tv CNN Newsroom With Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto CNN August 9, 2021 6:00am-7:00am PDT
leg on the documentary and everything else going forward. a lot of news this morning cnn's coverage continues right now. good monday morning america , this morning a warning from dr. fauci as the nation now averages more than 100,000 new cases of covid-19 a day, that's the highest number in nearly 6 months, and with the delta variant surging in parts of the country specifically those with maximum low vaccination rates dr. fauci warning this could lead to a more dangerous variant in the future if more people don't get vaccinated, and quickly. take a listen. >> but if you give the virus a chance to continue to change,
you are leading to a vulnerability that we might get a worse variant and then, that will impact not only the unvaccinated, that will impact the vaccinated because that variant could invade the protection of the vaccine. >> in the meantime the delta variant's toll on the unvaccinated is pushing healthcare systems in hard-hit states like louisiana and florida to the brink. look at the spike in hospitalizations, both states, shattering records. the situation so dire in florida, last week the state seeing its highest new cases since the beginning of the pandemic. there's a lot to get to this morning let's begin with elizabeth cohen, taking a look at this morning that we are hearing from dr. fauci about the new variants . >> dr. fauci and others warning if you think delta is bad, if you think delta has set us back, there could be even worse ones coming at us and here's why. nearly a third of americans
have refused to get a shot, even though they are eligible, that gives the virus a fabulous opportunity to change and mutate into something even worse. as the virus moves unabated from person to person to person, the virus is like wow, this is amazing, look at all this time and opportunity i have to learn how to change to be faster and stronger. and then you get variants that could be even worse. the only way to solve this is to get people vaccinated. speaking to the people he who are unvaccinated, even if you don't care if you live or die even if you don't care if your family lives or dies, even if you don't care about your community, think about the economy, we can finally get everything back on track if we get these variants in check. erika? >> thank you. this morning, as many florida classrooms welcome students back for the start of the school year, that state seeing a concerning number of new covid cases that specifically rising cases among children and teenagers. the current positively rate for
kids under 12 is 20.5. even higher for ages 12 to 19. more than 24% the tulsa chen joining us right now from orlando this morning . >> morning america, and those numbers you just talk about, those kids positivity rates are higher than the overall average florida positivity rate. so it's really affecting the young people. and we are actually seeing some young people in the cars right now that are lined up to get a vaccine here today, that's because a lot of them are returning to school of course. this is a huge concern right now because according to the florida department of health, last week alone, there were more than 13,000 new covid cases among children under 12 years old, who are again, not eligible to get a vaccine. and that is a 28% plus increase from the week before. so things seem to be getting worse here. and we are talking to parents
who are a little nervous about the varying mask mandates that are happening in different districts, of course here in orange county, public school start classes in person tomorrow, they have a mask mandate but parents are allowed to opt out and that's because the state policy where governor desantis has defended parents choice in this matter, the board of education going so far as to allow parents the choice of a private school voucher if they feel that a school requirement for masks is harassment, erika . >> wow. we are learning the tosha, six members of the same church in jacksonville type. he speaking out now, what is he saying? >> out of the six people, four of them were under the age of
35, young and healthy, and now they are gone, this is a huge loss from that church, the pastor said he wants to do more than prayer, you want to take action so the church the vaccination event over the weekend and here's a little bit of what he said to the congregation to try to convince him to get the vaccine. >> i choose to believe our god is a one that gives us opportunities like this, not to put our trust in the vaccine, we put our trust in jesus. we put our trust in jesus to take care of our hearts but when your heart start going bad you go to the doctor to get it checked out. there's no reason why medical science and faith cannot work together. we absolutely believe they do. >> faith and science, working together he says, he also tweeted over the weekend, that he's tired of crying about and burying people he loves. erika, he asked that everyone put, take their politics and religion games somewhere else although we are seeing a lot of political games being played here in the sunshine statement. >> that might be an understatement. joining me now is dr. shaw, he's the director of the brown university of school. something else we heard from
dr. fauci over the weekend talking about how he strongly supports vaccine mandates in colleges, universities, businesses, once there's full fda approval. there's been a lot of talk about possibly mandating vaccine for teachers and staff in schools. how much of an impact you think that could have as we see back- to-school kickoff around the country? >> erika, thanks for having me back. think the answer is it could have a big impact. that's why i was happy to see dr. weingart call for vaccine mandate, especially for kids under 12 who can't get vaccinated, the best way to protect them is to make sure that the adults around them are protected . >> what about a mandate, for kids under 12? >> we have less experience on kids but for adults we have enormous amounts of data on
safety. would be perfectly in favor of it. i think the school districts they we are still trying to get data on that i think it's reasonable. that's a place working there's room for judgment that for adults, i think it's a no- brainer. mandates for schools really makes a lot of sense to create a safe environment. >> you posted this list of five things for a back-to-school list. he said number 1, vaccinate, masks, vaccinate and -- i was talking with a fellow mama was concerned because there was so much in place in terms of measures heading back to school, you know, when we could finally go back last year. now in 2021 it looks a lot different. you may not see the spacing. you may not see the plexiglass. some other measures in place. so what's most important? >> so i think spacing and plexiglass don't help that much. what is most important in my mind certainly vaccines.
