tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN July 24, 2021 10:00am-11:00am PDT
we begin with the u.s. rethinking it's approach to stop the rapid spread of the coronavirus. two major developments in the works at this hour. the latest wave of new cases is being fueled by the deadly delta variant. new cases are trending up in 49 states. that rise pressuring many cities and states to enact new mask mandates. on monday, st. louis, missouri, will enforce indoor mask mandate in public settings, but the state's attorney general, eric schmidt, plans to file suit to try to stop it. the fda and cdc are said to be exploring multiple options for a third covid-19 dose, a vaccine, but only for immuno compromised people if needed. this even as vaccination rates in the u.s. remain low. polo sandoval is looking into all this. florida is one of the states seeing the most dramatic increases in new covid cases,
and by the way, with a third shot, that booster, it would be for people over 65. what are you learning? >> that's what so many people are asking, about the need for potential booster later this year. when it comes to florida, no doubt numbers there are alarming. one thing to hear about it, when you see them alone, they certainly tell a story of why health officials are concerned. you can see 208% increase in coronavirus cases, as you take in the numbers. consider this alone. in florida, cases, new case positivity went from 8% the week of july 12th to 15%. vaccination numbers aren't necessarily going up. that's what's fueling fears as infections continue to spread that more people are not protected against the virus. when it comes to the national
number at this point, less than 50% of the u.s. population is fully protected with the covid vaccine. that's because this is after vaccine efforts started some eight months ago. yet we haven't been able to cross the 50% threshold. only about 20 states have fully vaccinated over half their residents. mississippi and alabama seem to be the only states that vaccinated less than 35% of residents when it comes to alabama. that's why the state's republican governor is placing blame on the unvaccinated for why numbers continue to rise. that is why we are seeing more major cities, more and more cities turn to covid measures that we saw during previous spikes, maybe during the last one during this winter, including st. louis on monday. masks will be required in public indoor spaces and public transportation, that's sparking criticism from some republicans in that state, including the attorney general promising to file a lawsuit to stop that from
taking place. when you look at the situation and that's what the attorney general tweeted yesterday in response, planning to file a lawsuit to stop that from being put into place. you hear from biden administration officials, it is clear they're concerned the u.s. surgeon general addressing the rise in numbers, calling now an all in moment for the nation, especially as they consider possibly implementing measures that we saw a few months ago. >> we also know that risk is also based on individual circumstances, so if you're living in an area there's a lot of virus circulating, if you happen to have somebody at home unvaccinated like you and i do, erin, young kids, who are too young to be vaccinated, if you are immuno compromised, you may be at greater risk. those are circumstances people may go the extra mile, be cautious, wear masks in indoor
settings. >> reporter: we should remind viewers, the cdc guidance that changed recently has not been modified at this point. white house officials are talking about it. if that happens, that's something that comes with a lot of political baggage, fred, we could potentially see the debate on masks come back yet again. >> like a broken record. we're on repeat mode. polo sandoval, thanks so much. in florida, the seven day average of new covid cases is on the rise, so much so that in fact right now it is the highest in the nation, despite the state's republican governor urging people to get vaccinated. today randy kay introduces us to a florida mother that decided against getting the shot and found herself in the fight of her life. >> it was horrifying. i've never in my life felt like i was going to die until that day. >> reporter: this mother of eight from lake butler, florida,
is opening up about how close she came to dying from covid-19. janine starling had chosen not to get the vaccine. her husband not vaccinated either, or their children. >> what was it about the vaccine that concerned you, made you not want to get it. >> just that it had not been around long. honestly, i think i listened, i think i let people influence me, saying oh, you know, this is the government just trying to fill our bodies with stuff and they're trying to push the shot on us. >> reporter: earlier this month, janine's husband got covid, then it spread to janine and four kids living at home, including the youngest, just six. soon she was struggling to breathe. they rushed her to the hospital. >> i remember being very desperate, grabbing the mask, and feeling the oxygen come in. >> reporter: she spent nine days in the hospital, six of them in
