tv CNN Newsroom With Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto CNN August 3, 2021 6:00am-7:00am PDT
good tuesday morning to you. although later than hoped, an important goal has been met. 70% of adults in the u.s. now have at least one dose of the vaccine. that is positive news for the country and by in large for those americans who have decided to get the shot. in many parts of the nation, the unvaccinated covid patients are leaving hospitals and doctors overwhelmed and under siege. they are also pushing some hospitals to the brink. nowhere is worse than right now than in the state of louisiana. >> when you come inside our walls, it is quite obvious to
you that these are the darkest days of this pandemic. >> the darkest days of this pandemic. a rise in cases and hospitalizations so severe in louisiana that the governor just announced he's reinstating the state's indoor mask mandate effective tomorrow. he's one of many local leaders across the country now beginning to change course turning back toward masks to protect their communities. just a few hours from now, president biden is expected to speak on the administration's efforts to get more americans vaccinated. let's begin with jeremy at the white house. jeremy, some urgency here as the delta variant spreads. the vaccine is widely available and free. how does the president say he's going to get those who are still hesitant or hospitile to take t shot? >> reporter: we'll hear a couple things from the president later today when he speaks on the
state of vaccines around the united states and around the world. we expect to hear the president will talk about progress that's been made in the last couple weeks as the delta variant is surging across the country you have been seeing those vaccination rates across the country tick up again after being at a plateau for several weeks. that increase is especially being reflected in the states with the highest number of covid cases right now. especially those states in the south like louisiana, like florida, that are really struggling with this delta variant and surging coronavirus cases. the president is also going to be talking about some of the efforts that he's seen from the private sector in the last week or so to begin to require vaccinations and we heard the white house coronavirus coordinator talk about that going forward requirements to be vaccinated and mandates are the kind of things that will be necessary if the united states is going to see the light of day at the other end of this pandemic. so you can expect to hear the president encourage the private
sector to continue to take those steps. already it was the president last week who announced that requirement that federal workers either be vaccinated or provide a negative coronavirus test in order to continue coming to work. that is the kind of model that the white house would like to see the private sector begin to do more and more. just lastly, jim, we'll hear from the president in terms of these foreign donations. 110 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine the u.s. has distributed around the world and hundreds of millions of more doses are soon to follow. >> that effort is important because the virus knows no borders. jeremy diamond at the white house. thanks so much. one of the nation's largest school districts forced into a 180 on masks after threats to withhold money from the governor of florida. the broward county school board voted to mandate masks last week. that in line with cdc guidance
because they are at a high transmission area for covid-19. that's the science. in response the governor signed an executive order threatening to cut state funding to schools that do that, that require masks. appears that threat worked. rosa flores joins us on the phone from everglades national park on the phone because the governor is set to speak any moment now. what is the district saying about this change? they followed the health guidance but they had school funding held over their heads. >> reporter: you're absolutely right. so many districts around this state are having those exact conversations. they are trying to figure out how to keep their students, their teachers safe. meanwhile, complying with this executive order but they really feel like they're hands are tied behind their back. jim, the governor is expected to have a press conference here at 9:30. normally we would be set up and i would have a live picture for
you but the governor normally lets the press know with very little time with us to get to these press events. today it was about two and a half hours to get to everglades national park so we scrambled here. we're setting up so we can ask the governor questions. there's a lot of questions to ask the governor when you think of the number of cases in the united states, one out of five cases in the nation are recorded here in the state of florida. think of hospitalizations. you look at the numbers this morning, they are more than 50,000 people hospitalized in the nation and more than 10,000 are right here in the state of florida. the positivity rate 18%. you were talking about children, the positivity rate for children is 22%. i talked to local officials here and their worry is their hands are tied behind their backs because of the restriction by
