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tv   CNN Newsroom With Jim Acosta  CNN  July 24, 2021 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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you are live in the cnn newsroom. i'm jim acosta in washington with a 65% jump in new coronavirus cases. it's clear the delta variant is here and targeting the most vulnerable, the unvaccinated. just three states account for 40% of all new cases, missouri, texas and florida. in fact, florida accounts alone for one in five of all new cases nationally with a stunning 73,000 cases reported in just the last week. the governor and rumored 2024
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presidential candidate, ron desantis, has refused to put stricter covid protocols in place so the numbers only likely to climb. for anyone who thinks the worst is behind us, i have an alarming visual that might make you think twice. louisiana's spike in new cases is rising to levels not seen since the winter surge. that's right. it now has the highest rate of new cases per capita in the nation. its hospitalizations have quadrupled, quadrupled in just the last three weeks. rising cases. rising hospitalizations. you know what's coming next, unfortunately rising numbers of dead. unlike the holiday surge, this time we have the vaccines. all of this is preventible. cnn national correspondent suzanne malveaux is in jefferson parish near new orleans. suzanne, how concerned are louisiana officials right now? it sounds like this is really getting out of control down there. >> reporter: jim, we're in crisis mode at this point.
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the governor, governor edwards, saying this is a perfect storm, the confluence of many different factors, including a storm of course that could have been prevented if more had been vaccinated prior to this. but, jim, we are at this pop-up vaccination site here at the oakwood center. folks seem to be taking it very seriously. people are changing their minds, they're educating themselves, and the health care professionals say that they put some of this on themselves, the messaging itself. just take a look at the sheer numbers. this really paints the picture here. as you had mentioned, louisiana is number one now for the number of new cases per capita of covid. just the last couple of weeks, 208% increase in those numbers. one of the things that is happening too as you take a look at it, it is 80% of the delta variant that is making the difference here, and one of the big problems is the fact that there's such a low rate among those vaccinated in this state. 40% having received perhaps one
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of the two doses necessary of vaccination. so if you take all of that together, despite the fact that there's some 1,400 vaccination sites where folks can get it for free, this is how it was playing out here among those not fully vaccinated. look at these alarming numbers, jim. we are talking about caseloads from those that test positive, 92% not fully vaccinated. of those hospitalized, 90% not fully vaccinated. of those who have since died, that number is at 91% of those not fully vaccinated. so speaking with health professionals here, what is the problem? what do they need to do to turn the tide? well, i had a chance to doctor to a doctor who is with the ochsner health group here and is also in charge of global outreach and this center here. here is how he outlined where they need to go. >> we look at vaccine and the barriers to vaccination, there are four major factors that
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impact that. the way that i categorize them, number one is the issue of mistrust. the second is misinformation. the third is complacency. and that alludes to that fact, and the fourth is convenience. >> reporter: and so they are trying to make this convenient, jim, for those here at the mall to get that vaccination. they may expand this pop-up beyond the three-day window and extend it. it depends on those numbers. so far looking at 56 who have been vaccinated today. there's still a couple of hours left for the mall to close, and those numbers, they sounds small, jim, but they're actually very significant in this community. >> and those statistics that you were just showing us, suzanne, the percentage of people unvaccinated in the hospital suffering from this illness is just so terrible because it was all preventible. suzanne malveaux, thank you so much for that great report. we appreciate it. joining us now, the assistant state health officer for the louisiana department of health, dr. joseph cantor.
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doctor, thank you so much for joining us. your state, i hate to say it, unfortunately, is leading the country right now in new cases per capita. we're looking at it on screen right now. why is that, do you think? what's happening? >> thanks, jim. it's good to be with you, unfortunately under challenging circumstances. i think it is a perfect storm. this is what governor edwards explained yesterday during the press conference. we have high rates of delta. we've been ahead of the national average for delta. right now about 84% of all new cases here are delta. it's been high the past few weeks. we have relatively low vaccination rate. as you mentioned, about 40% of the general public has initiated. and down here in the south, what happens during the summer months is analogous to what happens up north in the winter, which is the weather drives people indoors and that increases transmission. so all of that is coming together and to compound the problem, our hospitals are already quite busy.