the icu. >> those moments when you can't breathe, even with all of the oxygen they were giving me, it feels like you have a ziploc bag over your head and somebody is holding it. i mean, i had oxygen on, i was still feeling that way. >> reporter: at 43, did you ever think you would get that sick from covid? >> uh-uh. 100%, i had conversations with my husband and said we probably already had it, just didn't even know it. honestly, he agreed we probably had already had it. there were times i was sick, i was like oh, it is probably covid. no big deal. >> reporter: no big deal? not exactly. her oxygen dropped to dangerous low levels, 68%. she said she was told she had about 20% chance of survival. >> my youngest baby is six years
old and so when you're told that and you have a six-year-old, like he is probably, if i die, he is not going to remember me. >> reporter: janine is speaking out because she wants people to know how much she regrets not getting the vaccine, a decision that nearly cost her her life. >> i was one of the people that was like i can't believe people are going to just inject their body with this medication, we don't know enough about it. now i'm like it is just a shot. get the stupid shot. that vaccine could have stopped all this, just one little shot. and i feel foolish that i didn't get it. i wish to god i would have got it. it is not just about what it could have prevented me from experiencing physically in my life now but it could have saved my family so much heartache, my children from seeing me go through that, my husband and my
siblings from seeing it. >> reporter: you feel the regret? >> so much regret. >> reporter: randi kaye, cnn, jacksonville, florida. >> powerful lessons learned. let's discuss further with dr. greg poland, director of the mayo clinic vaccine research group. doctor, so good to see you. i didn't hear you. do we have his audio? there you are. okay. that was a test. so this pandemic, dr. poland, has become a pandemic of the unvaccinated. and the numbers prove that they are most at risk of getting sick and dying. we heard her story. what do you want to convey to people still not convinced about the efficacy, the safety of the vaccine. >> it is of course very hard to convince them. we are a year and a half into this and they're waiting for information that they don't
really even understand. we lost so many americans to the disease. it is unfathomable. i feel sorry for miss starling. she happens to be in a state that coronavirus is basically out of control. you've got to get across to people listen, don't listen to politicians and celebrities, go to trusted sources. you wouldn't ask your grocery store clerk what should you do about fixing your car's transmission. why would you listen to a neighbor about what they think about vaccines? >> let's talk about alabama right now getting a lot of attention. it has the lowest vaccination rate in the country. just 34% of the state is fully vaccinated, and even the
governor of alabama is justifiably frustrated. listen. >> folks are supposed to have common sense. but you have to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not regular folks. unvaccinated folks are letting us down. >> ivey was pressed on do you feel you're doing enough to get the message across, and she was like i'm out of ideas. i have said and done everything that i can think of. so if there's yet one more thing to do out there to convey to people the messaging that you're sending, what would that be? so many in the medical community and even elected officials, their hands are being thrown in the air like i don't know what else to say to convince you to do the right thing? >> you're right. it is very frustrating. i guess i would be very clear. you are going to become immune to this virus one way or
another. you're either going to infected, run the risk of death and miss starling's case, she had a ten-fold higher risk of dying than say a child with this infection. you get up in your 80s, talking 600 fold higher risk of death. so you've got a choice. your fears and infected or go with the science, get a vaccine. as miss starling said, save yourself all that misery. >> where are you on mask mandates? do you believe it was a mistake to remove some mandates that were in place or is it time to reimpose some? where are you on this? >> absolutely. masks are a helpful mitigation effort. like every man-made product, nothing is 100% effective, but they're very effective in cutting down risk of infection. i absolutely do endorse mask wearing and wear one myself.
