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tv   CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield  CNN  October 2, 2021 10:00am-11:00am PDT

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>> translator: to say that belarus would become part of the united states, britain or russia is a fallacy. putin and i are intelligent enough to create a state that would be stronger than separate. sovereignty is not for sale. >> it's unclear if belarus has a choice. already, russia is stepping up joint military drills and adding to its permanent presence in the country, feeling concerns that belarus is gaining a new western post. matthew chance, cnn, minsk. hello, again, everyone. thank you for joining me. we begin this hour with a new deadline for democrats to pass a trillion dollar infrastructure bill. nancy pelosi now says that bipartisan bill must pass by
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halloween. this coming as democrats hit the pause button on legislation. and the president's large spending package, well, democrats ended the week without a vote or a deal on the president's sweeping domestic agenda despite frantic negotiations and deadlines. we're following all of these developments with daniella diaz on capitol hill. daniella, let's begin with you. what's happening or what's not happening? >> fred, what's not happening is a really interesting way to put what happened this week, which is not much. democrats debated and tried to pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill which is what moderates wanted, but in the end, that vote didn't happen. the bill was not put to the floor and they bought themselves more time to continue negotiating on another part of biden's historic agenda. an economic bill. $3.5 trillion bill that would expand the nation's social safety.
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what did end up happening is they passed a 30-day funding for surface transportation. something that was going to expire thursday night and the house passed it yesterday. the senate is meeting today to possibly pass it so there are no furloughed jobs relate to that funding and nancy pelosi put out a letter this morning, a dear colleague note. kind of ignoring the drama of what happened this week, but she emphasized she wants to see the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed by october 31st. she said there's an october 31st surface transportation deadline after last night's passage of a critical 30-day extension. we just pass the bill well before then. the sooner the better to get jobs out there. that's the key thing here. moderate democrats really want the bill passed so that it could create thousands of jobs to improve roads, bridges, transportation, this is why they've been advocating for
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this. on the other hand, you have progressive democrats who want to see the economic bill pass. this bill is a massive bill that would expand the nation's social safety net, combat climate change, expand the child tax credit, have paid family and medical leave. these are things that progressives want to see pass which is why they threatened to w withhold their vote on the hard infrastructure bill. so they want to pass these two together. president joe biden visited capitol hill hill yesterday for the first time visited the house democratic caucus and really pushed that they need to negotiate on this and that's where things left off. they are going to continue to negotiate on the plan for these two bills and so far, you know, the work continues. clearly here on capitol hill on these issues. >> right. daniella, thank you so much. arlett, what is the president saying about how he plans to get his agenda across the finish
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line? we heard him say six minutes, six hour, six weeks, so he might be okay with this october 31 deadline, but he has work to do, right? >> and to quote president biden, he said he's going to work like hell to try to get both of these measures passed even as both remain at a stand off over exactly how to proceed with the president's top priorities. the president has acknowledged there's frustration on all sides as these negotiations have played out over the course of the past few weeks and moderates and progressives still appear to be add odds over the proposal then the larger $3.5 trillion proposal which they are expecting will likely be trimmed down a bit in order to win over some moderates. the president is spending the weekend at his home in wilmington, delaware. he is planning to stay engaged on the issue. talking to lawmakers while he is there. he also will be hosting lawmakers here at the white house next week as well as
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traveling the country to try to sell these proposals to the american people. but the president really has said even if he himself is not putting a timeline, a deadline to get these measures passed, he has said that he is optimistic that they will get done. he does think that there is support for both of these measures. it's just a matter of getting the votes in order for them to pass. he has been urging his democrats up on capitol hill to try to compromise and remember their shared unity of their priorities. now in addition to these measures, the president also today discussed and addressed another pressing issue for congress and that is raising the debt limit with an october 18th deadline quickly approaching and just before the president left the white house this morning, i asked him whether he thinks democrats will have to do it alone. raising that debt ceiling as republicans have said that they would be opposed to it. now the president did not comment on the democratic efforts, but did say that republicans need to come on board. take a listen. >> well, i hope that the public
