tv CNN Newsroom With Pamela Brown CNN July 18, 2021 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
the olympics games are just days away but already some of the world's best athletes are sitting this one out. positive covid tests inside the olympic village. plus, catastrophic flooding across europe. tens of thousands forced to flee. tonight hundreds are missing. and the brink of war. new insight about how close the united states could have been to an all-out battle with iran during the final days of the trump administration. i'm pamela brown in washington. welcome to our viewers in the
united states and around the world. you are live in the cnn newsroom on this sunday. covid cases continue to rise across the united states, and doctors say the patients they're seeing are younger and younger. clearly the delta variant is behind these increases, and just as clearly, the lagging vaccination rates are making it worse. less than half the u.s. population is fully vaccinated. and medical officials say what seems bad now is only likely to get worse. >> i am worried about what is to come. we are seeing increasing cases among unvaccinated in particular. while if you are vaccinated, you are very well protected against hospitalization and death, unfortunately, that's not true if you are vaccinated. we're seeing 99.5% of deaths right now from covid-19 in our country happening among the unvaccinated. >> so your risk of catching the
delta variant is specially high if these 12 states right here on the screen. they haven't even gotten to a 40% vaccination rate. alabama, georgia, idaho, oklahoma, south carolina, tennessee, west virginia, and wyoming. let's take closer look at arkansas. only about 35% of eligible people are fully vaccinated. in the past week alone, there were more than 7,000 new cases. one doctor puts in it stark terms. the hospital is full. covid-19 numbers increase every day. we are stopping patients in the recovery room. no space for transfers. running out of caregivers. support health care workers. mask up. get vaxed. that position, dr. have the doctor joins me hive from little rock. dr. patterson, thank you for joining us. your tweet from yesterday paints a grim picture, a picture we saw in the early days of the
pandemic. not something we would expect to see with three different effective vaccines available in the united states. one of your colleagues says it is heart wrenching to see unvaccinated individuals come into the hospital with regret. what is it like the hear regret when it is too late? >> you know, we talked to people who should know better, and they are now dealing with the worst health care crisis that they have ever been confronted with. there's a lot of misinformation that people unfortunately aren't paying attention to. we need to do a better job of talking to people in a language they understand. and we need to make sure that everybody understands that this is a race against time. the delta variant is way worse than the covid-19 strains that were circulating a year ago. >> helpness understand what that is like. i talked on a medical professional yesterday from missouri. he was saying, people were ending up in hospital beds,
essentially on their death beds. they decided not to take vaccine and they were expressing regret. i can't imagine what that would be like to be in your shoes and to hear it firsthand. >> you know, we used to hear people talk about covid-19 being a bad case of the flu. and you lose your sense of smell. now people are coming into the hospital going straight on to ventilators, going on to heart-lung bypass. it used to be 65 individuals with multiple medical problems. now it's pregnant women who don't have other medical issues who are on heart-lung bypass to stay alive. we've had patients who have lost babies because they were infected with covid-19. this is not the same thing that we experienced before. >> that's just horrible, horrible, horrible to hear. but i think it is important for people to realize the real life consequences of what could happen. and you look at canada. i think it is interesting,
canada is surpassing the u.s. with vaccination rates. and they have less access there to vaccines than in the united states. they have social media, too. right? they have access to misinformation. what do you make of that? what do you think is going on here? >> covid-19 started out in urban communities. it was in new york, it was in los angeles, on the west coast. but viruses find people who have poor access to care and poor access to good information. and by and large those are people in rural communities and there are states like arkansas that have a high concentration of rural communities where those problems get amplified. in addition, in central arkansas along the delta, we have african-american communities who are historically for good reason, accustomed to inequities in health care.
