did not name him, defamed him. Heard is counter-suing Depp for $100 million. And joining us now to unpack the day's events and testimonies is celebrity divorce attorney, Chris Melcher. Chris, thanks so much for joining us again. So first things first-- Depp was supposed to take the stand today. He did not. What could have possibly caused that kind of shift in strategy? - Well, Amber's side has limited time. The judge literally has a clock that's taken care-- or monitoring the time that each side is using. And the time is coming up to finish this trial. So calling Johnny Depp in Amber's case would have been a bad choice. There's really nothing he could say that would help her. So we're probably not going to see him take the stand in her case. They're going to decide and let us know first thing in the morning. But, uh, Johnny's side can call him as a witness, so I anticipate we'll see him back on the stand to finish off his case this week. - And there's been tremendous backlash on social media for Amber Heard. How do you think that this might impact the willingness of victims of--of abuse to come forward in the future? - Well, it's a real problem because with the MeToo movement, we're supposed to support and believe the victim to encourage them to come forward-- and a very difficult thing, to claim abuse. But it's Johnny's allegation that Amber has lied about her claims of abuse and has actually used the MeToo movement to get support for these false claims. So if true, she's done tremendous damage to that movement. But we're also seeing that we have to balance the need to protect the victim versus the need of due process for the accused. And unfortunately, there's been examples where we have made conclusions about people without the facts. So that's one thing we're learning from this case-- is we do need to step back, let the facts develop before we come to conclusions about people. - And supermodel and Depp's ex-girlfriend Kate Moss is expected to testify virtually. One would assume that having an ex testify isn't the best idea. But what kind of benefit could her testimony bring to Depp? CHRIS MELCHER: Well, Linsey, this-- this came up because Amber Heard had claimed that she was trying to protect her sister Whitney when Amber punched Johnny in the stair-- staircase incident, and referencing something about Kate Moss, a prior girlfriend, that Amber alleges that Johnny tried to push down the stairs. And that's why she thought Johnny was going to push the sister down the stairs. Now Johnny says that never happened, and is apparently bringing in Kate Moss as a witness on Wednesday to testify that there was no incident where Johnny ever tried to push her down the stairs. - And the judge has said that she would like this wrapped up by Memorial Day weekend. We always ask you this when you come on. So for the record, do you still think that Johnny Depp has the more compelling argument here? - Yeah Linsey, I-I think so because of the evidence. And that's where I'm basing my opinion or conclusions on, is the trial testimony and the evidence that came in. There's a lot of inconsistency with-- with Amber's statements. They just don't add up or make a lot of common sense to me. So of course, none of us are there, and the jury is going to have to determine in this "he said, she said" dispute, what happened. But again, the recount of what Amber says, the evidence-- it just does not add up in my mind. - Social media really seems to be playing more of a role when it comes to these celebrity court cases, whether it be Britney Spears or Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. Do attorneys count on the support or-- or plan for the fallout that their clients could receive, once all is said and done? - Well, Linsey, we have to. The traditional advice by lawyers is, don't say a word until you go to court. Well, court might take years. But we know that reputations can be damaged in moments on social media. So we're seeing a need to react quicker and get the statements out. Both sides have definitely been playing that game for a long time, in pushing their narratives in social media. But then we have these whole-- group of folks on social media who've dedicated a lot of time. And they're not necessarily fans of either side-- they're more fans of justice. And they're going through the evidence and putting out their documents to show what really happened. I call that crowd sourcing of information. It's extremely powerful and useful to the attorneys on both sides. - And lastly, does someone have a right-- you know, we're looking at this particular case involving Amber Heard-- but to go on the record and say, I was abused, this is what the abuser did, but not name their abuser without the risk or penalty of then being sued-- in this case, by an ex-husband? - Well, Linsey, this is so hard because what we're seeing here is claims being made by both sides about statements that were made in the media. So Amber Heard made a statement, and Johnny says, that's defamatory. I'm suing you. And then Johnny's attorney comes out and says, Amber lied. Well, she's suing then for this statement about her lying. So at some point, you know, people need to recover from