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will be solely responsible as we choose to raise the debt limit and to filibuster the debt limit. that would be totally unconscionable. never been done before. so i hope that won't happen. >> so the debt limit, that bipartisan infrastructure proposal, the larger social safety net bill, that is all things that this congress is currently has on their plate. they have a heavy lift ahead in the coming weeks. fred. >> all right, thanks to both of you. so what happens now, joining us now, reuben, a member of the congressional caucus and chairman of the hispanic caucus bold pack. good to see you, congressman. so wis this a divided party? >> no, look, i think the party is united in one thing. we want infrastructure. we want both physical as well as
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human infrastructure. we want people to have the opportunity infrastructure highway that people have missed for the last decade and want, you know, to just build roads and bridges. the one thing we need to do though is have some trust and understanding and as some member of the caucus, we've been very clear what we want to do. what we haven't seen and heard from the senate is exactly what they want. so money aside zplsh and you're t talking specifically manchin and sinema. i heard -- it's unclear. we know neither one of them have been on board with the price tag, but specifically what about how the money is allocated. so how do you get to the bottom of that? >> well, the way you get to the bottom of that is the way we're getting to the bottom is we're going to build our priorities and our policy first then go back and look at how much it would cost. then once we get to a certain amount, we'll put it all
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together and hopefully go talk to our senate colleagues. senate colleagues will try to tell us what their priorities are. once we look at both areas, we come to a compromise. what does that number look like? i don't know. what matters the most is do we have the policies that make a difference in people's lives. that's what it really is all that matters at the end. >> could the president have seen this coming? while he put out this is what i want, this is what my agenda is, but might he have anticipated that it would be progressives and moderates who would be holding things up within the democratic party, not necessarily placing the blame on republicans? >> well, look. at the beginning, there was an agreement between all sides. it was going to be a two track system. that's why a lot of this started moving. suddenly, there was a shift from the senate and some other
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mem members of the democratic caucus and conservative members that all of a sudden, they went from two track system, you must now vote for this. the infrastructure bill first before we consider the human infrastructure side of it. the build back better. the problem with that is that was a change of the agreement and then the numbers changed. then the amount that they were going to spend kept on changing. so when you start breaking trust over and over again then you start forcing these arbitrary deadlines, you're going to create a situation like this. and eventually what happened, there was not just one or two members of the democratic caucus. it was close to 60 members of the caucus that said trust is off. we need to see, you know, we need to have an agreement. we need to have some level of trust before we keep moving forward. so was it hard to see, yes. i don't think anybody anticipated that some of our colleagues would go back on our word. we're where we're at right now. it's time to work together and
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let's get this done for the american people. >> senator manchin said he was more comfortable with a $1.5 trillion price tag for the build back better plan. that's a far cry from what was proposed. although president biden had come down quite a bit from his initial number down to 3.5. trillion. so do, how will you get the votes in the senate in order to get this passed? >> well, i think senator manchin needs to tell me what does 1.5 trillion mean. does that mean we're going to get child tax credit extended for every person making less than $150,000? $300 per kid? subsidized childcare, pre-k? expand medicare so it covers dental and hearing? 1.5 trillion over a ten-year span is $150 billion in a $22.3 trillion economy that we have by the way. so you know, the number he's
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throwing out is small compared to our yearly -- >> why do you feel like he's not being more specific. >> what does that number come up to. >> right. and why do you think he's not being more specific about how do you get to those numbers as opposed to saying that number is too high. i want it at 1.5 trillion. >> i don't know. but that's not the right way in my opinion to do policymaking. if he really has an issue on the number then he should go back and say you need to cut out these policies. instead, all we're hearing is this arbitrary number, much like arbitrary deadlines. i hope we can work with senator manchin in the future. or what are the other aspects of how we can get to an amount. i think that makes both sides happen. >> another key player in the senate in these negotiations is from your state.
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senator kristen sinema, who feels differently from what is in the bills. are you getting specificity from her, too? >> no and again, this is not just a manchin sinema thing. i think collectively are the two senators and some of my colleagues on the house side, we don't get specifics. numbers and budgets are a reflection of human investment. so what are you trying to say? what are you trying to cut out? do you not want a childcare sub c sy di? are you trying to take away universal pre-k? when you say i don't want -- you're saying you're going to cut out a portion of america. >> so your name has been floated as a possible primary challenger to senator sinema. is that something you're thinking about pursuing?
