tv New Day With Alisyn Camerota and John Berman CNN April 8, 2021 5:00am-6:00am PDT
welcome to our viewers in the united states and all around the world. this is "new day." i'm john berman. erica hill is here with me this morning. >> morning, my friend. >> nice to see you. >> has one man just thrown the president's infrastructure plan off the rails? you thought i was done. you thought i was done with infrastructure metaphors there. west virginia democratic senator joe manchin wrote a message opposing passing key legislation on strict party line votes. manchin says he's alarmed by that process. since no republicans at this point publicly support the biden plan, at least not yet, that puts it in serious peril. or, i guess, as much peril as joe manchin wants it to be. >> meantime, overnight, 70,000 new coronavirus reported in the united states. and hospitalizations just hit their highest level in a month. the cdc confirming the highly
contagious b.1.1.7. variant first identified in the united kingdom is now the most common strain of coronavirus here in the united states. >> we begin with the developing news on president biden's infrastructure plan. joining us, chief political correspondent dana bash. she is the co-anchor of cnn's "state of the union." and i know when you read this op-ed there was one paragraph that jumped out at you as most important. go ahead. >> well, it's one of the things that gives joe manchin an exit ramp off of this. there you go. you thought you were the only one who could do infrastructure metaphors? >> every time i think i have one, you guys crush me. >> we get you. we get you, john berman. but in all seriousness, i have actually spoken to senator manchin over the past week about his feelings on this notion of using so-called budget reconciliation, which is a lot
to swallow at 8:00 eastern in the morning, but, you know, for people who have not been totally focused on process in the u.s. senate, it is a way to get around the filibuster. and the democrats, the biden administration, they got approval from the senate parliamentarian to potentially put through the very large infrastructure proposal that the president put forward without republican votes, except they need all democrats and joe manchin in this op-ed is saying, not so fast. here's the key graph you and i both really thought was important. i simply do not believe budget reconciliation should replace regular order in the senate. how is that good for the future of this nation? senate democrats must avoid the temptation to abandon our republican colleagues on important national issues. republicans, however, have a responsibility to stop saying no and participate in finding real
compromise with democrats. and the reason why that is so key and, john, you'll agree, erica, too, is because joe manchin's whole point of view is that the united states senate was meant as a place for compromise and that the biden administration, democratic leaders are giving up on compromise too soon. of course, what the democratic leaders say is, give me a break. if you really think there are republicans who are going to actually compromise and you need at least ten, there's no chance there's -- history does not show that there's evidence for that, but joe manchin, in this op-ed and in conversations i've had with him, he says that is simply not true. it is doable. but it is up to senators in both parties to roll up their sleeves and prove it's possible. >> he says it's time to do the hard work here. is he, you know, bringing any republicans to play at this point? >> well, what he argues is, yes,
that there are republicans willing to play ball. the question is whether or not they can finish the game, so to speak. because what he points to is what happened in december. and what happened in december is that leaders in both parties, this is obviously still under president trump, threw up their hands and said there's no way we can come together on a compromise in covid relief. this group of 20 senators, did just that. and they did it over the objections of leaders, particularly the republican leader, mitch mcconnell. he says that that is -- that they can replicate that in so many areas, including infrastructure. the thing that we have to keep in mind, though, is whether or not, a, as i said, republicans really want to come along and, b, whether or not that really is what the biden administration wants to do here given how big a proposal this is and how many
really critical ideas for progressives and for, you know, just not progressives, for working people that have in this infrastructure bill from child care to, you know, many, many other things. and what many people in the administration believe is that their time may be finite. and they might lose congress in the midterm election. so let's push through as much as we possibly can now and, you know, because this time is of the essence. joe manchin is saying, not so fast and he matters because you can't even lose one democrat. >> dana, you're fluent in manchin. so if you can translate for me. does this basically mean if we'll turn to the end of the book here that manchin is saying, okay, negotiate for a month, two months, whatever, until the end of may which seems to be in vogue here as an end point. if no republicans come along, then i will let this go through
on a party line vote. is that what he's saying here? and the other big question we keep asking is joe manchin the most powerful man in the world right now? >> the answer to that question is, yes. he is incredibly powerful. and, look, he knows it. and any democrat, if they raise their hand and decided to play this role, could be the most powerful person in the world. he just decided that this is his point of view, mostly because he voted against rule changes under democrats. he voted against rule changes under republicans because he fundamentally believes that compromise is the way to go and he believes that it is doable. and one of the things i wanted to add to that is an argument that he makes is what i call the shoe on the other foot argument, which is, okay, so let's say that they go through this process passing really sweeping legislation with just democrats
