tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN July 17, 2021 9:00am-10:00am PDT
comfort. neil sharing photos, writing the first time we saw nameless heroes was on the news reels as they were pulling my boy out of the rubble. now with god's grace, we stand next to each other sharing thanks and hope. hello again, everyone. thank you so much for joining me. i am fredricka whitfield. we begin with what dr. anthony fauci calls two americas. the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. cases now rising in all 50 states and district of columbia. what's driving it is a combination of things, failure by some people to get the vaccine, effectively a medical miracle, and inability of others like children or adults with compromised health who may be unable to get the vaccine. so right now, not only is the pandemic not over, it is getting
worse in many places. one of the places is los angeles county which is hours away from starting or restarting a mask mandate. paul vercammen is there. paul, what are people saying about all this? >> reporter: well, they're all trying to figure it out, fred, that's because county health came out and said there were 1900 new cases just yesterday, and now the mandate goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. tonight. tomorrow, you have to wear masks again indoors at gyms, movie theaters, shops, restaurants. we're at patty's restaurant, bringing in george, the owner. you now have to reckon with a new rule that says inside, your patrons must wear masks, outside i guess no. they put it on you to enforce it. how do you do it? >> it has been a confusing situation with the masks.
when they removed them june 15th, you can't ask a consumer whether or not they're vaccinated or not or prove it so we're supposed to assume, it was an assumption rule put in place for us that when a consumer came to the restaurant and did not have a mask on, that let us know right away that person was not vaccinated. we didn't know that. it was confusing in the beginning. so i mandated a rule in my restaurant that everybody that works for me must wear a mask because i needed to protect my employees. now that we're going back to it, again, it is the same problem i see is where they say follow the science. they said don't wear masks if you're vaccinated. now put the mask on if you're vaccinated. i have documents i printed this morning off the website from l.a. county health department
that don't match the ruling they're putting in place at 11:59 tomorrow night, and i need to protect my customers, i need to protect my employees, and i have to follow the rules, but i'm very in touch with the american public. they're very frustrated. i deal with the plumber all the way to adam levine and justin beiber as my customer. i have full range of the american world. everybody that comes to me is very confused about the mask rules that go in and out and not knowing what to do. there's really no instructions, do you understand? we only get stuff that's outdated and then we have to go back and figure this out ourselves and sit down with management and put it in play. thank god we have california restaurant association and independent restaurant coalition that help us but it is really difficult right now, very difficult. >> there have been hard times for employees. can you describe how some of
them have been absolutely tongue lashed over telling someone to put a mask on? >> yeah. what happens is customers show up unmasked prior to june 15, and if they did not have a mask on, we would ask them, the general manager would, maria, and they would lash out with vul garity. they refuse to put on a mask, get bell ij rant, rude. i have to step in and say protection of my employees and guests, you need a mask on if you dine here. again, they walk away, never coming back again. it is the public. the public maybe 10% are against it. >> thank you so much for giving perspective from front lines of the new l.a. county mask rule. fred, you heard this, they're going to mandate indoors, vaccinated or not, everyone needs to wear a mask. back to you.
>> lots of adjustments made on the way. paul vercammen, thank you so much. as cases rise, so does the white house's frustration with social media companies, the biden administration is pinning much of the blame for misinformation on facebook. for more on that, bring in jasmine wright at the white house. jasmine, this information is a big problem, so many agree on that, including a lot of the medical community. tell us what the white house is trying to do. >> reporter: president biden said yesterday that social media companies are killing people because they're not removing vaccine misinformation fast enough off their sites. take a listen to him here at the white house. >> they're killing people. look, the only pandemic you have is among the unvaccinated. and they're killing people. >> so the administration focused on social media companies with laser focus on facebook, saying
they're taking insufficient action on the issue. officials including u.s. surgeon general this week with a scathing advisory are directly linking misinformation, problems of misinformation with slowed down vaccination rates. bottom line, this white house view getting more shots in arms and more vaccinated as the key to getting over the pandemic. anything standing in their way is a problem. white house press secretary jen psaki called out facebook directly. cnn reported that meetings between white house officials and facebook had become tense because white house officials did not view that facebook was taking the issues seriously enough. white house press secretary jen psaki said clearly this is the case yesterday in the briefing. take a listen. >> our biggest concern here, frankly think it should be your biggest concern, the number of people dying around the country because they're getting misinformation leading them to not take a vaccine, young
people, old people, kids, children, this is all being -- a lot of them impacted by misinformation. >> reporter: facebook responded to accusations from cnn refuting claims, but the battle against misinformation is really just one thing the white house is battling. they're also battling rise of covid cases across the country because of the delta variant. we heard polo talk earlier about talking about the unvaccinated, the pandemic focused on the unvaccinated. the white house trying to tamper down on incoming outbreaks, sending a team to nevada, about 100 people, deploying them to raise up vaccination rates in that area and sending a team to missouri to try to respond to the outbreaks. fred? >> jasmine wright at the white house, thank you so much for that. let's talk more about all of this.
