tv CNN Newsroom With Fredricka Whitfield CNN March 13, 2021 9:00am-10:00am PST
and tomorrow night here on cnn stanley tucci explores the beautiful region of tuscany from the art, the food and the culture, there is nowhere on earth quite like it. the new cnn original series "stanley tucci searching for italy" tomorrow night 9:00 eastern and pacific. ♪ ♪ hello again, everyone. thank you very much for joining me. i'm fredericka whitfield. new york governor andrew cuomo is facing a firestorm of controversy as an allegation of inappropriate behavior comes to light. the political pressure for him to resign mounting, following a new article in "new york" magazine, and in that piece a former political reporter who covered the cuomo administration says the governor sexually harassed and embarrassed her in front of colleagues on multiple occasions. her claims adding to the list of women now coming forward with
allegations against cuomo. congressional and state leaders in his own party say cuomo can no longer govern effectively and should resign. cuomo remains steadfastly defiant saying in a teleconference friday that he is not going anywhere and he flat-out denies the allegations against him. >> i did not do what has been alleged. period. look, it's very simple, i never harassed anyone. i never abused anyone. i never assaulted anyone. now -- and i never would, right? >> i want to bring in new york assembly leader crystal stokes. so good that you could be with us. so what are your thoughts now about this newest allegation in "the new york" magazine from a political reporter who said that he behaved inappropriately around her?
>> well, i think all of these women should be heard. they should have their due process much like i believe the governor should have his. when women complain people should listen, and i think we have set up a process in new york with the assembly judiciary committee by the speaker as well as the state attorney general letitia james' process. so i think the proper investigation will happen. the people will be heard and the truth will come out. the governor says he doesn't feel like he's guilty of this, he's perfectly able to have that position. the women feel like he is, they are perfectly able to have that position. in this country we have a process of law and order and the order should be followed, the process should happen and if, in fact, the facts show up that this is true, that this did happen to these women then mr. cuomo should pay the full price of that offense.
i am of the perspective that we should follow the process, allow the judicial process to happen and i know that we will come up with the right results. >> is it fair to say that your standing governor cuomo right now while a growing number of members of your own party, democrats are calling for the governor to resign and you have said why would you grow -- join this growing number of lawmakers for his resignation? you say it's just premature? >> well, i would say this is more than governor cuomo. when you are found guilty of something you cannot be found guilty in the public arena. you need to be found guilty through a legal process and i am saying that we should follow that legal process, determine what the facts are and let them fall where they may. >> and why is it among your fellow lawmakers. why do you feel that you are in the minority in wanting to
extend that? >> well, you can tell from the way i look i've been in the minority my entire life and so while it's not the most comfortable position to be in, it's the one that i feel in my heart is the right thing on do. there are tons of people in this country who have suffered from a decision by the public that they are guilty of something that they were not and many people have suffered in our judicial system as a result of that. now, in my estimation, this is not about mr. cuomo. this is about a fairness process. if you've been accused of something you are not guilty of it until found so by either the attorney general, letitia james and/or the judiciary committee headed up by my colleague, chuck levine. listen to new york state senatorial sandra biageio who i spoke to last hour that she believes the governor does need to resign. this is what she said. >> calling for the governor to
resign and having impeachment proceedings is not a directly sent to jail, right? what we are asking is that this is a person that step down so that we can continue the work of the state. the lieutenant governor will take over the dues of the governorship and we will be able to do our work. it is not a call for the governor to step down and be sent to jail or be punished. the process will still continue, but the distraction will go away. >> i hear what you're saying, too, while the governor is owed due process and you listen to the state senor who says that these accusations are impeding his ability to govern the state. what's your response to that? >> well, with all due respect to my colleague in the senate, i'm not sure why these accusations are impeding her from doing her job, but i can tell you they are not impeding me from doing mine.
we are in the process of the state assembly and we have budget hearings and conferences for the entire year. i, as you know, carry the legislation that will legalize the adult use of cannabis in new york state and my staff and i have been working aggressively not just with the governor and his team from the new york state assembly. so it is not impeding the work. what's impeding the work is the constant twitter movement and the conversation in the public about something that should happen when the process is already set up to allow them to happen. i don't see any reason why the two should compete with each other. i think we can chew gum and walk at the same time and it's impossible to get our job done without stopping because the governor refuses to resign. in my follow up to her about how this is impeding his work, she said that he has to constantly respond to the allegations and that is a distraction.