second is ventilation and filtration my gosh, we've had a year to do this. schools have gotten billions of dollars from congress, they should have done this by now if not they can do it pretty quickly and cheaply. and then testing. testing on an ongoing basis picks up infection. so if we could do those things are not even that controversial, there's no fights about them, it would make an enormous if it's but i do think mask wearing would be helpful. and spacing is really just about avoiding that super crowded assembly hall, concerts, things are we get into trouble. >> as we think about life in general, there's so much discussion about protecting those who are not eligible to be vaccinated. i have a kid in that age group i think if i recall correctly, you do, too, as we look at the risk, there's no such thing as zero risk but we've always talked about the degrees of risk and should we start to rethink indoor dining, for example or even travel at this point? >> yeah, it just depends a little bit on where you are in the country. and how big the surges. i have a nine-year-old who is
obviously not vaccinated. the way i thought about it with the search happening, i am holding off on indoor dining with them. we are being a bit more careful about travel. again he's not super high risk but at this moment i'm not sure that subjecting him to any meaningful risk is worth it especially when i think we are going to be able to get through this over the next couple of months . >> rand paul weighed in on mask mandates in school. take a listen. >> it's time for us to resist. they can't rest all of us, they can keep all your kids home from school. they can't keep every government building closed. no one should follow the cdc's anti-science mask mandates . >> a couple of things in there, not sure if i've heard of anybody being arrested for not wearing a mask but also, saying no one should follow the cdc's in his words, anti-science mask mandate. how damaging are those comments? >> actually, it mostly just makes me sad. dr. paul is a doctor, he's a senator obviously as well. and the truth is, that we should not be turning these
really complex public health issues into political rhetoric. look, if you're not a huge fan of mask mandates, sure, let's discuss the science. it is clearly safer. i think we can have a much more recent discussion, that kind of rhetoric sets us back. >> dr. jha, i always appreciate you joining us, thank you . up next, the woman who filed a criminal complaint against new york governor andrew cuomo, speaking out for the first time this morning. what she says happened. plus, stunning testimony about former president trump's efforts to interfere in the election. why one lawmakers calling his latest revelations frightening . and dr. fauci said he's warning a massive biker rally in south dakota could be a covid super spreader event. we will speak with a doctor in that community, ahead.
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new this morning, disturbing allegations from one of governor cuomo's accusers. the woman identified as executive assistant number 1 is going public with their claims of sexual harassment. >> the governor said, why don't we take a selfie? i then felt while taking the selfie, his hand go down my back onto my but and he started rubbing it. not sliding it, not you know, quickly brushing over it. rubbing my butt .
