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tv   New Day With John Berman and Brianna Keilar  CNN  July 28, 2021 5:00am-6:00am PDT

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i'm john berman alongside brianna keilar on this new day. breaking news overnight, simone biles pulling out of the highest profile olympic event, taking the stand for her mental health. plus the cdc's new change to mask guidelines. what's the science behind the decision? dr. sanjay gupta joins us in just a moment. and a mother who lost her son to covid is now speaking out in the hopes of helping others. we'll have more on her struggle and her biggest regret when she joins us live. also a police officer who defended the u.s. capitol not backing down in the face of the abuse that he is now enduring after testifying at the first january 6th hearing. he will respond right here live. ♪ ♪
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all right, good morning to our viewers here in the united states and all around the world. it is wednesday, july 28th, and the breaking news this morning, simone biles who may be the greatest gymnast of all time will not compete in tomorrow's all around gymnastics competition for team usa. usa gymnastics said she is withdrawing for her mental health and they are behind her. >> it is incredibly stunning one day after biles pulled out of the team competition after she stumbled on a landing on a vault. and here is what she had to say. >> i was just like shaking. i just never felt like this going into a competition before. once i came out, i was like, no, mental is not there, so i just need to let the girls do it and
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focus on myself. >> let's discuss this now with seven-time olympic medallist shannon miller who you, of course, remember from the '96 games where she led the magnificent 7 to the u.s. women's first team gold. beginning quite a legacy, shannon, we're pleased to have you here this morning to talk about what is -- i mean, this is an unprecedented moment in olympic sports in gymnastics. and i wonder what your thoughts are as you watch all of this happening. >> well, i think it is stunning. thank you for having me on today. it is a stunning move. i think as a gymnast, you can understand the idea that you're flying through the air at 10, 15 feet, maybe more in the case of simone biles. and if you're getting lost in the air, if you are not kind of mentally aware of where you are, that's a really big problem and can have devastating results. so i think it's really important for athletes to know their body physically, but mentally as
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well. in a sport like gymnastics or any sport where there can be severe consequence if you lose your place in the air. >> it could be fatal. i mean, let's say it. she's going so fast, so high, i can't imagine what could happen there. shannon, first of all, it's an honor to speak with you. one of the things we hear from critics of this -- and there are critics, amazingly -- oh, she should just tough it out. why can't she tough it out? talk to me about the toughness it must have taken for someone in the middle of the olympic games to stand up before the whole world and say, "i can't do this right now." >> you know, it's very interesting. when we talk about sports, a lot of times we're talking about the physical aspect and going out there and competing. but any athlete, especially athletes, they are going to tell you the mental aspect is just as important if not more than the physical. you have to be aware of your body.
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if you have ankle injury or something, then you know whether you can push through, dig deep, get the job done, or if you need to sit out because it's not going to be safe for you to perform that next skill. so, you have to do the same thing with your mental. and what it looks like we're dealing with here is something that gymnasts happen upon very often. any young gymnast will tell you they have come to mental blocks, and a mental block could be you suddenly not wanting to go back in a skill, suddenly not wanting to legalit go of a bar on a rel move, losing your spot in the air. it is the importance of knowing your body and drawing the line and step away so you're not putting yourself in more danger. >> you mentioned the judgment of injuring your ankle. the team you led to gold in atlanta had this moment we will never forget from keri where she famously completed the vault on an injured ankle to help win
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gold for team usa. is some of the criticism that we've heard -- there have been people who have said, look, keri did this, why can't simone biles do this? what do you think of that comparison and do you if i if that'sles to apples? >> it's really not from a gymnastics perspective. it's not a great comparison because a physical injury is something that you as an athlete in the moment can decide, i can push this. or, this is not going to work today. mental is a lot more challenging, and i've been through that where i've gotten a mental block and i could not will my body to let go of the bar on a release move that i had been doing for seven years. it is a lot harder to get over than i think sometimes the physical. it's -- the mental is so much more powerful sometimes. >> you know, women's gymnastics has become the premiere event of the summer olympics. we can all say it just is. talk to us about what the