and this is really creating a perfect storm for covid-19 to thrive at a time when we have variants that are way more infectious and way more virulent than we have experienced before. this is really a perfect storm for a bad outcome if we can't find a way to talk to people in a way that will allow them to understand that the vaccine will benefit them and their communities. >> i think that's a key point. it will benefit them. it will benefit others. you heard dr. fauci say we wouldn't be, we would still have polio today or the measles or other deadly diseases had it not been for the country coming together to get vaccinated. so what is different now? why is it so hard for more people to come together? do not what's best for them but for others and frankly for the country at large. >> we have to have a conversation about how the one
off-ramp to covid-19 going from a pandemic to an endemic situation, where it is always here, is for enough people to be vaccinated. that won't be 50%. it certain will you isn't 35% like it is in arkansas. it will be 70, 80, any90% of pee being vaccinated. we have to talk to people in a way that they understand so they appreciate there's no going back to yesterday unless we all roll up our shirt sleeves and get a vaccine. >> dr. patterson, thank you. you are in such an important position of trust. so thank you for doing your part and getting all the facts and science-based information out there. we appreciate it. >> thank you. just a short time ago, we learned that an american is one of at least three athletes to test positive for covid-19 at the tokyo olympics. 17-year-old tennis player coco gauff said she has pulled out of the competition but hopes to
make her olympic dreams come true in future games. will ripley is in tokyo. so her diagnosis comes as we learn of positive cases inside the olympic village. how much concern is there five days out from the games? >> reporter: there's a lot of concern. right now it is just three positive cases inside the olympic athletes' village. but they're living in very close quarters. you're talking about sometimes up to eight people sharing a small apartment with four people sharing the same bathroom. now, there are precautions in place. they're supposed to be wearing masks at all times. they're supposed to avoid all physical contact. not even high fiving each other. there are daily covid tests to try to identify these cases quickly. you'll have 18,000 athletes and officials living in the village at any given time. that's 85,000 who are converging for the game. so a small group of cases can
quickly turn into a cluster, an outbreak, and yes, there is a lot of concern that these athletes could be pretty vulnerable. maybe not even bringing covid into japan but catching it here in japan. specially if they interact with unvaccinated japanese. and then potentially hurt go their athletic careers and bringing it back to their country. >> so japan is a poorly vaccinated country and of course, athletes and staff are coming in from all over the world. how much concern that this could be a super spreader event on a global scale? >> you touch on a really key point. it is japan's low vaccination rate that makes this dangerous. they've caught around 55 cases so far, tied to the olympics. and at the airport where thousands of people, more than 15 come in so far, they've caught just 15 cases. so japan is really screening foreign visitors and making sure they dome have covid before they arrive. we've taken two tests already.
in tokyo, the numbers have been trending upward the last month. they've been hitting over 1,000 new cases every single month, the i whoest since january. so the problem is you have less than 20% of people in japan who are vaccinated. if these staff members are interacting with athletes, there is that real potential for a super spreader scenario. that's why you have the most unusual olympics we'll ever see with no spectators at all these events, aside from vips who are covering it. you'll have a very different opening ceremony. a very different midedal ceremo. they will put on their own medals. this will be different than we've ever seen before. >> thank you for setting the stage for us. we appreciate it. one of the big hot spots for new covid cases is florida. last week the white house said one in five infections came from the sunshine state. we'll find out what is being
done to get more people this vaccinated. but first, massive devastation. a horrific human toll. a. will merkel saying she can't find words to describe the disaster that has struck her country. an update from the flood zone, next. ♪ it's the easiest because it's the cheesiest. kraft. for the win win. facing leaks takes strength. so here's to the strong, who trust in our performance and comfortable long-lasting protection. because your strength is supported by ours. depend. the only thing stronger than us, is you.
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german officials are calling at this time worst natural disaster to hit their country in more than a century. chancellor angela merkel said they don't have the words to describe it. catastrophic flooding across western europe has left least 189 people dead. hundreds more are still missing right now. as the floodwaters recede, entire towns, train lines and roads have been swept away. senior correspondent is on the sea for us in western germany. >> reporter: as the waters have receded, a lot of debris has been left behind. the river is about 500 meters
that way. the bridge is completely unpassable. in fact, it has collapsed. you see a lot of the cars along the side of the road that have been washed up by the floodwaters. there's that one, and look at this one here. it is wedged in between tree and the building. what is interesting is that you might be able to see, the window has been smashed in. we saw the police team smash it in looking for the owner of the vehicle, who is still registered as missing. ic also see on the other window a chalk lettering there. it says ler and that means empty. so this car has been searched and marked as empty. this shows the search and recovery operation is still very much ongoing. but you can just see from this little portion here, the sense, the widespread devastation. and this goes on all along the river valley. this is not something that will take a few days to clean up. it will take a very long time for this region to recover.