>> cnn has reached out to the governor's attorneys this morning following this interview, so far they declined to comment. the governor has denied in testimony that he inappropriately touched brittany commisso. one of the top aides , melissa derosa resigned and moments from now, impeachment investigators in new york will brief the state assemblies committee. first what what more are we learning from this interview? >> erica, there have been a lot of development in just the last 12 hours alone but here where it appears we are right now in terms of the impeachment efforts at the state level, we can tell you the states judiciary committee this morning, they are preventing her . to meet with independent investigators and launched a probe earlier in march as we heard last week the investigation slowly coming to a close. the significance of that, it's one of the first real steps by
new york state lawmakers and their effort to impeach the governor. look, even before today's exclusive cbs interview was made public with one of the cuomo accusers, it's important dimension of majority of those lawmakers have indicated to cnn that they would vote to impeach governor cuomo, if those articles are completed and presented to them. it's also important to note, as we've heard before from the governor's personal attorney, that they have repeatedly denied those allegations specifically, when it comes to the woman who has now come forward and stepped into the public eye and identified herself as brittany commisso, one of the women who are coming forward with these allegations about the governor. i want you to hear a little bit more about that interview, especially what she told cbs news when she addressed one of those encounters, take a listen. >> he gets up, and he goes to give me a hug, and i could tell immediately when he hugs me, it was probably the most sexually
aggressive manner, than any of the other hugs that he had given me. it was then that i said, you know, governor, my words were, you're going to get us in trouble. and i thought to myself, that probably wasn't the best thing to say, but at that time, i was so afraid that one of the mansion staff, that they were going to come up and see this and think, oh, you know, is that what she comes here for, and that's not what i came therefore and that's not a lien. and i was terrified of that. and when i said that, he walked over, shut the door, so hard, to the point where i thought for sure someone downstairs must think, they must think if they had here that what is going on, came back to me, and that's when he put his hand up my blouse and cupped my breast
over my bra. i exactly remember looking down, seeing his hand, which is a large hand, thinking to myself, oh my god. this is happening. it happened so quick, he didn't say anything. when i stopped it, he just pulled away and walked away. >> after the interview was made public cnn reached out to the governors office, but before it was released, they have denied the allegation, and as we mentioned on saturday, we actually heard in a lengthy interview, that the governor's attorney actually denied those specific allegations when it comes to brittany commisso, as to what her attorney is telling cnn this morning, the say they waited up until now to share her story, because she wanted to wait for that attorney general for to be released which we know was released about a week ago almost.
brittany commisso we are learning that she's the woman who came to law enforcement authorities here in new york and actually filed a criminal complaint initiating a criminal investigation so speaks to now the potential consequences that the governor may face down the road when it comes to that information. and we also learned this morning obviously one of his closest advisors, did step down, which, means that is inner circle grows even smaller as he faces not only the possibility of impeachment but as we mentioned, the possibility of even criminal charges when it comes to these allegations. >> certainly a lot happening in the 60s or so since that port was released. thank you . joining me now to discuss further former federal prosecutor, always good to see you. there's so much talk about could the governor be facing any criminal charges. i want to play a little bit more of what brittany commisso had to say in terms of why she decided to file a criminal
complaint. >> why did you file that criminal complaint with the sheriff's office? because it was the right thing to do. the governor needs to be held accountable . >> being held accountable to you means seeing the governor charged with a crime? >> what he did to me was a crime. >> he broke the law. >> she's very clear and how she fares filled about the governor's behavior towards her, what she alleges happened, that she sees it as a crime. is my understanding, this would be a class a here in the state of new york a misdemeanor . from what we know, what are the chances that governor cuomo could in fact be charged criminally? >> well, erica, the fact that we do know, certainly would meet the element for the misdemeanor of sexual assault, usually the misdemeanor versus the felonies are distinct by non-genital contact, outside the clothing or even inside touching as she is describing,
it would certainly fit the. at that. many misdemeanor sexual assault are actually plea bargains of felonies. prosecutors are historically reluctant, they are afraid the juries won't think it's a severe enough type of conduct to justify a criminal case and that's wrong . from a legacy from implicit sexual bias against women in the system, prosecutors need to bring cases when they fit the charges but that something that will be factored in. >> you say that will be factored in. is that going to be factored indefinitely because we are dealing with the governor of the state of new york? >> i think it will be. now i can cut both ways sometimes prosecutors are particularly interested in a high profile candidate but they will be worried that bringing it to a jury, the jury may feel that this is a very important