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>> no. not at this point. this is the year of 2021. we have to pass infrastructure. we have to pass the transportation bill and election in 2022 as a member of congress. any speculation is wrong and it's not fair to my constituents. they deserve my full-time, you know, focus on this as well as my family does. >> all right. glad you could be was. thank you so much. >> coming up, a possible breakthrough in the fight against coronavirus pandemic. a new pill for covid-19 patients that doctors say cuts in half the risk of death or hospitalization. plus, new details in the investigation of gabby petito. brand-new body camera footage revealing more of the domestic dispute between she and her fiance, brian laundrie. flu symptoms. orst cold so when you need to show your cold who's boss, grab mucinex all-in-one...
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the u.s. has surpassed more than 700,000 covid deaths since the start of the pandemic. more than any other country in the world. the nation is still averaging just under 1900 covid deaths every day, but new cases and hospitalizations are dropping and a decrease in deaths will likely follow. one reason for that optimism is that merck says its new antiviral drug cuts the risk of hospita hospitalizations and deaths by 50%. the company plans to submit a request for emergency use authorization for the fda as soon as possible and experts are hailing the news as it being a potential game changer, but it's little relief for those families that have already lost loved ones. a family in virginia is mourning the loss of their 10-year-old, teresa sperry, who died less than ak after showing symptoms of covid-19.
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her parents told cnn's christi paul that think don't want her death to be in vain. >> teresa passed away at 4:46 pres p.m. and i'm sitting next to her bed as everybody's talking to me and there was a school board meeting for my district and one of my friends told me that while she was there, she was so enraged because there were people there that said coindcovid is over. it doesn't affect healthy people. it doesn't kill healthy people. that we can basically get on with our lives. when she told me that, i was like, if it was over, my daughter would still be here. i wouldn't, we wouldn't be doing these interviews. we wouldn't be preparing for her funeral. and it upset me so much that people just are so nonchalant about it. while my only girl is gone.
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>> nicole, i'm so sorry. we're so sorry to both of you. jeff, i know that, like you were in the hospital last night and you thought it important enough to be here with us. what do you want to say? >> i want to say my baby was happy. she was healthy and strong. and it took her in less than five days. if it can take her, it can take anybody. i don't, the only way this makes sense is for her to save people. i don't want other people to have to do what we're going right now. because it hurts. >> it's not fair. >> it's hard. >> oh, my god, that is so tragic. joining us now to discuss is dr. biset, emergency medicine physician.
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also the medical director of the baylor college of medicine. no, it is not over and that family's experience helps exemplify that. when you hear this number, 700,000 lives lost and that this country is now leading in deaths, you know, around the world, i talked to a doctor who said it's a horrible number, but making it worse is about 100,000 of the deaths came after the vaccine had been made available. so those were possibly preventable deaths. what are your thoughts? >> my thoughts are and honestly, fred, i'm a little shooken up, honestly, listening to teresa's parents speak. that was tragic. but my thoughts on reaching this grim milestone is that this is just yet another sordid stain on american history. the united states is considered by many to be one of the most technologically advanced country
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in the world, but we have the highest death toll in the world. we're leading by almost 10 million cases. it doesn't make sense and i hope that looking back on this, people realize that a lot of this was preventable. a lot of these mistakes were things that we created for ourselves and we really need to take the blame and be ashamed on how we handled this pandemic. >> and then in looking forward, how hopeful should we think that this merck pill might be bringing some real relief? now i understand it's administered if they were to receive the emergency use authorization, fda approval, then it's administered after you've tested positive for covid, right? and you take that pill and it would either shorten, reduce, or eliminate your hospitalization all together? >> well, i will say that the merck pill is a game changer because number one, it's in pill
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form. meaning it's easy to take and distribute. however, there are still some limitations and that treatment is not going to be what gets us out of this pandemic. we want to prevent people from getting ill. not just figuring out how to get them once they are. if you look at the merck data, they're saying that their pill reduces hospitalizations and deaths by about 50%, but when you compare that to the antibody treatment, that's more effective. further more, merck only studied their drug in less than 1500 people in those who were older and had underlying medical conditions. so when approval comes out, we don't know if it's going to be approved in all patients or only in those who the drug was studied in. >> right. and again, you know, with merck, this antiviral drug, it's not a replacement for vaccines. only 65% of the eligible population is fully vaccinated and the average number of people
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becoming fully vaccinated every day has been dipping to its lowest level. so how concerned are you that there seems to be a lagging interest in getting vaccinated? >> i'm extremely concerned, but more than being concerned, i'm perplexed. at this point in the pandemic, i'm not exactly sure what other argume arguments there are against the vaccine. the pfizer vaccine has full fda approval. we've had almost 185 million people be vaccinated with very few side effects, no deaths from the vaccine and very few breakthrough infections versus the 45 million cases we've had. it doesn't make sense to me. >> is it possible people are just thinking less logically and more emotionally on just i'm tired of this covid. i want it to go away so let me just right now, just move on with my life. forget the vaccine. forget everything else because i'm fatigued.