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pressure is like to be part of the most-watched olympic event, the most-watched team at the olympic event? and for simone biles, the most watched athlete at the most watched team at this olympic event? >> any athlete who goes into an olympic games, it doesn't matter who you are. you want to go out there and perform. i remember before my final beam routine after a rocky road at the '96 games, i didn't want to fall or fail or let anyone down. i wanted to go out there and compete like i had trained so many times. no one could have put more pressure on myself than i could have. i think all of these athletes bear that responsibility and pressure going in. it is -- kind of gets to a point how you handle what matters most. a lot of times i think it's hard these days to get away from it. you've got the 24/7 cycle. you've got social media. you've got everything right there, everyone's constantly
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asking questions, and all of that. so it's hard to sometimes escape that. i think back in my day i probably had it a little easier. there's no cell phones or social media or basically any internet. i'm that old. i think sometimes to just be able to get away from it all and really just focus on, hey, this is a sport i love doing. i'm going to go out, i'm going to do the very best i can and whatever happens happens. getting into that head space is a challenge. but i think that's kind of what i personally had to do is get to that point where i said, hey, i've done all the work. now whatever's going to happen is going to happen. >> i hear you on the social media being a challenge. but i remember reading, going into those games about how much pressure you were under at obviously such a young age. few people have experienced that, shannon. you are very much the person to talk to about this and we really are thankful to be with you here this morning. shannon miller, thanks. >> thank you. all right. moments ago right here on "new
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day," cdc director rochelle walensky was concerned about people people transmitting the delta variant as cases surge across the united states. >> with the delta variant we now see outbreaks occurring the last couple of weeks. in the outbreak investigations, we have been seeing if you happen to have one of those brek through infections, you can actually now pass it to somebody else. >> all right. joining us now is cnn chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta. and, sanjay, just to be clear, dr. walensky is saying this is new. this is something they are seeing that is new with the delta variant, that people who have been vaccinated and are infected, they may not be getting sick or seriously ill, but they are transmitting the virus, which is part of the reason the cdc is now recommending people mask up again in these highly impacted areas. she also did say, though, that almost most of the transmission is happening from unvaccinated
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to unvaccinated. still, you know, what's your reaction to what you heard? >> yeah, well, i thought that was really good interview, john. i think the fundamental problem -- we just have to state the fundamental problem, exactly what you said. everything else left aside for a second, the fundamental problem is still in this country, unvaccinated people are transmitting the virus to unvaccinated people, and that's who is getting sick. that is who the doctor you interviewed from louisiana was talking about. that is still the fundamental problem. what dr. walensky is referring to seems to be a much rarer sort of thing they say is driving the decision now about masks, which is to -- which is that vaccinated people who develop these so-called breakthrough infections, could carry the same amount of virus as an unvaccinated person who is infected. so they could potentially be transmitting as well, although as you elicited from her and she said before, that that is not the fundamental problem. the fundamental problem is that
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unvaccinated people transmitting to unvaccinated people, people aren't wearing masks because, you know, there was no proof of vaccination to wear a prmask or not and the problem has gotten worse. where i live, for example, 40% vaccinated. so we're very much in the red at this point here in july. >> kids, right? this is a big issue right now because if you're under 12, there is not even an option to get vaccinated, and this is what walensky said about children. >> i think it's really important for people to understand that this is not a benign disease in kids compared to other diseases that our kids see. so if you look at the mortality rate of covid, just this past year for children, it's more than twice the mortality rate that we see in influenza in a given year. >> what is the takeaway there for parents? >> this is a tough one. i mean, you know, we clearly -- the message for kids who can get