>> dr. poland, you told some producers you were concerned about misinformation as is everybody that is being spread about vaccine efficacy. how much do you think that is contributing to hesitancy? you mentioned friends, some people are listening to friends. what about the misinformation that they see on various social media sites, for example. >> no question about it. i marvel. you can't go in a crowded movie theater, yell fire when there's no fire. why can you go on social media, nothing wrong with expressing an opinion, but give deliberate misinformation counter to any of the known science and have this kind of devastation occur in a population's health. we lost one and a half years of life expectancy in the u.s., for blacks it is almost three years. last time this happened was in the middle of world war ii, and what did we call it, a war.
>> very powerful. and sobering. dr. greg poland, thanks so much for being with us. appreciate it. stay well. >> my pleasure. all right. coming up, going for gold, the pandemic isn't the only problem lurking over the olympics. find out why the fbi is worried about hackers. should children have to wear masks when they return to the classroom? a school superintendent joins me live. later, busted on bumble. an insurrection suspect gets more than he bargained for when he goes looking for love on an app.
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nations. the ceremony featured a drone display high above the arena there. first lady jill biden is in tokyo to cheer on team usa. there she is. she's already been spotted at several events today. and with the olympics in full swing, there's a new warning from the fbi that hackers could try to disrupt the games. here is cnn's alex marquardt. >> reporter: it is a global spectacle unlike any other, for a few weeks every two years, billions around the world tune in to watch their countries compete for medals and national glory. that's what makes it such a ripe target for hackers. >> i am very confident there will be some kind of cyber attack against these games. it may not be publicly visible, but you can bet it is going to happen. that's the world we live in today. >> reporter: the fbi warned that malicious activity could disrupt multiple functions, including media broadcasting environments,
hospitality, transit, ticketing, or security. there's currently no known threat but with no fans in the stands because of covid, the most obvious target is how we watch. >> with everything being remote, so few people in person, the place disruption would be most noticed would be the broadcast. >> reporter: when it comes to potential hackers, at the top of the list the country that has been banned, russia, after a doping scandal got them barred from flying their flag, singing their anthem for the next two olympics. >> russian leaders, including vladimir putin, are extremely anger about the way they've been treated, called it unfair. >> reporter: rushsia has taken out anger before. three years ago, russian military hackers carried out a threat, targeting officials and citizens in the host country, south korea. took down the game's website, deleted data from thousands of computers and tried to pretend they were north koreans.
>> the cyber attack combined emotional security of a pet length child with resource of a state. >> reporter: they're accused of a systemic doping program, they breached the world anti-doping agency. medical records of serena williams, simone biles were hacked and released along with those of around 250 other athletes from almost 30 countries. after the tokyo games were postponed, the uk accused russia of spying on tokyo olympics officials and organizations. experts say there's no reason they won't do something again. what have you seen in the way of indications something may happen? >> we've seen sort of russian espionage groups interested in japan in the last few years. they definitely still have people that work for them, if they made the decision this is something they want to do, they're able to do it. >> alex, thank you so much for that. let's talk more about security concerns at the olympics. with me, juliette cayenne,
national security analyst, former assistant secretary at the department of homeland security. good to see you. gosh, can't we just enjoy the games now? people have to worry about all this? good golly. let's talk about the forms in which this kind of security breach could happen. you heard it there in alex's piece, there's some real confidence that there will be cyber attacks during the games. are you confident, too? >> i am. mostly because we have seen it before. i will say i am thrilled to be on cnn, talking about the olympics. but it is your and my fate that we are talking about this and the olympics. the biggest concern would always be crowd issues. ones where the crowd was targeted, you worry about stampedes. we don't have that this year. next best thing with covid lingering over safety of the entire olympics is the cyber attacks. this is a strained olympics. for the russians to do anything
to impact global viewership would make the olympics look vulnerable and would give russia a sense of controlling chaos that they love throughout the world. >> you went there right away. you think the culprits would be russia. >> oh, yeah. >> in particular because they as a country were banned. there are russian athletes at the games, but as a country, they're banned. this is to get at everybody? >> this is part of the general disruption we have seen by russia throughout. this is not a powerful country. so it is using the sort of chaos that can come from cyber security. also, the chinese incentive would not be great, at least not for the olympics, given their stature and competitive posture now. they are there likely to win a lot of "goldengolds. one would suspect it would be the russians, they've done it before. they like doing it.