dr. esther chu joining me. always good to see you. you heard that reporting that the biden administration is calling on social media platforms like facebook for allowing misinformation about the coronavirus and vaccines to spread. when you talk to patients, do you hear them reiterate lies or rumors, how often are you having to straighten them out, persuade them otherwise? >> thank you, fred. it really is part of the everyday work of physicians now to counter act misinformation and malicious disinformation, in addition to patients i work with, i do a lot of vaccine outreach to our hospital and to our community and i also have many family members deeply conservative. one lives under my roof now, strongly believes what he sees online, thinks my children should not get vaccinated when eligible. i would say i spend an hour or two every day talking to people
about the disinformation streams. it is so prevalent, people are deeply entrenched in this information they got from who knows where. >> if your words don't have enough credibility against one of your own family members who is more apt to believe misinformation, do you feel like at this point you throw your hands up, if people are not on board by now with as much good information as there is bad information, i mean, do you feel it is a hopeless situation? >> i never want to say anything is hopeless and i will say it is very, very hard. it takes me to the limit of my patience and persuasive ability. there are things that work. starting from a position of respect always, finding common ground. the thing i know about my family member, for sure they love my children and want what's best
for them and also believe in contributing to a greater good. when we start from those things, we can actually have a lot of conversation where there are points conceded, and i try to uncouple their political beliefs and mine from a scientific and public health conversation. we make a lot of head way when we talk about the fact sometimes our individual choices are different than what we need to do for the health of our community, loved ones. family members are immuno compromised, think about what we as individuals need to do to protect them. those kind of conversations framed in respect and love go a lot further. it is harder work than putting up a sign or meme but i think that's where the work needs to happen and we need to be willing to come to the table, not just throw disparaging remarks about people's political orientation. >> this misinformation comes from a lot of different sources, sometimes it is just people being ignorant or people reading anything they see and sometimes
there's political polarization that is rooted in misinformation. recent "the washington post" abc news poll found that among those that say they're not likely to get vaccinated, 6% are democrats, 47% are republicans. did you ever see this coming that politics would be ever so persuasive in who gets vaccinated, who doesn't? >> it is different than other vaccines. when you look at who doesn't get childhood vaccines for their children, or strong anti-vaccination, some are extreme liberals, and it is just its own entity in terms of being anti-vax. covid vaccine is different and is so polarized and falls on political lines like you said and the pockets of unvaccinated
are areas we largely see republican populations. it is surprising prepandemic, couldn't have seen this. however, it is consistent with the way information has flowed through the very beginning of the pandemic. belief in covid to begin with. suspicion of public health messages and pouring right into understanding misinformation about vaccines and willingness to take vaccines. those have been continuous and consistent stream. fits with the trajectory of overall information flow for this pandemic. >> all right. well, the fight continues for everyone's survival. all right. thank you so much. >> thank you. straight ahead, new york's governor in the hot seat, facing questions from his own state's top prosecutor over allegations that he harassed his own aides. we breakdown the case against him. are the olympic games really about to begin?
