tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN July 4, 2021 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
hello. thank you for joining me this fourth of july. right now demolition specialists are racing against time in surfside, florida, finalizing plans to bring down the remaining parts of the partially collapsed condo building before tropical storm elsa approaches the state. the mayor says there is no
specific timetable for the controlled demolition, but the process will begin as soon as the site is secure. independent contractors are working to contain the demolition and to ensure that search efforts are not compromised. demolition plans were moved up amid concerns that tropical force winds could bring the building down unsafely. we are joined from surfside, florida. what more are you learning? >> reporter: there's a lot happening right now. some teams switching out. some of the florida task forces from around the state that were helping here, they are having to go home right now and prepare to help assist with elsa, the storm coming through. and then you have now other teams from out of state and federal assistance swapping in to assist. a lot happening in preparation for that storm that is now tracking like it's going to go a bit more west. so maybe not directly hitting surfside, but there's still
maybe gusts of wind to worry about here. and that's why officials are still really trying to get this demolition finished before monday night when they think that the weather might be coming through the area. the way they're going to do that, engineers have been on site last night and this morning preparing. they're drilling into the concrete. they're using a technique that we're told is called energetic felling. that's a strategic placement of detonation so the collapse is going to happen right immediately on that spot. the people in the nearby build, they don't have to evacuate, but they're being told that they will be given adequate notice to close up their doors and windows, cover any openings and stay indoors. and that's to try to avoid all the dust and debris that might be in the air at the time and they're going to secure a perimeter as well. so a lot happening here. meanwhile, these families of 121 people unaccounted for, still really hoping for some kind of answers. the mayor of miami dade
addressed that as she talked about how this july 4th is just different, because typically family and friends are gathering to celebrate a very different tone here this time in surfside. >> this year the holiday looks very different as our thoughts are with the victims of the terrible tragedy. those who have lost their lives, those who have lost their homes, and those who have lost people they love. but through this grief and through this loss, the rain, the smoke, and all of the other obstacles that have been thrown our way, a clear picture e americas of what it means to be american. the story of our nation is a story of every day men and women who summon great strength and resolve to face incredible challenges, and to do things that have never been done before. >> she specifically called out the first responders who rushed to the scene of the collapse when it happened to pull people out. and how this community has
really supported each other. we now know of the 24 confirmed dead, still so many missing and we talk to some family members, one relative i spoke to, the family members of a seven-year-old girl, the daughter of the city of miami firefighter who is found dead alongside her mother. still three more people in that family missing. just one example of the heart ache these families are going through on this holiday. >> indeed. all right. keep us posted throughout the day. on this july 4th, millions of americans are celebrating in a way that seemed unimaginable just a year ago. covid lockdowns. restrictions have now been differented. largely across the country. and president biden had set a goal for today to have 70% of american adults, at least partially vaccinated. the u.s. will fall just short only reaching 67%. meanwhile, there are rising concerns over the highly contagious delta variant
becoming more widespread. it is now responsible for a quarter of all new cases in the u.s. that rise and the low vaccination rates seen in some states have health experts warning it may not be time to ditch your masks just yet. >> the vaccines are not even as good as they are and highly effective, nothing is 100%. and if you put yourself in an environment in which you have a high level of viral dynamics and a low level of vaccine, you might want to go the extra step and say when i'm in that area, where there's a considerable degree of viral circulation, i might want to go the extra mile to be cautious enough to make sure that i get the extra added level of production. even though the vaccines themselves are highly effective. >> all right. we are at the white house where the president is hosting a 4th of july celebration. once again, lots of americans are feeling there are mixed