saw disruption when a service went down, they feed the olympics and programming. we saw a blip a couple days ago. >> often when it is cyber attacks, it is russia and china blamed. that's why we are singling them out. in this case, not china because they're doing well, will do well in the olympic games. what other forms would the cyber attacks cause problems? we saw in alex's piece, medical records of some athletes might be tampered with. in what other ways? >> timing. a lot of it could be the competition itself. of course, you have personal security and safety of athletes, there are privacy issues, and you have the various national olympic committees that have information about the athletes, then you also have issues about timing, who won. all this data, data management. that's what the olympics are. we are used to track, a sport
where people run against each other, you know who wins. a lot of summer competitions, surfing, skateboarding are timed and individual. you want to protect that data as well. >> oh, my gosh. and then covid. the lingering threat there in a big way. you have commented that you think it was a big mistake to not make it a requirement that american athletes be vaccinated. why? >> it is a missed opportunity for so many reasons. the safety of the vaccinated athletes, it is we're the united states. we have the vaccine. we can show the world we're willing to use the vaccine. the u.s. will see such conditions as we know related to pot smoking set conditions of how and who gets to play, they could have done this literally with a snap of a finger, there are about 100 athletes not
vaccinated. similarly, international olympic committee could have done the same. we heard so much about them designing beds, so young athletes don't get together because of covid. i mean, let them get together, have them have the vaccine. this is madness. i can say let them have sex. get the vaccine and go from there. >> lead. i got you. all right. thank you so much. good to see you. coming up next. dating drama. yeah. taking a turn, but not really. a man looking for love online gets arrested. find out what he allegedly told
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another capitol riot suspect has been arrested after looking for love. marshall, a strike on bumble leads to an arrest? explain. >> wasn't i here a few moments ago talking about the same exact thing. it happened again. this time i would say it is equal parts funny, cringy and scary. this rioter is accused of
attacking police. according to prosecutors, the 32-year-old from texas went to the capitol january 6th. you see his bumble profile. according to the complaint, he attacked police officers with pepper spray. that's him, according to the report, saying he used a metal whip. this is captured on police body camera footage, seriously violent attacks. i don't want to glaze over this. this is serious stuff. pepper spraying against police, being police officers with a metal weapon, this is what the man is accused of doing, according to the feds. while in washington, d.c., he was on the app, looking for a match. he found a match, and the person he was talking to talked to him about the insurrection. he claimed he was there, he claimed he was peaceful, even sent his match a few pictures. they went straight to the fbi three days later.
this week, the man was arrested in houston. fred, this is just one person. it is a large investigation. here's where everything stands. so far, 500, more than 500 people have been charged, an additional 21 guilty pleas, two more of them secured yesterday in federal court. three rioters were sentenced, and two of the three got prison or jail. clearly you can tell, fred, there's a long way to go in terms of working these people through the court system. each week we see new cases. sometimes they're funny ones like this. >> yeah, funny and so sad. marshall cohen, thank you so much. still to come, parents sound off about masks in school. >> political theater? seriously, i'm mad and i have a reason to be. >> i will talk about all of that with the superintendent of the memphis shelby county school district.