governor desantis. we hope to ask some questions, jim. >> the health rules designed to protect those kids and their families. let's see how the governor answers those questions. rosa flores will bring us updates as they happen. another state facing hardship now, students in oklahoma are going back to class next week but this is another state where nearly every county, look how red that is, is seeing high covid transmission rates. joining me to discuss, a hospitalist in eastern oklahoma and also president of the oklahoma academy of family physicians. doctor, very good to have you here. just about a week ago you told a local oklahoma tv station that nothing has changed when it comes to the vast majority of people getting sick and hospitalized. it's people who haven't gotten
the vaccine. is that what you're seeing? numbers are shocking here. over 99% of those hospitalized are dying around the country are folks who remain unvaccinated. >> yeah. unfortunately that's true. nothing really has changed. in fact, i think since the time i made those comments, things have gotten worse. we're seeing increased numbers of people being hospitalized. majority of these are people who are not vaccinated. positivity rates around 20% and in my e.r. is over 40%. average age of people getting infected in oklahoma is about 40 years old. i'm seeing patients in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s now hospitalized for covid. people who if you walked by on the street a week ago you would never think they would have a chance of being ill. very healthy, young individuals. >> is the worst you have seen it in the state of oklahoma since the start of this pandemic? >> it's certainly the worse that i'm feeling it partly because of
the younger patients and how sick they're presenting. it's better now that we have new treatments available and experience under our belt doing this. it's not as new of a pandemic as it was a year ago. on the other hand we have issues with hospital surges. one of the major hospitals that we refer to in the tulsa area, they had 50 holds in their e.r. with people with covid. report i received yesterday is there was no ecmo beds and that's what we use to oxygenate the blood. there were no icu beds available in the state. we're getting called with people needing to transfer into us and we're just a small hospital. when we have a bed, we have one bed available today and people have to go as far as eight hours away because we can't find beds. >> let me ask you this. if this is the worst we're seeing there, the difference is
there's a vaccine. lower than the national rate in terms of vaccinations in the state of oklahoma. many people are vaccinated. if you see an outbreak like this now, how disturbing is that to you and what does it tell you about how tough it will be to hold back the delta variant in particular? >> well, the delta variant is not being held back. that's the problem. it's running rampant. we look at low vaccination rates around 50%. the thing i see in my area is an uptick is vaccine rates and pretty much everybody especially in a small town know somebody who has been vaccinated and now it's hitting home. the question is how do we get that message out to people in the united states to do this before they get in a situation that we're in right now. >> so i was going to ask you about that. what is driving the rise now? it does appear and we've seen this in other place, the fear and experience. is it happening fast enough?
is that uptick in vaccinations happening fast enough to make a difference there? >> not in my area. you remember if you're going to do a two-shot vaccine, there's several weeks between that and then another two weeks before you're fully vaccinated so you talk about six weeks. i needed these people to be vaccinated months ago and not right now. however, this is what we've got and this is what we can do. the only way we get this virus to quit spreading is people to engage in social distancing and masking and normal mitigation efforts we talked about and also to get vaccinated. i think it's already out of the barrel. we've got to do what we can now but i wish it was done months ago. >> and politics getting in the way of any of those measures. doctor, we know you have a tough go of it there. we appreciate the work you're doing. >> thank you very much. appreciate it. some businesses are taking
action against the delta variant as it spreads. just this morning target said it will now require employees to wear masks regardless of vaccination status. to be clear these are employees working in stores not just at the home office like we saw with walmart. target is suggesting that customers do the same. cnn's business reporter joins me now. matt, is a difference. companies across the spectrum, walmart in a limited way at headquarters but not in stores. you have target expanding this more broadly. how broadly are you seeing companies act like this on vaccinations? >> corporate america is stepping up its restrictions. so what we've heard is that some companies are announcing these new restrictions for employees. new this morning tyson foods, one of the world's largest food companies, is requiring that its
u.s. workforce get vaccinated. this will begin for office workers october 1st. kaiser permanente is requiring that physicians and employees get vaccinated by end of december. target is requiring all employees wear masks in high-risk areas and home depot is requiring that all associates and contractors and vendors that they wear masks inside stores, offices, and distribution centers whether or not they're vaccinated. what's also new is companies are imposing new restrictions for customers as well. equinox and soul cycle require proof of vaccination for riders and members. this begins in september in new york city but the company plans to roll that out everywhere. and the executive chairman explained his thinking on "new day" this morning. here's what he said.
