tv CNN Newsroom With Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul CNN April 3, 2021 7:00am-8:00am PDT
good morning. it's saturday, april 3rd. i'm victor blackwell. >> good morning, everyone. i'm amara walker. you are in the "cnn newsroom." >> this morning there are new questions about the security at the capitol. a man rammed his vehicle into a barricade at the u.s. capitol. one capitol police officer was killed, another was injured. >> u.s. capitol police officer william evans was killed in that attack friday. he was an 18-year veteran on the force. and some of those who knew him well said he died doing what he loved and that he loved serving his country. >> officer evans is the second
u.s. capitol police officer to be killed in the line of duty this year. officer brian sicknick died a day after he was injured in the january 6th capitol riot. >> for more, let's bring in cnn's joe johns. what more have you learned? >> reporter: well, as you said, 18-year member of the force. this is so sad. he joined the u.s. capitol police in march of 2003. he's from massachusetts and he has two kids. he's also a member of the first responders team with the u.s. capitol police. a couple friends of his, acquaintances along the years talked about him. listen. >> it is, you know, incredibly sad and just surreal to know that billy died serving our country, doing something that he loved so much. above all, he loved life, he loved being a dad, and he loved being a part of the u.s. capitol
police. >> reporter: now, this confrontation that happened yesterday around 1:00 p.m. eastern time occurred when the united states congress was not in session. speaker nancy pelosi did put out a dear colleague letter, which she said originally was supposed to be a celebration of the religious holidays, but turned into mourning for officer evans. she said america's heart has been broken by the tragic and heroic death of one of our capitol police officers. a hero, she called him. officer william evans is a martyr for our democracy. may it be a comfort to his family that so many mourn with them and pray for them at this sad time. we're still looking for the motivation for this attack up on capitol hill. as you know, another officer was injured in that attack. he's listed in stable condition. back to you. >> joe johns for us at the
capitol. thank you so much. police say the man who was driving that car was 25-year-old noah green. they say he was shot and killed after exiting his car and running towards officers with a knife. >> cnn's shimon prokupecz joins us with more on the investigation. what have you learned? we know investigators are digging through his social media, whatever digital footprint they can find. >> reporter: so that's been providing a lot of clues, victor, for investigators. the fbi has joined this investigation and they've been working with capitol police and the dc police to try and build out this timeline and history concerning this man. one of the things they're seeing certainly, and what i've been told by law enforcement officials is that they think they're dealing with someone else -- with a person who was dealing with some mental illness. again, another situation where they're investigating perhaps mental illness having some kind
of cause or some kind of relationship to what happened in this attack. so what they've so far found, a lot of it coming from social media, but by now they've also talked to his family. what they're seeing is someone certainly that was having troubles. he feared the cia and talked about suffering a ffflictions fm the cia and in general the government. he also talked about the nation of islam and his followings of the nation of islam and the minister there, louis farrakhan. that is something investigators are looking at as well. certainly a lot of concern over what has been going on in this individual's life in the last couple of months, in the last several years. he lost his job, according to officials. that is something that officials are looking towards as well. so they're going to probably tell us more later today as to what they found in terms of going backwards, going through
his digital media, his cell phones, other information. then hopefully later today we'll learn more about what investigators are finding. they still haven't relayed any kind of specific motive as to why he chose yesterday to do this. the thing with the knife, the fact that he used a knife in this incident is something that investigators are deeply looking at, because it's more than just ramming of a vehicle. in some of these incidents someone walks out with a gun. we didn't see that in this incident. certainly the use of a knife is something that investigators are very concerned about and also looking into. >> shimon prokupecz for us there outside the capitol. thank you. and joining me now to talk to all of this is cnn law enforcement analyst, charles ramsey. a former philadelphia police commissioner and former washington, d.c. police chief. good morning to you, sir. >> good morning. >> what are your thoughts on what we're learning about the suspect, especially in light of