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vaccinated, kids over the age of 12, they should get vaccinated if for no other reason they will start to obviate some of these other problems, like the need for masks universally in schools. the message for parents is it's going to be a year -- another year their kids will be wearing a mask. maybe not the whoelt year, several months, we'll see how it goes. and that it can be done safely. the schools even before vaccines could open safely and, you know, really reduce viral transmission, have some of the lowest viral transmission in the community, could be within the school. i'm talking about even pre-vaccines. but despite the fact that we have vaccines now, despite the fact we've made all this progress, schools are going to feel in a position though it's going to be in-person, they are largely going to need to wear masks. die p depending how much of a burden they think that is, people are going to respond differently. we know certain school drilkts in the country, we have a list of them, have basically said there's no way they're going to
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do mask mandates again. we know since yesterday, there are school districts such as gwinnett county here in georgia, okay, we'll do masks now. three larger school districts in the country, new york, los angeles and chicago said they will do masks. but there's going to be a lot of heated discussion about this, i think. >> sanjay, you're nicer than i am. that's a statement of fact. dr. walensky is nicer than i am. that's a statement of fact. i have forgiveness issues. i will stipulate that right now. i asked her whether or not we should be blaming unvaccinated people for this. take the word "blame" out of it, sanjay. isn't it just a statement of fact that this is happening right now? that kids are going to have to wear masks in schools again now that these communities are going to have to mask up again now? because people chose not to get the vaccine? it just seems to be a statement of fact. >> i think it's absolutely right, john. i think -- what is the problem? what you're asking here, what is the problem you're trying to
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solve? the problem fundamentally, again, you elicited this from her. unvaccinated people, which is still way too many in too many counties around the country, are largely spreading this to other unvaccinated people. they are not wearing masks. once the mask recommendations were lifted, unvaccinated people sort of took this as well to say, hey, look, we don't need to wear masks either. understandably i'm not forgetting that, but i'm saying you could have expected that to happen, right? if there were no proof of vaccinations required, people weren't going to wear masks who were not vaccinated because they weren't getting vaccinated, they weren't going to wear masks. those two behaviors were going together. that is where we are in this country. i just returned from tokyo where they have a significant supply issue. they can't get enough vaccines into people, and they're in a state of emergency as a result of that. here we have plenty of vaccines and people simply aren't taking them, and that is the fundamental problem. it is true, delta is more
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contagious and i can show you quickly back in may, may 13th when the mask recommendations first changed, delta was around 1.4% of circulating virus. now it's up to 82% of circulating virus and that is a more contagious virus, that is true. but if you are vaccinated, you are largely protected from getting sick, from developing these symptoms. one other thing i want to say, john. you got at this with her. but what is rare? we keep saying rare breakthrough infection. what does na that mean? if you look at the original data, 95% were protected from serious disease. it's probably close tr to one i 15 that got symptoms. call that rare, however you want to sort of define that. but there may be a lot of vaccinated people out there who still develop symptoms, may potentially spread it. not nearly as much as the proportion of unvaccinated to
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unvaccinated, but that is a possibility as well. >> dr. sanjay gupta, i appreciate you being with us. i do appreciate your kindness as always. this is something that has been created because people won't get vaccinated. this is a situation that exists now because of the unvaccinated in the united states. it just is. appreciate you being with us. so, a police officer who just testified about the january 6th attack is now being targeted with vulgar threats. >> i wish i killed all you scum bags. you people are scum. >> that's not even the worst of it. officer brian fanone, officer michael fanone not hiding behind voice mail. he will respond to that and more next. (realtor) the previous owners left in a hurry, so the house comes with everything you see. follow me. ♪
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what makes the struggle harder and more painful is to know so many of my fellow citizens, including so many of the people i put my life at risk to defend, are down playing or outright denying what happened. i feel like i went to hell and back to protect them and the people in this room. but too many are now telling me that hell doesn't exist, or that hell actually wasn't that bad. the indifference shown to my colleagues is disgraceful.
