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tv   CNN Newsroom Live  CNN  May 29, 2021 12:00am-1:00am PDT

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hi. welcome to "cnn newsroom." i'm robyn curnow live in atlanta. so coming up, insurrection rejection. why republican lawmakers blocked a capitol riot commission. the email that russian hackers sent out to thousands of people to execute a global attack. the options the u.s. has to fight back. and when was the last time you heard an e.r. doctor say this? >> i had an entire shift yesterday where i didn't have a single covid-19 patient. >> the u.s. getting closer to normal with each shot in the arm. ♪
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>> announcer: live from cnn center, this is "cnn newsroom" with robyn curnow. great to have you along. thanks for joining me this hour. so u.s. senate republicans have blocked a crucial bill that would establish a commission to investigate the january 6th insurrection on capitol hill. only six republicans sided with democrats in friday's vote. but just a few short months ago, many republicans were adamant that a 9/11-style commission into the capitol's security was needed. their position now shows just how much of a grip former president donald trump still has on much of his party. last week one republican senator even downplayed the attack as a peaceful protest. >> hang mike pence! >> rioters there demanding that
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then-vice president mike pence be hanged. that doesn't sound very peaceful. house democrats now actively considering launching a probe of their own. ryan nobles has more on where things stand right now. >> reporter: it may have taken a little bit longer than expected. >> three-fifths of the senators duly chosen and sworn not having voted in the affirmative, the motion is not agreed to. >> reporter: but the outcome was never in doubt. republicans successfully blocking an attempt to form an independent commission to investigate the january 6th insurrection. the final vote, 54-35. 60 votes were needed to move the measure forward. >> but out of fear or fealty to donald trump, the republican minority just prevented the american people from getting the full truth about january 6th. >> reporter: six republicans voted yes. among them, maine's susan collins, who attempted to make changes to the bill to bring her fellow republicans onboard. it was not enough.
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louisiana's bill cassidy, who voted yes, and voted to impeach former president trump, warned his colleagues they will now lose a voice in future investigations. the investigations will happen with or without republicans. to ensure the investigations are fair, impartial and focused on facts, republicans need to be involved. and democrats are already hinting that is the direction they will go. house speaker nancy pelosi, who made a number of concessions to get the bill over the finish line in the house, vowed she was not done investigating what happened on january 6th. honoring our responsibility to the congress in which we serve and the country which we love, democrats will proceed to find the truth. the republican refusal to form the independent commission comes at the same time as a cnn review reveals 450 people have been charged in connection with the insurrection. and as moderate gop voices are increasingly becoming drowned out by the allies of former
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president trump. the former house speaker, paul ryan, speaking from the ronald reagan presidential library, the latest to insert himself into the party's civil war. >> if the conservative cause depends on the populist appeal of one personality or of second-rate imitations, then we're not going anywhere. >> reporter: his effort mocked by trump who called ryan a, quote, weak and ineffective leader who spends all of his time fighting republicans, while trump clone matt gaetz arm in arm with marjorie taylor greene making it clear who runs the gop, like it or not. >> this is donald trump's party taking advice on party-building from paul ryan would be like taking advice on how to interact with your in-laws from meghan markle. >> reporter: despite the gravity of this legislation, 11 members of the senate didn't even show up to vote. nine republicans and two democrats were not here. some of them offering up excuses
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for why they couldn't be here and how they might have voted. among them, pennsylvania's pat toomey, who said he would have voted yes. even though he was a republican, it would not have been enough to change the outcome. ryan nobles, cnn, on capitol hill. >> both the mother and partner of fallen capitol police officer brian sicknick made a trip to capitol hill on thursday to meet with republican senators and to make a last-ditch plea for them to vote for the commission. now, in a cnn exclusive, the two sat down with our jake tapper and described those who opposed the bill as all talk and no action. take a listen. >> what was your reaction when you saw the vote today that the senate republicans, with six exceptions, voted to block the creation of this commission? >> well, i was very disappointed obviously. i was very optimistic and hopeful yesterday, but for, you know, obviously some of them i was not surprised that voted no.