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that's career services for life. learn more at phoenix.edu. today, governor andrew cuomo will be facing questions about allegations against him of sexual harassment. lawyers sit down with cuomo today after four months of investigation into the accusations of broader workplace culture complaints. joining me, cnn legal analyst, areva martin. good to see you. what's the objective here with the questions to the governor, is it to corroborate answers and information they've already retrieved from those accusing him or is this a portion of discovery? >> this is a multi facetted investigation that's been taking place with respect to the attorney general's office. there are a couple things at
work. one, there have been pretty serious allegations made against the governor as relates to sexual harassment, including allegations of groping and unwarranted touching as well as creating hostile work environment for some of his employees. as many as ten women made allegations. this investigation is about trying to determine whether the allegations are indeed true as well as to look at how the governor's office handled the complaints made by women. there are some issues about whether complaints were properly handled by his office. >> and then as governor cuomo said, he is eager to tell his side of the story. is this his opportunity to do that? won't what he says today eventually be made public, will it be part of public record? >> absolutely. you're right, fred, the governor said he has been anxious to tell his side of the story. we heard a couple of things from the governor. initially he apologized for
making any women uncomfortable. apologized for getting into conversations that were perhaps too personal. then we saw a defiant governor that denied allegations of touching and groping and some more serious allegations. it will be interesting to see under questioning from two attorneys what the governor's story is, and we should expect to see a public report that will be issued from the attorney general's office that will outline not just what the governor says but what these women who have been interviewed, what their testimony is, apparently there's lots of physical evidence, text messages and emails. this report is going to give us a lot of information about what was going on in the governor's office. >> and then in so many investigations, it is the alleged crime and then alleged attempts of cover up. where do you see this potentially playing? >> this is very common thing
that happens in sexual harassment investigations. often times, he said, she said. typically not witnesses to the allegations that are made by the victim of the harassment. so you have to judge the credibility, veracity of statements made by the victim as well as alleged perpetrator. in this case, we are learning there are perhaps some documents and emails, text messages that may shed light on what was happening. we know the governor's office as i said has been defiant denying allegations, so it is going to be interesting to see if not only the governor but some aides and other employees in the office have been involved in trying to prevent women's stories from coming out, preventing the truth from coming out. we are in this moment of me too where powerful men have been accused of sexual harassment, so what happens in this case, the eyes of the nation will be on the governor. again, i want to give credit to these women for having courage
of coming forward. governor cuomo as we know is a larger than life figure, particularly in the democratic party. these women had to have a great deal of courage to come forward and make these allegations. >> the questions today we know are largely about the sexual harassment allegations against the governor, then this also seems to coincide with a separate investigation of whether the governor's office in any way obscured some of the numbers of the nursing home deaths at the height of covid. duz there will be potential in today's question and answer period with the governor that the attorney general's office or the attorneys conducting the view here will go off into that direction as well? >> that's a good question, fred, because there's not only allegations about hiding numbers as relates to nursing home deaths during the height of covid but also allegations that he used his office, his staff
members that work for state of new york to help him with the book he wrote and allegedly receiving $5 million for. not knowing at this point whether the attorneys investigating the sexual harassment allegations will try to get into some of the other areas, or if the governor himself or his attorneys will allow him to answer questions about the nursing home, allegations surrounding his book. clearly all of this should note is happening as there's an impeachment inquiry in the new york state legislature. they are also keenly noekfocuse this and claims with the nursing home and the book deal the governor had. >> a lot, an understatement. areva martin, thank you so much. good to see you. >> thanks, fred. this summer has seen a record number of travelers. we'll tell you about one big
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ones. triple the usually amount of time. good luck if flying abroad soon and don't have your passport. earlier, i spoke with john ossoff about the issue. he told me he is urging the state department to try to fix the problem. >> have you been hearing from people with renewing passports? apparently there are a lot of complaints it is taking an exceptionally long time for renewals and new applications to take place, in some cases as long as 12 weeks. and many people are calling their senators, members of congress. are you fielding a lot of questions about it? >> absolutely. my office received thousands. >> what do you say to people, what's the answer? >> what i say to the state department is this, this is clearly a breakdown. american citizens should be able to deserve consular services, passport services that are timely and effective, even in
the midst of a crisis. if the state department now a year and a half into the pandemic hasn't developed the procedures to adapt to covid-19 to make sure american citizens about to embark on international travel or may be abroad, needing assistance, can't get help, then there need to be reforms at the state department. >> what's at the root of the problem. what explains the delay? >> looks to me like failure to adapt to circumstances. there were changes made to procedures at the passport offices in response to covid-19, that's fine, it was necessary from public health response to protect folks that go to the passport office and protect those that work at the passport office. we are a year into the paenndem, it is a vital service we provide to citizens, state department needs to take action to reduce delays, make sure americans can access services. >> in the interview with senator ossoff, we talked about the covid pandemic and problems that
misinformation is causing with vaccination efforts. we'll have that part of the interview in the next hour. opening ceremonies are a week away at the olympic games and already a positive test of coronavirus inside the olympic village. here is andy scholes. >> fredricka, games are set to begin in a matter of days. there's now a confirmed positive covid test inside olympic village. speaking at a news conference, tokyo 2020 ceo confirmed nonresident of japan involved in organizing the games tested positive, adding that individual has been taken into quarantine outside of the village. total of 45 people now involved with the games have tested positive since arriving to tokyo. more than 11,000 athletes, 205 international olympic committees are scheduled to compete in games. 85% are vaccinated against covid-19, according to ioc. yankees were back in action
after thursday's game with the red sox was postponed due to covid concerns. aaron judge, one of six yankees players that tested positive were placed on the covid-19 list. the manager says a few players are showing mild symptoms, some are totally asymptomatic. yankees one of 23 teams to have reached the 85% vaccinated threshold which allowed them to relax covid protocols. this is the second covid outbreak the yankees had to deal with. back in may, three coaches, several members of support staff tested positive. those were also considered break through cases. yankees lost 4-0 to the red sox last night. fredricka, garrett cole says the team feels like they were hit by an invisible microscopic truck now. >> thank you so much. all right. does it feel to you like your paycheck isn't going far enough as it used to? you're not alone. lots of people are feeling the pinch from inflation.