person may be very popular, and they are going to be worried it's a hard taste the prosecutors can't be afraid to try hard cases of the only way to change this kind of historical bias is by bringing these kinds of cases. the facts the crime, you've got to bring the case . >> cnn has reached out to the governors attorney as well, after this interview, we have not yet heard back. but we know the governor has repeatedly denied that he ever touched anyone inappropriately and denies these events happened. as for the claim he groped her breast, part of the what his defense is, is laying out is that the visitor logs for the day when they say this was allegedly to have happened, basically point to the fact that this could never happen in their estimation. is that enough of a defense? >> i think it's the only defense they have. whether it's enough can ultimately be a jury case, it's not really going to be enough in my opinion to convince the prosecution, given the testimony of the completed at
this point, the survivor. it seems strong. she's very certain it was not consented to. his defense team doesn't really have a choice. if it was someone other than a public official they might say, this was consensual. you know, she was -- but in this situation they have to say it didn't happen, deny the fact, people who are the sort of thing which is not really believable, this is the sort of thing that she's not claiming she struggled or yelled. so it's not really believable that it didn't happen just because no one heard it. but they have to say it didn't happen because any type of admission takes them down a path of no return so he's got to just deny it . >> i appreciate it, thank you. just how close to former president trump come to enlisting the justice department to help him overturn the election? you will hear what to former top doj official told lawmakers
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after months of negotiations the senate is poised for a final vote on the massive $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal. but the legislation still faces an uncertain future in the house were speaker pelosi has yet to agree to take up the bill. so lauren, when is the package expected to pass in the senate and if it does, what's next? >> the key question has been if republicans are going to be willing to let this move forward a little more quickly than what it would normally scheduled for that final vote. and here's why that matters. because tomorrow morning, at 3:00 a.m., that's when the final vote would be scheduled. obviously, that kind of time in the morning would be uncomfortable for a lot of members, making it to the floor so the question is will there be time yielded back. right now, we don't have the answer to that but once they pass this bill and we expect that it will pass with republican support, then democrats will move on to their own budget bill, and that is an important piece of legislation
because it really sets the framework for how democrats are going to write their bigger, democratic only infrastructure bill that's going to include a lot more than what is in this bipartisan package. so, once this bipartisan package passes, then there will be 50 hours of debate over this democratic only budget bill, one that passes, then there will be a vote on voting rights, and then the senate will leave for its recess. but that's a lot of moving parts here. there's also another important factor at play. the budget bill does not include an increase in the debt ceiling and that matters because janet yellen made it clear this morning, in a letter to lawmakers that she wants this to be passed by a bipartisan basis. and that matters because without a bipartisan support for the debt ceiling increase, you cannot increase the debt ceiling at this point. the fact that democrats didn't include it in their bill does not mean means it will not be included in the reconciliation package and that potentially could mean a major showdown on
capitol hill when lawmakers return after the august recess . >> so much to look forward to, lauren fox, thank you . chairman durbin said he's learned frightening information about what occurred at the justice department during the final days of the trump administration. former acting deputy attorney general donoghue and former attorney general rosen both recently testified before the judiciary committee. houses say they revealed new details about a former da doj lawyers attempt to subvert the results of the election. so, what was said in that testimony? >> this amounted to hours of testimony. this, from the two top officials at doj who were there at the immediate aftermath of the election. and what we are hearing from the senators who were sitting in, not only was there frightening information revealed but also, that the pressure that former acting attorney general rosen faced directly from donald trump was real and very specific. that's coming from chairman dichter been who told dan about
yesterday that rosen refused to do certain things that trump asked of him specifically pertaining to election returns. we know jeffrey clark was the head of the division of the time, he wanted to send those letters out to several states including georgia, that falsely claimed that doj had found irregularities in a vote that it affected the outcome. and we know that rosen and his deputy richard donoghue, they refused to sign onto those letters. but now, jeffrey clark has become the focal point for congressional investigators. sources told us, that when rosen testified, he talked about five episodes work clark went out of the chain of command of doj to push these fraud claims. and trump and clark were indirect communication. that something totally out of the norm for officials other than the attorney general at doj. and we also know that in this testimony this weekend, rosen and donoghue told lynn lawmakers that trump, he never
ordered them to do anything illegal and trump eventually accepted their advice. that doj could claim fraud when they have zero evidence of it but still, they remain a lot of questions about who else at the white house might have been part of this push to get doj involved in pushing these false election fraud claims, and potentially what other schemes might have been in the works. so erica, this might be the tip of the iceberg, what we've already seen come out, there needs to be a lot more testimony that the senators are pushing for in particular, they want to hear from jeffrey clark who's been at the center of this. >> wow. as you pointed out it could be the tip of the iceberg. thank you . despite the pandemic, thousands of unmasked bikers gathered for a huge rally in sturgis, south dakota. again, i'll be joined by a local doctor who fears this could be a super spreader event.