messages. on one hand a celebration of how far this nation has come. on the other hand, a few steps back on repeating some of the precautions we had to make. >> the white house is balancing both of the facets of the pandemic. today here at the white house, they will be hoping to celebrate all of the progress that has been made against the pandemic over the course of the last year. hosting the largest celebration to date here at the white house since president biden took office. but even as we see these scenes of celebration play out across the country, there is very serious concerns within the halls of the white house, about that delta variant taking hold in this country. particularly in pockets of the country that have low vaccination rates. as you mentioned, the white house is falling short of that 4th of july goal they set to have 70% of american adults with at least one shot in their arms, and the white house has
acknowledged that they have more work to do. but take a listen to the white house coronavirus coordinator talking about dana bash earlier this morning. >> we've made a lot of progress. we're further along than anyone would have anticipated at this point with two out of three americans with at least one shot. if you've been fully vaccinated, you're protected. if you're not vaccinated, you are not protected. we're going to double down on our efforts to vaccinate millions of more americans across july and august. so people get that protection and can enjoy life returning to normal. >> now, in just a few hours, they will turn their attention to celebration. hosting a 4th of july bbq on the south lawn. i already see some of the balloons set up for that celebration. they've invited around 1,000 first responders and also members of the military. really to try to pay tribute to
so many sacrifices and service that was paid over the course of the last year. now, each of the attendees was asked to be tested for covid-19. one to three days before the event. and while vaccinations are not required to attend, those who have been -- whonot be vaccinated have been asked to wear masks. the white house still trying to take precautions as the pandemic continues. president biden continue hoping to offer a moment of reflection over how much change has come to the country since this pandemic first took hold a little bit over a year ago. >> all right. the picture of the event at the white house and the stories told from it are going to be very interesting later on. articlette, thank you. >> joining me to discuss, an emergency medicine physician in new jersey. good to see you, doctor, and happy holiday. as a country we've made tremendous progress, but no one
really is out of the woods just yet. dr. anthony fauci says even vaccinated people may want to mask up in areas with high coronavirus transmission and low vaccination rates. local health officials in st. louis and l.a. county are ebb couraging residents to wear masks in indoor public spaces because of the delta variant. so what are you telling your vaccinated patients to do? >> well, i think that if you're in an area where cases are low, where vaccine rate is high and you're vaccinated, you can go unmasked. i think that's a safe situation. the problem is we're not all in that situation together. there are lots of pockets in the country where vaccination rates are low, cases are spiking and they're already spiking pretty significantly. in those areas, even if you're vaccinated, it's safer to do that. if you're surrounded by the various, it's more likely you're going to pick it up and become infected even if you're vaccinated. echoing what dr. anthony fauci said, vaccines are not 100%.
they're about 90 % for preventing any type of infection from delta. they are really good at preventing hospitalizations and death. so that's fantastic. but you don't even want to get any level of covid. i think it is safer if you're in those areas to continue to mask up. and it's to help yourself, but also as a signal to everybody else that we probably should be a little bit safer right now given the local situation that we're in. >> so what are your concerns, if any, about, say, the event on the white house grounds today? 1,000 people, if you're vaccinated, okay, go maskless. if you're not vaccinated, people are encouraged to wear a mask. what kind of concerns if any do you have about the picture of what that will look like with so many people on the grounds, and like the rest of america, having to rely on kind of an honor system? >> well, i'm concerned one for the actual event itself. that's a lot of people to have in the same place.