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>> that's officer michael fanone who is sitting with us right now, and will talk to us in just a moment about his testimony yesterday. first, new this morning right wing hosts and many republican lawmakers are refusing to acknowledge or in some cases refusing to even watch that raw emotional testimony from officer fanone and three other officers who defended the u.s. capitol during the insurrection on january 6. the hearing also featured this new harrowing video of the violence that day. the video we are going to show you again right now, violence, though, that some would like you to believe never happened. >> it was zero threat -- look, they went in and they shouldn't have done it. some of them went in and they're hugging and kissing the police and the guards, you know. they had great relationships. >> the truth is being censored and covered up. as a result the doj is harassing
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peaceful patriots across the country. without accurate answers conspiracies continue to form. >> you know, if you didn't know the tv footage was a video from january 6, you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit. >> to say they were trump supporters. >> they were gentle people waving american flags, they like the country. >> there is no evidence, as has been said, on january 7, that this was an armed insurrection. >> to say there were thousands of armed insurrectionists breaching the capitol intent on overthrowing the government is simply false narrative. by and large it was peaceful protest, except for -- there were a number of people basically agitators with the crowd, and breached the capitol and, you know, that's really the truth of what's happening here. >> i have no problem saying that these january 6 defendants are being treated like political prisoners of war. >> there's no question -- it is
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so much worse than it actually was. lawmakers were understandably afraid. not like a.o.c., i need therapy the rest of my life afraid. >> no reasonable person thinks what happens on january 6 as biden said, the worst attack on the capitol since the civil war. >> january 6 is being used as a pretext to strip millions of disfavored americans of their core constitutional rights. we are witnessing the most aggressive crackdown on civil liberties in our lifetime. >> the american people deserve to know the truth, that nancy pelosi bears responsibility as speaker of the house for the tragedy that occurred on january 6. >> nancy pelosi's january 6 commission and literally it has one mission and one mission only. let's see if we can impeach and smear and slander donald trump one more time and, of course, the gop one more time on national television. >> the theatrics were intended to produce an emotional action
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logic and facts be damned. it is with that knowledge we have the angle awards for today's best performances. first, best use of tears and dramatic pauses in a leading role, we have a tie. it's between congressman kinzinger and schiff. >> i don't know any republican, certainly any of the republicans like myself who were going to serve on this committee that have ever minimized what happened on january 6. that's a false narrative. >> and joining us now is someone with a realistic perspective of what happened that day. mike fanone. he is an officer with the d.c. metropolitan police who you are probably familiar with at this point honestly if you've been watching this program. mike, thanks so much for being with us. your testimony yesterday was so emotional, and i just wonder, what was that like for you? and did you feel that congress was listening? >> i mean, i felt like i had the
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attention of the members that were there in the committee room. whether or not other members of congress were paying attention or not, i've heard reports that many purported that they were not watching my testimony or that of my colleagues. i find that very telling. >> how so? >> well, i mean, if you have people like kevin mccarthy whose members of his party have been downplaying or denying the events of that day, i think it's, you know, not politically advantageous for him to continue to have to answer questions about the january 6th insurrection, which was at least in part incited by the leader at the time of his political party.
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so with that understanding, i do understand why they wouldn't want to watch that. >> i wonder, you know, lauren fox, who is one of our reporters who covers congress at cnn was talking about what it was like being at the capitol in the hearing room. not only watching them doing their jobs, but keeping tabs of what was happening during that testimony. obviously they're invested in this and i just wonder what it means for officers, for police officers to have members of congress they're protecting that are just not even watching or paying attention or they're downplaying what you are saying. >> yeah, i mean, i would imagine that's incredibly difficult. i mean, there's been plenty of times in my law enforcement career that i did not feel supported by the community that i was charged with keeping safe. but nevertheless, i took an oath
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and i continue to do my job to ensure that, you know, all people, regardless of their political affiliation, race, creed, what have you, were safe under my watch. and i'm quite certain that those capitol police officers are doing the same thing even as we speak. >> what is it like? i was watching you watching that montage of lawmakers, entertainment hosts commenting on the hearings. laura ingraham giving out performance awards for your testimony about the beatings that you suffered on january 6th. you know, what's it like to hear that from the likes of laura ingraham? >> well, first of all, i spent quite a bit of time in my career testifying in court, and i always felt most comfortable when defense attorneys resorted to theatrical tactics because i
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knew that they no longer had facts to support their argument, and so they had to insult me, insult my appearance, or, you know, try to chip away at my credibility. but in this case, the facts are the facts. they were supported by hundreds of hours of videotape, evidence, eyewitness testimony, they're undisputable. so if they want to disparage me or call me a member of antifa or talk about my neck tattoos, i couldn't care less. what i do -- what does concern me is the fact that, you know, those entertainers had an audience, and that audience takes their words and, you know, the rhetoric that they use as more than just entertainment. they think it's real. and that thought process has real-life consequence, and we saw the result of that on
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january 6th. >> has a real-life consequence indeed. and when we come back, one of those real-life consequence, because you've got a voice mail that someone left for you, a threatening, harassing voice mail, deeply offensive. we're going to play it so people know what you've been going through when we come back. usaa is made for the safe pilots. like mac. who can come to a stop with barely a bobble. with usaa safepilot, when you drive safe... ...you can save up to 30% on your auto insurance. usaa. what you're made of, we're made for. get a quote today. pool floaties are like whooping cough. amusement parks are like whooping cough.