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but still clinging to that hope based on our passionate pleas to them. but i think, you know, it speaks volumes to how they really feel, not only about the events of that day but they're also speaking volumes to their const constituents, you know, and how much they really care because it's not just our pleas about how we felt about brian and, you know, his brothers and sisters in blue and everything that they did that day, but also the safety of them and everyone else that was in the capitol that day. if they can't do their jobs, if something happens to them, that also speaks volumes about, you know, how they feel about our democracy in general. how can they do their job if they are no longer here? >> what about you, gladys? what was your reaction to the news today? >> oh, i was disappointed, but i
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realized that was going to happen. i really did. there was just vibes that we got yesterday, but -- >> what were the vibes? >> i don't know. just a feeling, you know. they went through their motions, but you can tell that, you know, underneath they were being nice to us. >> we hear a lot about backing the blue from politicians especially. we talk about the importance of backing our men and women in blue who protect us. what does it mean in that sense when -- because you know you're going to hear some of these 35 republicans talk about in the future how important it is to back our men and women in blue. what will you think when you hear that? >> unbelievable that they think like that. you know, it's just -- if they had a child that was hurt, was killed on a day like that, they would think very differently, or if they were hurt.
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i mean they could have very well -- somebody could have been killed, one of the congressmen, one of the senators. but apparently they just think, well, we're safe because of the men in blue. they don't think any further from that. >> sicknick's partner said she's hopeful that friday's vote wasn't the end of the effort to find out what happened on january 6th. washington says the cyberattack reported on thursday was much, much bigger than previously thought. some 350 u.s. organizations were targeted, including many of the u.s. government. and as alex marquardt now reports, microsoft believes a russian group linked to the kremlin is behind it all. alex. >> reporter: email accounts in 24 different countries hit by hackers from russia's foreign intelligence service. government agencies, think tanks, human rights and humanitarian groups all targets. microsoft first reported the hack, saying the attackers used an email platform used by the american aid agency usaid.
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one email from this week promised a new document from donald trump on the election. instead, it contained a malicious link designed to allow hackers in and to infect other computers. it was a loud, brazen attack. the hackers likely knew they'd get caught. >> they seemed to not really care, right? they are -- they clearly know that this is going to be discovered. it's really hard to carry out a 3,000-person spear diafishing incident across governments all over the world and not get discovered. >> reporter: unlike last year's solarwind's breach that infiltrated at least nine government agency. >> we concluded that they had interfered in the election and solarwinds was totally inappropriate. >> reporter: last month the biden administration sanctioned russia for its malicious cyber activity and kicked out ten russian diplomats. but president joe biden also proposed a face-to-face summit with russian president vladimir
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putin to ease tensions, set to happen in under three weeks. >> we want a stable, predictable relationship. >> reporter: the american punishment and prospect of a meeting between the leaders clearly doing little to deter russia from stepping up their cyberattacks. >> this is probably preparation for the upcoming summit. they want to know what we're thinking when we go into that door. you can't really -- they don't really believe in going into negotiations without knowing what the other side is thinking. >> reporter: in an exclusive interview with cnn, secretary of defense lloyd austin said the military has the ability to go on the offense if the president chooses. >> i have a number of offensive options, and, yes, and we will always maintain credible, effective options. >> reporter: we have gotten an update from microsoft with some good news. they say in a statement in part, quote, we are not seeing evidence of any significant number of compromised organizations at this time. that's what i've heard also from the white house, that the impact of this series of russian hacks
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is rather limited. the biden administration has not attributed these attacks to russia, but they will likely make that summit between biden and putin next month more contentious. for their part, the kremlin tells cnn that they don't think the summit will be affected. alex marquardt, cnn, washington. and if bell aruss wasn't on the agenda of the u.s. president before, it certainly is now. the forced landing of a commercial aircraft en route to lithuania from greece and the detention of two of its passengers has suddenly placed the lukashenko regime front and center of the biden administration. late friday, the white house announced it was preparing to impose sanctions against the belarus leader and his regime, and it said it would do it in concert with u.s. allies. hours before that announcement, president lukashenko had traveled to sochi to meet with the russian leader for a previously scheduled get-together. well, a short time ago, i spoke about all of this was cnn global