>> all right. awful. thank you for bringing us the latest there. now let's check in on another area of western germany where the senior international corn sam kiley is seeing the devastation first hand. >> reporter: pamela, you join mow what is left of the banks of the river. you can see the scale of the energy just here with this bridge. there are trees that have been snapped like broccoli sticks. the energy hnld these flash floods is quite simply catastrophic, terrifying, and this is what it did to a community not far from here. a business ruined. slunk away, almost as quickly as it was washed away. flash flooding in the restaurant. her father filmed the rising waters. it is unlt with of many towns engulfed by floods that have killed at least 158 people
across western germany. >> a lot of friends, they have a restaurant, a house. it is completely destroyed. i have a lot of fans there near the water. the house is not standing. >> reporter: the restaurant had only been open two weeks since the most reason covid-19 restrictions were lifted. now she's dependent on friends and former diners to help clean up. the violence of the flood is visible everywhere. >> the disaster that engulfed this town wasn't the result of a swollen river overflowing its banks. it was flash flooding, a massive. a rainfall coming in a short period of time and created tornlts that swept through these streets. often this high. swollen rivers drained the floods eventually. but looming over the area has been the future of the dam, part of it chanced. and several villages below it evacuated.
engineers were rushed in to bring the levels down before it burst. seeps like this and much worse are being repeated in western germany and belgium. unseasonable rainfall has hit the netherlands and the czech republic. while many are grieving, there is an energetic sense of community as clean-up starts. >> i don't know from who, where all the generators come from. i don't know the people around here. but everybody is helping each other. >> reporter: the cost of this disaster are almost inca incalculable. but there will be a reckoning when the history come to be written amidst the climate change crisis. it is likely to say this was a warning. pamela, there hasn't yet been definitive conclusions on whether or not these latest weather catastrophes are actually caused by climate
change but certainly weather. and expressing the feelings about the nearness of the catastrophic in europe. the pontiff praying for the people as he resumed services from a vatican window earlier today. it is his first services overlooking st. peter's square after his surgery two weeks ago. and the pope called for peace in cuba. some even calling for military intervention. when i come back, i'll speak with debbie wasserman schultz and find out how she thinks the biden administration should respond. everybody's a skeptic. wright brothers? more like, yeah right, brothers! get outta here! it's not crazy. it's a scramble. just crack an egg.
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covid-19 cases are rising across the u.s. along with hospitalizations and deaths. according to the white house, nearly 20% of all those new cases are popping up in one state. the state of florida. democratic congresswoman debbie wasserman schultz joins me now. thank you for taking time out this subbed. your state is barely below the national average for people being fully vaccinated. what do you think explains such high inaffefection rates? >> i think we have a governor who has not taken covid searcy from the beginning. he has campaign merchandise on his website saying don't fauci my florida. and we've had nearly 40,000 floridians die of covid. we have, we are contributing 20%
of the covid diagnosis in the country right now and we're on the rise. and look, i would rather see us fauci our florida than have people go through death by desantis. that's what we're facing now. he actually had a law pass in the florida to prohibit local governments from being able to enact measures like mask requirements and social distancing to keep people safe. you can't make this up. that's where the blame lies. at his feet. >> the question is what more would you have him do? he has decided his handling. he is staying government shouldn't be meddling in this. it should be people's personal choice. what would you say to him? >> she join president biden, join our delegation, legislators, join public health experts across the state who have gone through an all-out full-court press to educate people who have not been willing
to become vaccinated. we are below the average. we really have a problem with, as our cdc director said, a pandemic. every person who has died in this last month in the country with covid has died because they were not vaccinated. that's how they got covid. so we have to stop the spread of disinformation like is rampant on facebook. some of which is propagated by ron desantis himself and fox news which he spends a lot of time. on we have to pull together and make sure we can do everything we can to get everyone vaccinated. that's the key as we've seen to making sure we bring the numbers down and make sure people don't get sick and die. >> florida is a deep red state. we're seeing this trend. in the red states, there is a lower number of people being vaccinated. so these are people are individuals, seeing what is out there and choosing for themselves not to get the
vaccine. how much responsibility can you really put on one individual, the governor of the state, for all these people choosing not to together vaccinated? >> we have a governor who likes to take credit for things. so you can't take credit for the good things and then not be accountable for the things that are not going so well. when you pass a law and sign the to say businesses can't require vaccinations, local governments can't satisfy the steps to keep their own people safe, that ignores public health, through the whole pandemic did everything he could to really stiff arm the pandemic, and taking care of people we're now facing the largest rise in the country, the responsibility lies with you. all he has to do is exercise his leadership and use his bully pulpit to encourage people to be vaccinated. he is vaccinated. it is important that we make sure that we work hard to get to those tough people who really
have been either impacted by disinformation, spread by him, or who simply just need a little more of a nudge to make them comfortable. that's our job. >> yeah. i had a lawmaker on earlier, a republican, who is a pharmacist. he's out there saying, look, you should take vaccine. we're seeing republicans in congress who have been out there on the forefront putting out psa's saying take the vaccine. it is safe. i want to listen to what dr. fauci said yesterday on cnn. >> if we had had the pushback for vaccines the way we're seeing on certain media, i don't think it would have been possible at all to not only eradicate small pox. we would probably still have small pox and still have polio in this country if we had the kind of false information being spread now. if we had that back decades ago, i would be certain that we would have polio in this country.