some of his social media posts? you heard shimon reporting about fear of the cia, the fbi. there was also a post where he allegedly wrote the u.s. government, number one enemy of black people. what do you make of that and the fact that officials say that they don't believe this was a terror attack? >> i think it's still a little too early to draw too many conclusions, other than the fact that this person is more than likely a person who has a mental health issue or had a mental health issue, and for whatever reason, decided to do what he did at the u.s. capitol. it's a little early before you can really start to draw too many conclusions in a situation like this. you've got an individual that probably is not part of domestic terrorism or anything like that, but the threat is still there. whether you're talking about a person who is mentally ill or a domestic terrorist, you've got a threat that we've got to deal
with as far as it covers the u.s. capitol. >> if there is still this threat there, what should be the next steps when it comes to security? i also want to mention retired lieutenant general array, who led a review of security at the u.s. capitol after the january 6th insurrection, he had said the system worked. do you agree? >> well, i mean, it worked as far as stopping the car. obviously the outcome wasn't what you ultimately want to see when you've got a dead police officer there. but that's not what he meant. what he meant was the fact that the security apparatus that they have around the capitol did stop that vehicle. officers were there. once he got out of the car with that knife, they were able to neutralize him as a threat so he couldn't do any more damage than he had already done. from that perspective, it worked. that doesn't mean that there doesn't need to be more security around the capitol, both million
security, as well as human intelligence. look at what nypd did after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, they revamped their capabilities and now it's a model for departments around the country. the capitol police have to do something similar to that. we don't know if this was an intelligence failure. it probably wasn't. but it doesn't mean they don't need to enhance capabilities in different areas as well as take a look at the building and look at ways to better secure the windows and corridors, the p perimeter. >> do you think that we'll be seeing more security physically or there will be a lot more also going on behind the scenes that we won't know about? >> hopefully both, because as far as behind-the-scenes security, there's some things that you don't want to make public. bad guys watch the news, too.
so there will be some behind-the-scenes things that take place, and also visible changes, no doubt. status quo is not acceptable. this is the second attack on the capitol in about a three-month span. it just simply can't continue and we have to do something. it won't be 100% foolproof and i think that's important. it can't be. there is no such thing as that. but they could do better than what they are right now. >> so in terms of preventing an attack before it happens, that's something that's very difficult, especially for an open place like the u.s. capitol. >> yeah, that's true. they need to think about security barriers. whether they think about fencing similar to what's around the white house, not what they currently have up, i agree, that certainly is not the look that you want to have. but they're going to have to think about those things. they need a strong outer perimeter and then they need to have an inner perimeter that if someone is able to penetrate the first, there's a second layer they would have to get through.
and then the building itself would be very difficult to penetrate because of security measures there as well. that's the extent of the security they're going to have to develop and it's going to cost some money, but it's worth it. this is the simymbol of the unid states. when people think about america, they think about the dome of the u.s. capitol and not the white house necessarily. so you have to really protect that because people keep referring, this is the people's house. well, it was some of those people that actually invaded the capitol on january 6th. we've got to face the reality of domestic terrorism and other types of threats that exist in our country right now. it's not a foreign threat, it's domestic. >> that is true. it is a domestic threat that we are facing, sadly. charles ramsey, appreciate you joining us this morning. thank you very much. >> thank you. up next, georgia's governor is slamming major league baseball because the league pulled the all-star game from atlanta. next, hear what he thinks -- or at least he says he thinks is the real reason that the mlb
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major league baseball is taking a stand announcing this season's all-star game and draft will not be held in atlanta because of georgia's new law that critics say suppresses voting. >> the game was scheduled for july atlanta braves stadium. mlb has not said where the game will be played instead. georgia's governor is already criticizing the mlb. he says that baseball caved to fear and liberal lies. cnn's natasha chen is at the georgia state capitol in atlanta. >> reporter: we're expecting to hear from governor kemp at noon, but he's already been flooding the air waves since yesterday, since the decision was made,