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>> well, i think the proper emotional response if you really were tired of covid and wanted it to go away would be to go and get vaccinated. instead, i think that people are doing what they think is logical thinking and blindly following leaders who are giving them advice not based on scientific or medical data without having any medical training in order to back up the advice they're giving, not realizing that they're leading themselves into a grim predicament. >> then let's look even further ahead while the fda and cdc are ko continuing to evaluate whether children should be vaccinated between 5 and age 11. how hopeful are you that we're getting closer to the pfizer vaccine being administered to kids? >> pfizer has been working on that data for quite some time so i'm hoping we get the results
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quickly and thus can get the vaccine approved so we don't have to hear more stories like the story of teresa. last week, louisiana reported that they had a death from covid in a child that was less than 4. in texas, we've had pediatric deaths in patients who had absolutely no underlying conditions. so yes, it's true that children may not get as ill as adults and typically they don't get hospitalized and die, but when that one case, that one case is one too many. >> always good to see you and great to see you today. i love your braids. >> thank you. >> i had to make a comment about it because that's new. you're with us all the time. it's a new look and it looks good. good to see you. right now, thousands of women are marching across the country and they're rallying against the restrictive abortion law in texas. we're live in the nation's capitol and look at the crowds.
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happening now, thousands of women are marching in washington, d.c. and around the country. they're voicing their strong opposition against the restrictive antiabortion law in texas. it bans abortions after six weeks before many women know they are pregnant. the u.s. support is set to begin its term on monday. suzanne malveaux is live on what's happening. >> initial part of the rally here, it lasts about two hours
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then they'll march to the supreme court. i covered this women's historic march five years ago right after president trump was inaugurated. there were hundreds of thousands of women participating. many wearing those familiar pink, hand knitted caps. celebrities. this is not that kind of event today. it is much smaller. more focused on abortion rights, specifically the case in texas, the law in texas banning abortion after six weeks, no exceptions for rape or incest. many of the people here, very, very passionate about putting a light on the supreme court. take a listen.
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>> sorry, the sound wasn't there. but essentially what she was saying is that they're going to be very much focused and paying ta attention to what the supreme court justices do as they had rejected the texas case, saying they're not going to deal with that now. but monday is when they come back to session and will deal with a mississippi law 15 weeks out that abortions would not with allowed. that is something that they will weigh in very likely next we're before the midterm elections so as you can imagine, this is a very political topic as well for many of the people who have gathered here today. fred. >> i'm hanging on your every word. i can hear you. even though the audio system there is very strong. thank you so much in the nation's capitol. this quick programming note.
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donald trump is asking a federal judge to restore his twitter account. his favorite social media platform permanently banned him in early january, two days after the capitol right, for inciting political violence. in a new court filing, his lawyers say he's being subjected to censorship and political persecution. i want to go to brian stelter with more on this. brian, the president's team has been wrestling with twitter ever since the ban came down in january. a lot of presidents post presidency try to think of some global initiatives they might have involved in. climate crisis. purifying water, but this president is hung up on being able to be on twitter? >> yes. he is. and i think when the creators of twitter launched this social media service 15 so years ago, they wouldn't have imagined they
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would be caught in this kind of debate. this kind of argument over whether an ex u.s. president who was kicked off after inciting a riot, the lawyers are battling this new filing. it says the defendant, degree of power and control over political discourse in this country that is immeasurable, historically unprecedented and profoundly dangerous to open democratic debate. that's what trump's lawyers are saying, arguing that twitter needs to be held accountable. twitter is claiming a violation of the first amendment and also calling on a florida law claiming unfair trade practices. this is part of an ongoing legal campaign. so trump's lawyers taking this very seriously. even though in some ways, this is almost a parody. it's a guy standing outside the store after being kicked out banging on the glass trying to get back in.