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cheer on team usa with xfinity x1. say "show me the olympics in 4k" so you can watch in stunning 4k ultra hd. we're back now with officer michael fanone who testified yesterday at yesterday's house select committee looking into the january 6th insurrection. and, officer, while this testimony was going on, at 10:27 a.m. you just told us, someone left you a voice mail, and we're going to play it for people so they can hear the kinds of things that you were enduring right now. i want people to know this is un unedited. it's vulgar, it's offensive, it's threatening, but it's real. so, let's listen. >> this is for michael fanone,
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metropolitan police officer. you're on trial right now lying. you want an emmy, an oscar, what are you trying to go for here? you're so full of shut you far ought and sucker. i could slap you with a backhand and knock you out. you're a punk far ought and lying puck. you're destroying our cities and burning them and stealing all the shut out of their stores and everything. how about that, insulting skopz and k cops and killing people? that was shut at the capitol. i wish they killed all you scum bags. they stole the election from trump and you know that, you scum bag, and you -- too bad they didn't beat the shut out of you more. you're a piece of shut and little far, you pucking scum
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bag. >> i don't know what to say. i mean, i don't know what to say. you were tased. you suffered a heart attack, right? you put your life on the line, and you did have the shut beaten out of you basically right there. this guy is calling and threatening you while you're telling the world what you went through. >> yeah, again, i mean, the facts are the facts. what happened to me, the injuries that i sustained, you don't have to take my word for it. you can watch the video. you know, i'm not a crisis actor. i'm a 20-year veteran of the metropolitan police department here in washington, d.c. i served with distinction. that day was as traumatic as it looked when you watch it, whether on my body-worn camera footage or on other videos.
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but, again, i think that rhetoric being utilized by our lawmakers and then also the entertainment media hosts is leading people to a separate set of facts from which they operate off of, and that bizarre world, i'm a crisis actor. and the things that happened to me, you know, you don't -- you shouldn't believe your eyes or your ears. but i remember, you know, my first response i told don lemon last night when i thought about it, i thought, this is what happens when you tell the truth in trump's america. i thought about all the other public servants whose service to this country and the military have been disparaged, besmirched by trump and his supporters
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simply because they told the truth. i think about the doctors who fought to get accurate information out about a pandemic that we were experiencing, and how they were disparaged by the former president and his supporters, simply for trying to save american lives. and i realize like, well, you know, i'm in good company. >> historically, the republican party has had a tradition of supporting police officers. it has prided itself on being about law and order, and you called it in trump's america. well, this is now trump's republican party. does it still hold the mantle of supporting police officers, in your view? >> i mean, i would challenge all
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police officers not to take anyone's word for whether or not they support law enforcement officers. in fact, any american that's passionate about any cause should challenge their representatives to do things and not just say them. i believe that many in the republican party -- not all, but many have chosen donald trump, not only above the law enforcement officers that fought that day, but they've chosen donald trump above their country. and in doing so, it's my humble opinion that they betray their oath. >> don't go anywhere. because it strikes me, you raised a subject i think is so important. it is so insidious what's happening here, which is that your reality, your experience that we can all see is being denied. you're being told, you don't
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exist. and what you went through didn't exist. and that's something -- that's something beyond politics right now. that's the kind of psychological warfare and i want to talk about that when we come back.