>> we think now is an important time in reflection of what's going on can covid to protect our community further and best way to do that is to require vaccinations of riders, members and employees. >> other companies are requiring new york city customers to be vaccinated including restaurant union square hospitality and morgan stanley. i think all of this shows how badly business leaders want to boost vaccination rates and how much they want to make customers feel safe. >> good for health seems they're calculating it's good for business as well. matt egan, thank you. still ahead, simone biles is back and brought home another olympic medal. we'll be live from tokyo. plus, two schools in georgia forced into a remote start on
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officer gunther hashida was found in his home last week. officer kyle defreytag was found dead on july 10th. you've been covering this closely. it's always a difficult issue because suicide is a very personal thing. we can't know from the outside what the direct cause was but there is a common thread between four officers and that is stress and emotional damage of january 6th. >> absolutely. i think what it highlights is that officers, not just in d.c. but all across the country, willingly run into attacks, run into trauma. they do that as part of the job. they take on the burden and that burden is immense. let me tell you about the lives of these officers. officer kyle defreytag joined metropolitan police department in 2016. officer gunther hashida joined the metropolitan police department in 2003. he was part of the emergency
response team, a division within the special operations division. he was found deceased in his home july 29th. that date is significant because it is two days after his colleagues went to lawmakers to outline their trauma and the attack they underwent on january 6th. one of those officers, officer harry dunn, made a plea for more resources and urgent plea to officers to seek health. another officer, metropolitan police department officer knew hashida personally and said that he was incredibly quiet and reserved but the most professional officer he ever knew. he was soft-spoken but positive. loved by everyone. there is no one in the law enforcement profession loved by anyone. most are not loved by some. hashida was literally that guy. these steps are preceded by the
death of jeffrey smith. another police officer. and a kcapitol police officer wo took their lives less than a month after the january 6th insurrection. in this moment it is a heartbreaking string that threads them together. >> they faced a lot of stress that day. we'll repeat these numbers later. if you need help, seek help. there are lots of ways to do that. whitney wild, thank you for telling us this story. we have the baltimore city commissioner here this morning. i want to play what u.s. capitol police officer dunn said last week in public testimony because this really gets to a key issue here for officers who face this kind of stress. have a listen. i want to get your reaction. >> i want to take this moment to
speak to my fellow officers they are continuing to experience from the events of january 6th. there's absolutely nothing wrong with seeking professional counseling. what we went through that day was traumatic and if you are hurting, please take advantage of the counseling services that are available to us. >> as you know, there can be stigma, right, for officers involved. they might be reluctant to seek help, fear of the consequences. given your experience, i want to give you a chance to speak to folks who might face this kind of thing. that's your advice to them? >> jim, my advice is get help if you need it and we have to move past saying, oh, i'm not strong enough. i'm not tough enough. it's okay. you're a police officer, in any type of law enforcement position, if you need help, get the help.
i need to speak to the managers, the police executives, the first-line supervisors, it's your duty to be sure that the officers are fit for duty. if you see an officer that seems off, you've got a responsibility. if that means telling that officer, look, this is in your best interest. i need to take you out of the field. i need you to get a meantntal health evaluation, then do you it. we can't have officers walking around like this. you can clearly see those officers that testified are still suffering. we're not doing a -- we're not doing a solid job with getting officers suicide prevention training. we're not getting them the right treatment. if it means that your officers have to be pulled offline to get help, then you do it. >> let me ask you because as
whitney said, we don't know the circumstances of each of these. there's a common thread and that's suicide on that day, that v violent day january 6th. as an officer yourself that served, can you explain what it might feel like officers to serve on a day like that and face that danger and attack and to hear public figures say it wasn't that big of a deal? >> it's quite disturbing to hear anyone say something like that. you've never -- the ones running their mouths, these officers were front line in a domestic act of terrorism. and they survived it. they made it through. i can go back two decades and remember being in baltimore and a block decided that we weren't going to take a prisoner to jail so we had to deal with an entire block in baltimore. look at what these officers dealt with?
i can still remember that day. what are they dealing with right now? we have to take better care of those who try to protect the united states of america, and this isn't cutting it. some of this language that's being used in disgusting. that includes some law enforcement who say they're not real police. yes, they are. yes, they are. and they're heroes. >> i want to ask you this because i've heard when there have been suicide issues, mental health issues in other departments, that a fear of some officers is that if they come forward for help, they'll be penalized in some way. they may have their weapon take away or forced to do a desk job. i wonder in your experience, are there confidential ways to seek help. are forces providing that path necessary to do this in a way where you think you won't face other consequences to encourage more people to seek help.