given it is outdoors, that extra level of ventilation can be helpful. the testing, the fact that hopefully most of those people are vaccinated. all of that will reduce the transmission at that place. there's an optics issue that's concerning. it's a little bit of a signal that you can just go back to doing everything you were doing before, but that really has to be knew yauns. a nuanced decision based on where you are. i wouldn't do a large gathering outdoors where cases are starting to spike. that doesn't seem like a good idea to me. in general, it's better to do small outdoor events, and honestly, the best thing to do, obviously, is to know that everyone is vaccinated. it would be great if we had that situation on the white house grounds. if that was being used as an example of we've checked. everybody who is here is vaccinated. >> all right. and then there's this. i mean, this morning former fda director said he believes the use of masks is going to become more normal in the u.s. you know, even after this year
or after the winter flu season. do you agree? >> this is an interesting question. i think some of this has to do with what happens with covid even as vaccination rates increase. we're always going to live with a low level of covid that's going to be in the background. i do think masking is going to become more normalized as it is in other parts of the world. i'm hoping that people will do it on their own and say i'm not feeling well so i'm going to wear a mask when i go out to protect everybody around me. that's what we would like to see. i don't imagine that i will go to work again without wearing a mask when i'm in the emergency department. i think it's unlikely that will ever happen for myself or my colleagues because what i found is not just that i've avoided covid over the last 15 months. i haven't gotten sick over the last 15 months. not a cold, not a sniffle, nothing. i think that level of protection says something as well. i think you'll see that in a lot of health care settings, and i do think that there are going to be a lot of people who take it on themselves who say i'm not feeling well, so i'm going to
wear a mask. >> i feel the same way, especially in grocery stores, even after all of this, and especially when traveling every time i'm on a plane. i feel like i'm so accustomed to wearing a mask that it's hard tore let it go when in public places. doctor, thank you so much. good to see you. >> thank you. and then we're following breaking news out of the vatican. the pope having surgery just hours after appearing at st. peters square. what we're learning about the planned medical procedure, and his recovery. plus what's next for voting rights in america after last week's u.s. supreme court decision? we'll talk about the political fallout straight ahead. all by y♪ you look a little lost. i can't find my hotel. oh. oh! ♪ this is not normal. no. ♪
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and osteoporosis. call your doctor if worsened breathing, chest pain, mouth or tongue swelling, problems urinating, vision changes, or eye pain occur. for real protection ask your doctor about breztri. breaking news right now. the pope is undergoing surgeon general for colon diver tick youlitis. it's an inflammatory condition
developed by small sacks in the wall of the colon. the surgical procedure was planned. this video that you're watching was taken hours before the pope checked into the hospital as he conducted morning prayers in st. peters square. we have an emergency medicine physician back with us. deliah is in rome. deliah, what do we know about the pope's condition, what brought this on? what's happening? >> well, i'm here in front of a rome hospital. we're waiting for a medical bulletin. we're told we'll have an update once the surgery is finished. we're assuming it's either going on or they're getting things together to give us that information. what we do know is that five hours ago the vatican announced this surgery would be happening. so it came as a surprise to all of us. importantly, as you note in the statement they said it was
scheduled surgery. that's important. that suggests that it wasn't an emergency. the other important thing is that we saw the pope at noon local time today from his window at st. peters square. he looked fine. this is a surgery under general anesthetic. the pope is 84 years old. it's not without risk. but we are waiting to have the information from the doctors as to just how the surgery has gone. fredricka? >> thank you. doctor, how common is this condition? what's the recovery process after a surgery like this? >> divetikulosis is common as people get older. the inflammation is less common, but it's not unheard of. we see this commonly in the emergency department. and surgery for it, again, isn't uncommon. especially in the westernized country, that seems to be happening more and more. and this procedure is a major
procedure. it is general anesthesia, a major abdominal surgery. they're removing part of the colon where the problem is. so there's going to be considerable recovery here. and there is a danger based on age. but at the same time, the fact that this is an emergency, that it's not an emergency, it's planned, is a good thing. that definitely reduces the risk. it's a significant recovery. how long is hard to say. in somebody who is older, it's longer. that's what we would expect with any major surgery. >> is this something detected during a regular colonoscopy? >> the sacks that form can be detected during a regular colonoscopy. most of the time what we see in the emergency department is patients come in with abdominal pain and we find it based on a cat scan. inflammation as the cause for the abdominal pain. the little sacks that form, those can be completely
asymptomatic in many people were years or even decades, and it's only found when they get their routine screening. and if they don't have inflammation, there's not much to do. when the inflammation happens, sometimes the surgeons will recommend to have a surgery performed so it doesn't create more problems down the line. >> all right. we're hoping the best in his recovery. thank you so both of you. i appreciate it. straight ahead, an annual holiday tradition. we'll take you live to cony island and the famous hot dog eating competition. first, a message from our troops. i'm the commanding officer of uss theodore roosevelt. happy fourth of july. >> commanding officer of uss new hampshire located in virginia. my crew and i would like to wish everyone here in the united states and around the globe a