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affairs analyst susan glasser. i asked her if she read any significance into the timing of the sanctions announcement from the white house, and here's her response. >> well, listen, it's very unusual obviously late on a friday evening to release what looks like a new set of actions against belarus and the government of alexander lukashenko in response to the extraordinary act of essentially air piracy. earlier in the week. i take a couple things away from this. first of all and most importantly, belarus, it seems to me, in taking this action has just managed to land itself on the agenda of washington and the biden administration in a way that it really wasn't. with the upcoming summit meeting between vladimir putin and joe biden, i think the biden administration is essentially has no choice but to take a much tougher line on belarus. it was seen as acting in effect if not as a proxy for russia, certainly acting in concert with
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them. that was the message of the lukashenko/putin meeting earlier today. so i think it's interesting that you have the visual of these two autocrats getting together in sochi and then hours later, the white house saying, hey, wait a minute. it's not just the european union. we're also going to be taking new measures. that being said, my reading of it suggests that it's not as tough as what the eu has done, and obviously it was a european union flight that was forced down in minsk. it wasn't an american airplane that was forced to land. but nonetheless, i'm struck that there are sanctions being reimposed on some belarusian state enterprises. but it's not necessarily a complete kind of american heavy-handed response, i would say, at least not yet. >> susan glasser speaking to me a little bit earlier. now, in california, a story of courage, of sacrifice during
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that horrific shooting rampage in san jose. nine people were killed when an employee opened fire at this rail yard on wednesday. well, now we are hearing from the family of one of the victims. they say before he was shot, he called co-workers who were on their way to work to tell them to stay away, and one of the last things he did was to try and whisk others to safety. >> as i'm told by his co-workers, he was telling them to go hide and died fighting. he was a fighter. it's a little comforting to know that's what he was exactly doing his last moments of his life as well, and he helped save some lives, and those families can sleep in peace knowing their loved ones are with them. >> investigators say the gunman, sam cassidy, committed suicide. they also say he had a massive arsenal of weapons and ammunition at home.
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here's dan simon. >> reporter: the shooter here in san jose had three semiautomatic handguns in his possession when he carried out the mass shooting. he also had 32 high-capacity magazines. the guns were purchased legally. the magazines are illegal in california. but in addition to those weapons, we're learning that he also had an incredible amount of weaponry stashed at his home. the santa clara county sheriff's office -- they include suspected molotov cocktails, at least 12 more guns and 22,000 rounds of ammunition. 22,000 rounds. and it is believed that the shooter took some of that ammo, put it in a pot, put it on the stove, surrounded that pot with some accelerants, and then started the stove. that's ultimately what caused the home to set on fire. now, at this point there's no definitive motive in terms of what led the shooter to carry
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out this shooting. but one theme that has emerged is that this is somebody who was highly disgruntled, very upset with his workplace. you take all of that uncontrollable rage. you mix it with easy access to weapons, and then unfortunately you have the recipe for the kind of mass shooting that we saw unfold on wednesday. dan simon, cnn, san jose, california. coming up on cnn, japan is preparing to welcome tens of thousands of olympic athletes and staff in july while fighting a coronavirus emergency. we have that story next. plus one of the world's most dangerous volcanos is threatening to erupt for the second time in a week. details on that also next. you're watching cnn.
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the tokyo olympic games are set to kick off in just 55 days, but anti-olympic sentiment is certainly growing as the country struggles to get a grip on its coronavirus epidemic. as the torch makes its way to the capital, as you can see here, japan's prime minister is extending the state of emergency for nine prefectures, warning that the next three weeks are crucial to speed up vaccinations and to help give hospitals some breathing room.