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we're seeing a lot of rsb, a lot of other respiratory viruses so they're busy with more patients than they normally see even without covid. we're dealing with the same nursing shortage everywhere in the country is. it's hard to retain nurses and hard to keep good nurses for good reason, but all of that is adding to the stress right now. >> you may have seen that cbs news interviewed a covid patient in your state while he was still in the hospital. let's take a listen. >> here i am recovering, getting out of here finally tomorrow. am i going to get a vaccine? no. >> why not? >> because there's too many issues with these vaccines. >> if you would have had a chance to get the vaccine and prevent this, would you have taken the vaccine? >> no. >> so you'd have gone through this. >> i'd have gone through this, yes, sir. don't shove it down my throat. that's what's local, state, federal administration is trying to do is shove it down your
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throat. >> what are they shoving, the science? >> no, they're shoving the fact that that's their agenda. the agenda is to get you vaccinated. >> doctor, what's your response to that? >> it really does break my heart, jim. i don't think that that's representative of people who are in the hospital now with covid. nine out of ten people who are hospitalized right now in louisiana with covid are unvaccinated, but the accounts that we hear from clinicians and i've heard a lot this past week is patients and their families telling docs, listen, doc, i wish i had gotten vaccinated, can i do it now? usually the response is we can do it once you recover from this illness, but right now it's probably too late. that's what we hear more of. and it really is heartbreaking. i think one of the obligations we have now is to try and help families learn that lesson without having to live through it themselves. >> right. you're hearing that from health professionals. they're seeing patients saying
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give me the vaccine now and the health professionals are saying you're already sick, we can't give it to you now. you already have it. the governor released new guidance urging everyone vaccinated or not to wear a mask. why not implement a mask mandate if you're seeing these kinds of surges there? or do you think that people are just so resistant to this that they're just not going to listen? >> well, governor edwards was very clear that he is taking absolutely nothing off the table. and as he said throughout this pandemic, he will not allow this state to jeopardize the capacity of hospitals to provide acute care. listen, if cases continue to go up at this clip, and we pray they don't, then there will be more discussions to be had. i do think this advisory, the masking, distancing advisory, we need to be cognizant that we're out ahead of cdc guidance. for louisiana who's ahead of the
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country with delta covid, i have good faith that the data collected now, the lessons learned in louisiana will benefit the country and how to deal with this particular variant, but we don't want to wait around for too long down here. >> no, we certainly don't. dr. joseph kanter, thanks so much. we appreciate your time. >> thanks, jim. the delta variant is behind a sharp surge of coronavirus in california. on friday l.a. county reported over 3,000 new cases for the first time since february. there's also a comparatively sharp rise in hospitalizations since mid-july. this despite l.a. county being one of the only places in the country still enforcing an indoor mask mandate, even for people fully vaccinated. paul vercammen is live in los angeles with the director of the los angeles county department of public health, dr. barb reara
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ferrer. >> the numbers are bad. doctor, what are the latest numbers in this explosion of cases? >> sure. unfortunately today we're seeing 2,600 new cases of covid. we have ten more people who have passed away from covid. hospitalizations again jumped to about 688 people are hospitalized today. and our test positivity has stabilized at about 5%. >> reporter: as we look behind you, we see there's a vaccination clinic. a little earlier today i saw a 12-year-old that came in, joseph romero, he got az second pfizer shot. why are you having such a hard time as you have fanned out into the neighborhood to talk to people, getting some people to get a vaccination? >> it's such a good question. i do want to thank jose and all of the other people who have come into our site today. i do also want to note, i spent a couple of hours door knocking and about half of the people we talked to have been vaccinated but that loeaves a lot that
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haven't come in. there's a whole group that are still struggling to understand how easy it is to get vaccinated. we got a lot of questions. could there be help getting a ride to come to this site? absolutely. transportation, we'll provide anybody with transportation. we also got questions about whether they had to show their papers. can they get vaccinated if they're mexican? no, you don't need any papers to get vaccinated. and of course you can get vaccinated here in l.a. county regardless of immigration status or what country you come from. we also heard a lot of misinformation. people scared to get the vaccine. the most two dominant themes today were we don't trust the government's numbers. we think they're not telling us the truth about the vaccine and how safe it is. and we have heard of people that we think had a bad experience with the vaccine. so i think we -- again, we have to work hard with all of our community partners, so it's not just government that's saying