using this process. what happens when republicans are in charge? what are democrats going to do when republicans use those same exact tactics to pass really big policy changes or programs that democrats simply hate? and, you know, that is an important point of view. and he's trying to remind his fellow democrats of that. i don't know the answer, and i'm not sure joe manchin knows the answer to how this book ends, but what is very clear is that he is going to try to guide how the middle chapters are written and try to do it in a very aggressive way. and by it i mean force the white house to slow their roll and allow democrats and republicans to talk. and it's not really clear how much of a choice, at least for the short term, the white house is going to have. >> a metaphor-rich discussion with dana bash. we appreciate it very much. great to see you. we're going to have white house
communications director kate bedingfield on to address this in a few minutes. in a new interview with cnn, dr. anthony fauci expressing concern about the rise in coronavirus cases in the united states. >> the last count yesterday was 63,000 cases in a single day. when you're at that level, there is the risk of getting a surge back up. so the way we're looking at it now, it's almost a race between getting people vaccinated and the surge that seems to want to increase and do what's going on, for example, in europe where they are having some surges now that are really quite alarming. >> and to add to that, more than 70,000 new cases just reported overnight. joining us now, chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta. always good to see you. it struck me that dr. fauci said it's almost a race. i feel like we've been talking about this race between vaccinations and the variants for some time now.
so i guess the question is not, are we in the race, but who is winning? >> yeah, well, i think that's fair. i think the race initially was, let's see if we can vaccinate the most vulnerable people in the country, the people most likely to actually get severely ill, require hospitalization or even die. and we've done well with regard to that part of the race. the race now, i think, that dr. fauci and dr. walensky are referring to at this point are younger people. for two reasons. we know they can be significant sources of spread and still spread to the people that are vulnerable that have not yet been vaccinated. but also because of these variants you're seeing an increased level of illness in younger people. i don't think it's going to be the same level of illness that we saw in older people initially with this. hospitals really quickly became overwhelmed. but it's concerning. let me show you this graphic if we have it quickly. talk about the race. who has been vaccinated?
how old are the people vaccinated? and where are we in that? we can look at who has received one shot versus two shots for the various age groups. this probably won't surprise you. yellow represents one shot. blue is two shots. the vast majority, 60%, 70% of people who are fully vaccinated are older. you start to creep younger and younger. it's a much smaller percentage. there's a message in there. the message is that, you know, a lot of younger people may have said, look, it's -- it was important, obviously, for older, vulnerable people to go first but now, if it's my turn, i need to make sure i go ahead and get vaccinated. people may say, look, things may be looking better. i don't need to worry about this. i'm young, immortal. the graph tells a different story. >> but sanjay, and i know how you like that, when a question is started with -- >> you're channeling your alisyn. >> we talked to professor mike ol osterholm who pointed out michigan with hospitalizations steeply on the rise in muichiga.
he knows that icu beds are becoming more full in michigan. and that, sadly, is often -- look at that. that's a very steep rise in hospitalizations. along with that, a rise in icu usage that typically what that indicates is that more deaths are to follow. maybe we won't see as many but do you think we will see a corresponding rise in deaths in the coming weeks? >> well, one thing i just want to say about michael osterholm, and i've known him for a long time, is that we'd all do well to listen to him because he's typically been right. people don't like to hear what he says, but he does sound the alarms earlier than a lot of people. overall hospitalizations in the country have gone up about 2% compared to last week. but there are these pockets. michigan, minnesota. in fact, there's about five states right now that are accounting for 43% of new infections. but you asked a very specific
question. deaths have gone down 21% this week compared to last week. but i think there's almost no question that there will be an increase. deaths have always been a lagging indicator. cases are going up. there will be a corresponding increase in hospitalizations and deaths. but i do think, and i think it's because of the vaccines, that we won't have high a proportional increase. i don't want to minimize the fact they'll go up. this shouldn't happen. it doesn't need to happen and frankly, as much as we talk about the vaccines, the basic public health tools we've been talking about for a year now still work. they would work against the more commonly circulating coronavirus and now this more dominant strain. the uk variant. the basic public health measures still work. there are so many things working in our advantage right now to get us over this finish line, this metaphorical finish line but we're doing everything we can with our human behavior to slow that process of victory down. so that's what we're seeing right now.