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all right. it is a saturday. have you been to the grocery store? if it feels like things are more expensive, it is not your imagination from food to appliances up sharply. the cost of the milk on your breakfast table is almost 6% higher. bacon up almost 9%. if you want to travel for summer vacation, be prepared to shell out 25% more for a plane ticket. and a car rental, if you can find one that is, will cost nearly double. in total, consumer prices saw the biggest monthly jump in 13 years. all of this causing concerns that inflation could in fact devastate the economic recovery. diane swan is the chief economist at grant thornton, adviser to federal reserve board. good to see you. so in a nutshell, what is driving up all these prices?
>> there's no precedence for opening up a $20 trillion economy all at once. we're trying to get through the same door at the same time, and that's pushing up prices. what's good is we're seeing some of the earlier price surges that we saw in response to pandemic related demand start to abate. everything from lumber costs, falling back to prepandemic levels, that's great after they soared and skyrocketed. we've seen people's attitudes on buying cars. homes have soured in recent months because prices are going up too fast and it is pushing people out of the market. that side of it is somewhat self correcting. it doesn't make us feel better about having to pay higher prices at the pump and at the grocery store. i think there's hope some of the inflation we are enduring now
will abate. the question is what will it abate to, and that's the great unknown for the federal reserve as they move into 2022. >> and when, it can't come soon enough. you talk about all these staples that are experiencing an increase in cost, is there a segment of the population that seems to be feeling it most? >> absolutely. even though we see low wage jobs where wages are accelerating, what we saw in the second quarter was all that acceleration in wages for low wage workers was wiped out by the surge we saw inflation. even though we're seeing wages pick up because there's a lot of friction in labor markets, friction on re-entry, yet to see the parachutes come out, splash down into cooler waters of 2022. those frictions on getting people back to work, matched with the right jobs after the
places they once work for were closed, all those frictions have not been enough to offset a surge in prices. some can afford more for surge pricing on airline, hotels, rental cars, those are things we expect and they should abate, but when it comes to the absolute essentials like food, rent, putting money into the gas tank, that can also effect your ability to accept a job because of increased costs of commuting as we go back into offices and trying to go back into jobs. >> that's interesting. and then of course if you have a job and you're met with all these inflation prices like everybody is, you want to march into the boss' office and say i'd like a raise. talk to us about what the chances are for being able to get that. what are the companies up against? >> well, we are seeing wages go up. that's good news.
workers have a moment in the sun. i have my doubts that they'll be able to stay in the warmth of higher wages for very long. one of the things i'm very concerned about is that we're seeing very large companies that benefitted from the pandemic able to increase wages. also adopted and invested aggressively in technologies that boosted productivity growth and kept margins wide to be able to absorb that wage shock where smaller mom and pop businesses, especially restaurants trying to reopen just can't compete at the same level for workers. you don't want to lose the dynamism in the u.s. economy, you want low wage workers get paid a little more, that's good news, but you also want to see smaller businesses able to survive and play a role in the economy going forward. we don't want to, as great as many chains may be, don't want just big chains, we want to keep
some of what we see in terms of small mom and pop shops open. that's the challenge going forward. >> some great economic peaks, still very much hard times for a lot of america. thank you so much. always good to see you. still ahead, in the past few weeks, national parks around the country have seen record numbers in visitors. one of the most popular parks is dealing with tragedy. then rescuers are racing to prevent deaths as floods ravage parts of europe. live in belgium next. this past year has felt like a long, long norwegian winter. but eventually, with spring comes rebirth.
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a 29-year-old woman killed in a flash flood at grand canyon national park. several others were injured. monsoon weather on the colorado river made it difficult to reach victims, but they eventually retrieved six other people. meantime, number of people killed in devastating floods in western europe is at least 157. officials in germany are vowing to rebuild after entire towns were devastated by the worst flooding in a century. al good man is in belgium. many were left homeless. what more can you tell us? >> reporter: the latest death toll is up to 27. many more in germany. authorities say many may be without cell phones or checked into a hospital with no identification.