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how safe the vaccines are. but it's the person at your pharmacy who's telling you it's safe. it's your doctor, it's your neighbor, so we can really counter that sense that government can't be trusted by having lots of other people say i had a good experience, i got vacc vaccinated, and now i feel really safe being out and about. >> reporter: but when an elected official, the sheriff of this cou county, villanueva says he's not going to enforce the indoor mask mandate, what does that do to messaging? >> again, it's always better if we can all be on the same page. i don't think there's any scientists or researchers that are doubting the effectiveness of masking. when you have high rates of transmission from dr. fauci to the cdc director to the american academy of pediatrics adding back that layer of making sure that we're all masked up makes perfect sense when we're indoors. >> reporter: i super appreciate your taking time out, dr. ferrer.
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as you can see, hands on in here today, jim, helping people get shots in their arms. we're seeing some reluctant stragglers indeed come in and get that vaccination. back to you. >> i'm sure because they're worried about that delta variant. thanks very much for the doctor and to you, paul vercammen. coming up, i'll talk to the georgia congressman arrested over a peaceful protest about voting rielghts. his arrest comes as at least 18 states pass laws that make it harder to vote. you're live in the cnn newsroom. s your skin's ceramides and strengthens it against dryness for softer, smoother skin you can lovingly embrace. renew the love for your skin with dove body wash. try our new scented oils for freshness that lasts. crafted to give you amazingly natural smelling fragrances, day after day... ...for up to 60 days. give us one plug for freshness that lasts. ♪
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a sitting congressman was arrested by capitol police during a protest urging the senate to act on voting rights. he is the second house democrat to be arrested for protesting on that message. still, no movement on two major election bills in the senate. congressman hank johnson joins me now. thank you so much for your time. we appreciate it on this saturday afternoon. congressman, i see these images
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of you peacefully chanting outside the senate hart office biddle and getting put in handcuffs and i can't help but contrast that with most of the violent rioters who fought their way into the capitol on january 6th. they weren't arrested until much later, and many -- so many walked out freely. does that frustrate you? >> well, jim, thank you for having me. we did not seek to overwhelm the police presence at the hart building. we went as a group of black men in peace, but yet determination to assert our right to vote and to assert the fact that, you know, this is an issue of vital importance to us. it is our number one priority that we see passage of hr-1, for the people, senate-1, the for
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the people act, and hr-4, the john lewis voting rights advancement act. if it takes reform of the filibuster to get that done, then we want to see that happen. and we're getting a little anxious about it. it may not be a priority to as many people as it needs to be, but it certainly is with us and we wanted to demonstrate that by protesting on friday. >> let's talk about the filibuster, which is holding up these bills. here's what president biden said about it this week on cnn. >> if it's a relic of jim crow, it's been used to fight against civil rights legislation historically, why protect it? >> there's no reason to protect it other than you're going to throw the entire congress into chaos and nothing will get done. nothing at all will get done. and there's a lot at stake. the most important win is the right to vote. >> are you satisfied with that answer? >> well, it was a little conflicting, but i think overall
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i believe that joe biden, our president, recognizes the importance of the voting rights act. he recognizes how important an unfetterred right to vote is. he's lived through a lot, he's seen a lot, he was back there during the days of the old segregationists in the senate, and some folks want to go back to those times where you can sit down and work out a deal with those guys. but we are dealing with a different set of opponents this time. they are more -- i mean their game is a little bit more complicated than the old segregationist and they're playing from the old segregationist playbook but it's a jim crow 2.0 situation. so joe biden has to understand the fact that back in 1965 when the voting rights act was
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passed, it was legislation that was written by president johnson, president johnson wrote that legislation, presented it to congress and then leaned on his colleagues in the house and senate to pass it. and fortunately today the president does not have to draft hr-1 and hr-4, we're doing hr-4. we've already done hr-1. the only thing he has to do is put his muscle, the muscle of the presidency behind it so that we can get it passed. that's what we're anxious about. we want to see, hear and have that accomplished. we want to see it happen, we want to hear it happening, and we want to make sure that it gets accomplished. >> congressman, do you want to see president biden doing more, leaning on his fellow democrats more in the way that lbj did back in the 1960s?