whatever happened and move forward. And unfortunately-- I mean, this was 2015, 2016, this couple divorced and got a settlement. And we're still hearing about in 2022. It's a total shame. But people do need to think about what they're saying in the public eye, and they need to be accountable for that, too. - Chris Melcher, as always, we thank you so much for your time and expertise. - Thanks, Linsey. - Next to the highly unusual arrest in South Carolina. Take a look at this-- police tackling a gator after it was discovered in a parking garage. Officer in animal control covered the gator's eyes. Five of them then laid on top of the animal. The gator was ultimately returned to nature. The experiences that molded legendary artists such as Busta Rhymes, Fat Joe, and Grandmaster Flash, and many more are finally being told straight from their mouths. - It was in that moment, I realized that I can do this. NARRATOR: Witness the moments that changed hip hop forever, told by the icons who lived it. BUSTA RHYMES: I'm going to let you all see what Busta Rhymes is made of. NARRATOR: Busta Rhymes, Ice-T, Eve, Grandmaster Flash, Fat Joe, Uncle Luke, Ja Rule, Lil Jon. [RECORD SCRATCH] LINSEY DAVIS: Origins of Hip-Hop will explore the moments that shaped the genre's iconic artists and celebrate the music and sounds that helped define a culture. And joining us today is co-director and executive producer, Slaine Hatch, and the legendary DJ himself, Mr. "Don't Push Me Cause I'm Close to the Edge" Grandmaster Flash to discuss the new series premiering on A&E May 30th. Welcome to the show, both of you. Slaine, I'd like to start with you. What makes the series unique is that we really get to see each artist's personal perspective. Tell us about the importance behind elevating their voices. - I think with today, everything that's going on and hip hop coming up on its 50th anniversary, to sit here and have the opportunity for the artists to come in and speak and tell their story is just very important. A lot of times, a lot of the people, producers, or networks will try to shape this story as to what they wanted. But we really went after letting the artists speak for themselves and narrate their journey. LINSEY DAVIS: And Grandmaster Flash, during the making of your episode in particular, you had to revisit a lot from the past. What was it like digging in the crates of your personal history? GRANDMASTER FLASH: [INAUDIBLE] a lot of it was my humble beginnings. And this particular show gives me a chance to explain the math and science, and find out how I came up with the music bed for rappers to speak on. So it gives-- gives me a chance to kind of, like, talk about the ingredients of this culture that's now considered the biggest music on planet Earth. So it's pretty cool. - And you talk about the ingredients. So if we're talking about this in the terms of a meal, what are you hoping that-- that your consumers will take away? - I think they'll take away that there-- there was a beginning, you know. And a lot of it is like the what, the where, the why, and the who-- and namely the Bronx, where that comes from-- is where this entire culture actually started in the '70s. LINSEY DAVIS: The boogie down Bronx. And Slaine, there was a moment during Flash's episode where you had to really press him to revisit a memory. Can you all talk to us about that? - Yeah. I think from my end, dealing with Flash's episode and being able to tell his story-- I think maybe for the first time, really allowing Flash to tell his side of the story. You know, he's been through a lot of, you know, a lot of times, and creating a genre of music and an instrument. There's a lot of ups and downs there. So when we got to some stuff, um, Flash knew I would try to go for the best interview possible. And so you hear that. And I think we get there, and you have an amazing story-- telling his journey. LINSEY DAVIS: And Flash, looking at today's DJs, what is your thought about those who have ditched the turntables for laptops? Does it lose some authenticity in your-- in your mind? GRANDMASTER FLASH: No. I mean, first and foremost, I am a scientist. And at first, you know-- well, what you just said-- I was like, what is the situation here? But what-- you know, me being the scientist first, you know-- the technology behind it is wonderful because prior to having the laptop and the hard drives, we had to carry the milk crates with the albums, you know. And so when I went on tour, I had to have, like, 10 to 12 people just to carry the music, you know. So now, you could put half a million songs inside of a hard drive. And the-- they have this special vinyl that has, like, a time code that allows the mp3s to follow your movements. So it's actually-- what I'm doing, it's what I've been doing in a vinyl sense. But now I'm doing it in a digital sense. So it's actually quite, quite wonderful. LINSEY DAVIS: This question is for both of you. What has it really been like, to be part of this experience and share these stories with the world? - What has it been like? - Yes. - Well, for me, I mean, like, there-- there's sensitive areas that we, as human beings-- we might be slightly afraid to talk about. But then for me, it