i'm still optimistic, despite the fact that covid fatigue is clearly set in. people are letting their guard down. i'm still optimistic going into the summer. but there's going to be people who get sick and people who die who absolutely don't need to because we have this wonderful tool in the form of these vaccines in place and that's just too bad. >> sanjay, thank you for much for being with us this morning. appreciate it. >> you got it. did senator joe manchin just doom the president's infrastructure plan? we're joined by the white house communications director, next. c, prevents crab grass and feeds your lawn. all three,in just one bag. i like that. scotts turf builder triple action. it's lawn season. let's get to the yard.
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democratic senator joe manchin throwing what could be a major obstacle in the way of president biden's infrastructure plan. announcing that he opposes a measure that would allow the legislation to pass along party lines. manchin wrote in an op-ed, quote, we should be alarmed at how the budget reconciliation process is being used by both parties to stifle debate around the issues facing our country today. i simply do not believe budget reconciliation should replace regular order in the senate. joining me now is white house communications director kate bedingfield. great to see you. look, i don't know, or i haven't heard one single republican senator say they support the president's infrastructure plan as is right now. not one, let alone ten. so joe manchin saying this, how much of an obstacle is this to getting the plan passed?
>> well, one thing i would note is that republican voters all across the country are saying that they support the plan. we see polling that shows that a majority of republican voters, 57%, think that the american jobs plan is the right path forward. and these investments are necessary. so, look, this is the process. this is how the process plays out. this is how it's supposed to work. senators raise their issues and concerns and we'll work through the process. president biden has said himself many times that his preference is to do this through regular order. and he believes that republican senators should come to the table and make suggestisuggesti. president biden has proposed investments in our infrastructure that will create jobs, that are going to help families all across the country. and he's put forward also a plan to pay for it. and he said if republicans have different thoughts or if democrats have different thoughts about how to proceed, he wants to hear that. he wants to work through a process and ultimately sign this bill into law. >> what are you guys specifically doing about joe
manchin? >> well, we have done a lot of outreach. we continue to reach out not only to senator manchin but to senators on both sides of the aisle and to members of the house on both sides of the aisle. president biden wants to have an open dialogue. he wants to hear concerns. he wants to hear ideas. and he knows this process is going to be a little longer, for example, than the process around the american rescue plan. and that's okay. we want to make sure that at the end of the day we're making these investments. what president biden said again yesterday is the only thing that's unacceptable to him is inaction. he's ready to work through the process. we're doing a lot of outreach to members on both sides of the aisle. >> when was the last time the president spoke to senator manchin. >> i don't have specific details to read out to you except to say that this work is ongoing. this conversation is ongoing. this kind of back and forth is important. this is how we move the ball forward. >> it might help if they talked, right? should they get together and find out exactly where they agree on things?