your thoughts? >> well, i'm not the one that's making the allegation, but i do believe that the women who have made them deserve to be heard and i believe that the processes are in place to allow that to happen. we can, quite frankly stop having this conversation about whether or not he resigns or whether he should resign by continuing to do the job that we've been elected to to do our constituencies. i have not been prohibited from doing that and i don't believe that my other colleagues have either. >> have you spoken to the governor recently? >> on the issue of legalizing adult-use cannabis, i have spoken to the governor. >> did you talk to him about the allegations at all? >> i did not ask him about these allegations, and he did not offer any information. >> okay. while the majority of state lawmakers, excluding you, are calling for his resignation, the latest quinnipiac poll reports cuomo still enjoys 55% of voter
support. so for cuomo's ability to lead whose backing is most essential? >> i think the backing of the voters is most essential in his ability to lead and they've already spoken several times in electing him to be governor. by the way, if these proceedings go through, and he's needing to leave then he should leave, but if he doesn't he will have to front the voters again and quite honestly, i trust the opinion of the voters. i represent a district where my people are not clamoring for me to suggest that he resign. in fact, many of them are appreciating the position that i take in allowing the due process to happen, and by the way, if i can say this. it's a little disconcerting that there are so many people out there who suggest that the letter that was written by myself and 21 other -- not letter, i'm sorry -- state, by 21 other assembly members was somehow concocted by the
governor. that's disingenuous. no one else was questioned in that way. no one asked my other colleagues who encouraged you to write a letter to suggest that he resign? i don't think myself and other colleagues should be questioned in that manner. it's disrespectful and it's not fare. >> majority leader crystal peoples-stokes, thank you very much. appreciate it. >> you're very welcome. i trust you will stay safe. >> today marks one year since breonna taylor was killed in her apartment in louisville, kentucky. a memorial event for taylor is scheduled to start in about an hour and we'll continue to cover it. jason is there in louisville. what are you seeing? >> reporter: well, the stage has been set and the crowd has started to gather and very soon breonna taylor's mother will take that stage and let the people know who have come out here that justice, in her eyes,
still has not been served. >> i'll never get to a point where i'm over what happened to her. >> tamika palmer says she will mark the one-year anniversary of her daughter breonna taylor's death by attending a rally saturday to remind people justice has not been served. >> it's been a year for people, but every day it's been march the 13th for me, still. >> every day? >> every day. >> march 13, 2020, the day taylor was killed during a botched police raid at her apartment. >> it will always be that sense of anger because you know that she should be here. >> none of the officers who raided taylor's apartment have been charged in her death. instead, a grand jury brought charges of felony wanton endangerment against one of them, brett hankison for firing into a wall into a neighbor's apartment. an attorney defended the officers' action saying they were justified by taylor's boyfriend fired at the officers
first that night. >> the male was holding a gun, arms extended in a shooting stance. >> walker argued he fired in self-defense thinking someone was trying to break in. he says the officers never identified themselves, but the officers say they did. just this week a kentucky judge permanently dismissed charges against walker who was initially accused of attempted murder for shooting at the officers. >> he's supposed to just say thank you and walk away? no. there has to be a consequence and there has to be accountability. >> accountability is key to people like walker and tamika palmer. >> they boxed us in. >> to thousands such as pastor timothy finley who protested the past year calling for police reform in the wake of taylor's death and the death of other african-americans at the hands of police. >> we think about march 13th now it's breonna taylor, not just remembering her name, but it's become a rally call. a rally call for justice in our city. justice in our state.