>> so in light of that, should the biden white house mandate vaccines? >> well, what we need to do is make sure that we continue to educate people with the facts. use our public health experts, our public health network, make sure that every elected official is doing our best to reach out to our constituents and fight this information. i agree president biden. facebook needs to do a lot more and our social media company need to do a lot more to take down these disinformation websites. take down the false information that their own algorithms allow to spread. yes, they've promoted vaccinations and gotten the truth out there. but you know what happens with their algorithms, the faster, the disinformation spreads much faster and it is infecting people. it is ensuring people don't get vaccination. and those are the people that are dying right now. the proof is in the pudding. the people dying now are the
ones who aren't vaccinated. there's not a single person who has died that has been vaccinated in the last month. that says it right there. >> there have been but you know, imimmuno compromised people and so forth. you said you agree with president biden on social media. do you agree with him that facebook is killing people? >> i agree that facebook has a responsibility to much more aggressively change their algorithms so disinformation about covid does not spread faster than the truth spreads. they need to have a much more aggressive takedown policy than they do. they need to be held accountable for the damage their algorithm does when it comes to disinformation. so yeah. there is a line drawn directly from their spread, they're allowing the spread of disinformation on covid to people losing their lives. >> so then you do agree with him. in essence, it is killing
people. i think they need to care more to make sure that people should get vaccinated. that's a huge problem. >> sorry. i wanted to get to a topic that i know you want to talk about. of course, that would be cuba. we're seeing cuba, south florida, seeing some of the biggest anti-regime protests in years. many want the biden administration to take action. some are calling for a military intervention. what do you think the white house should do? >> well, i think first of all, president biden was absolutely right in standing with the cuban people. and i am so thrilled to see the protests that are finally spreading on the island itself. supported by our folks in south florida who are taking to the streets as well and backing them up. president biden said he heard
the clarion call for freedom for the cuban people. now he needs to, as i was glad to hear him taking the steps toward doing, open the internet back up in cuba so we can make sure the communication is able to more freely spread. and coordinating with one another. that's really critical. making sure we increase funding. that will get more correct truthful information to the cuban protesters. we need to make sure that the more than 50 years of repression and the dictatorship, the regime that has kept the cuban people down is overcome by the calls for freedom that the cuban people are begging for across the island now. they're finally, they've found their courage. they are fed up. and we need to make sure that our administration, and i'm confident president biden will so they can continue the
momentum. >> okay. congresswoman debbie wasserman schultz. great to have you on the show. >> thank you. my pleasure. america's top general was reportedly worried that donald trump would try to launch a strike on iran in his final days in office. it wasn't the general's only nightmare. details next. i want a bucket of chicken... i want... ♪ it's the easiest because it's the cheesiest. kraft. for the win win. trelegy for copd. ♪ birds flyin' high, you know how i feel. ♪ ♪ breeze drifting on by you know how i feel. ♪ ♪ it's a new dawn... ♪ if you've been taking copd sitting down, it's time to make a stand. start a new day with trelegy. no once-daily copd medicine has the power to treat copd in as many ways as trelegy. with three medicines in one inhaler, trelegy helps people breathe easier
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donald trump's final weeks in office. according to this article in the new yorker, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff general mark milley was secretly worried that trump would, quote, insist on launching a strike on iranian frs could set off a full blown war. he was also concerned the president might attempt a coup after he lost the election. trump denied those claims saying he never suggested a coup and suggested milley should be court-martialed if he really believed that. susan glasser wrote, you will have a war. she and her husband peter baker have conducted nearly 200 interviews for a new book they are co-writing on the trump presidency. she joins me now. nice to see you. according to your article, general milley came very close to a conflict with iran during the end of trump's presidency. you wrote it was a concern of milleys to push the war with
iran. so what led to milley's concerns? >> thank you very much. i think i was really struck when i first learned of this account a few months ago in the course of doing reporting for our book. that there were two issues. i understood that general milley, ever since that lafayette photo op last june was very worried about trump's effort to politicize the military to use it in the streets in an inappropriate way. but i did not realize there was also essentially a backstage struggle to make sure that trump did not engage in some essentially politicized strike on iran. that the general articulated to associates repeatedly, meetings at the white house in which trump and his hawkish advisers around him were suggesting a kind of missile strike that the chairman of the joint chiefs of