was like a releasing of things that were sort of pent up for a really long time. That's pretty much it. LINSEY DAVIS: Was it cathartic for you? - I think it was actually healing for me to talk about the things-- some of these things because I think what's most important is the beginnings of this. People need to understand there are many great people that played a part in making this thing happen. And you know, the Bronx is the building blocks of where it all started, you know. You've got to show love to Herc and Bam and Grand Wizzard Theodore, you know, Charlie Chase. It's a lot of people from the Bronx that gave their lives to this. And I'm blessed to be here to see this thing in its full fruition. I think it's really be great. LINSEY DAVIS: And Slaine, lastly, same question for you. Your experience in being part of this, and kind of picking up the microphone to-- to share these stories with the world? SLAINE HATCH: For me, it was humbling-- a humbling experience, but also a very powerful one, being able to listen to these artists talk about their story of resilience, and what they had to go through to become the most amazing, iconic artist in this genre. In Flash's case, to watch him literally build and make an instrument out of a tool that every day was used-- was just humbling to hear them speak about it. And then to be able to take their story as an artist, and allow them to really guide and tell me what were the moments was authentic. And I'm super proud of it. LINSEY DAVIS: Well, it is like a jungle sometimes, right? We'll be watching, tuning in. That was kind of like the song of an era. Slaine Hatch, Grandmaster Flash, we thank you so much for your time. Appreciate it. - Thank you so much. - And before we go tonight, the image of the day a sandstorm engulfs parts of the Middle East, and this man navigating it all in his wheelchair on a street in Baghdad. That is our show for this hour. Be sure to stay tuned to ABC News Live for more context and analysis of the day's top stories. Thanks so much for streaming with us. [MUSIC PLAYING] And coming up in the next hour, the damning report and allegations of a cover-up by leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention-- hundreds of ministers accused of sexual abuse. And what we're learning about the death of NFL quarterback Dwayne Haskins, who was struck and killed on a Florida Highway after he told his wife he ran out of gas. [MUSIC PLAYING] Hi, there. I'm Linsey Davis. Thanks so much for streaming with us. We're monitoring several developments here at ABC News at this hour. A Russian diplomat posted to the UN in Geneva resigned in protest today. The 20-year veteran condemned his country's invasion of Ukraine and said his country's diplomatic officials had engineered reports to make them more favorable in Moscow. And in Ukraine, the first war crimes conviction. A Russian soldier was sentenced to life in prison for killing an unarmed Ukrainian civilian in the early days of the war. The 21-year-old sergeant said that he took the fatal shot under pressure from two officers and appealed for forgiveness from the victim's wife. The CDC is alerting gay and bisexual men that monkeypox appears to be spreading in the community globally. Health experts stress that anyone can contract the virus through close personal contact, regardless of sexual orientation. However, many of the more than 100 cases recently reported worldwide are men who identify as gay or bisexual. And the stock market got some relief today. Investors snapped up beaten-down shares on banks and retail after receiving strong earnings reports. Analysts say that it remains to be seen whether this earnings season will bring enough good news to reverse the overall downtrend. Now to the latest on the coronavirus pandemic. And a vaccine potentially on the way soon for children six months to five years old. Pfizer says that it's ready to submit its vaccine to the FDA for emergency use authorization for that age group. ABC's Stephanie Ramos has the details. - Give mommy a hug and kiss. STEPHANIE RAMOS: Tonight, Pfizer releasing the data some parents of young children have been waiting for. - Good girl. STEPHANIE RAMOS: The company reporting its three-shot vaccine is 80% effective against symptomatic Omicron in children under five. - Now it'll be up to the FDA in June to determine if this antibody response is sufficient enough to protect against severe illness and hospitalization. STEPHANIE RAMOS: The Pfizer vaccine for the youngest children is a tenth of the dose for those 12 and older, and will be given in three doses after data showed two were not effective. - When the first vaccines were designed, that was pre-Omicron. We're in a completely different era now, where three doses are likely what's necessary to give an adequate immune response. STEPHANIE RAMOS: Moderna is already asking for authorization for its two-shot vaccine for kids under six, but after data showed efficacy was 51% or less, the company is now testing a third shot. An FDA review of the pediatric Pfizer and Moderna vaccines now scheduled for June 15th. For many parents, a vaccine can't come soon enough. - 1, 2, 3. STEPHANIE RAMOS: Megan Dunphy-Daly enrolled