>> last year the city of louisville paid taylor's family $12 million in a civil settlement and passed breonna's law which mandates the use of body cameras in city searches and there's been a top to bottom review of the louisville metro police depend. there's a lot to do, and we have done a lot, but it's not enough for palmer. she says justice is something that still alludes her. she penned an open letter to president joe biden in "the washington post" asking her administration to enact national policies to hold police accountability. >> i guess i'm hopeful that we're at a point of reckoning where if we don't fix it we'll be in a lot of trouble. she's more hopeful than me. >> why is that? >> it's a trust thing at this point. i don't trust them. >> and an fbi investigation is
still under way and the hope is that perhaps these officers will be held accountable at the end of that investigation, but meanwhile at 1:00, just about an hour from now behind me, a rally will be getting under way that will be followed by a march. tamika palmer will be here at that rally as one way of honoring her daughter. fredericka? >> jason carroll, thank you so much if louisville. coming up, maskless under arrest. >> back up! some old lady is getting handcuffed here. >> a police confrontation caught on camera. see the violent video and hear the suspect's side of the story. plus air travel smashing records just as coronavirus infections drop. we are live in florida with the new concerns about spring break. it's powered by verizon for as little as $25 a month. but it gets crazier. bring a friend every month and get every month for $5. boom! 12 months of $5 wireless.
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pandemic. more than 1.3 million people passed through tsa checkpoint, the highest number since march 15, 2020. cnn's natasha chen joining me now from miami beach. natasha, a lot of people descended upon miami beach for spring break. what's going on? >> fred, it's been really busy. the restaurants on the beach are packed and we saw in one situation people excited, getting up to dance and the servers tell them please, if you're going to get up from the table put a mask back on, but we're talking about just a couple of servers versus a lot of excited people, and this is a challenge, of course, for city leaders as well as the restaurant operators. businesses have really suffered over the pandemic so they want the business, but they want everything to be done safely. we talked to the ceo of a restaurant group who actually opened cafe americano on miami beach during the pandemic. i asked him what that was like given that this is their first spring break for that restaurant and how they're going about it
safely. >> we have been working very hard with the city officials, with the landlords and also with the other operators. so all of us want to protect people in order to keep open -- no? to keep the spaces opening and their business so that's why we train our staff in order to take control and take care of the social distancing because it's very important in order to be sustainable in the future. >> and you are seeing a lot of restaurants there with that outdoor space. ocean drive there sort of became pedestrian only during the pandemic to allow for those restaurants to come out and use that space for outdoor dining. >> you can tell what's happening as far as crowds go by looking at hotel occupancy and this is the bureau showing from 2019
until now. 72% occupancy which is still down from the 2019 number, but still so many more people booking into hotels this month compared to this month last year when things first started shutting down, fred. >> natasha jen, thank you so much. >> let's bring in dr. celine bounder, a specialist and epidemiologist and host of the epidemic podcast. doctor, good to see you. the world is marking one year since the coronavirus was declared a pandemic. you shared your concerns on the show just days before that as we waited for former president donald trump to announce the nation's first coronavirus death. listen to how you put it. >> i got an e-mail from someone in westchester county who said he'd come back from milan and had flu-like symptoms and his primary doctor said don't come here.
go to the hospital and he called the hospital and they weren't helpful either and that kind of thing is really concerning. i think providers on the front line, many of them, if they're not at the top-tier hospitals are not sure what to do. >> i know it's weird looking back at what your thoughts were, but how do you reflect on that now? >> gosh, i don't think we knew how bad thing were about to get and while many of us, infectious diseases and epidemiology in public health had some sense that this was going to be a big deal, i don't think any of us could have predicted over half a million americans would end up dying from this over the past year. i think it's really with great sadness that i hear that clip. >> yeah. and now there seems to be a lot of renewed hope. the u.s. has now administered more than 100 million coronavirus vaccine doses and more than 35 million americans are now fully vaccinated. so are you satisfied with the
progress that has been made and a lot of it in just a matter of weeks? >> yeah. really. just in the last two months or so, dramatic improvements have been made in terms of vaccine supply. we'll have 5 million doses of vaccine and moderna with us by july and that's 300 million americans that could be vaccinated with that supply and now 200 million doses of the johnson & johnson vaccine are going to be available and that gives you enough vaccine for 500 million americans and we had only 330 and 260 million of them are adults and we have much more supply now than we possibly need, and so this puts us in a much stronger position. we are scaling up vaccinations dramatically also. we are now up to 2.3 million shots in arms a day, and i expect that will continue to go up. >> and the white house says it is starting to turn down vaccine requests from other countries because it is still prioritizing