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is that what you would like to see? >> yeah, i have a picture in my mind of president johnson standing almost knnose to nose with some southern segregationists laying the law down to that person about what he expected. and that person responded affirmatively. you know, i know that president biden has a lot that's going on behind the scenes that we don't know about. we give him the space that he needs to do what we want him to do and what we expect that he will do, but at the same time we want to see some public affirmations of it. we want to see -- we're getting a little anxious because we're heading towards the august recess. when we come back, it will be september and october and we're
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heading towards the end of the year. we're careening towards the end of the year with nothing done on voting rights. >> you feel like you're running out of time. >> yeah, the time is escaping us. and so the time for action is now. that's why people are literally putting their bodies on the line. representative joyce beatty last week and a group of women did the same thing that the group of men did yesterday. they put their bodies on the line. they were arrested. and so waves are coming of social unrest. we must make sure that the people understand that this is our priority. and if you stand with us, then you stand for democracy, and those who don't support us are anti-democratic and we must move to overpower them and we must win this battle. it's an important battle, a crucial battle. >> all right. congressman hank johnson, we'll
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be watching that battle unfold and know you'll be there on the front lines. thanks so much for your time. we appreciate it. >> thanks so much, jim. >> thank you, sir. coming up, cnn speaks to the new capitol police chief. his response to trump and other republicans trying to downplay the deadly insurrection. try boost® high protein with 20 grams of protein for muscle health. versus 16 grams in ensure high protein. boost® high protein also has key nutrients for immune support. boost® high protein. keeping your oysters business growing has you swamped. you need to hire. i need indeed indeed you do. the moment you sponsor a job on indeed you get a shortlist of quality candidates from a resume data base claim your seventy-five-dollar credit when you post your first job at indeed.com/promo we're carvana, the company who invented car vending machines and buying a car 100% online. now we've created a brand-new way for you to sell your car. whether it's a year old or a few years old. we wanna buy your car. so go to carvana and enter your license plate answer a few questions. and our techno wizardry
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you're looking at live pictures from phoenix, arizona, where former president trump is expected to take the stage in just a few minutes. trump is speaking at a turning point usa rally, ostensibly about protecting election security. that's what they're calling it, but he'll be spreading his lies as usual.