two of her kids in the Pfizer trial. - To see the rest of the world move on has been really-- has been a really big challenge for many of us. So we are eagerly awaiting good news. STEPHANIE RAMOS: It comes as more than 107,000 children tested positive for COVID last week-- the highest since February. Today, Philadelphia bringing back its mask mandate in public schools. - As the cases were rising, I figured the school probably will do something. STEPHANIE RAMOS: Several cities, including New York City, Milwaukee, and Boston seeing an uptick for weeks, now recommending but not mandating masks indoors. - Stephanie Ramos, our thanks to you. Next tonight to the death of NFL quarterback Dwayne Haskins. According to the medical examiner's report, Haskins had been drinking heavily the night that he was struck and killed by a dump truck while trying to walk across an interstate in south Florida. The ME found that he had a blood alcohol level of at least 0.20% when he died last month. His wife had called 9-1-1 from Pittsburgh, saying he had run out of gas. Now to that cell phone video of a fistfight between a United Airlines employee and a passenger. It happened at Newark Airport yesterday, and today, there are still a lot of questions about how things went wrong so quickly. ABC's Will Reeve has that story. WILL REEVE: Tonight, United Airlines telling ABC News it fired this employee at Newark Airport, after investigating and reviewing viral videos showing him fighting a passenger, former NFL player Brendan Langley. Sources tonight telling ABC News it all started when that employee asked for a wheelchair that Langley was using to carry his luggage. The situation quickly escalating. The two exchanging blows. At one point, Langley knocking the agent over. But the employee gets up and continues to fight. Langley tonight charged with simple assault. The professional football team he plays for in Canada releasing a statement today saying, "The team is currently looking into the matter in order to learn the full details, and will have no further comment until the investigation is complete." - Our thanks to Will Reeve. And now to the urgent search in Texas for a woman accused of killing a woman her boyfriend had a brief relationship with while the couple was reportedly on a break. ABC News' Amy Robach has this story. AMY ROBACH: An urgent manhunt for 35-year-old yoga instructor Kaitlin Armstrong, who police say vanished days before being charged with the murder of professional cyclist Mariah Wilson. - She knew she was going to be wanted for this. She probably had a five-day head start. AMY ROBACH: According to court documents, Armstrong's boyfriend, Colin Strickland, told police he was briefly in a relationship with the 25-year-old Wilson last year. Investigators say the pair, both pro cyclists, met up at 6:00 PM on May 11th after Wilson arrived in town for a race. Police say they went swimming together and had dinner, before Strickland dropped Wilson off at a friend's home at approximately 8:30 PM. Moments later, police say this surveillance camera captured a dark SUV matching Armstrong's Jeep Cherokee approaching that apartment, where later, her friend finds her lying on the bathroom floor, bleeding and unconscious with a gunshot wound. ALISON TETRICK: It's so incredibly painful for such a tight-knit community. My reaction is just pain and heartbreaking. AMY ROBACH: Strickland, who police say bought 9 millimeter handguns for himself and Armstrong, after she found out about his brief relationship with Wilson in late 2021, issued a statement saying his friendship with the slain cyclist was strictly platonic, adding, "There is no way to adequately express their regret and torture I feel about my proximity to this horrible crime." Armstrong's family telling ABC News while they don't know where the wanted 35-year-old is, they believe she is innocent, saying, "l know a young woman lost her life, and that's horrible, but Kaitlin did not do it. I want Kaitlin to be safe and want this to be resolved, but know Kaitlin would not do this." - Our thanks to Amy for that. Finally, a bit of relief for parents, as a second shipment of formula is expected to arrive in Washington DC on Wednesday. But in the meantime, the waiting game for some families is just a brutal one. Here's ABC's Erielle Reshef. ERIELLE RESHEF: Tonight, ABC News confirming a second shipment of specialized baby formula is expected to arrive in the US on Wednesday. This news just a day after the first plane, packed with 78,000 pounds, touched down in Indiana. - This shipment provides enough formula to take care of 9,000 babies and 18,000 toddlers for a week. ERIELLE RESHEF: The emergency supply expected to be delivered in a matter of days, initially offered by prescription only for children with the highest need. But that first wave falling far short of addressing the urgent nationwide demand. The Vice President acknowledging the growing fear. - I know this is a scary situation for our parents and the caregivers. ERIELLE RESHEF: The Biden administration announcing the first two authorizations under the Defense Production Act, hoping that will help major companies ramp up production. But 45% of formula