americans. how important, in your view, is it for the biden administration to prioritize the rest of the world as soon as possible? >> i think it's important for people to remember that when you allow the virus to spread whether it's in the u.s. or outside of the u.s. any time the virus spreads from one person to another, it has the opportunity to mutate and some of the strains that we're most worried about have arisen in south africa in brazil and they're concerning because the level of immunity and the strength of your immune response that you need to overcome those strains is much higher. and while the vaccines currently remain effective, that may not remain the case if the virus is allowed to spread in other countries and allowed to mutate elsewhere. if that happens it's only a matter of time before those variants end up here, as well. >> it could be a huge setback for everybody. so let me pivot now to some
other news and this is a sliver of good news especially in the battle against alzheimer's disease. so early results from a new clinical trial showed that an experimental drug by eli lilly could slow cognitive decline in alzheimer's patients. what do you know about this? >> so this is still a pretty small study about 250 people, half of them got this new drug dananamab and some got a placebo. it can clear up amyloid which you can think of as garbage that's left over after your cells metabolize various different things and it's not well cleared from the brain. so you end up with this amyloid plaque in the brain which semis to be part of how people develop alzheimer's. so by helping to clear that you can slow the progression of alzheimer's. it's not a slam dunk. this is a small study. it's about a third of an effect
in terms of degree of slowing of prog regdz. so if you were to take the drug, for example, for ten years you would gain back about three years of better cog mission. there is a significant impact potentially especially when you consider about 6 million americans haval e alzheimer's. some progress, some hope. thank you so much. >> up next, cnn cameras rolling as dozens of migrants attempt to cross the rio grand along the u.s.-mexico border. i'll talk with a writer who writes the southern border is president biden's biggest test president biden's biggest test yet. that's oven roasted turkey. piled high with crisp veggies. on freshly baked bread! so, let's get out there and get those footlongs. now on grubhub, buy one footlong, get one 50% off. subway®. eat fresh.
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with a massive influx of migrants at the southern border, immigration and customs enforcement, i.c.e. is now asking for volunteers from the agency to help with the growing surge. the i.c.e. volunteers are needed to help with security for migrant families and unaccompanied children and could be deployed as soon as this weekend. the request comes as the white house is taking several new steps aimed at reducing the dramatic surge of unaccompanied migrant children. right now a record number of unaccompanied children, more than 3700 are now in border patrol custody. another 8800 migrant children are in hhs shelters. cnn's ed lavandera witnessed a wave of migrants crossing the rio grande. >> as the sun sets on the rio
grande our boat winds its way through the deep bends of the river that separates texas to mexico near the town of hidalgo. that's when we stumble across a group of migrants loading into a raft. >> a migos! >> our group eases the tension. a few men appear to leave the raft full of parents and young children to the u.s. side. [ crying ] >> the rio grande valley has been ground zero of the latest surge of migration and here you see the operation unfolding right in front of us. [ speaking foreign language ] >> after the first raft crosses the river, the magnitude of this moment reveals itself. dozens of migrants emerge and walk down to the river's edge. >> you can see that this is a serious operation. there are dozens of migrants and
there are still some above the hills there and it is quickly moving a handful of guys move people back and forth on these rafts. they have life vests for the migrants. >> it's a highly organized system. we'll watch the raft make about six trips back and forth. scenes like this are escalating in the rio grande valley. there's the growing perception among migrants in central america that the biden administration is more welcoming even though many are still being turned away. >> these are really, really high numbers. i've never seen it this biz ney 19 years. >> chris cabrera is with the farm border patrol counsel. he warns the agency's front-line fuel station like this massive tent facility are being pushed to the limit. >> we are crowded. we have them in custody and the system is bogged them and there's no place for us to send them because the next level is not open yet. >> this is a rare view of the
field station set up about a month ago by the border patrol. the tents are used to handle the initial fuel processing for the tens of thousandis of migrant apprehended in the rio grande valley. there are bathrooms, first aid care and migrants are removed from the area by a steady stream of busses. >> while some migrants cross illegally, some are allowed to cross legally. [ speaking foreign language ] >> sandra is overwhelmed as she recounts living in a tent city with her son for the last year on the mexican side of the border. she worked as a teacher in the camp. she's allowed to wait out her asylum case in the united states. the 38-year-old mother says she fled honduras after years of threats from a family member. one day finally showed up at her house with a gun and started firing into her house and that one of her older children and some others tackled the man and