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arizona is in the middle of a so-called audit. it's really a sham audit of the 2020 election results in maricopa county. as these lies about the election continue to spread, the brand new chief of u.s. capitol police says he is certainly concerned about the threat of more violent attacks there. tom manger was sworn in as capitol police chief yesterday more than six months since the deadly insurrection. not only does he face the possibility of future riots, he's also dealing with the complete denial about what happened from the very lawmakers he's sworn to protect. cnn security correspondent josh campbell is here. josh, you sat down with the new chief. he has a lot on his plate, no question about it right now. >> absolutely. you know, he knows that this is a challenge he's stepping into but he's someone who's been in law enforcement for over 40 years. this was a nationwide selection. they picked him to lead this department that has come under such scrutiny. and despite that scrutiny, what we're hearing from him is that he's not afraid to step up and actually talk to the press. if you remember back after the
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insurrection, weeks went by before we heard anyone from capitol police leadership stepping to the microphones. here he is less than 24 hours on the job sitting down with me, taking our questions. we talked about the insurrection, we talked about some of the reforms that are in place. we also talked about this looming threat. a lot of it goes back to what you just showed at that rally. it's these ongoing election lies that he is having to contend with because experts tell us that there's this bizarre notion that maybe trump will be reinstated. if that doesn't happen, there could be more violence. i asked him about that, if he's concerned about another attack. he said he would be a fool not to be. i also asked him about some of these prominent officials who are downplaying the significance of that attack and what that means for morale in his department. take a listen to what he said. >> i cannot waste my time worrying about how somebody interprets a tape. i know what the men and women of this agency went through. i know the challenges that they faced. i also know the courage that
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they displayed that day. >> what's your view when people say this was tourism or this was a lovefest? we all saw that video of your officers on the receiving end of so much violence. as the leader of the department, what do you think when you hear it characterized that way? >> well, i don't agree with it. that's not the way i saw it. but again, everybody is entitled to their opinion. and frankly, as the chief of this police department now, i'm in a position to do things to ensure that that wouldn't happen again. >> he's not afraid to step up and tell the public when he sees something that he doesn't believe is true. >> josh, you asked the chief whether he will allow more capitol police officers to speak publicly about the violence that they faced on january 6th. that has been one of, i think, the glaring things that we've all witnessed since january 6th is that so many of them have not told their stories. what was his response to that? >> that's right. we've only heard from a small number. you think about all of the officers that were there. we've seen the video of them receiving all of this violence.
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i asked him point blank, will he allow capitol police officers to speak up and speak publicly. here's what he said. >> should officers be given more freedom to speak out about what they endured on january 6th? >> look, we need to hear their stories. >> will you allow them to speak out? >> absolutely. absolutely. yeah. they need to be heard. >> now, we know on tuesday this will be the first meeting of the select committee looking into the insurrection. we'll hear from four officers then. our colleague wolf blitzer will be anchoring special live coverage at 9:00 a.m. on tuesday. but i asked the chief should we be hearing from more of the officers that were injured and saw that violence, he said absolutely. next, how the life-saving covid vaccines are dividing the sports world. >> have you gotten a vaccine? >> i don't necessarily think
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[ echoing ] some of us were born for this. to protect people. to help them save. with a home and auto bundle from progressive. ahh. i was born for this. and now it's prime time. cut. jamie, what are you doing? you're not even in this one. i thought it was thursday. sorry. -it is. -i thought -- i thought it was last thursday. this just in. for the first time in nearly 50 years the united states has failed to win a medal on day one of the summer olympics games. americans competed in five of the seven events today. in the meantime the issue of vaccinations is proving divisive in the sports world. omar jimenez has the story.
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>> reporter: as professional sports return to full capacity, so do fresh concerns over covid-19, driven by the delta variant. >> he is playing the drums in there. >> reporter: jonathan bornstein is a defender for the chicago fire, the city's major league soccer team. he's played all over the world, even stints in the world cup for team usa. he couldn't wait to get the vaccine. >> i want it for myself to be able to protect myself and protect the people around me. i was one of those very open people to follow what was going on and when i got the opportunity to take advantage, i did. >> not everyone feels that way, as i'm sure you know, even within the professional sports world. >> reporter: some have been reluctant to share where they stand. >> me being available to my teammates on the floor and taking care of my body, you know, me doing what i can to make sure i'm available mentally, spiritually and physically as well. >> do you mind me asking you
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confirming that you did get the vaccine? >> it's not a big deal. >> reporter: as the olympics begin in tokyo, notably without fans, several american athletes won't be there either after testing positive for covid-19, raising suspicions over whether they were vaccinated. swimmer michael andrew says he wasn't. >> i didn't want to put anything in my body that i didn't know how i would potentially react to. i didn't want to risk any days out. >> reporter: it is still possible to get covid post-vaccine, but the effects are less likely to be severe, according to the cdc. but some still prefer the freedom of choice over a threat of health. buffalo bills wide receiver cole beasley made that clear in june, tweeting if you're scared of me, then steer clear or get vaccinated. point blank period. i may die of covid, but i'd rather die actually living. the nfl's policy is vaccinated players get tested once every two weeks while unvaccinated players get tested every day.