especially on fox news. he's been talking about how he grew up playing baseball, he's a braves fan. he said he feels this is terrible for the small businesses in the metro atlanta area who were hoping to benefit from this area hosting the game. here's what else he said this morning on fox & friends. >> what major league baseball should do, they should simply talk to me about it because i'll be glad to do it. they have yet to do that. they have yet to bring up one thing that is actually in the bill that they're mad about. it's not worth it, the pressure is too great. stacey abrams and the white house, they're just done with it. and that's what's wrong with the country right now. we have to stand up and fight and i can tell you that i'm going to continue to do that. >> cobb county is where this game would have been held in july and the officials there actually gave a press conference as well yesterday evening, and
the chairwoman of the count commission said she was highly disappointed at this decision, but that she understood where major league baseball was coming from. she said she was not surprised that they had that reaction to this voting law. and of course we've heard from other prominent athletes and politicians as well, including former president barack obama who tweeted this morning, he said congratulations to mlb for taking a stand on behalf of voting rights for all citizens. there's no better way for america's pastime to honor the great hank aaron who always led by example. major league baseball in their statement yesterday also said that they will continue their plans to honor hank aaron and that their investments to local organizations in the metro atlanta area through their all-star legacy project, that will still continue. >> natasha chen, appreciate your reporting. thank you for that. joining me to discuss major league baseball's decision is terrence moore, who is a
national columnist with sports on earth.com. he was a sports columnist for the atlanta journal constitution for 25 years and his new article in "forbes" is titled, thank you, baseball, for yanking all-star game out of atlanta. terrence, thank you for joining us. i want to start with this because i know you were good friends with hank aaron. he called atlanta home. is this what he would have wanted? >> amara, i'm so glad you asked that question because i've just been burning inside, disgusted at something that was said yesterday, what these politicians are saying are disgusting in general from the republican side of it. but the worst was kelly loeffler, the former u.s. senator from georgia, who used to be a part owner of the atlanta dream, she said this was an insult to hank aaron, pulling the game out of atlanta. it's totally the opposite. hank would have been the first person in line to get rid of
this thing. outside of his family, nobody talked to hank more than me as a journalist. and hank aaron, along with jackie robinson, were the two biggest advocates in baseball history when it came to civil rights. and jackie robinson was an idol of hank aarons. hank told me that he had talked with every president since john f. kennedy, and that comes out to about ten, to barack obama. hank said that he refused to go to the white house to meet with donald trump or have any part to do with that. i think that would qualify as a boycott. he had no problem with boycotting whatsoever when it came to civil rights issues or racial issues. >> you knew him well, we will definitely take your word for that. there's been a lot of corporate backlash. delta and coca-cola among these corporations that have condemned this voting bill that was signed into law with the delta ceo saying it was all based on a
lie. but is this all too little, too late? should they have been more active in their opposition before the bill was becoming law? >> no question about that. i live here in the atlanta area and have for the last 35 years. it's never too late. and one of these things, all of these people are talking about, why are sports involved with this and why are you affecting all the businesses around cobb co county where i live. but if you look at the history of the civil rights movement, the only way you get action is through economic means and you go back to the montgomery bus boycott back in 1955 when rosa parks refused to go to the back of the bus on december 1st, 1955, things started happening more than a year later, you had blacks refusing to ride the bus system and they were losing something like 50,000 bus fares a year and they said i think we need to desegregate now.
we need to get people's attention and sports is a good way to do this. atlanta gets stuff when it comes to sports, super bowls, final fours, ncaa championship game. they're trying to get the 2026 world cup matches. this is just a start of getting the message across to the people here that if you don't get your act together then you're not going to get our money. >> i've got to ask you, because you also wrote a cnn opinion piece before this decision came down, calling for the mlb to boycott georgia, and in this case you endorsed the national black justice coalition's urging of the pga to keep major tournaments out of the state, including next week's masters tournament. what are the chances of that, terrence? unfortunately, it looks like we lost his connection there. we're going to wrap this up. thanks so much for joining us, terence moore. victor, to you. >> thank you.