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it's the fourth of july. that means fireworks, flags and frank's hot dogs. we are in cony island and also evan is in new york, in brooklyn. let's go to evan first. lots of excitement building. >> reporter: that's right. i'm hear in greenpoint which is an old shipping terminal. this is a great metaphor for
what this day means to new york. last year this concrete was turned into the skyline drive in. people sat in their cars and watched a movie with other people without getting near anybody. this year there are no cars. you are going to sit here, 2000 tickets sold. they're going to watch the movie "independence day". and after the movie is over, they'll get a chance to see an amazing fireworks display across the river. it's just a sign of how much things have changed here. meeting with organizers here, they've been telling me it feels like it's over here today. people are ready to get back out and party like they did in the old days. >> yeah. so many of us can't wait to see fireworks at least somewhat like what we have become accustomed to experiencing over the years. polo, another big tradition, particularly coney island is that nathan's famous hot dog eating contest. it happens today. and the winner is --
>> joey chestnut. the biggest eaters descending on new york for what is an iconic competition and the best ten minutes in sports. ches ch ch chestnut holding onto the competition. he shattered the record from last year of 75. today the very last second making it to 76. crowned as the world record holder. talk about going back to the old days. the other big story was in the crowd. you had a massive crowd at this baseball stadium coming together. many of them maskless because they can. a large percentage of new yorkers vaccinated. last year indoors without any spectators. this year they filled up a large
portion of the baseball field and had a massive moment in history. a clear indication that new york is continuing to come back and people continue to feel more comfortable making it on to the boardwalk and enjoying the fourth of july. nothing says like i said, happy birthday america like a big hot dog. if you'll allow me, i'll set my personal record for most hot dogs devoured on cnn by me. currently zero. we'll make it to at least .75. >> you're not going to eat the whole thing? too funny. very good. it's all about fabulous franks and fireworks. we got it all. i love that. polo, evan, thank you so much. and then tonight on cnn, join don lemon, dana bash, wictor blackwell for a star studded evening of music and fireworks. here's a preview. >> tonight, let's get ready.
america is open. it's time to celebrate. >> full on fireworks. >> with coast to coast performances from bebe rexha, billy ray cyrus, blues traveler, brad paisley, foreigner, reo speed wagon, the beach boys and more. join don lemon, dana bash, and others for "the 4 th in america" live tonight at 7:00 on cnn. >> you don't want to miss it. ♪ don't flex your pecs. terminix.
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you can have coverage as soon as august 1st if you sign up now at healthcare.gov on this fourth of july as the nation celebrates independence an explosion of concerns about the rights of voters and access, especially on the heels of the supreme court ruling. in a 6-3 decision the justices upheld two provisions of an
arizona law that restrict how ballots can be cast. in a statement, president biden said he was, quote, deeply disappointed with the ruling. adding, quoting now, the court has now done severe damage to two of the most important provisions of the voting rights act of 1965. a law that took years of struggle and strife to secure. ron brownstein is a cnn senior political analyst. ron, good to see you on this holiday. is this ruling giving gop lawmakers in states across the country the green light to continue passing new restrictive voting laws? >> first, happy fourth to you and everybody watching. i would say this is not only a green light. this is a starter's bill for the republicans in the state. and it really puts the owness now clearly on democrats in congress. you know, we have seen this proliferation of laws in red states. by the way, almost all passing on an entirely party-line basis
with other republican voting yes and every democrat voting no. together it's the broadest assault of voting rights since the voting rights act of 1956. it's clear democrats don't have the votes in the states to stop the laws. what the supreme court made clear is the courts, this 6-3 republican majority on the supreme court is highly unlikely to constrain these laws in any meaningful way. what that leaves is one last lever for democrats. their control of congress allows them to set national, a national floor of voting rights. and i think what the court has said, and what ellen said in her dissent was we have done all we can here. now it is up to you whether you are going to push back against this. and that will require a change in senate rules to end the filibuster, at least for voting rights legislation. >> right. putting the pressure on congress saying it's your responsibility now. you wrote a piece for the atlantic after that ruling
handed down. and you made the case that democrats really only have one option left, and i'm going to pull out a portion. the only way democrats can reverse the wave of gop controlled states is to pass new federal voting rights by curtailing the senate filibuster. that's at the core and it's going to take ending the filibuster which means manchin and cinema have to be swayed. can that realistically happen? >> they face the weight of history. there's no fig leaf to hide behind. they could have said let's see how it plays out in the courts. i think they have a good preview that the six appointed justices who has president biden voted, in 2013, eviscerated the preclearance provision of the voting rights act now have followed that by weakening the remaining legal provision, section 2 that allows you to sue after the fact. they have nowhere to hide.