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what's best for my children medically. being a faithful husband, kick butt dad, that's my wheel house. >> i am mad and i have a reason to be. >> we parents should have the right to choose whether kids are suffocated by masks all day. numerous schools across the country lifted mandates. time for you to do the same. enough is enough. >> one school district that will require masks is shelby county in memphis, tennessee, because the superintendent is requiring students to wear a mask. he is with us now. so good to see you, superintendent. i love the smile. you're happy about the decision, but are you getting all smiles from parents in your school district? >> thank you, fredricka. we are reimagining education, schools, communities, and we want all takers to join us. our parents are very supportive, they understand that in the state of tennessee, there's a
200% increase of covid-19, specifically the delta variant. 700 new cases per day. i have stated before and i am going to continue to see it, i am going to keep students safe. >> what about from the kids? what do you hear from young people about what their experience is like in the last school year about wearing masks. >> so we've had, we started in the spring. we've had great time this summer. we had a summer learning academy. our students are operating fine. they understand this is for safety. we build in mask breaks. students get opportunity to take the mask off so they can get fresh air. at the end of the day, safety is first. >> i am reflecting, listening to parents we saw out of virginia beach, obviously that's not your
school district, but that does exemplify angst parents have across the country. to hear one parent talk about i am tired of my kids suffocating. suffocating was a word used. and then parents who are saying they want to be the ones to make decisions about the health and welfare of their kids and not school districts, imposing mask mandates. does it seem as though to you it is the parents handling the wearing of masks far differently from the student body who have been honoring wearing the masks. >> well, fredricka, it is like this. it's about safety. you have a look at the local context. here, only 37% of people actually have been vaccinated. i just don't want to put students at risk. we can't just ask the question,
have you been vaccinated, are you vaccinated. you can't ask that because of hipaa reasons. at the end of the day, it is about student safety. it is an honor to have a dynamic school board that's very supportive. and not only that, the public at large, they're supportive because they understand this virus is attacking black and brown children and people at a higher rate. we've always, always put safety number one. >> and then of course in terms of vaccinations, all the kids under 12 are not eligible thus far anyway to get vaccinated. how complicated is this for you as superintendent of shelby county schools that you are advocating mask wearing. but your governor has not necessarily been behind the idea of mask mandates. however, he is all for and
encouraging people to get vaccinated. >> we follow the science. not going to politicize mask wearing. the governor, we have a great working relationship, and american pediatric academy says back in class, wear a mask. so we're going to do just that here in shelby county, and the government understands local context, and again, the parents and students and great teachers of shelby county schools want to be safe and going to continue to do so. >> any lessons learned on the last school semester that you all are applying to try to make the incoming semester safer, besides mask wearing, anything you learned from what you did impose, what you need to strengthen on, do better, do away with. >> fredricka, i am so honored to have 99% of teachers return
stronger. what we did is we used our extra dollars to look at our infrastructure, to look at air quality within our building. most of all, we reduced class size with extra dollars. we want to give teachers and students and parents every opportunity to have a high quality education and we do that by keeping them safe first. you got to have safety and just basic things in place for students to learn at a high level. >> and keeping the smile throughout. >> and fredricka, i must say this. this galvanized our community. together, we must believe. together we will achieve. together we are reimagining.
>> the superintendent with a smile throughout. thank you so much. >> thank you. all right. the pandemic is making america's existing teacher shortage even worse. cnn's adrian broadus spoke to those in chicago about why they're having trouble getting teachers in classrooms. >> we have a chemistry, physics teaching position we have zero applicants for. >> reporter: steven is superintendent of the district he once attended. an hour and a half southwest of chicago, dealing with a teacher shortage. >> i am really concerned about how we're going to be able to fill that position. >> reporter: a problem he says the covid-19 pandemic made worse. >> six years ago we had an english or social studies position posted, within five days we had 75 to 100 applicants. the past school year for one of
our math positions we had three applicants. >> reporter: a survey by front line education polled 1200 school and district leaders in the country. front line is a company helps k-12 schools recruit and train educators. it revealed two out of three reported a teacher shortage, and 75% of city school districts are dealing with a shortage, compared to 65% in rural areas and 60% in suburban districts. >> where are we going to find science and math teachers. >> we had to go international because the pool in the united states, it is very, very dry. >> yeah. >> to fill openings in illinois, sharon hired teachers from other countries. >> we have 27 that are coming from philippines, two from dominican republic, one from cameroon.