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let's go straight to tokyo. blake es ig is standing by with more on this. there's certainly a lot of people in japan who really just don't want the olympics, do they? >> reporter: robin, these games have been deeply unpopular for months, and the chorus of voices coming out, calling for these games to be canceled, continues to get louder every single day. across japan, covid-19 cases remain high. the country continues to set a new record of patients in critical condition almost daily, and the medical system is strained. as a result, japan's prime minister has extended the current state of emergency order for tokyo and eight other prefectures. now, the state of emergency extension will last until june 20th. that's about one month before the olympics are set to start. olympic organizers have made it clear that the games would go ahead even if tokyo was under a state of emergency at the time. in order to ensure a safe and secure olympic games, it seems vaccinations will be key. but the japanese doctors union says vaccine or not, these
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olympic games should be canceled. their biggest concern is virus variants. take a listen. >> 100,000 people from 200 countries with various variants but no symptoms will come to tokyo in a short time. i think there's a possibility that those variants will mix to create a variant which could be a huge threat to humans. covid is not infectious to children very much, but just in case a variant which is infectious to children comes out, that is the worst-case scenario. >> reporter: what the ioc says 80% of the people inside the olympic village will be vaccinated. that doesn't include the roughly 78,000 foreign delegates traveling to japan for the games. and when pfizer announced it would donate covid-19 doses to olympic participants, but so far only 20 out of more than 200 countries and territories are expected to participate. these are places where the necessary regulatory and legal conditions already exist, but for others, pfizer says that
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they're working to establish a central location where delegates can be vaccinated. but time is running out, robyn. there are only 55 days before the games begin, and of course, again, there's still a lot of questions to be answered. >> there certainly are. blake essig, good to see you. thanks so much live there in tokyo. hundreds of thousands of people have fled the city of goma in the democratic republic of congo fearing a second volcanic eruption in just a week. these people are seeking a shelter but many have moved out even across the border to rwanda. unicef warns thousands more, including many children, could become homeless if this volcano erupts again. joining me now from just outside goma is cnn's larry ma doe wa. describe for us what it's like there right now. >> reporter: robyn, it's been a week since this volcano erupted,
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and we're just on the city limits of goma. this is how close it came to a city of over a million. we're standing where it ended, and this is still a week later, the fire is burning. there's embers. when you look back and cast all the way back to the mountain, you see how far this deadly lava came through and how many people were in its path. 900 homes were flattened. it's been a week since it happened and there's still the very real danger. people have been told not to approach this lava, not to approach what is now this igneous rock left behind. but it's a curiosity. people come and watch. i saw one gentleman scavenging for the scrap metal because he says, i'm going to sell that even though there's a danger and the government is warning people that there's a possibility that the magma underneath might erupt all of a sudden with little or no warning or from the nearby lake. but some people are starting to come back to their homes.
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>> extraordinary scenes live on the ground. thank you, larry. so the u.s. is calling for the immediate release of an american journalist being held in myanmar. danny fenster was detained earlier this week while trying to board a flight out of the country. the 37-year-old works for the new site frontier myanmar in yangon. his detention comes nearly four months after the military seized power in a coup, overthrowing the democratically elected government. the u.s. state department called fenster's detainment an unacceptable attack on freedom of expression. for our international viewers, "african voices" is up next. thanks for joining me. for our viewers in the u.s., president biden is delivering a message of hope with 40% of americans fully vaccinated going into memorial day weekend. >> americans in every party, every race, creed have come together and rolled up their sleeves literally and done their part, and look at what that means. we aren't just saving lives.
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we're getting our lives back. >> coming up, the surge in travel as americans head out of the door for the holiday. you'd never wash your dishes in this. your dishwasher looks clean but, when grease and limescale build up, it's not as hygienic as you think. use finish dishwasher cleaner its dual-actction formula tackls grease and limescale. finish. clean dishwasher. clean n dishes.