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the league also told teams any covid-19 outbreak among unvaccinated players would lead to the team's forfeit and loss if the game can't be made up. >> hi. i am with the detroit tigers. >> reporter: across leagues, vaccination rates have climbed in recent months. >> covid-19 vaccine. >> reporter: the wnba has led the way, announcing in late june 99% of its athletes were fully vaccinated. major league soccer hopes to follow the trend. >> i think the most important thing was always education. our team doctors were always available for any types of questions that we had for them. >> do you worry at all in any way that somehow because someone else isn't vaccinated that it would affect your health in any way? >> a lot of guys are taking care of themselves both on and off the field so it hasn't been something that has been in my mind a lot lately, but the more that you hear about the delta variant and other variants that have been going around, it starts to creep back in a little bit just because a lot more people are starting to get sick again. >> thanks for that reporting. coming up, all the
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the u.s. presidency is often called the loneliest job in the world because of the enormous scrutiny and responsibility it brings, but after all those hours alone in the oval office, everyone needs a friend. now a new book is cullipulling curtain back on presidential circles.
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gary gary ginsberg joins me now. great book, fascinating subject. the inspiration for your book came from observing two political figures, gary hart and years later donald trump. explain that for us. >> sure. well, since i was a kid, i've just been endlessly fascinated by the presidency. when i got older i started working on presidential campaigns. the first one was gary hart's 1984 campaign. i watched how the very famous hollywood actor warren beatty would parachute in for the most important events. he was the only person around hart who could tell -- talk to him and tell him in a way, he would say to him stop talking and acting like a politician in a way that no other aide or staffer could. hart would listen in a way he wouldn't to any other staffer or aide. at the same time, beatty would relax with these late night meals and conversations and give him the respite that he needed. then i saw it again in 1992 with bill clinton's campaign and then his presidency with his best friend, vernon jordan and how he
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had equal stature and didn't need or want anything from him. it created a really special dynamic. so i looked in presidential literature to see if there had been anything written with these first friends. i realized there had been books about first wives, first chefs, first butlers, first pets, but nothing about the first friend so i thought i would fill it. as you pointed out in your introduction, the lack of a first friend in the presidency of donald trump i think added a certain urgency to showing how this first friend can add really -- real value both on a substantive level at times but also on a very personal level to give that president the respite and calm that he needs to fulfill the functions of the office. >> well, we could spend the rest of this segment psycho analyzing trump and whether he had true friends or just friends who mooched off him, no pun intended. let me ask you going back to bill clinton and vernon jordan, you write how jordan -- this was a fascinating friendship.
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i remember watching this unfold as a viewer and somebody interested in the presidency like yourself. jordan may have very well saved the clinton marriage between bill and hillary clinton. tell us about that. >> he did. i was able to confirm that with a couple of people very close to the president and then the president himself. after he admitted to the affair with monica lewinsky both to hillary upstairs in the residence and then to the country, he realized that his marriage was in deep trouble, that the first lady was seriously contemplating leaving him. he asked his best friend, vernon jordan, the man he told me was the only person he trusted to have that conversation and the only person hillary would have listened to as seriously as she did. he dispatched vernon jordan to talk to her. she listened to him, stayed in the marriage and the rest is history. >> there's a darker relationship, friendship between richard nixon and b.b. riboso. some of these names might be a little dated for some of our younger viewers but fascinating
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in that riboso enabled some of nixon's bad instincts during the thousands of hours that they spent together. this may be a bit more trumpian. i suppose that might resonate with those who lived through the trump era. talk about what happened with richard nixon and his friend. >> what intrigued me most about this friendship between nixon and robozo was how completely different they were in personality and temperament. nixon was a dark, brooding intellectual. robozo was a high school graduate whose first job as an airline steward. but together it just worked. nixon was this loner. but thankfully he had the self-awareness to realize that he needed a friend around him or else he would have angst and medilancholymelanchol. bebe could entertain nixon when he needed a break, he could make
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martinis or cook steaks or sit for hours when nixon was deep in thought. here's where it all went wrong, he was loyal to a fault. when nixon got into office as president he started to involve bebe robozo in his nefarious acts and deeds. he asked him to take a million dollar bribe. that was the impetus for why nixon decided to bug the watergate which led to his impeachment and resignation. a good friend would have said, no, dick, you have to appeal to your better angels. >> that's when good friends are helpful, you need good friends to tell you the hard truths, right? let me ask you about -- go ahead. >> go ahead. >> i was just going to ask you about joe biden, one of the things that i noticed about biden is that he has a sort of insular circle around him.