staff was concerned would lead in an unintended way to a full blown war. especially after the election which trump lost. >> so given all the reporting you've done, all the people you've spent on to about this, do you believe the fear of a full scale war was justified? >> well, he said we had actually come very close to a strike that could have come out of control. throughout the trump presidency, this is a running theme for four years, coming up to the brink, coming close, escalating and escalating with iran in a way that alarmed various points, not just general milley but others of the military advisers as well, including also his previous defense secretary jim mattis. now, history will have to determine just exactly how close we came. but i think it is notable that
the very last time that donald trump ever spoke with his hand picked chairman. joint chiefs of staff was on january 3rd, 2021. just a couple days before the january 6th storming of the capitol. and the very last conversation they had was about iran. and it was only then when you're so close to the end of his term that two of trump's very hawkish advisers, mike pompeo and rob o'brian, the national security adviser, finally said, it's too late. >> why is the public just now hearing about this? thanks to your great reporting, this is coming out but why do you think he didn't say anything sooner? >> he's the sitting children of the joint chiefs of staff. i think it would probably be pretty inappropriate to hold a press conference to talk about
private military advice he gave to the president of the united states in the course of doing his job. you have to follow your objections through the proper channels. i would say for history as journalists, it is our job to keep reporting and pressing and trying to figure out what happened. in my view, there is a lot more that we need to blernl the events of the last four years and that's why i've embarked on this project. i've been struck not just how much we learned about 2020 but even the previous years of the trump presidency. there is a lot to learn and i suspect there will be new information and new books coming out about this trump presidency for a long time to come. >> history will tell and your great roorting is adding to be historical record. thank you. we'll be right back. that's why s your skin's ceramides and strengthens it against dryness for softer, smoother skin you can lovingly embrace.
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since the beginning of television, sitcoms have kept us smiling. the new cnn original series history of the sitcom looks at tv shows from across the decades like the facts of life and here's a preview. >> what made you get rid of that? >> watching you last night. from now on, i'm going to stick on being high on me. >> so this shirt, i wanted to find a way to pay homage to norm an lear. it is part of the facts of life family. about four teenage girls trying to find their way with the guidance of this wise older
woman. divorce. virgin. >> snake and i slept together. >> class. wars. >> you're not prejudice. you're just a snob. >> teach me to be common. bring me down to your level. >> the show like facts of life is the beginning of the very special episode. >> bill carter joins me now for more on that. nice to see you. >> great to see you. >> in the 1970s, the network executives wanted to capture a younger audience. so instead of basing them around the family unit, they based it around a group of friends dhoufl that change the face of tv? >> if you think of b the really eye couldn'tic sitcoms, a lot of them are about groups of contemporaries who hang out together and spend time together in social ways and are not in a
family unit. that includes great shows like cheers and seinfeld and friends. the absolute top shows of my lifetime are in that genre. and i think it was a way to capture what was going on in america. people were not getting playered today young age. they were hanging out with friends longer and having great experiences with them. >> and teenagers aren't the only ones who hang out with their friends, as you know. so we have this explosion of grown-up friends on tv >> well, i think "cheers" was a watershed show because it was a comedy about a bunch of people who hung out at a bar, right? you would think that was a risky thing for television at the time, except they had such connection they were such warm people. they were so well developed and basically, the writing was brilliant on that show. and you wanted to be there and of course, the theme song says where everybody knows your name,
you want to be in that place and hang out with these people and you really associated with them. that really turned television around exand you got all these other shows, "how i met your mother, seinfeld, friends" a group of people that had shared experiences. >> 15 seconds, "seinfeld" or "friends"? which is better? >> "seinfeld". >> all thanks so much. appreciate it. a brand-new episode of "history of the sitcom" area tonight at 9:00 only on cnn.
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the brazen and shocking assassination of haiti's president triggered a surge of violence in a country that's already facing a long list of challenges including gang crime and poverty. amidst the national crisis, they are stepping up to keep the most vulnerable people, children and women safe. >> people are in a state of
shock inparticularly very much shock no matter how much you criticize the former president, there is nothing that requires such a barbaric action of violently takieing his life. [speaking foreign language ]. >> i'd love to say that it could be a turning point where people are criticizing how the system works and the reason behind such a horrible act.
[speaking foreign language ]. >> this cannot be to change my vision to contribute to a positive development of this nation. it reinforces the reasons of what i'm doing to do everything i can to have the most impact towards the people who need it most. and to learn more how these and other cnn heroes are working to help the haitian people, go to cnnheroes.com. while you're there, you can nomno, ma'am -- nominate someone you know to be a cnn hoo nrknn hero thank you for joining me. great to have you along. i'm pamela brown and i'll see you again next weekend .