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enough? joining me now to discuss the a board certified police and public safety psychologist. good to have you this morning. as many as 140 capitol police officers had physical injuries after the insurrection. what we don't know is how many suffered mental, psychological, emotional injuries that day as well. what is the impact of what we've watched in january and what we saw yesterday on those officers? >> we typically do not see the officers until several months. about a third of the officers simply will have symptoms not resolve on their own. and one reason that we don't see them is because they're still operational, and they don't seek treatment because of sigma and they attempt to resolve these situations on their own, and
many will still experience symptoms of posttraumatic stress injury, such as avoidance, hyper arousal, experiencing problems with sleeping and feelings of survivor guilt. we find many of them who do not recover may have a history of adverse childhood experiences and we see a lot of responders with various addictions, such as excessive exercise, caffeine use, substance use, use of steroids that are ways of coping. with the death of four officers in the past three months, morale decreases and there's a perception that the deaths go unnoticed by the public and it takes a toll on both the responders and their families. >> so when you say that you don't see them for months because they're still
operational -- how do i ask this? does an event like what happened yesterday put those officers who would have come or would have needed treatment after the insurrection in january further from seeking that treatment, because now they've been retraumatized? >> that's correct. and this is what we refer to as cumulative stress. most of the people that i see suffer from this cumulative stress and have other issues as well, but you can imagine it's like filling your backpack with all of these different critical incidents and it just gets heavier and heavier, until it finally takes a toll. >> one of the recommendations from the security assessment that was conducted after the insurrection was that the united states capitol police should
hire sufficient officers to fill current vacancies, that's now 233 officers. there were nearly 720,000 overtime hours worked in fiscal year 2020. the stressors of being overworked, talk about that, and what that means for the attention that must be paid to mental health, when you're just struggling to fill spots and stay above water. >> let me first talk about physical health, because what's happening is that you have a great deal of sleep deprivation and officers do not function well, actually no one functions well with lack of sleep. and so the physical needs are very important and they are physically exhausted. but also the psychological toll is one that you're absolutely correct, that normally these
officers might be being seen now, but then to have another incident delays their seeking treatment. and one of the things that i try to emphasize is that we need to make this as easy as possible for the officers, because of the stigma that is associated with seeking help. they're perceived as being weak or someone you can't count on, and so this provides stigma that interferes with their treatment. and so to make it easy, we really recommend that officers be offered free or low cost treatment to be able to do this on work hours and one example that i have is a police officer
who was involved in a shooting, his chief came up to him and said, anything that you need, you go ahead and get it, and have the therapist send a bill to me. that's really the way to handle it with no questions asked. >> unfortunately, there are 350 officers that are suggested to be hired to cover the shortfall and what's happened over the last couple of months may make that harder to do. last question for you here. we in the intro have counted two officers killed in the line of duty. brian sicknick and william evans now. howie liebengood's widow wants him to be counted too. he's one of the officers that committed suicide after the insurrection. she wrote a letter and in the statement to cnn, she said officials on both sides of the aisle witnessed the catastrophic events of january 6th.
we are certain they recognize that this tragedy led to howie's death. should the death of a man who died a day later from physical injuries sustained during the insurrection be classified differently than a man who committed suicide as a result of mental and emotional injuries suffered on january 6th? >> i do not believe that there should be a separation. you know, these officers put their lives on the line all the time and what happens is that they suffer so much, that sometimes what happens is that they do end up killing themselves. and this is a problem and it's much greater than in the general population. and so twice as many police officers kill themselves as are killed in the line of duty. so this is a serious problem that really needs to be
addressed and i am one who believes that they should be treated no differently than anyone else. we have to get over the stigma of being able to treat our people with mental injuries. >> mark kamena, i learned a lot and i thank you for your time. these officers, it just stand out to me that you said that they're now being put further from the treatment now that they've been re-traumatized, and hopefully this timeline will allow for the officers to get the assistance and care they need. thank you so much, sir. >> thank you. coming up, if you have been fully vaccinated, the cdc has new travel recommendations just in time for easter sunday. what you need to know ahead.