>> jim, that's part of it that has to be stopped. there can be no shame in it. if they need the help, get them the help. if you're a sergeant, lieutenant, captain, major, whatever rank you are, you better stand up and say he's getting help and mind your business and do your job. this is on so many levels and there is -- i got to say it again. jim, let me tell you this. i lost -- i've lost three academy classmates to suicide. one hung himself, two others shot themselves. it is real. it happens. and there's no shame in it for what the job that you're required to do on a daily basis, it can happen. be able to take care of yourself. >> listen, i hope folks hear your words. anthony barksdale, thank you. we'll do our part.
>> thank you, jim. >> if you or anyone you know is struggling, please call the suicide prevention lifeline. 1-800-273-8255. if you have a chance to share that with other people you know, please do. we'll do the same. happier news this morning, a win worth its weight in gold. simone biles who faced so much adversity. she won a bronze medal this morning on the balance beam. we'll be live from tokyo with reaction. we're moments away from opening bell on wall street. stocks ended the first august trading session mixed. investors waiting for more corporate earnings results as they also grapple with concerns about the delta variant. we'll talk about all of it. please stay with us.
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finding something and the us takes gold! ♪ dream on ♪ ♪ dream on ♪ ♪ dream on ♪ ♪ dream on ♪ - yes! ♪ ahhhhhhh ♪ ♪ dream until your dreams come true ♪ >> fighting through mental health challenges, which she acknowledged publicly. simone biles returned to competition to win the bronze medal on the balance beam. we go to tokyo. you said you were 20 yards away. describe what that comeback was like and this win was like. >> for the first time at these
games, in my experience there was an atmosphere. no spectators. mostly media members from around the world, some fellow athletes. they said to keep social distancing. everyone standing to their feet when simone answered. my heart was pumping. one media member had cardboard cutouts of simone biles's dog because she wanted to show love to her. that's what this environment was like. she kept calm. i watched her. she stayed relabxed before this big moment and encouraged other gymnasts. when she got on that beam, it's only four inches wide and she felt like she had the weight of the world on her shoulders at time. this is what she had to say afterwards about all those people that called her a quitter. >> it wasn't an easy decision to it hurts that people said she quit because i worked five years. why would i quit?
i've been through so much over the past couple years in the sport. i just don't quit. that's not what i do. but girls could see it. i knew they would get the job done. at the end of the day , we're nt just athletes. we're human and we have real emotions and sometimes they don't realize that we have things going on behind the scenes that affects us when we go out and compete. >> earning a silver in the team competition here, that bronze tonight on the beam, that's seven olympic medals in her career. she was already the greatest of all time but the way she shed light on mental health and said it's okay to not be okay. huge impact here in tokyo. >> tied for the most medals for a gymnast. what a moment to witness. joining me is author, amy.
it's good to have you hear. i wonder if you could describe the difficulty and challenge of the turn that simone biles made. she came in with the weight of the world on her shoulders. she took this decision to step back but then i think you could argue a decision to step back into the ring in effect. i can only imagine the pressure. >> yeah. she came in with predictions of five gold medals on her head which is just a crazy thing to really think about. and walking away with a team silver and bronze. she's worth its weight in gold. she's a seven-time olympic medalist. 25 championships medals. there was never a question as to whether she was the great of all time. this shows that sports isn't a zero sum game.