across the country sold out, and as desperate parents from coast to coast scour for supply, in New York City, Mayor Eric Adams declaring a state of emergency to protect vulnerable families from price gouging. Doctors now warning the dire shortage is growing more dangerous. Four babies in South Carolina recently hospitalized-- three of them after their parents were forced to switch them to a different brand, one after their caregiver attempted to mix their own formula. - If we continue down this path, we're going to see more and more infants who are going to need specialized medical care because of it. - Our thanks to Erielle. Now to the alleged cover-up by leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention. The report lists hundreds of ministers accused of sexual abuse. ABC News' Rhiannon Ally has the story. RHIANNON ALLY: New revelations accusing the Southern Baptist Convention of covering up sexual abuse for years. A 288-page independent report accuses the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination, of stonewalling and denigrating survivors of clergy sexual abuse for nearly two decades. A charge also being made by this Kentucky woman. - My father, my abuser would baptize me. And that baptism would also work as a type of waterboarding. RHIANNON ALLY: Hannah-Kate Williams is suing her father, who is a former pastor, and the Southern Baptist Convention, among others, for physical and sexual abuse she says began when she was eight years old. - We are dealing with evil that spans over years across our nation, in these churches and in the denomination as a whole. RHIANNON ALLY: Allegations first surfaced in 2019, following a report by The Houston Chronicle and The San Antonio Express-News, documenting hundreds of alleged cases in Southern Baptist churches, including several in which the alleged abusers remained in ministry. - Abuse is one of the most under-reported crimes. And so I think there's many more that we have yet to hear about. RHIANNON ALLY: SBC President Ed Litton said Sunday he is, "grieved to my core for the victims." And said, "I pray Southern Baptists will begin preparing today to take deliberate action to address these failures." - Our thanks to Rhiannon for that. And for more, joining us now to discuss the report is Dr. Russell Moore. He is the former President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. Currently, Dr. Moore leads the Public Theology Project at Christianity Today. Dr. Moore, thank you so much for joining us. So you wrote on Sunday in Christianity Today that the handling of sexual abuse by the Southern Baptist Convention leadership is "not a crisis but an apocalypse." Explain what you mean by that. - Well, I mean that there were many people who said to us in previous years, this really isn't a crisis. This is just a few bad actors. And when we look at this report, "crisis" is too small of a word. This is, uh, this is nothing less than devastating. Even-- even I-- and I was expecting the report to be bad-- couldn't have imagined that it would be this bad. LINSEY DAVIS: So Dr. Moore, you say you expected it to be bad. But what actually about it rose to the level of shocking? - Well, knowing that after years of sexual abuse survivors calling for a database that would inform churches and churchgoers of potential predators in churches, and being told that no such database could be-- could be possible, seeing that there actually was a shadow database of sorts-- a list of predatory situations-- that no one did anything about. That was-- that was shocking to me, along with just seeing in black and white the conversations back and forth about sexual abuse survivors, about advocates for them-- the callousness of that was alarming and shocking. LINSEY DAVIS: And once a high-ranking member yourself, you decided to leave the Southern Baptist Convention last year. What made you make that decision? I'm sure it was-- is one that was a weighty one. - It was a very weighty one because I love Southern Baptists. Southern Baptists introduced me to Jesus. I grew up in a Southern Baptist church. I was there nine months before I was born. And so these-- these were my people. But after years and years and years of facing this kind of behind-the-scenes action, I just concluded there were better ways to serve Jesus. And I had just seen and heard too much, and my family had, too. There are many people who haven't left, and a lot of good people. And I think that we're counting on them to do the right thing for sexual abuse victims and survivors, and those who could potentially be in danger of that. LINSEY DAVIS: Two interim leaders of the Executive Committee said that they welcome the report's recommendations and pledged an all-out effort to eliminate sex abuse in the Convention. What do you think the leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention need to do at this point to show members that they really are taking abuse seriously? - Well, I think that Southern Baptists themselves are going to have to take this on. And I think that they will. If you look at the report the only reason that the report even happened is because Southern Baptists in annual convention last year-- not the