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we're back now with one of the officers who testified yesterday in the first hearing of the select committee to investigate the january 6th attack. officer michael fanone, who is with us. and, mike, i think one of the things we have noticed talking with you over the months since the insurrection is just how forever changed your life was by those moments that we have all seen on camera. can you tell us about, you know, what it has meant for you, the struggles and the challenges that you're still overcoming? >> well, i mean, it did change me considerably. i mean, it changed my entire thought process, how i see things in our country, the state of our country, what qualities
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that i will forever look for in elected officials before i cast my vote. but, you know, it's also taught me quite a bit about myself. it was recommended early on that i read this book, a buddy of mine recommended to me. one of the things that it says in the first chapter -- it's a book on trauma -- is trauma reconciled can be a great gift, and it's still a work in progress, but that's proven very true for me. >> you know, i mention the fact that the people are in the midst of this really insidious gaslighting where they're telling you it didn't happen. what you say happened didn't happen. what we see happened didn't
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happen. yet it did. we all saw it. and you're still dealing with the physical consequence of that. talk to us about the physical journey that you've been taking. >> yeah, i mean, the post-january 6th experience for me as someone who fought that day to defend the capitol has been, i would say, as traumatic as the actual day itself. again, i think part of the, you know, healing process for anyone that experienced an event like that is the validation that, you know, that day occurred, that the events that we experienced -- that being all the officers that were there that day, and not just the officers, but, you know, the countless staff members, you know, employees of the capitol complex that were there that
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day. it's caused considerable trauma in all of their lives. i've spoken to hundreds of them. and to have it denied, how do you start the healing process when, you know, people won't even recognize that the day existed? >> you're seeing it twice weekly visits with a neuropsychologist, speech therapy. tell us about all that. >> so, the physical injuries are what i sustained that day, i guess those injuries subsided within, you know, several months after the attack. the cognitive issues i still experience today. i have problems with word search, focus and concentration.
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that's definitely improving, but were it not for the medical treatment, i couldn't even imagine where i would be. i mean, if i hadn't had access to mental health treatment and the therapy, i'd be dead. >> the national police unions, if i'm not mistaken, haven't come out in support of the police who weathered what they did, like you, on january 6th. what do you think of that? is that important to have that backing? >> it is for me. i don't know why the hill else i paid my dues. i've been a member of the fraternal order of the police since i became a police officer. on january 6, neither i nor the officer i spoke to had -- from
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the fraternal of order of police, zero. it wasn't until after the six-month marker that i contacted the national f.o.p. and spoke with the president patrick yost. and i'll be honest with you, i wasn't particularly impressed with that conversation. i was extremely disappointed. >> how did that go? >> well, i expressed my displeasure in the fact that neither i nor any of my coworkers, at least the ones i had spoken to, had heard anything from the f.o.p.. and when i searched their social media accounts, i found they only posted one singular statement on january 6th in which they called upon the president to put an end to the insurrection, although they used other language. they called it a riot. i asked patrick yost if he felt like that message was received, and he said yes.
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it was. well, okay. i don't know how to -- i don't even know what to say to that, to be honest with you. but i also asked him if he would denounce the 21 house republicans that voted against the gold medal bill, to honor those law enforcement officers. i asked him to publicly de dendenounce lawmakers that denounce or mischaracterize what happened that day. some i found offensive were the former president's remarks that it was a love fest between the law enforcement and insurrectionists. that's a lie. i asked him to denounce representative paul gosar's mischaracterization of an on-duty police officer who used
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deadly force in the shooting death of ashli babbitt, someone who was participating in an insurrection at the capitol, and whom the involved in serious use of force incidents. per the investigation to play out. well, in this case the investigation did play out. that officer was justified. and finally i asked him to publicly denounce any active duty or retired law enforcement officer that participated in an insurrection at the capitol on january 6, and in doing so, betrayed their oath of honor. i have received no commitment as to any of those things, none
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whatsoever. in fact, he offered me only access to the national f.o.p.'s wellness program. i told him if i had waited six months to get mental health treatment, i'd be dead. >> officer michael fanone, we're glad you didn't wait. we're glad that you're getting the help you need. we're glad you're speaking out and telling the truth, reminding the world of what happened, what we all know happened, despite what others choose to say. so, thank you. >> thank you. >> thanks for being with us this morning. next, a mother will share her story of regret after covid handed her family a devastating loss. and president biden planning a big announcement on vaccines. will it prove to be a game changer? from prom dresses to workouts and new adventures you hope the more you give the less they'll miss. but even if your teen was vaccinated against meningitis in the past they may be missing vaccination for meningitis b.