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welcome back to all of our viewers here in the united states. thanks for joining me. i'm robyn curnow live in atlanta. it is 29 minutes past the hour. so as covid cases drop and restrictions loosen, the u.s. is certainly putting its new normal
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to the test this weekend. millions of people are expected to travel for the long weekend, and this is just in time for the unofficial start to the summer. the cdc is relaxing, of course, it's guidelines for summer camps. here's nick watt with the details. nick. >> reporter: a seismic shift for summer. the cdc just said vaccinated kids do not need to wear masks at camp. meantime, cruella and a quiet place 2 are playing in open movie theaters nationwide. 135,000 fans expected at the indy 500 sunday. this holiday weekend, roughly 1 in 10 americans are expected to travel. >> many airports have already returned or exceeded to 2019 pre-pandemic levels. >> reporter: daily case counts are now falling, but so are average daily vaccine shots, peaked at nearly 3.4 million
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mid-april. just over 1.6 million late may. most adults who want to get vaccinated have started the process, say pollsters. >> we've certainly reached the lion's share of people who are eager to get the vaccine. the willing is the complicated part here. there are a lot of people who are willing, but it's hard for them. i think we can get them, but it's going to take a lot of work. >> reporter: california is giving away over $100 million in incentives. west virginia just announced cash prizes, college scholarships, pickup trucks. also emotional blackmail. >> you've got to get vaccinated for baby doll. that's all there is to it. she wants you vaccinated so badly, she'll give you a high-five right now, but you have got to get yourself vaccinated. >> reporter: now, just briefly back to that cdc guidance for summer camps. they have posted on their site guidance for camps where not everybody is vaccinated and
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number one on the list of things they advise is just tell everyone to get vaccinated. nick watt, cnn, los angeles. i want to talk more about this with an e.r. doctor who has been traveling to different states throughout the pandemic, working in different covid units across the u.s. she's also one of the founders of c o2 check that launched this week. doctor, great to have you on the show again. i know we've spoken in the last few months. so it's wonderful to hear that you've just had a pretty record-breaking shift for you at least, considering the year you've had. >> yeah. you know, i'm so grateful, a little bit exhausted i think like everybody else is. but i had an entire shift yesterday where i didn't have a single covid-19 patient. i had a patient who came in with some symptoms. we had a negative test, and i got to come in and congratulate him and say, guess what? you have a cold. it was amazing. >> and what was his reaction?
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>> you know, i think it's the same that all of us have right now which is anytime we have the sniffles, anytime we have a fever or just don't feel good, i think we instantly start to think, oh, my gosh. do i have covid-19? i think both of us had a laugh about it, but ultimately he was relieved. i was relieved. we've been on edge the last year, so it's nice to say, i can get through an entire eight-hour shift and not a single covid-19 patient. >> let's talk, then, about preparing for the next few months in the u.s. we must be clear here. the u.s. has some of the best vaccination rates in the world. the rest of the world is still languishing under terrible rates of infection and also death. but at least for now here in the u.s., folks like you can prepare for the school year and for how to advise people in this pan pandemic. with vaccination rates at the level is, what do you think is important? >> i think you're starting to
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see that masks are becoming optional, especially for those of us that are vaccinated. what we're starting to see too is this shift to how important ventilation is, especially in indoor settings. i think this is where we're going to start to see it's not just about the droplet side of covid but also the airborne side of covid, which is the idea that the particles are really small. they suspend in the air. so we have to start thinking about our indoor spaces much, much more. >> and how do we do that? this involves choir practice, school. it involves, what, restaurants, a variety of places where we are all going to be hopefully gathering together. >> over the course of the last three months, actually i've been working with a bunch of parents here in colorado to look at this new way of measuring our indoor spaces and how safe is that air. and so as we breathe, we take in oxygen, and one of the by-products of what we exhale is something called carbon dioxide. when you have a small enclosed space, you start to see co2
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levels start to rise. that, according to the cdc and many others now, is a way in which to look at a marker for how good your ventilation is indoors. >> and so how does that then measure how safe you are? >> well, so we actually got together with our parents in the neighborhood, created this low-cost device. so if you look here, what you can see is that in the number on there says about 778. so it's changing actually every two seconds. so the ambient air, so when you're outside in the environment, your numbers are usually going to be around 392-420 is how many parts per million you have. when you start to get up into the 900s, so i'm setting in a closed room right now, just myself, and you can start to see the numbers starting to rise. so when you get above 800 parts per million, what you're looking at is 1% of the air in this room is shared air, meaning that somebody who walks in right now would also be breathing in my air. once that number gets up to 4,000, which isn't that hard to
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do, once you get to 4,000, that's actually 10% of that air is shared air, meaning that the breaths that i'm taking in are something that was exhaled by somebody else. >> so how does this then impact the decisions teachers or restaurateurs or church leaders -- how does that impact their decisions not just here in the u.s. but elsewhere, where perhaps people aren't vaccinated? is it -- can they measure risk in their space even though perhaps not everyone's vaccinated? >> absolutely. i think that's something you're going to start to see. so like i had mentioned, we're finally starting to see the centers for disease control here in the u.s. saying, look, covid is airborne, and so if you start to look at these numbers, and let's say if i'm going into a gym space and that number is 930, that's starting to get a risky level, right? so what i will do is either -- there's simple actions that can be done. you can either open the windows, get a fan in that actually will blow the air outside into a common area, or i can leave.