prevented him from killing her and that that's the reason why she's seeking asylum here. [ speaking foreign language ] >> she says she can't live in honduras and she'd have to find some place else to live. >> that desperation is what we heard from the migrants on the rafts crossing the rio grande. [ speaking foreign language ] >> some tell me they're escaping crime, have lost their homes. the last father on the raft tells me he's here with his wife and daughter. [ speaking foreign language ] >> they're searching for a new opportunity, he asks. back on the other side of the river another group waits their turn. ed lavandera, cnn, on the rio grande. >> here to talk more about the situation unfolding at the southern border is's cnn opinion writer and an immigration attorney. so good to see you. ed brought us some extraordinary
pictures there. can you see that this administration or any administration, for that matter, can handle this kind of influx? >> sure. for one thing, we are seeing this influx and respect to the border agent he interviewed who said we have never seen these levels of people approaching the southern border. that actually is not true -- >> he said in 19 years. >> right. but based on the government's own statistics, we saw higher numbers in 2019 for sure, but that's a side point. this is a situation where the administrations, democrat and republican have been there before. obama tried to focus on deportations along with enforcement, it didn't work. donald trump focused on very severe enforcement measures as a deterrent. that didn't work. so the challenge for the biden administration now is to effectively and compassionately figure out what to do, and as difficult as it might seem he does have some options right now and i lot of immigrants and
immigrant advocates are cautiously optimistic about what the administration can and will do. >> one of the options that the biden administration is about to exercise is asking for volunteers within the i.c.e. agency to help with security. what do you envision in that scenario? >> i think it's a good first step. to me, this problem is obviously very complicated. i see things that the administration can do short term and long term. short term, what they can do is bring in a surge of personnel to help process these children out of the border patrol facilities. they were never designed for children and even the temporary facilities and they're just not a place for kids and they need more personnel to help process them out of those places. the i.c.e. agents can certainly assist. secondly, when these children go into the care of health and human services, whether you're talking about tent facilities or shelters. again, these are not places that are ideal for children and the
american academy for pediatrics says a child is harmed by even one day in detension. what the government needs to do is surge health personnel, medical personnel and child welfare advocates to help evaluate these children, process their claims and as quickly as possible place them with family members, but overall what the biden administration, this is -- now i'm talking long term and this is the big challenge is to move away from this model of mass encampments or mass detention of kids where you have hundreds of kids in these facilities, and i always tell people whether you call them shelters, facilities, tent cities, kids in cages and any of these terms we use, no one would want their own child, their nephew or grandchild in any of these places. >> but what is the alternative? you're talking about trying to process, identify and document a lot of people at once.
how do you do it? >> one alternative is moving to much smaller scale models in terms of if you're going to process children and they do not have family members place them in a facility maybe with a few dozen kids rather than hundreds, and the fact is there are non-profits, there are immigration advocates and there are charities that want to help. to bring in as many community organizations and partners as possible would help this process and it's something the biden administration can do on monday is to make this whole process as accessible to the media as possible, to show what they say are improvements in the process, to help them improve what they're doing with these children and just to bring about greater accountability because biden himself said this week as americans, there's nothing we can't do when we do it together. so in the same way that he has committed to a massive expansion of federal efforts in terms of
fighting covid and providing relief to the -- to our economic situation right now. he needs to do the same especially for the migrant children and the public support is there. >> i tweeted it out earlier today that there was research this week from the university of washington that showed overall 82% of americans favored letting these migrant children be released into the united states to a family member or guardian. the public support is there and it's a question of the political will and i just want to remind people as we talk about the border and unauthorized crossings and what's happening, these children are exercising their legal right to asylum. so it's a question of the biden administration and also as americans living up to our ideals and caring for the protection of children. >> we'll leave it there for now, raul reyes. thank you so much. we'll be right back. uld be in fr a tasty discount. [ clicks pen] let's roll. hey, check it out. one time i tripped on the sidewalk over here. [ heavy-metal music playing ]