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although uncommon, up to 1 in 5 survivors of meningitis will have long term consequences. now as you're thinking about all the vaccines your teen might need make sure you ask your doctor if your teen is missing meningitis b vaccination.
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an alabama mother is changing her mind about the covid vaccine after losing her
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son to the virus. and now she hopes that her story will urge americans to get vaccinated now. chrissy carpenter and her 28-year-old son curt and daughter kayla, they all were diagnosed with covid in march. curt was hospitalized for 50 days before he passed away in may. and joining me now is christy carpenter as well as her daughter kayla. look, to both of you, i am so sorry for what your family has lost in this, and i just hope, christy, you can talk to us a little bit about catching covid before you were able to get a vaccine, and how that played out for you guys. >> thank you for having us. the vaccine that they had just started giving to medical providers and staff, hospitals, front line workers, and we both do work at a hospital, but we're not considered front line workers.
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so it was coming up on us being able to get the vaccine, but not quite yet. my son was not eligible for the vaccine yet. but we did have our concerns just because, looking from the outside, it was just developed to us so quickly, not realizing something's been in the works for years. so we were, we were concerned about taking it. we weren't totally against it, but we were just afraid of, you know, what could be in the vaccine. so we hesitated, and the next thing you know we were diagnosed with covid. >> and, kayla, there were a lot of people where you are who are hesitant. in alabama, only 34% of people r are fully vaccinated. so take us through how your mind changed on the vaccine.
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>> i work in a hospital with patients that are about my age. and we were seeing a lot of covid in those patients as well, and so a lot of us are age -- we weren't eligible to get it at all at that point because we're considered the healthier group of people. so watching my brother for 50 days, you know, on a ventilator, me, myself, having to call the ambulance for him to come pick him up because his o.t. was so low really made me realize, hey, just because i wasn't that sick this time around doesn't mean this new variant won't get me. so -- sorry. >> did you feel like -- no. did you feel like it could have been you, you know, watching your brother go through that? >> absolutely, i do. i mean, i don't think it really pertains to age. this virus is getting every age
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group. it's not really picking and choosing at this point. >> you know, christy, tell us a little about how you're doing emotionally, and also physically. i mean, we see that you're on supplemental oxygen. you have some of these long-haul symptoms. but tell us all around how you're doing. >> i'm much stronger than i was. it took awhile. covid really, really, as they say, takes the wind out of you literally. but i'm doing okay. i do pulmonary therapy three mornings a week, and that's helping a lot, and i'm real close to being able to come off -- >> you're here talking to people. because of this loss that you suffered and you don't want other people to suffer, you know, what do you miss about your son the most? >> gosh, you're going to make me
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cry. just his infectious laugh. i mean, he would laugh from his toes. he could be so funny, you know. there were times -- because he was autistic. there were times that he just sometimes didn't get it, and then there were other times that he got it probably better than we did and it could be so funny. he was really good at, like, almost like you'd say like doing voice-overs. he could sound like certain people or certain, you know, things. i mean, he just -- if he was really passionate about something, he would debate you to no end. you know, but he was just -- he was so sweet and loving and just really caring. >> christy and kayla, i'm so sorry that that is now missing from your life. but i really appreciate you lending your voices to talk with
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us today. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> we're back in a moment. we made usaa insurance for members like martin. an air force veteran made of doing what's right, not what's easy. so when a hailstorm hit, usaa reached out before he could even inspect the damage. that's how you do it right. usaa insurance is made just the way martin's family needs it with hassle-free claims, he got paid before his neighbor even got started. because doing right by our members, that's what's right.
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your together awaits. vrbo good morning, everyone. so glad you're with us. i'm poppy harlow. jim is off this week, and big news this morning. a major reversal in guidance based on the change we now know in the science of covid, the virus as it stands now. this morning, moments ago here on cnn, cdc director rochelle walensky explained why mask guidance for vaccinated americans has now changed. listen. >> the science that prompted this guidance is just days old, and in the coming days you will actually see the published information on the science that motivated this change. >> it's a big deal. this reversal is the latest sign of the delta variant's growing

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