the choice in front of them is stark. do you protect minority rights in the senate by enabling the f filibuster or minority rights in the country by defending the right to vote. i think they're in the eye of history in the choice they make. >> let's talk about the january 6th select committee taking shape. who two house republicans crossed party lines to investigate the ib sur recollection. speaker pelosi chose liz cheney. mccarthy said when he has news on choosing five members, he'll let everyone know. how did you interpret that, and what happens if he decides to pick no one? >> yeah. well, first, i think people understand this is part of the same continuum. what's happening in the states and the commission and january 6th itself are all part of a challenge to the fundamental underpinnings of our democracy we haven't seen.
july 4th we're celebrating our common heritage, but we're seeing continuing evidence that the basic democratic small d principals of american government are under the greatest threat they have been since the civil war. and kevin mccarthy, republicans have done everything they can to avoid a full accounting of what happened on january 6th. we saw in the revelations last week in arizona that trump's effort to undermine the election by pressuring local election officials went beyond georgia including maricopa county in arizona. there's a lot we don't know. donald rumsfeld might have said there are known unknowns about all the things that happen in the post election period. mccarthy in a party where three quarters of the voters said they believe the -- most republicans voted to overturn the results. he is operating on a very short leash and he wants to avoid this reckoning, this look agent what trump did. you can certainly make the case
that especially because trump is leaving open the possibility of trying to seek the power of the presidency again in 2024, americans deserve a much more full accounting of what he did with presidential power when he had it and the january 6th commission may be one step in the direction. >> who can forget while president trump was in office, often the questions were what does he have to hide? and now that same question is asked of mccarthy who would not want the january 6th commission and seemingly doesn't want to be a party of making that committee happen. now the questions are well, what does he or what do others on the hill have to hide that they wouldn't want? >> such a strange circumstance. >> yeah. >> but the decision makers are also potential witnesses. >> right. all right. ron, good to see you. happy holiday. >> happy holiday. >> all right. we'll have more news in a moment. but first, here's today's off the beaten path. ♪
>> welcome to our state park about an hour south of boise. behind me is the largest single structure sand dune. sand boarding and sledding has gained a lot of traction here recently. we wax up the boards and it helps them gain speed on sand. i think people are discovering this new activity, and you can't do it anywhere else. >> this section of the snake river, we have the best of both worlds. i'm in front of blue heart springs, a hidden cove where the springs come up from the bottom. the clear water and sunlight, it transforms it into a blue gem. the water comes up year around at a constant 58 degrees. when you swim in it, you're chill. on the other side, we have natural hot springs. we've piped it into pools to get warmed back up. >> we are in south central idaho where granite has been uncovered through eons of erosion to give
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all right. frightening shark attack off the coast of catalina island. a brave boy scout nearly lost his finger when it went in into his canoe. here's stacey butler from kcbs. >> something slammed into the bottom of the boat and lifted the canoe up. and then slammed us back down into the water. >> when he and his dad were paddling their canoe filled with boy scouts, at first they thought they hit a rock. seconds later -- >> the shark comes up and hits the boat like this. my hand is maybe here. i'm reaching down. the shark comes up, it slides against the boat, and my hand is
there. and then it slides down and submerges. at that moment, i was freaking out. i don't want to capsize, and i didn't want the other scouts in the water. >> reporter: his dad in the back started to pabic. >> it's a shark, row, and we all start rowing, digging. and eddie is like i lost my paddle, and then i hear i think i lost my finger. >> reporter: adrenaline kicked in. eddie saw the blood but didn't feel the pain. his dad and the members of the troop paddled back to shore like their lives defended on it. -- depended on it. >> my finger was hanging down. >> reporter: he was taken to the ucla medical center. he and his dad are grateful for what didn't happen. >> trying to keep his hand and the ship didn't turnover and kids didn't end up in the wear, and i'm thankful for that. >> i didn't even lose a finger.