the house behind me is more than 200 years old, scene of dramatic flood waters two days ago on thursday with a man we talked to who lived there and his best friend basically up on the roof. i think you have a video that the family just provided to us. and they were up there hours and hours overnight wednesday into thursday when they were finally rescued. this man says even though his great uncle, way back in his family lived in the house as well, didn't own it, lived on the land, worked the land for a wealthy land owner, they have such a history, he says the flood was too much for him, he is moving out. moving in with his girlfriend now. you see scenes like this across the area in belgium with people trying to figure out a way, we were at a recovery center with more than 1500 people that have come through since floods pushed them out of houses. temporary place to get food, dry clothes, move to other temporary lodging with friends or family. now, a woman we talked to,
mother of four said she has never been in one of those places, she says she can't blame climate change, but the european commission president who visited the area earlier this day clearly has a culprit in mind, saying scientists point this is indicator of climate change, they're getting more intense, so much has to be done to stop this, even while they're going to rebuild here as much as they can. uncertain future for so many people here. >> uncertain, still dangerous. al goodman, thank you so much. the condo collapse in surfside, florida led many of us to wonder about safety of buildings we live. that's especially true for people in high-rise condominiums. many now want buildings checked to make sure they're safe. new reporting on the theory the covid pandemic was result of a lab leak, that's straight ahead. stay with us. with university ,
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rosa flores reports. >> reporter: condo living with breathtaking views is a way of life in south florida. but since the condo collapse killed nearly 100 people, high-rise living here has been overshadowed by concern. >> people are worried. some people are especially worried. >> reporter: so far, at least four south florida residential buildings are raising alarm, including crestview towers in north miami beach where about 300 people were forced out of their homes this month. >> we learned that management knew about it since january. >> reporter: city officials say crest view submitted an engineering report july 2nd, saying the building was structurally and electrically unsafe. the report dated january 11th, 2021. >> as resident, we didn't
realize anything about the situation. >> reporter: the attorney didn't respond to cnn multiple requests for comment. about 30 million people live in condos around the country. since the surfside collapse, officials in new york state have called for stricter inspections. >> we share some similarities with the florida high-rise shoreline. >> reporter: and the community associations institute, a trade group that educates condo boards across america has been flooded with questions. the common theme, could this happen in my building. >> every resident of every association, every condo was taking this personally. >> reporter: the ceo says rules on condo reserves or how much money the board should have on hand to repair a building vary by state. the surfside tragedy shows no standard in structural integrity. >> reserve standards don't address structural issues, they
address replacement items normally replaced due to age or wear and tear. >> reporter: do condo residents have reason to worry? the society of civil engineers, concerned about hundreds of aging properties. >> there may not have been proper maintenance or quality control, so let's get out there, let's talk to the associations, try to inspect them, go from there. >> what are you looking for in holes. >> reporter: an engineer hired by surfside to investigate the collapse. >> there's nothing i know so far here that tells me this is symptomatic of condominiums in the united states of america. >> reporter: when did you get called about investigating? he awaits getting access to scene of the collapse, he is
investigating the north tower. the collapsed building's sister tower. >> same construction, same developer, same name, probably the same materials. >> reporter: some fearful residents evacuated, not an 89-year-old. >> you know how much they charge in the hotel next door for a night? a thousand dollars. >> reporter: he lived in the building 40 years, was president of the association for a decade, says he trusts his little piece of paradise. >> confident that this building is safe. you have two brothers, same genetic, one could be a criminal and the other could be a physician. >> do you understand why some of your neighbors have left and evacuated the building? >> i don't blame them for moving out. everybody has to make their own
decisions. it is like flying. some people are afraid to fly. >> i >> reporter: he is using ground penetrating radar to check thickness of the concrete, taking core samples to test strength. >> anything surprised you? >> no, not seeing anything. >> reporter: seeing nothing is something, when comparing the sister building that's standing to the one that partially collapsed and was later demolished. >> do you feel confident you'll figure it out? >> might be people don't like what we figure out, but we'll figure it out. >> reporter: rosa flores, cnn, surfside, florida. hello again, everyone. thank you so much for joining me. i am fredricka whitfield. the u.s. is now confronting a scary new reality, coronavirus cases are surging across the country again. all 50 states and washington,
d.c. are now seeing rising cases. it is the first time we have seen that since january. six states, vermont, alabama, michigan, massachusetts, kentucky, iowa report more than 100% increase in cases in just one week. vaccination rates are slowing down. now 13% from last week. the cdc director making it clear that's what's fueling this new wave. >> there's a clear message that's coming through. this is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated. >> in los angeles county, indoor mask mandate is being reinstated. residents there have seen a 500% rise in covid cases in the last month. we have team coverage across the country with the latest developments. let's go first to california. cnn's paul vercammen live in l.a. county. paul, this was a dramatic step to reinstitu