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dose of the coronavirus vaccine. >> but new covid cases across the country are on the rise. more than 68,000 new cases were reported yesterday, with about half of the states seeing increases in the past week. cnn's polo sandoval is in detroit, michigan, where the cases are spiking at an alarming rate. officials are saying -- how are they saying or why are they saying this is happening? >> reporter: it really depends on what part of the country you're talking about. there are many parts of the country where we have seen a significant improvement in cases, especially since the last surge a few months ago. but then consider michigan alone, and it is clear that they are still dealing with an outbreak and there are certainly fears that those numbers continue to grow here. just the infection rate alone, mid-february, about 1,000 cases a day. now the number at about 5,600.
there is concern that they also have this variant that originated in the uk that is also not only fueling infections, but also hospitalizations among young people. first, the promising news, the total number of people who have been administered at least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine exceeded 100 million yesterday. shots are going into arms at a seven-day average rate of about 3 million a day. the cdc is also out with much anticipated guidance, announcing the roughly 18% of americans that are vaccinated should feel safe while traveling. the cdc also issued guidance saying it's safe for vaccinated people to gather indoors this easter. the rest are still advised to keep celebrations outside. with more than three-quarters of the country still not protected, the cdc director rochelle walensky is still advising against nonessential travel. >> while we believe that
vaccinated people can travel at low risk to themselves, cdc is not recommending travel at this time due to the rising number of cases. >> reporter: and that's what worries health officials, especially with the increasing number of viral variants. michigan confirmed a patient with the virus first reported in brazil and hospitals are dealing with another patient spike. >> we haven't abandoned the protocols, but we've got a higher proportion of variants and people are getting tired, there's fatigue and variants and more travel and that's some of what the story is for sure. >> michigan's governor says in her state young people are fueling the surge. this infectious disease expert agrees. >> the majority of people going to hospitals, not just getting infected, going to hospitals, are under 60, and many of them are between 30 and 20. so this is not what was happening before. it's a different virus. more transmissible, more lethal
and more dangerous. >> michigan joined by new jersey and new york on the list of states with the highest infection rate per capita. kansas, california and arkansas has the lowest as the race between vaccines and variants picks up speed. back here in michigan, governor whitmer believes that the increase in travel is a key factor behind the surge being seen in michigan, recommending that folks in michigan that are traveling, especially during these days, that they get tested before they hit the road, just days before, and then also when they've returned, to make sure that they were not exposed during their travels and to try to keep up with the potential testing demand, victor and amara, the state of michigan planning to set up dozens of pop-up testing sites in the coming days. >> and new travel records being set and a busy travel weekend ahead. polo sandoval, thank you so much. coming up, president biden is gearing up to sell his
a few days out now from unveiling his $2 trillion infrastructure plan, president biden will now turn his focus to building support for the bill. >> but it won't be easy. republicans are united in their opposition and even some democrats are skeptical. cnn's jasmine wright joining us live from the white house with more. jasmine, the president planning to meet with republicans next week. how hopeful is he that he'll get
them on board? >> reporter: president biden is optimistic right now. it was just yesterday on a friday when he said that he would be hoping to meet with republicans next week. now, on thursday minority leader mitch mcconnell offered a thread, saying that he would oppose this plan every step of the way because he didn't believe president biden had the mandate to pass it. so clearly biden is still optimistic one day later, after responding to the comments from leader mitch mcconnell talking about biden's $2.25 trillion plan, this is what biden had to say. >> if the republicans argue that we don't need infrastructure, they've been talking about the need for it for years now, but if the republicans decide we need it but they're not going to pay for it, it's just going to increase the deficit. i think the republican voters are going to have a lot to say about whether we get a lot of this done. >> reporter: now, that last line
from president biden is crucial because it's showing that he is relying on republican voters, not necessarily lawmakers, to apply pressure and support this bill, looking to get some concessions on the republican side here in congress. now, this is a similar playbook to what president biden and the white house did during covid relief. that bill, they saw they were not getting republican support, they justified the support that they found through polling from republican voters across the country, saying that now that is bipartisan. and when you talk to white house officials, they will tell you that, look, they don't view this as a partisan bill. they know that republicans want updates to their roads and bridges, updates to their railroads, their water systems, and they want jobs. all things that biden is proposing in this bill. so as the days go on, we will see president biden trying to get favor from the republican voters, along with the five designated cabinet members that
will represent him in congress. but the question will be, does president biden actually get it? >> absolutely, that is the question. jasmine wright, appreciate your reporting for us at the white house. thank you. we'll start with cnn political analyst and national political reporter for "the new york times." good morning. >> thank you for having me. >> so mitch mcconnell says that there will be united gop opposition to the infrastructure bill, going to fight it every step of the way. we know the transportation secretary, pete buttigieg, reached out to lisa murkowski. is there a senator or two who is a potential vote for this bill? >> it's the names we've come to know in this congress as being the key votes. we're going to have to look at susan collins, lisa murkowski, maybe folks like ben sass and others who have been more open to negotiation. we know how this playbook goes.