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since she wasn't wearing a mask. bank employees asked her to leave repeatedly, but she refused. so finally, they called police and as shelly childers reports from our affiliate ktrk in houston, this is what happened. >> oh, no. >> do not touch me. who do you think you are? >> back up! some old lady is getting handcuffed here! >> it was a dramatic escalation here inside a bank of america in galveston as 65-year-old terry wright ended up on the ground during an arrest for refusing to leave the bank. galveston police released this bodycam video that shows the officer trying to get wright to leave at least five times because she refused to follow their mask policy. >> if they ask you to leave you have to leave. >> my money is in this bank and i'm going to take it out. >> then you have to abide by the rules and you need to go get a mask and take your money out. >> what are you going to do
arrest me? >> yes, for intruding on premises. >> you have some issues. >> i've got issues? >> that you're taking away people's human rights. >> oh, now -- let's go outside. >> are you going to shoot me for trying not to breathe? come on, dude! >> wright, who is on a bucket list trip across the country in an rv says she was aware of the statewide mask mandate rolled back. >> i've been traveling all over texas and i've never had an issue with not wearing a mask and i knew the governor just -- >> she spoke admitting when she walked into the business she was asked to wear a mask and refused. >> you'll have to leave and i said no, i just want to close my account and then i'll leave. and -- so she goes, well if you're not going leave then i'm going to call the cops. i said do what you have to do. >> steve shell says even with a statewide mask mandate lifted private businesses can enforce their own mask policy.
>> no shoes, no shirt, no service. businesses have the right, private businesses have the right to set out whatever things they want within limitations as long as they're not discriminating and require their customers to comply. >> during the arrest she tried to get other customers involved. they showed her no support. >> not relacxed at all. >> no, it's not. >> what about -- >> not wearing a mask, people. this is what they do to you. >> she is charged with criminal trespass and resisting arrest. terry tells us she does not believe in the pandemic and there is nothing she would have done differently. >> my civil right is not to wear a diaper on my face. and that's how i feel about it. >> and that was shelly childers
reporting for ktrk in houston and cnn has reached out to the galveston police department and bank of america for comment. all right. the pandemic has pushed many small business owners to the brink and some are finding ways to adapt and innovate. here's today's start small, think big. >> i am known as the skincare farm chef. dewey chef is the first farm to skin farm in atlanta, georgia. we partner with local farms that we make raw skincare recipes. my business journey started with my grandmother. she left a legacy with me of healing with home remedies. i graduated as an engineer. i went into corporate america. i had this burning passion to start my own skincare line. i've been in business for a decade now. i started from the garage to a spa to whole foods. it stands for it is what it is. every ingredient is raw.
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welcome back. the white house is warning organizations to address holes and vulnerabilities. attacks on microsoft email service used by groups and companies around the country. brian fung is joining us from washington. the details are getting compl complicated. this is associated with the solarwinds hack. can you explain this threat? >> reporter: sure. fredricka, this is a serious problem in my ten years of covering cybersecurity. i have never seen officials alarmed by a threat like this. we have seen numerous attacks on law firms and think tanks and defense contractors and more
based on the number of vulnerabilities that microsoft released recently saying that this vulnerability allows attackers to gain control of the entire organization's computer network. in just the last week, we had security researchers say the attacks are getting worse. as many as 20,000 servers that use this software are still unpatched and potentially vul near able to the attack. the attacks are doubling every two or three hours. this is a very, very serious threat. microsoft has released a number of software updates. the u.s. government is urging organizations to download and install as soon as possible. fredricka. >> brian, the biden administration is bringing in the private sector. >> reporter: the administration is setting up the conversations
and bringing in the members of the private sector that have been highly focused on the threat so it can help manage these attacks and develop a response. the u.s. government has a multiagency response group and now private sector individuals are brought in to, in some cases, classified facilities to have these conversations with the federal government. as soon as we know, no consumers have been affected. if you work at one of the organizations that has been hit, your information could be impacted as well. fredricka. >> alarming. brian fung in washington. thank you so much. we'll be right back. we're carvana, the company who invented car vending machines and buying a car 100% online. now we've created a brand-new
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