leadership, but rank and file Southern Baptists-- insisted that that be the case. And so I'm-- I'm hoping that there will be a similar reaction from people in the pews, and pastors or churches to go to the annual convention and make sure that justice is done. - According to the report in 2019, one of the top Executive Committee leaders called sexual abuse concerns quote, "a satanic scheme to completely distract us from evangelism." What do you make of such sentiments being expressed by high ranking leaders of the Executive Committee? - It's indefensible. It ought to shock the conscience. The idea that caring for the most vulnerable in our churches would be a distraction from what Jesus has called us to do, when Jesus is the one who welcomed children, welcomed the vulnerable, stood up for women-- I can't even imagine how this could be the reaction to this sort of a crisis. - The Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in this country, has lost more than 1.1 million members in just the past three years. What impact do you think that this report will have on that trend, and church-going just in general, in this country? - I don't know. And I think a great deal of that will depend on what the response is from Southern Baptists. In saying that they're going to take action here-- not just structural reform, but cultural reform-- I think there are a lot of people who are watching this, and who are trying to decide. And I think there are many other people in the larger Christian world who are say-- who are watching this, in order to say, how do we prevent this kind of coarsening of the conscience that you can see in some of these conversations and some of these actions from happening anywhere? - And when you talk about that-- just my last point, as far as it happening anywhere. You know, we've seen cover-ups, scandals of similar proportions in different branches of Christian faith and beyond. So when you left this one group, did you feel like, we'll be able to find another group that's-- that's better at handling this? - Well, I think that-- I think that what has to happen is not that there is a place that is free from injustice or free from sin. But there have to be churches that are willing to take that seriously, and who are willing not to turn against the people who are calling attention to the problem, but against the problem. And I think that Southern Baptists can do that, and I'm very hopeful that they will. And I think the larger Christian community-- we all have to be diligent about that as well. LINSEY DAVIS: Dr. Russell Moore, we thank you so much for your time. I appreciate it. - Thank you. - And still to come-- the dire report, so many across the globe pushed to the brink. And our conversation with a Nobel laureate working to shine a light on the resilience of women. Stay with us. [MUSIC PLAYING] Welcome back, everybody. We are tracking several headlines around the world. The search for survivors in southern Iran tonight after an apartment building collapsed, killing five people and injuring 27. It's believed at least 80 more residents of the 10-story building remain trapped in the rubble. The UNHCR reports that more than 100 million people have been driven from their homes around the world. The UN Refugee Agency says the war in Ukraine and protracted conflicts in Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo have contributed to the record high. It reflects more than 1% of the global population fleeing conflict or human rights violations. And in Bolivia, renewed efforts to cash in on the world's largest known lithium deposits. The key element in electric vehicle batteries lies below the country's renowned salt flats and one of the country's lowest income regions. Bolivia is setting its sights on expanding its mining operations and producing lithium ion batteries by 2025. An international partner will be announced later this month. It's the first of many steps to realize the country's big goal. Joining us now is Nobel laureate, world-renowned gynecological surgeon and human rights activist, Dr. Denis Mukwege, whose h winning book, The Power of Women-- a Doctor's Journey of Hope and Healing works to shine a light on sexual violence and the strength and resilience of women around the world. Doctor Mukwege, thank you so much for joining us. Among your achievements is really shining a light, as far as what you witnessed firsthand during your time as a surgeon, during the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Tell us about what you witnessed. - Yeah, thank you for inviting me. And I want just to say that working for 40 years with women as obstetrician and surgeon, and now an activist against the sexual violence in conflict, I just felt that it was really very, very important to pay tribute to women who shaped my life. And really, if what I am today, seeing that women play a big role in my life. So to write this little book for me-- it was really for to tribute what they did for me. - And of course, you've heard countless stories from women. Is there one in particular that really sticks with you? - Yeah. You know, when I'm-- treated women after rape-- and it's not only rape, but it's rape with extreme violence-- most