>> i assure you, there's a lot of conversation between not only senator manchin's office and the white house but members all across the hill. this is a collaborative process, and that's how president biden wants to get this done. he wants to work with everybody. and that's what he intends to do. >> i want to talk about guns, which, by the way, is not unrelated to senator joe manchin in the proposals and what he was willing to accept in the senate. but the president going to announce executive actions today. what will he be announcing? >> he's going to announce a number of really important actions. he's going to announce the justice department is going to take steps to curtail ghost guns which are guns that can be built essentially from a kit and are not traceable. and then are used in a crime or in a shooting. they're not able to be traced. he's going to announce the justice department will take steps to curtail ghost guns. they'll put forward language to regulate stabilizing braces, which are devices that help make a pistol more stable, more
accurate. he's going to announce the justice department is going to move there as well. they're going to put forward a model red flag law which is a law that allows guns to be more easily taken out of the hands of people in crisis. so the justice department is going to put forward a model law and will help make it easier for states to draft similar legislation and hopefully pass it. so these are just some of the initial steps. he's also going to be announcing investment in community violence intervention programs. these are all really important steps that he can take within his authority as president. but he would be the first to say this is not enough. and congress also needs to move forward, for example, on the bipartisan background check bills that are in front of them. because the mairngity of the american people believe that we need sensible gun reform. >> you talked about the pistol grips there. when that jumps out at me because, is this a rule that would prevent the sale of these or force the sale of them to be
regulated as essentially short barrel rifles? will it do that? because people always ask, right, how would new gun measures have played into the last mass shooting? >> right. >> the shooting in boulder, colorado, this type of brace was used. >> i can't speak to a specific shooting, but i can say that these kinds of rules, these kinds of regulations will help prevent shootings moving forward. they will -- these are sensible. these are sensible regulations that help ensure that some of the most dangerous elements, most dangerous guns that are out there, won't be as easy to get and to use. so i don't want to get into a specific shooting just because there are a lot of factors there. that's not something that we want to weigh into from the white house, but i can say that this kind of regulation will make it harder to get that device moving forward.
and that's important. >> we've been reporting all morning about the rise in coronavirus cases around the country. if cases keep on rising, if hospitalizations, which are up 2% since last week, if that continues to rise, what is the president prepared to do? >> well, he'll do what he has been doing, john, which is leading. both in terms of encouraging people to stay vigilant, encouraging people to continue to wear masks, to continue to socially distance. to not let their guard down as we're moving toward hopefully the finish line of this pandemic at some point in the coming months. he's been very clear that we still have a long way to go and that we need to be vigilant. he's also going to continue to make it easier for people to get a vaccine which is the single most important thing we can do to end the pandemic. he's going to continue to ensure that states have the supply they need, that they have enough vaccinators, enough people putting shots in arms. and that it becomes easier and easier for people to get a
vaccine as we move forward. that's the most important thing we can do to end the pandemic. he's made tremendous strides on this since he came into office in january, and he's going to continue to focus there. >> that is what he is doing. the cases are rising. so what if they keep rising? >> we have to keep getting shots in arms. scientists say the most important thing, doctors say the most important thing we can do to put this behind us is to get people vaccinated. so we have to keep getting shots in arms. and so every day he's working relentlessly to make sure that people can get those shots. for example, he just announced that we were moving up the eligibility date for all adults in the country from may 1st to april 19th. he's made dramatic strides since he came into office to make the vaccine more widely available, more easily accessible. he's going to continue to do that. and he's also going to continue to lead by example and call on people to be responsible to wear masks and he's going to remind people that what we do now, the behavior that we do now, is
going to have an impact on how quickly we're able to finally once and for all put this virus behind us. >> when will the president address a joint session of congress? i can't remember a time when a new president has waited this long? >> i don't have a date to share with you right now, but we're working with congressional leadership. he is hoping to address a joint session, and we'll be sure to announce that date as soon as we have it. >> kate bedingfield, appreciate you being with us. thanks very much. >> thanks for having me. what did george floyd say about drugs in his deadly encounter with minneapolis police? we'll show you that moment the lawyers focused on in the trial, next. for busy veterans like kate. so when her car got hit, she didn't waste any time. she filed a claim on her usaa app and said, “that was easy.” usaa. what you're made of, we're made for. usaa.