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he has a tight knit group of family members and friends that he relies upon. what would he write about joe biden, given the experience you had writing this book? >> after he was elected, i actually went in search of who was joe biden's first friend. it's a very easy answer. if you ask a hundred people close to the president, they'll tell you it's ted kaufman. i had a chance to talk to ted kaufman at some length. he's very skittish about labeling himself as the first friend but the white house has confirmed that with others. he was his chief of staff for 22 years when the average tenure of a chief of staff now is three years. they not only worked together in washington but they took the train back and forth between wilmington and washington. he has been joe biden's soulmate, his chief political adviser, his consoler in chief when his son beau died. he asked ted kaufman to come to
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washington and be a special government employee for 120 days. ted kaufman is his closest friend, the first person to have slept in the white house. he's a man who knows his limits. he says, i will not advise the president on policy issues because the issues are too complex, they're beyond my knowledge base. he's a wise, wise man and a great friend of the president. >> all right, gary ginsburg, it sounds like a great book, i'm going to check this out because i just find this to be so fascinating. these are the people that you don't think about who are very involved in the lives of our presidents. "first friends: the powerful unsung and unelected people who shape our presidents." gary ginsburg, author of that book, thanks so much for joining us, we appreciate it. in the sitcom world, the workplace is an endless source of comedy from "murphy brown," to "the office" and "veep."
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next, the iconic characters who are working for laughs. >> get out of my way, i'm going to kill everybody until i get out of here. >> boy, do i hate to start a day like this. >> hal linden is basically the bob newhart of that office, surrounded by all the craziness. >> lenny is my other personality. >> got the same address? >> the workplace comedy is great because all the characters come in and they're not related. so they don't have something in common. >> turned out to be a diverse cast which was i guess different in those days. >> jack su, gregory sierra, ron glass, that was pretty unusual and revolutionary. >> and be sure to tune in, "the history of the sitcom" airs tomorrow night at 9:00 right here on cnn. it may seem like cutting grass as a chore many kids would prefer to avoid but one man has convinced hundreds of people
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across the u.s. to volunteer to mow lawns for people who could use the help. this week's cnn heroes salutes rodney smith jr. who created the 50-yard challenge. >> our 50-yard challenge is a challenge we've issued to kids nationwide and worldwide to mow 50 lawns in their community. they make a sign saying i accept the 50-yard challenge and we'll send them a shirt and eye protection. to date we have about 2,000 kids nationwide. kids are responsible for finding their own lawns. that's another way they can go into their community and meet people they probably normally wouldn't have met. at a young age, i used to mow lawns as a chore. i disliked it. i turned it into something i love to do. every day i got to mow lawns and i encourage kids around the world to get out there and make a difference one lawn at a time. >> what a great story. to get the full story of
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rodney's juniorourney, go to cnnheroes.com. that's the news, reporting from washington, i'm jim acosta. pamela brown takes over "the cnn newsroom" live after a quick break. have a good night. millions of vulnerable americans struggle to get reliable transportation to their medical appointments.
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the new cases in covid are among unvaccinated folks. >> we're just watching this freight train coming. that delta is going to sweep across the south. >> we could all bring this to a close and everyone who were unvaccinated, if they would just come in and get vaccinated tomorrow. >> we're more than our jobs or our political parties. we are first and foremost team usa. >> tokyo olympics now under way and a new controversy is swirling. >> the fire itself is faster

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