of the time, I have the impression that they will never stand up, and they will never really get a normal life. But what really touched me is to see how women are able to stand up-- and not only to stand up for-- for them, but to stand up for others. And especially one, Bernadette. When she come at the hospital, she was completely destroyed. And really, all the staff was so traumatized to see what happened to her. But after to treat her medically and psychologically, and she decided to be a nurse. And when I ask her the question, why do you want to be a nurse? And she told me, I want to be a nurse because I want to help others. - And you've talked about rape as a weapon of war. Of course, most of this was born out of the original conflict that you witnessed in the DRC. But now we see it happening-- these stories, these allegations of rape playing out rampantly in Ukraine and the war there. How do you tackle such a wide-ranging problem? DENIS MUKWEGE: Yeah, I think rape as a weapon of war is happening everywhere in the world. Where-- where there is war, women and girls are suffering. And most of the time, rape is used in many conflict. But it's a taboo. People are not talking about it. And what is happening in Ukraine is not unique. It's happening in Congo, in-- in Yemen and Tigray and so on. But I think that we need to be aware about this situation, and just know that when a conflict-- a conflict army appear, we have to be ready to protect women and girls. And I think that the way that the international community acts when it happen in Ukraine-- this is the way that it should be done everywhere in the world when there is a conflict-- to protect women and girls. Because we know that they are paying a lot when there is a army conflict. - A lot of people are going to look at the topic and say, oh, this is for women. But you've also talked about the pivotal role that men obviously play in ending sexual violence. What do you hope that men take away from your book? - Yeah, during the last century, women work a lot to get some rights. And I think that today we need also to engage men in the fight against sexual violence. And for me, the things that we need really to do is to work on the equality between women and men. And I think that the question of sexual violence is a question of domination. It's a question of to humiliate another, to see that he's not like myself. And I think that working on the equality is the first thing. And the second thing-- I think we have to work on masculinity. Because I think that when men have impression that they can be in a situation where they can use women as their property, they can use a body of women without really be accountable-- LINSEY DAVIS: And you have witnessed, really, some of the worst of humanity. When you look at your body of work and how that's resulted in several attacks against your life, what gives you hope? What keeps you inspired? - Yeah. I went through many attacks because just impunity is reigning in my region. And I think that the people who are doing these kind of atrocities-- they don't want when I denounce what they are doing in my region. But my hope is coming from women. I think that women are really very strong. And I respect women because I think that when women are acting, they are not acting for themselves, but they are acting for their children, for the community. - Doctor Mukwege, we thank you so much for your time. His book, The Power of Women-- A Doctor's Journey of Hope and Healing is available now wherever books are sold. And still to come-- meet the 82-year-old college grad. [MUSIC PLAYING] Finally tonight, it is graduation season. And one honor student is celebrating her achievements, proving it is never too late to follow your dreams, and inspiring us all along the way. LINSEY DAVIS: A little extra pump because of the circumstance for one graduate in particular at the University of Maryland Global Campus. Of the 3,700 graduates who received degrees during commencement ceremonies this week, Mae Beale. ANNOUNCER: Mae Anna Beale. STEPHANIE RAMOS: Just one day before the ceremony, she turned 82 years young. - I feel excited. I feel accomplished. LINSEY DAVIS: Beaming that million watt smile, she proudly flipped her tassel, as she stepped forward to pick up that hard-earned degree-- with honors, no less. After a 46-year career with the federal government, she returned to college in her late 70s, working toward her bachelor's degree in business management one course at a time, on several occasions, making the dean's list. - I kept my eye on my prize and I made it a priority. [APPLAUSE] LINSEY DAVIS: Mae Anna Beale is leading by example, showing her family and others just what's possible with a dream fueled by determination. - So I just feel empowered, and I'm fired up and ready to go. - Fired up, ready to go. Congratulations to her and all the graduates. And that's our show for tonight. Be sure to stay tuned to ABC News Live for more context and analysis of the day's top stories. I'm Linsey Davis. Thanks so much for streaming with us. Have a great night. [MUSIC PLAYING]

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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