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exchange -- well, two exchanges from yesterday because this is getting a lot of attention about this bit of audio that we can hear and how both the defense and prosecution asked an expert witness about it. >> i'm going to ask you, sir, to listen to mr. floyd's voice. >> did you hear that? >> yes, i did. >> did it appear that mr. floyd said, i ate too many drugs? >> yes, it did. >> i ate too many drugs. please. please! please, i can't breathe. >> having heard it in context, you're able to hear what mr. floyd was saying? >> i believe he said i ain't
doing now drugs. >> two very different approaches to that audio which as we've been talking about all morning is hard to discern, period, full stop. elliott, who came out on top after those exchanges? >> i don't think -- sorry, erica. i don't think anybody did because there's no reasonable conclusion that anyone can draw from listening to that video. now it's certainly in the defense's interest to throw a lot of things up there to try to create doubt in the minds of the jury, but you cannot -- i listened to it multiple times. on my own television. and it's just, you cannot come away from that with a clear conclusion. and the notion that either side seems to be thinking that you can is -- i would even go as far as to say foolish. this case is not going to rise and fall on the strength of that one sentence. and what the prosecution has already put on the record quite clearly is that 9-plus minute video. the question is to how george
floyd died. this one sentence, a lot is being made of it. the defense has done its job, but it's not going to change the outcome of the case pretty dramatically. >> joey, what's your view? >> my view is, i agree. it's inaudible. you can review it and listen and listen and come to different conclusions as to what it says. now, to me, it's not really what he said. it's what was the effect of the death. now remember what happens. if you are the defense, you'll seize on the narrative it's all about the drugs. he was involved in drugs. has a drug history. ingested drugs just prior to this. as a result, he's dead because of the drugs. if you are the prosecutor, you'll say keep your eye on the prize. we'll base this upon what you believe he said or didn't say and we all have difference as to what that can be? this is about cause of death and what was a substantial cause of the death. if you are the prosecutor you'll say the drugs very well may be a cause. if you want to concede that even. but the fact is, if it is a cause you don't have to establish as a prosecutor, john.
it's the sole cause, right? the fact that you just have to demonstrate that the kneeling of the knee on the neck is a substantial cause, case closed, ladies and gentlemen, keep your eye on the prize and that will be the narrative of the prosecution. >> one thing that stood out to me in terms of reaction from charles ramsey. he was noting that even if george floyd had said i ate too many drugs, there was a duty of care here, elliott, for the officers. so that duty of care, according to former commissioner ramsey was, if someone said to you, i ate too many drugs, if you are the responding officer and now this suspect is in your care, you should have been calling to get his stomach pumped if he ate too many drugs. could this backfire on the defense? >> it could. number one, get his stomach pumped. later owhere was the cpr or any attempts to resuscitate him? none of those things were done. this whole question of, i ate too many drugs and, moreover, if
you tor believe as the defense wants you to, that he did die of a drug overdose or for some other substances in his belief you have to believe that he just happened to expire at this moment that, oh, by the way, he was also being asphyxiated by another individual with a knee on his neck for nine minutes. it denies logic and reason. it is a stretch. >> if you can, you wrote an interesting op-ed last night which addresses something we've been hearing. this notion out there that's been raised on our air and others that somehow the prosecution is overprosecuting the case in the sense that they are calling too many witnesses. they are hammering their points home for too long. what do you say to that? >> it's two things, john. this whole notion of reasonable doubt that we all know from watching law & order. it's a very high standard to meet in any case. let alone when you're prosecuting police officers
which the public is rer luctant to do. it's just hard to do. what this prosecution has to do to overcome doubts is hit this jury over the head with evidence and get enough prosecutors -- pardon me, enough police officers, experts and eyewitnesses and so on to overwhelm them to avoid this notion of doubt. it's not just a normal criminal case where you have to hit that burden. you have to hit that burden and overcome society's predisposition against prosecuting police officers. and then you put race on top of that and biases that people carry into the criminal justice system and there's a big burden prosecutors have. i just don't buy this argument that they are putting too much evidence on. they couldn't possibly put too much evidence on in this case. >> joey, your view? >> excellent op-ed. this is not just any case to be clear. usually you have police protecting police. not here. you have a sergeant of 27 years saying, guess what, that's not what we're trained to do and
that was excessive. the police chief come in and say, this is about the sanctity of life. that's not protecting the sanctity of life. you have a person, lieutenant zimmerman, 40 years on the force, saying he should have stopped. the parade goes on. to elliott's excellent point and with respect to the op-ed made today, police convictions are rare in itself. indictments are rare, much less prosecutions or convictions. so you have to make a compelling case. i think the prosecution is doing just that . >> joey, elliott, thank you very much. new weekly jobless claims just released. is the economy still moving in the right direction? we'll bring you those numbers, next.