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any private company, private enterprise, store, can set its own rules and that's what twitter says it is doing, but this creates a lot of interest among conservatives, claims of censorship, and trump is planning to push this in court and that's what this new filing is about and i think this is clear. donald trump jr. is on another platform this weekend, instagram, posting trump 2024 signs and saying it's time to take america back. clearly donald trump is running for president again and he believes he needs twitter in order to do so. >> yeah, and censorship is usually associated with government sanctioned practice. not necessarily a private enterprise. okay, let's talk about something else. viewers got to see the newly renovated fox news room and studio in d.c. despite what some of their personalities have to say on the air about wearing masks and vaccines and all that, you saw quite the opposite. what's going on? >> yes, and that's why this is
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telling. that's why this video is worth highlighting. you see in the fox news d.c. offices some of the biggest stars of the network, some of the top executives. even loughlin murdoch on hand. what is significant is all of the mask wearing. i think it's worth highlighting because fox's on-air rhetoric has not matched its off air practices. whether that's with regards to people getting vaccinated or with regards to mask wearing, so it's worth seeing that there at fox news at the headquarters, you have to have your mask on just like you do when you walk to other establishments, but fox's narrative has been quite different, right? so it's significant to see this as yet another contrast or in some cases, a contradiction tto the on-air rhetoric. by the way, snl is back tonight. i think they could have a lot of fun commenting on that behavior.
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>> seeing is believing. interesting. all right. brian stelter, appreciate it. >> thanks. straight ahead, much different tone. police are still searching for brian laundrie after the death of his fiancee, gabby petito. brand-new body campaign video reveals more of their domestic dispute days before she went missing. na! - hi jen! hi. so you're the scientist here. i just have to ask. does my aveeno® daily moisturizer really make my dry skin healthier in one day? - it's true jen. - really?! this nourishing prebiotic oat formula moisturizes to help prevent dry skin. - one day? - for real! wow! aveeno®. healthy. it's our nature.™ and for twice the moisture, try the prebiotic oat body wash, too. i gotta say i'm still impressed. very impressed.
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even more questions being raised in the gabby petito case. more body cam footage of an august domestic dispute between petito and brian laundrie
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revealing what she told police about the incident. nadia romero is near the laundrie home in florida. what can you tell us? >> well, we are still putting together all of the many pieces to this puzzle. we don't have them all yet, but that video from moab, utah, from the police department there starts the paint a story of what happened during a domestic dispute call on august 12th. there was 911 call that said a man was slapping a woman, but when police arrived, they determined gabby was the aggressor. she even said she started the argument and started hitting brian. listen to gabby as she pleads with police officers not to arrest either one of them. >> everything's good. we're okay. >> i understand, but we don't have, like, listen, if i had any discretion in this, i would separate you guys for the day
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and just give you warnings to stop hitting each other, but i lawfully don't have discretion here. >> somebody said something? >> there's two witnesses then what you said and what he said and guess what, it all matches nicely that you were the primary aggressor. >> and that discretion the officer was talking about is what's now under review and a formal, independent investigation to see if the officers who responded behaved correctly. if they should have arrested someone in that case and if they saw the entire issue in the correct way. of course, hindsight is 20/20 and a police spokesperson has said that, but they're sticking by their officers in how they handled everything. here in florida, you may be able to hear, there's a group of people that have gathered today. they've been out for a couple of hours now in front of the laundrie parents home and they've been screaming questions at the family. demanding answers.