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so i take this monitor with me literally everywhere i go. so if we go to the restaurant, i have a 4 and a 6-year-old who aren't vaccinated because they can't be yet. if i'm going to have them sitting in a space where they're not going to wear masks, i want to know that space is really well ventilated. >> you can literally measure it. doctor, thank you very much for joining us. thanks again for all the hard work you've done over the past year. and you can get more guidance on ventilation at the cdc's website, which is cdc.gov. the world health organization's european director is reportedly concerned that europe's vaccine rollout is just far too slow. in an interview with afp he also warned that the pandemic won't be over in europe until at least 70% of europeans are vaccinated. but fewer than 16% of europe's population is currently fully vaccinated according to our world in data. but europe is taking a big step
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towards getting children protected. scott, what can you tell us about these new efforts to get kids protected? >> reporter: hey, robyn, yeah. so the eu is following the lead of the united states and canada in approving the pfizer/biontech vaccine for children as young as 12 years old. the european vaccines regulator said that shot was just as or more effective as it was in older teenagers or young adults with roughly more or less the same kind of side effects. the regulator also conceded that the side of the clinical trial that was used to approve this vaccine wasn't big enough to pick up any rare adverse side effects. those are actually only going to show up once you start giving it to millions of kids out in the general population. this clinical trial that was done in the u.s. only had about 2,000 kids involved, and so only half of that, about 1,000, received the actual vaccine. there were zero coronavirus cases amongst that group, and so on paper you'd think that the efficacy was 100%. but in reality, robyn, that
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number could be as low as 75%. pfizer is also working on a clinical trial with data expected in september -- or by september on kids as young as 6 months old. so this process of getting younger and younger really is continuing. but europe before it even thinks about starting to vaccinate kids really needs to pick up the pace when it comes to the adult population. you mentioned the numbers when it comes to europe-wide vaccinations. more than one-third of the population has gotten at least one shot, so at least that's good. but that still lags well behind countries like the u.s. and the uk. the uk, by the way, just approved another vaccine, now it's fourth, the johnson & johnson shot. this was one of the vaccines, robyn, that they -- one of seven vaccines that the government really invested in early and very heavily in. so now of those seven, which at the time that they made those investments weren't sure that any of them were going to work, those bets seem to be paying off. in fact, the uk's early bets on
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astrazeneca, on pfizer have paid off so much so that they've actually scaled back their order of the johnson & johnson shot because they just don't need as much. so whereas before they were going to buy 30 million shots, now they're only going to buy 20 million shots. it is a bit of a game-changer in this country because it is just one shot, not the two-dose schedule like most of the others. so with the uk trying to really ramp up the pace of its vaccination because of the threat of the indian variant which spreads even quicker than the uk variant that we have right now, this could really help to actually do that. one estimate from the health secretary this week, robyn, showed that almost three-quarters of the new cases happening right now are showing up in the uk right now could be the indian variant. we just have one graphic if we can pop it up really quickly showing the cases in the uk and in europe. it's really hard to tell because the numbers are so small. but that white line there just at the end, it ticks up a little bit. it's actually up 25% compared to the same time last week or compared to the previous seven
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days, the number of cases in this country. so while they're still relatively small, obviously they're worried they could get a lot bigger with this much more transmissible variant in circulation, robyn. >> okay. thanks for that. live from london, scott mclean, thanks, scott. some republican governors are cutting jobs benefits in order to boost hiring, but is that all it will take to get americans back to work? that story next. the stinging. my skin was no longer mine. my psoriatic arthritis, made my joints stiff, swollen... painful. emerge tremfyant™. with tremfya®, adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis... ...can uncover clearer skin and improve symptoms at 16 weeks. tremfya® is the only medication of its kind also approved for adults with active psoriatic arthritis. serious allergic reactions may occur. tremfya® may increase your risk of infections and lower your ability to fight them. tell your doctor if you have an infection or symptoms or if you had a vaccine or plan to.