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jobless claims up last week as the economy tries to recover from the pandemic. cnn's julia chatterley with the new numbers. >> thanks, john. still an ugly report. 744,000 people filing for unemployment benefits in the past week alone. that's higher than expected. in addition to that, a further 151,000 people getting pandemic related support. it's a worse number than expected.
if you compare to what we saw in january, it's still lower. these numbers aren't coming down quickly enough. what we have to remember here is not all these people are going to actually get access to benefits. so the best way to look at this is just the high degree of uncertainty. we're still in crisis mode. the final point, still more than 18 million people get something form of aid. the hope is we can add around 4 million jobs in the next couple of months and then we start to see these numbers coming down. erica, this is really working progress and there's still a lot of work to do. >> jeweulia, thank you. employers are beginning to prepare to bring workers back to the workplace. for some, it's giving them pause. vanessa yurkevich has more. >> that's it. that's my commute. >> reporter: for tom martinez and millions of other americans, this has been the morning commute to work. in homes across america, work from home is the new way to
work. >> do you feel like you were able to do your job from home? >> oh, absolutely. pretty much everything that i do relies on digital tools. so i'm in front of a computer 90% of the time anyway. >> reporter: martinez works for a major publisher. in a year, a lot has changed. he's moving to upstate new york, his 11-year-old son logan who has adhd is thriving in virtual learning. >> i'm super happy. >> reporter: and he loves working from home. >> at first i wasn't sure what that would mean but now i've seen that there are a lot of benefits to not having to perform tasks in such a very compartmentalized and rigid order. >> reporter: now he says his company, like others, is figuring out how to bring employees back into the office. citigroup says they hope to have 30% of their u.s. workforce in the office this summer, while new york city plans to bring back 80,000 city employees starting next month. taylor, a psychotherapist says
she could be back in the office within 30 days. >> what is your level of comfort and anxiety? >> i would say definitely some anxiety. definitely some anticipation. >> reporter: for the past year, she's seen her patients virtually and says she's shared concerns with her employer about a return to in-person work. >> we've talked about some of the concerns with being in very small rooms, face to face. sometimes those rooms don't have windows. a lot of times they're not very well ventilated. you know, it's trying to find the balance between what is the best care for somebody versus what is the safest for everybody. >> reporter: but even as vaccinations ramp up, 55% of adults say returning to prepandemic life right now would be a moderate to large risk to their health and well-being. spotify, which has 3,000 u.s. employees, says they can now work from anywhere. >> but what we're aiming for is that 100% freedom of flexibility.
>> reporter: the chief hr officer says the pandemic proved their new model will work long term. >> productivity and efficiency did not go down. i think it is the future of work. i think that is what we're going to see. in some industries and businesses here and in some others a bit later. >> reporter: this last year has shifted priorities for both companies and employees. they've also changed for martinez. >> we don't come home exhausted. we would barely have a conversation. now we're together all the time, working together, taking time and benefiting from it tremendously. people are starting to value the moments we have together. that's something that maybe we were taking for granted for a minute there. >> reporter: companies are taking several things into account when they are bringing people back to work. they are looking at cdc guidance. the speed of vaccinations. but they're also surveying employees. we heard from several major
companies who said their millennial employees are more eager to get back into the workplace, to see people again. but some people with families and kids want that flexibility. but one thing is for certain that these best laid plans will probably change as we all remember, we are still in the middle of a pandemic with new cases every single day, erica. >> we certainly are. great reporting as always. as you know, vanessa, they've been so important and so well told to bring those stories to us. breaking barriers. as the first black woman to lead the city of st. louis, we're going to speak with though mayor-elect about her historic victory and also her big plans for the city. that's next. we didn't stop at computers. we didn't stop at storage or cloud. we kept going. working with our customers to enable the kind of technology that can guide an astronaut back to safety. and help make a hospital come to you, instead of you going to it.