three to five year program. it is a cultural exchange program. >> reporter: she said in 2015, the district had 79 openings. now there are three because of aggressive recruiting strategies. >> we're also doing bonuses, signing bonuses, if you refer a candidate, there's a stipend for you. where you utilize at least 8 different strategies simultaneously to really combat this national crisis. >> reporter: and the front line study shows other reasons behind the national teacher shortage, a lack of qualified applicants, salary, and fewer new education school graduates. she hasn't hired anyone from other countries but is working with colleges and universities to help fill the jobs. and he is already concerned about the school years ahead. >> i am worried as i look at my own staff, see a population
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later today, former president trump will hold a rally in arizona. it will take place in maricopa county where a sham election audit has made the state ground zero for trump's big lie. it comes as "the washington post" reports that trump's pac raised $75 million this year. and none of that money has gone to arizona's audit or similar
efforts in other states. despite trump saying that they are key to overturning the election that he falsely claims was stolen from him. here's cnn's sunlen serfaty. >> reporter: former president donald trump. >> we were doing so well until the rigged election happened to come along. >> reporter: remaining fixated on the baseless claims of election fraud pushing hard for state ballot reviews of the 2020 election results. in a steady stream of public statements and comments, promoting the so-called audit of maricopa county ballots in arizona. >> i want to congratulate, by the way, republican state senators in arizona and other places for their great work. that they are doing and exposing this fraud. >> reporter: but privately, trump isn't putting his money where his mouth is. "the washington post" reporting that of the $75 million, trump's save america pac has brought in the first half of this year, the group has not put any resources
into helping finance the ongoing ballot reviews he's been pushing so hard for, citing sources familiar with the finances. instead, according to "the washington post," that money is actually paying for some of the former president's travel, legal costs and staff, along with other expenses. and noting the pac has held on to much of its cash. >> they have so many discrepancies, so many problems and they've heard from so many people about the corruption and what took place. >> reporter: no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election. but republicans in several states are responding to the former president pushing for audits with other ballot reviews like the one in arizona, but who is actually funding the arizona effort is largely shrouded in secrecy with private fundraisers boasting they have directed hundreds of thousands of dollars to the audit, which has been run by a little known florida-based security consulting firm, cyber
ninjas, not previously known for election auditing. a group with ties to overstock founder patrick burns said it's raising funds to support the maricopa audit in helping with future audits. another group established by one america news personality cristina bob also touted receiving donations for the audit. >> sunlen serfaty, thank you so much. all right, tomorrow on cnn, catch all new episode of "jer "jerusalem: city of faith and fury." here's a preview. >> the jewish dynasty established by a group of jewish conservative rebels that overthrew greek rule in jerusalem and in israel. >> that revolt in 167 bc is commemorated by the modern jewish holiday of hanukkah. over the course of time, they expanded the size of their kingdom.
by conquering other peoples around them who were not jewish. >> they ruled the big kingdom for about 150 years. but now hasmoneans with the full might of the roman empire. a native of palestine who longs to claim the holy city for himself. herod. >> oh, intriguing. the episode airs tomorrow night at 10:00 eastern and pacific right here on cnn. we'll be right back. the world's first fully autonomous vehicle is almost at the finish line what a ride! i invested in invesco qqq a fund that invests in the innovators of the nasdaq-100
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hello again, everyone. thank you so much for joining me. i'm fredericka whitfield. we begin this hour with the covid delta variant raging across the country. now states and cities are preparing new restrictions to turn the tide of the pandemic. new cases are now trending up in 49 states, many of which are seeing the delta variant become the dominant strain. in los angeles county, daily cases topped 3,000 for the first time since february. the county was forced to return to earlier requirements on masks. cnn'