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welcome back. i'm robyn curnow. the u.s. president has unveiled his $6 trillion budget plan with much of the spending focused on boosting the economy. while the proposal comes as two dozen republican-led states are now ending the extra $300 in unemployment benefits, a key feature of joe biden's covid recovery plan. the states say the payments are keeping americans from going back to work. but is it really that simple? kyung lah reports.
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>> reporter: with just days to go until montana's summer tour season kicks off, the skeleton crew at this hotel is already exhausted. >> come find me and we'll probably just leave those rooms for tomorrow. >> reporter: working extra hours because of staff shortages. >> trying to do 26 rooms in a day. >> reporter: joshua dempsey believes people don't want to return to work because wages for jobs like this don't equal what pandemic unemployment pays. >> i make $800, $900 every two weeks. my friend gets like $800 a week, so she doesn't want to work when she's making what i make in two weeks in a week. >> not working at all. >> not working at all. >> reporter: signs of a low-wage worker shortage are up across montana. more jobs than employees, especially low-wage positions. businesses here now offer signing bonuses and $15 an hour starting pay, nearly twice the state's minimum wage. >> unemployment benefits should be a safety net, not a career choice. >> reporter: this month,
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republican governor greg gianforte announced montana will opt out of all federal pandemic unemployment benefit programs, including an extra $300 per week supplement. >> we're going to incent work, not staying home. >> reporter: instead, montanans will receive a $1,200 bonus if they get and keep a job for at least four weeks. >> that was kind of a huge relief for me. >> reporter: at least seven jobs at this hotel are vacant, says general manager ann marie bowers. >> i anticipate and really hope that that will mean more people will be applying. >> reporter: montana is not the only state. most republican governors in the country have promised to eliminate one or more federal pandemic programs for the unemployed. but not all are able to return to the workforce right away. >> first of all, i'm not lazy. i'm a full-time single mother. >> reporter: lacy colon said she had never planned to be home full-time. >> i was working in the mornings when she was at school. then when covid hit, it just
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changed everything. >> reporter: her daughter, julie ana as sensory issues and can't wear the required mask for school. so she's been collecting unemployment in order to be here, homeschooling since the pandemic began. pandemic unemployment benefits have allowed mother and daughter to stay in their home. >> i'm going to be really scared. i already am. i don't sleep at night. i guess i got to figure it out like everybody else is going to have to figure it out. >> this is being portrayed as a worker shortage. what it really is, is a wage shortage. >> reporter: blaming the workers, says the montana afl-cio, ignores the economic shock of the last year, forcing millions onto unemployment. nationwide, the minimum wage has lagged behind as the cost of living has increased, especially in states like montana. dempsey says he doesn't even earn enough to rent a studio apartment. where are you living? >> i live in a hotel right now. >> reporter: colon fears that will be her future.
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here in montana, those $300 a week supplemental payments will end on june 27th. that's around the same time as the rest of the other states, and this comes weeks ahead of when the federal government had scheduled it to end on labor day. kyung lah, cnn, bozeman, montana. packed planes and aggressive air travelers. coming up, how airlines are struggling with the surge in travel and a wave of violent passengers.