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kinds of things they want to do, they want their freedom to do that. but there comes a time when you are dealing with a public health crisis that could involve you, your family and everyone else, that something supersedes that need to do exactly what you want to do. i mean, you're going to ultimately be able to do that in the future but let's get this pandemic under control before we start acting like nothing is going on. something bad is going on. >> dr., good to have you with us, i'm curious you shared those same's concerns as dr. fauci? >> good morning america, yes, i'm very concerned. it's very clear when you have a mass gathering event, the virus, behaves one way, it's adapted to spread in this particular variant, the delta variant is highly transmissible
and some spreading to one other person it's spreading to five other people. what we are seeing in provincetown, the milwaukee bucks game, anytime you have the situation of large crowds, it's very difficult to keep the virus from spreading. but also, we are kind of in the same place we were last year when we had the sturgis rally and we had a spread after that event. currently reporting about 60 new cases, daily which is about where we were last year. so all of that, points to you know, a concern about a rise in cases following the rally. >> of course laster we didn't have the delta variant. cnn spoke with folks who are in there in sturgis to get a sense of what they are saying and thinking in the majority of them had been vaccinated, take a listen. >> are y'all concerned about covid at all? >> i'm vaccinated . >> my wife has covid right now
. >> are you concerned about covid this year? >> >> no . >> why not? >> not where i am . >> did you get the vaccine? >> i ain't getting it and still they say it's not going to make you sterile and kill your -- i don't trust it when it's not even approved yet. >> these are things we've heard before, plenty of unvaccinated people that we've spoken with that we have heard from, who have made similar claims us why they are not vaccinated, there's a good portion of the country that's not getting vaccinated. as we heard from dr. fauci, at some point, wanting to do the things you want to do supersedes you know, it's not just about you. what is the reaction, you are there on the ground, what is the reaction not just in the
hospital but also, just on the streets in terms of the impact this could have on your community? >> yeah, there's a lot of concern and frustration and as much as we all enjoyed the torts, we really encourage people to come here because it's beautiful here in the black hills if you've never been but the misinformation, it's very hard to get through, this is an entirely preventable situation, and in the hospital in the icu here, at monument health, when we see those folks that are not vaccinated and up requiring critical care, it's really sad, it's a little too late. the other thing that bears pointing out, is those below the age of 12 are not eligible for the vaccine. so those folks are vulnerable. and it's in our best interest for the future of south dakota and all of the country, to take care of these folks and make sure you are vaccinated, stay home if you are infected, but mass gathering events, unfortunately, our you know the perfect stage for this virus. >> if there is a surge in cases
, is the hospital prepared to deal with that, do you have everything you need? >> absolutely, we've been well prepared and unfortunately the pandemic laster got us into ready care, and we have been ready, supply, personals and we've got support from our partners in the department of health and local partners ready to help us as well but we are ready at monument health if there was a surge but unfortunately, that seems to be inevitable given a mass gathering event here. probably in the next 10 days . >> dr. kurra , i appreciate you joining us and best of luck. we will be checking in to see how things to work out on your end there. yankee. an afghan official tell cnn things are getting nasty as the taliban quickly sees multiple key territories it just the last few days. so will the international community react? that's next.