there is initially a salvo to republicans. the question here, alongside whether republicans are support it, is will he have 50 democratic votes. because if he gets the joe manchins on board or the kristen sinemas from arizona, that means they have more options, particularly if they try to move this through reconciliation. so this is going to be kind of critical just like the covid relief package, where certainly the white house will reach out to republicans. they have already made clear that this train is going to keep moving, whether mitch mcconnell jumps aboard or not. >> you mentioned joe manchin, let's just admit we're going to mention joe manchin for every piece of legislation the democrats try to get through. kristen sinema as well. for every one of those, do you jeopardize losing a progressive in the house because the majority is so narrow there, representative alexandria ocasio-cortez tweeted this out, this is not clearly enough. the important context here is
that $2.25 trillion spread out over ten years for context, the covid package was $1.9 trillion for this year alone with some provisions lasting two years, needs to be way bigger. and let's remember that the progressives were unsatisfied with the covid relief bill, but they went along to get it through. are they going to be looking at that end of the spectrum this time around for potentially losing some of the democrats you need to get it through the house? >> we've seen this in policy priorities one after another, where certainly in looking at the senate, which certainly swings more towards the center, we have wondered whether the left will flex that muscle they have in congress. this will be another test. certainly progressives want the project to be bigger. the question is whether they are willing to stop biden's agenda to make that happen. whether they're threatening to kill the legislation over all to make that happen. and the house is going to require them sticking together in ways that we've not seen the
progressive caucus able to do. in the senate it only takes one individual senator. so you could have a sanders or warren or whoever to decide to hold up that legislation, but we just know that the center has been way more building to put guardrails on this legislation than the left has been so far. if that changes, that will be a new dynamic in this congress and another flank that president biden has to contend with. >> let me get one on here on representative matt gaetz and what we've learned about the federal investigation into his alleged actions. the minority leader, kevin mccarthy, pulled back from or walked back, saying that he would pull gaetz from committees if he's convicted, and then changed that to say if he's indited. does gaetz post-trump have friends in leadership who will, at the very least, stay silent and not come out against him as we learn more about this investigation? >> the initial kind of public
statements from washington seem to suggest no. we know this is a representative that has operated on his own and has kind of made the trump playbook of his own. but that does not curry the favors in washington you need to get you through critical moments. we know the trump base is going to stick with their own and claim cancel culture and rally around anyone who is being attacked as they perceive by the left. the question will be whether the republican relationship matches that base, whether they feel any pressure from the base to come around. so far it does not seem as if republican leaders feel the need to insulate gaetz from consequences, whether that be being removed from committees or things like that. if that's true, he could find washington to be a lonely place as these legal troubles ramp up. >> thank you so much for your time this morning. >> thank you. thank you for watching. >> we'll see you back here tomorrow morning. don't have to e scary.
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somebody that grew up playing baseball as a kid and a fan, played in high school, big braves fan. this is terrible for the organization, it's terrible for the fans, it's terrible for the small business owners in the metro atlanta community and our state that was looking forward to hosting this game and had put a lot of resources into it. all because of a big lie. this bill does not suppress anything. >> the move is also sending reverberations across the sports world and the political spectrum. moments ago, former president barack obama tweeting congratulations to mlb for taking a stand on behalf of voting rights for all citizens. there's no better way for america's pastime to honor the great hank aaron who always led by example. a stark contrast from former president donald trump, who is slamming the move. he sent out a statement saying boycott baseball and all of the woke companies that are interfering with free an