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so memorial day weekend is expected to set pandemic records for air travel, and that means planes once again packed with passengers. but airlines also dealing with a sharp, sharp rise in aggressive air travelers. as pete muntean reports now, he's keeping an eye on these pretty unfriendly skies. >> reporter: the newest problem facing pent-up demand for travel is pent-up frustrations in the sky with federal agencies citing a serious surge of in-flight fights. >> are you serious? >> reporter: in a new letter, southwest airlines flight attendants say unruly passenger
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incidents are becoming intolerable and more aggressive. these images are from a southwest flight on sunday when a flight attendant had two teeth knocked out by a passenger according to their union. >> they seem to be almost angry before they step onboard the aircraft, and they are verbally attacking flight attendants, calling them names, pulling on their lanyards, getting aggressive. we've had to deal with almost riot-like incidences. >> reporter: even if you are fully vaccinated, masks are still required on all public forms of transportation and in terminals by the tsa. it is now investigating 1,300 cases of people violating that mandate. the federal aviation administration says it has received 2,500 reports of unruly passengers just this year, 1,900 of them about mask compliance. >> started antagonizing other passengers. >> reporter: a crew member on this jetblue flight says an unruly passenger cut this
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coast-to-coast trip short, causing it to land in minneapolis. >> gesturing stabbing motions towards the other passenger, and there was also observed erratic behavior and snorting a white substance. >> we want to be clear that anyone causing a disturbance onboard an aircraft or within the airport environment will be punished with fines and possible criminal charges. >> reporter: even still, health officials are telling fully vaccinated americans to enjoy memorial day. aaa says the rush to return to travel is on with 37 million people headed out this holiday weekend, only a 13% drop compared to 2019. airports that were a ghost town last year are now filling up. tsa figures show air travel has already hit 90% of pre-pandemic levels compared to 13% a year ago. >> it's been a stressful year, and i'm just going to go by myself and have some fun in the bahamas. >> it can be a little crowded
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but i feel pretty safe. i got my vaccine and my mask, hand sanitizer. so should be good to go. >> reporter: the latest forecast from the u.s. travel association says 77% of americans will take at least one trip this summer, up from 29% last year. but flight crews hope with people rushing to return to normal, this does not become the new normal. >> these actions onboard the aircraft, what may start out as little actions can become really big problems really quickly. and we're stuck in a metal tube where we can't call for help or people cannot walk away. so we've all got to treat each other with respect. >> reporter: southwest airlines is telling its workers that the flight attendant who was assaulted on sunday is receiving ongoing care, but in a new memo obtained by cnn, southwest says it's not releasing any more information until it is done gathering its own details. southwest says it's received hundreds of reports of unruly passengers on its flights, and it has a zero-tolerance policy. pete muntean, cnn, reagan national airport.
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>> thanks, pete, for that. so atlanta hawks basketball star trae young is not pleased but ready to move on after a fan spat on him at madison square garden in new york. it happened on wednesday during game two of the hawks' playoff series with the new york knicks. a fan spat on young as he was on the sideline. the knicks banned the fan immediately. >> i'm not mad at the fans who chant things or whatever. that's for another subject. but for spitting and things like that, that's uncalled for in any arena or any environment. so that's disgusting, but i mean we've just got to move forward and for me, i just focus on this team. >> young went on to score 21 points on friday to lead the hawks to win over the knicks, giving atlanta a 2-1 in the series. well, thanks so much for joining me this hour. i'm robyn curnow. you can follow me on twitter and on instagram @robincurnowcnn.
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more cnn after the break. anand infused with essential ois that are 100% natural. give us one plug and connect to nature.
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blocked. senate republicans put a stop to a bill, that would have created a capitol riot commission about the probe into the january-6th attack isn't over, yet. the u.s. is drawing up sanctions against belarus after it used a fake-bomb threat to force a plane to land, and arrest a political critic. and for many in the united states, the first-holiday weekend with a little less covid stress. with cases falling, the worry now is that so are the number of vaccinations. fts. live from cnn world headquarters in atlanta, welcome to all of you watching here, in the united states, canada,

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