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tishaura jones won. joining us now, the mayor-elect of st. louis. good to have you with us. i know you're probably still letting it all snink at this point but we can't overlook how important this is, not just for you, but for your city or because representation matters. i'm curious, what have you heard from the community since your ele election? >> yeah, good morning, and thank you for having me. absolutely, representation matters in a city that's 45% african-american, 45% white, and the rest are other populations of color. we are a majority minority city. and what i heard from voters is that they are ready for a black woman to lead this city. that a black woman has lived experiences that others do not. and also, i am a daughter of the most neglected part of the city which is north st. louis. i was born and raised there, and my plans are to definitely
revitalize that part of the city. and i am ready for st. louis to thrive instead of just survive. >> you mention where you grew up in the city and also that this is a majority minority city. there's also been a decrease in the city's black and african-american population in the last ten years. it was at 51%. now it's down to 45%. and a lot of that is over concerns that racial issues are not being addressed. inequities in the city are not being addressed. and there's a massive divide in the city of st. louis. >> yes, absolutely. we lost 21,000 african-americans since the last census. and that's alarming. and we should be sounding the alarm, asking the questions why, asking why black people don't feel welcome in st. louis. that they would choose to leave. and many young people who go to college don't even think about returning to st. louis after they finish. so there's a huge brain drain. and so we need to reverse that
trend. we need to provide opportunities, everyone to succeed, no matter their zip code, the color of their skin, who they love or how they borb worship. >> one thing that struck me, when it comes to the police force, i didn't realize until reading up for this interview the fact that there are two police unions still. a black police union and a white police union for officers in st. louis. how do you begin to tackle that issue? >> yes, absolutely. so we are done avoiding the hard and difficult conversations. we haven't had those. and we also have a white firefighters union and black firefighters union. so this is indicative of all of our first responders. and so, you know, obviously, there is a level of mistrust within our first responders, our public safety department, and we have to have the hard and difficult conversations to have those divides. i think st. louis is long overdue for a truth and
reconciliation commission because we have had systemic policies that have increased inequalities for decades and for generations. and that has to stop. >> you talk about maybe reconciliation commission and starting that piece of the puzzle. how do you start the conversation initially? you said it's time for the tough conversations. you can't avoid them any longer. do you -- is it your sense that there's a willingness to just start the conversation, to come to the table? >> yes, absolutely. because when i look at the support that i received across this city it was multigenerational and multiethnic, multiracial. so i won 18 out of 28 wards and not only in march but also in -- yesterday or a couple of days ago. and so that signals to me that we are ready to have these tough conversations. and it has to come from leadership. it has to come because -- you lead my example. >> we've talked so much over the
last couple of weeks about the new voting law in georgia. things changed in st. louis before your election, but sort of went in the other direction. how much do you think this, you know, approval voting system has gotten you to the point where there is more opportunity for conversation? >> well, in previous elections, we were being goeverned by the minority. you would win by only winning 30% of the vote. our new system allows for voting by -- or being governed by the majority. and, obviously, 52% of the voters in st. louis elected me on tuesday. and so i think that, especially with our last election with the vote being so split. there were seven candidates and our current mayor, our outgoing mayor won with 32% of the vote and people wanted a runoff. that's all of the text messages i received. when is the run off. is it top two? what can we do?
they felt cheated. and now they feel like their voices are being heard. >> really quickly, i want to point out, you are fully vaccinated. i know you'll use that to encourage more people in your city to follow that lead. but i want to ask you about your son. you're not just a black woman in terms of representation. you're a mother of a 13-year-old son, a single mother. he had a lot to do with the fact that today you are the mayor-elect. how is he feeling this morning looking at you? >> he's so proud. he's so proud. but also, he feels like -- we were having a conversation before i started running about what a mayor does and he asked are you going to be -- the police chief will report to me. he said that means i'm going to be safe. that hit me like a ton of bricks. his mom should haven't to be mayor to feel safe with interactions with law
enforcement or any child. so i want to build a st. louis where my son doesn't feel afraid and my son is able to be a little boy, a little black boy and explore and learn and make mistakes and not have to lose his life over it. >> and he will not be the only one who will be able to do that. madam mayor-elect, thank you for joining us. we look forward to continuing the conversation. congratulations. >> thank you. cnn's coverage continues right after this. >> and our continuous coverage. >> and our continuous coverage continues.
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very good thursday morning. i'm jim sciutto. >> i'm poppy harlow. today president biden will take his first concrete action to rein in gun violence in america. only hours after yet another mass shooting in america. this one leaving five people dead, including two children. two children ages 5 and 9 years old. this happened in south carolina. the president is expected to announce a series of limited executive actions in the rose garden today. those include banning so-called ghost guns and barring stabilizing devices like the one used in the boulder mass shooting. >> and one more pivotal struggle on the white house agenda, preventing another coronavirus case surge. dr. anthony fauc