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it really just speaks to how many people are so emotionally invested in what's happening with gabby petito. what happened to her in utah, wyoming, here in florida where she used to live in this house with laundrie and what happened to her in utah, wyoming, here in florida where she used to live in this house with laundrie and his parents. and that domestic dispute we saw, that was august 12th. a month later, september 11th, is when her family reported her missing. on that same day, i want you to take a look at a police report, a 911 call was made to the north port police department. we know gabby petito's family was calling because they couldn't get in contact with her. you can see in the police report everything has been redacted and that lets us know that there's so much about this investigation, about this case that we just don't know, because the investigation, fredricka, is ongoing. but the people behind me and so many people around the country are still wanting answers.
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brian laundrie still missing. it will be three weeks on tuesday, fred. >> yeah. so many questions still unanswered for a very long time. na nadia, thank you so much. snail mail is about to get more snaily. from here on out, the post office is delaying long distance mail, close to a third of what they carry. cnn's kristen holmes explains. >> reporter: after more than a year of complaints nationwide about the snail-like pace of mail delivery. >> they should figure out a way to get it there on time. >> reporter: it's about to get worse. >> we already wait so much. >> reporter: the cause, trump-era louis dejoy's plan started friday and it promises to increase the delivery time for first class mail from three days to five. experts say this will mostly affect mail traveling long distances. the postal service relying more
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on ground transportation than planes. according to a "washington post" analysis, western states will experience the brunt of these changes. 70% of first class mail sent in nevada will be delayed. 58% delayed to washington state and 57% to montana. florida will also see massive delays, with 60% of deliveries. dejoy says the plan will save money. >> it is a path to financial sustainability and service excellent. >> reporter: lawmakers pushing back. >> medical shipments have gone missing, many small businesses cannot get their products to customers. >> i've gotten complaints from families who didn't get birthday cards from grandma to their grandchild or notices about things that they needed to get on time. >> reporter: as well as members of the postal service board of governors. >> intentionally slowing first class mail and package delivery by changing service standards is strategically ill-conceived, creates dangerous risks that are
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not justified by the relatively low financial return, and doesn't meet our responsibility as an essential part of america's critical infrastructure. >> reporter: dejoy remains mired in controversy, a staple of his tenure. the trump holdover came under fire during the 2020 election, as democrats accused him of intentionally sabotaging the postal service and slowing down delivery amid unprecedented mail-in voting. earlier this year the department of justice opened an investigation into dejoy's political fundraising and contributions when he was in the private sector. dejoy denies all accusations. democrats have called for president biden to get rid of dejoy, while biden doesn't have the power to fire him, he can replace the board that does. but the president has shown no interest in doing that. earlier this year, he nominated three people to vacant seats on the postal service board of governors, but the majority installed on the board under former president trump standing behind dejoy. the postmaster general telling
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lawmakers he's not going anywhere. >> well, how much longer are you planning to stay? >> a long time. get used to me. >> reporter: kristen holmes, cnn, washington. still ahead, supply chain issues are disrupting shipments of everyday goods from toys to toilet paper. the impact it has on your wallet straight ahead. let's check out the hook audrey sent. ♪ and pardon when i shine ♪ ♪ hands to the sky, all mine ♪ ♪ woah, woah no ceiling woah ♪ ♪ woah good feeling woah ♪ ♪ woah, i might send it up ♪
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alex jones, the conspiracy
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theorist who called the sandy hook massacre a giant hoax, is now being held legally responsible in two lawsuits for damages triggered by his lies. his info wars effectively lost the cases by default after not complying with court orders to provide information for the lawsuits brought against him by the parents of two children killed in the school shooting. a jury will decide how much he owes the families. and for the first time since the vigil began 84 years ago, an all-women guard change took place this week at the tomb of the unknown soldier at arlington national cemetery. the history-making moment comes just weeks before the monument marks 100 years at arlington national cemetery on november 11th. and another first happening as hurricane sam turns in the atlantic, the noaa sent an
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unmanned drone right into the center of the storm and they were able to see inside a hurricane out at sea. just take a look. those are incredible images. and you're also looking at 50 foot waves and winds swirling at over 120 miles an hour. the noaa says they were able to collect critical scientific data and thankfully hurricane sam is not expected to make landfall in the u.s. hello, again, everyone. thank you so much for joining me. i'm fredricka whitfield. we begin with a troubling new milestone in the fight against covid. more than 700,000 people have died from coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, and tragically more than 100,000 of those deaths have come since june 15th when vaccines were widely available for people 18 and over. there is some opti


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