i damaged my hand, but i think i will make an almost full recovery. but i could have lost multiple fingers. i could have lost my hand. i could have lost my life. >> all right. thanks to stacey butler for that report. pretty close call. still to come, a fireworks show derailed hours before the big show. why a 4th of july celebration was cancelled at the last minute. but first the pandemic has made telemedicine visits more popular than ever. here's today's mission ahead. the use of telemedicine exploded during the pandemic. and some startups are using that momentum to innovate. >> my youngest suffered through a lot of ear infection and cells doing a lot of unnecessary travel to really take care of her and the thinking was how can i make this entire interaction
from home. >> reporter: title care developed a home medical kit that allows doctors to see inside a patient's ears and throat, and even listen to their heart and lungs remotely. >> with our kit, you can really give the physician a remote hand and ears and eyes at the patient's home. >> reporter: he says during the peak of the pandemic, they saw a 40 0% increase in demand for their home diagnostic kits. other telemedicine startups are reaching new patients by specializing in virtual care for young women in college. especially women of color. >> black and brown women historically have a lot of barriers to health care. and a lot of times students don't feel comfortable going in because they don't see a provider who looks like them. >> reporter: the company finds physicians with diverse backgrounds to pair with the specific communities they serve. it currently works with 3,000 students with plans to expand up to 22,000 student later this
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frightening moments all official fireworks shows in ocean city, maryland are being called off after an accidental explosion. experts were setting up when the fireworks went off unintentional. the decision to call off the show was made in an abundance of caution. it's unclear why the fireworks went off. officials say the safety protocols in place kept anyone else from being hurt. in with her olympic dreams likely dashed by a positive marijuana test, american sprinter sha'carri richardson is vowing to continue her track career, twaeting i'm sorry i can't be the olympic champ this year, but i promise i'll be your world champ next year.
richardson's olympic trial results were automatically disqualified following the positive test. she will not be allowed to participate 100 meter race. that was her specialty. many thought she's probably going to be the gold med list. she has since apologized saying she consumed the marijuana after learning her biological mother passed away, and that was her coping mechanism. president biden is now praising her handling of the controversy. >> the rules are the rules. everybody knows the rules going in. whether they should remain the rules is a different issue. i was proud of her, the way she responded. >> it's unclear if she'll miss the games altogether. she may be eligible for the 4x100 meter relay. that decision is up to the usa track and field. all right. an atlanta woman got a rude
awakening when an exotic cat leaped in her bed. the servile which is native to africa got inside her home while she slept after her husband left a door open while walking the couple's dog. frank says the cat got within six inches of her face. she was able to scare the wild animal off and then snap these photos. >> this could have gone horribly different. i have an elderly dog. i'm lucky i don't have any small children anymore. i don't know what this cat -- this a wild animal. and they shouldn't be pets. >> okay. so still unclear where this cat came from. frank believes that it does belong to someone in the area. but while cats like this one are illegal to own in the state of georgia. the department of natural resources is now trying to capture the feline home invader.
and now a 4th of july message from our troops. >> commanding officer of uss theodore roosevelt. on behalf of the entire big stick family, happy 4th of july. commanding officer of uss new hampshire located here in west virginia. my crew and i would like to wish everyone in the united states and around the globe a safe and happy 4th of july. from poland, the soldiers of the first infantry division and first cavalry division wish you a happy 4th of july. the 16 th space control squadron. and the 4th space control a squadron. on behalf of the united states
space force -- >> happy 4th of july. >> happy 4th of july. >> happy 4th of july. >> happy 4th of july. >> happy independence day from our family to yours. god bless america. on this 4th of july millions of americans are celebrating in a way that seemed unimaginable a year ago. covid lockdowns, restrictions have been lifted largely across the country. president biden had set a goal for today to have 70% of american adults at least partially vaccinated. the u.s. will fall just short, though, only reaching 76%. meanwhile, there are rising concerns over the delta variant becoming more widespread. it's responsible for a quarter of all new cases in the