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to learn more, visit safetyactioncenter.pge.com troubling news out of afghanistan where football fighters have seized several key territories in just a matter of days. an afghan security official telling cnn things are getting nasty. and this time lapse shows how quickly they have gained ground since early june. u.s. is expected to completely withdraw troops by the end of the month. five capitols have fallen. many more being threatened by the group. nick paton walsh joining us now. where do we stand this morning. >> this is the worst five days in the last 20 years in terms of position of afghan security forces and u.s.-backed
government in kabul. it is extraordinary how this began. with the first capitol falling on friday. so many thinking that the taliban could always be kept in the rural heartlands of afghanistan and out of the urban centers. the first fell on friday and then recordly yesterday three more. there are, in fact, two others which seem under significant pressure at the moment. one of those is another key city, kunduz falling. and garsy as well. this is extraordinary to be honest because the idea that the taliban could influence major urban centers, where often the support is less strong will be a real sense of demoralization for afghan security forces. you could imagine at this point trying to work out frankly which fire they should race to put out next. heavy battles for the southern key city in helmand where so many lost their lives. in the past the taliban have moved into cities and this may be the case again now and pushed out again by afghan security
forces. but often that was because of u.s. air power pinpointed often directed from the ground in the past by u.s. spotters. being able to kick the insurgency back. that is significantly less in evidence at the moment although there are still u.s. air strikes and there is clock ticking because the u.s. has been clear when the presence on the ground ends by august 31, so too will the air support. a senior afghan security official saying they are frankly deeply concerned about what happened after the air support ends. imagine their world without even that potentially as a back-up. that is the deep concern. unclear what level of alarm bells frankly with ringing within the white house. this is their decision alone and unfortunately what many are saying was the inevitable slow collapse of afghan security forces appears to be happening faster than anybody had imagined. it could still change but real fears for ordinary afghans now. >> thank you.
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a new ux n. report said there is no denying humans have changed the climate. it is getting hotter and happening faster than previously thought. right now the planet is 1.1 degrees warmer than pre-industrial levels. that may not sound like a lot. it is massive. it is expected to hit the threshold of 1.5 degrees by the 2030s and two degrees warmer as
soon as 2050. bill weir joining me now. the u.n. secretary general calls this a code red for humanity. which sounds like a call to action. >> erica, it is. yeah. but it is just a continuation of a call to action that started 30 years ago when the first of these reports. when scientists said, hey, like a baby in a car on a hot day with the windows rolled up, we're creating an atmosphere for life on earth that is not sustainable and we should pay attention to it. nothing has changed since then. and this report is much more definitive and clarity because the data sets are huge now and they could attribute real weather events, the heat dome killing clams in the shell and starting these massive wildfires, they could say that is x percent the result of this amount of fossil fuels that have berned since this day. this is how good the science is getting. on the positive side, we have
plenty of science that could get us out of this and the only thing missing is political will. >> well that is always seems to be the issue. there is data about how methane contributes to the climate crisis. >> exactly. they bored down on what was billed the clean natural gas, much better than coal. whales burn cooler than coal but it doesn't mean we should burn them. to use the baby in the car andology, methane is like turning up the heater inside of the car and it acts much faster and you could turn it down much faster. so if they focus on that. we have some infar red and this is leaking out from agriculture, from burping out of cows so there is research on how to capture this and create a more climate friendly dairy for example and capture all of that pollution. so that is just one step.
but ultimately the big takeaway is it has to start kind of yesterday. we need a world war ii level mobilization. those factories didn't start making bombers out of the goodness of their heart. this took nationalizing things. but to get back to politics, we live in an era, it is tough to get guys in sturgis to put on a mask and we need them to join a effort to decarbonize as soon as possible. >> and with the heat dome for example, what about the heat waves, what about the droughts? >> they're only going to get worse, unfortunately. and the droughts, you know, i've seen science that said we need ten rainy years to recharge the reservoirs in california and on the huge cities that depend on this. that is all connected to that as well.
and if you live in that dry area and your local authorities are not talking about it or on a coastline where sea level rise is guaranteed, it is just a matter of how high. they need to be talking about it immediately. >> i'm glad you're talking about it and we'll keep talking about it. baby steps although we need giant leaps right now: thank you. >> you bet. good morning, i'm erica hill, poppy and jim are off today. right now, the united states is once again averaging more than 100,000 new covid cases a day. covid hospitalizations and deaths nearly doubling in the past two weeks. and as americans children start to go back to school, the delta variant continues to wreak havoc in areas with low vaccination rates. dr. fauci said now is the time for local entities to start mandating vaccines. >> the time has come, as we've got to go the extra step to get people vaccinated. you want to persuade that, that