sometimes we have to walk away with something other than a medal. >> she's been a victim of the most shallow attacks politically motivated attacks on her. let's set those aside for a moment. tell us how athletes have responded to the stand she made there. >> i think athletes are grateful to be given the depth that they deserve. they don't stop being who they are when they hit the competition floor. they bring everything with them. for simone biles this past week, it was a week ago she withdrew from team competition. it was demons that we were able to label the twist and getting lost in the air. this goes further than that. you face a press conference and michael phelps has been talking about it. we need to take athletes seriously not for what they do in competition but what they do in their lives. >> it is a phenomenon. underplayed what she was talking about because it was broader
about the overall pressure. i just wonder in your experience what does this mean for younger competitors who look up to her because as you know, the pressure begins at a very young age. there's this ladder. each stage and the kids feel it. they feel it down into the single digits in age. what impact do you think this has beyond olympic competition? >> i really hope that one of the things we walk away with is to not just say shake it off or there's no crying in baseball but to speak up. one of the things that simone biles did in tokyo is look at her trainer and uneven bars and say i can't go up there. say it out loud p. i hope that's something that kids can model moving forward. >> just breaking that stigma of seeking help when you need it. amy bass, we appreciate you coming on. >> thanks. with covid cases rising in the state of georgia, several
schools in that state have had to revert back to virtual learning. is this a sign of things to come as more schools open? we'll ask a superintendent from georgia next. that delicious scramble was microwaved? get outta here. everybody's a skeptic. wright brothers? more like, yeah right, brothers! get outta here! it's not crazy. it's a scramble. just crack an egg. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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conflicting policies. two public schools had to start the year with virtual learning because there were so many staff members, teachers in quarantine. i'm joined by the superintendent now of clayton county. two schools went virtual because the staff, not students, were in quarantine. you tweeted that you encouraged teachers and staff to get vaccinated but by not getting vaccinated, are they letting students down? >> thank you, jim, for this opportunity. here in clayton county we started school yesterday. over 50,000 students went back to school. as you've shared, two schools we started virtually in light of the data and potential of spreading the virus. we decided that it would be best to give them three days to ensure staff members were safe. we did not want to contribute to
a situation where students could potentially get infected. we balanced rights and responsibilities and our reason. we made that decision. >> should teachers be vaccinated? should they be vaccinated? >> jim, i'm vaccinated. we believe that all of us should be vaccinated if we're eligible to be vaccinated. we're not mandating it but we think it's the right thing to do, it's the responsible thing to do, and it's the reasonable thing to do if we expect as a nation to get this pandemic over with. >> so as you know, some folks including teachers, although most we should acknowledge in the country have been vaccinated, but some, like other americans, are refusing to and some might have health questions about it or others. what do you say to teachers who haven't been vaccinated yet? how do you encourage them to do so? >> well, the three words that i like to share of course that's their right but i want to also share that all of our rights
should be tempered by our responsibilities and we should be reasonable and we should think about our children. we should think about the vulnerable. we should think about our society, our recovery, and, of course, we want to ensure that our students have the opportunity to attend school every day face to face. if the vaccination helps to that end, that's the reasonable, right, and responsible thing to do. >> so this is a question particularly as the delta variant spreads, you may have -- you may face more questions about going to remote earlearni. the union that represents many teachers around the country oppose to date a vaccine mandate. if you begin to see what you have seen already in georgia, schools having to go remote again, do you believe that organizations should mandate vaccines for teachers? >> i don't think that's their
role to mandate vaccination. however, they will have a voice and all of us collectively that have the responsibility of educating children at every level of society, we should understand the science, be reasonable, understand our responsibility and balance that with our right to be vaccinated and let's all do the right thing. if that means getting vaccinated, let's all get vaccinated if we're eligible. >> so the other piece of this, of course, is masking because to date you have to be 12 and up to get a vaccine. many students are not. and you see cdc guidance is for students to mask but you have seen political leaders, florida among them, basically ban mandating masks around students. what's your reaction to that? >> well, here in clayton county, we require masks. we're in a state that allows us to do so, we believe that we have a right to determine whether or not we wear a mask. we've exercised that right. at the same time we have a
responsibility. if the science tells us through reason that masks help reduce the likelihood of transmitting the virus, it seems to us that it stands to reason to protect our children and vulnerable, our teachers and bus drivers and others that we should be responsible and wear masks. therefore, in clayton county, we have decided to lean in the direction of mandating masks in our schools on our premises. >> i'm sure you've taken some flak for that from some. what do you say to parents when they oppose a measure like that? >> our response is always consistent. we're being responsible. we're being reasonable. and we appreciate their support. while we understand the differences, we understand their rights, we also understand that we have a responsibility collectively as a society, as a community, to do what is right to bring this pandemic to an end. >> to your credit for taking
flak and sticking to your guns and we wish you the best of luck as you face this going forward. >> thank you, jim. glad to be here. the governor of new york, andrew cuomo, was grilled for 11 hours part of a sexual ha harassment allegation. could that be reaching a conclusion? new details coming up. ♪ ♪
under oath last month. several women have accused cuomo of inappropriately touching them or making offensive remarks. the governor denies ever inappropriately touching or harassing anyone. erica hill has been following this story and she joins us now. erica, i mean 11 hours of questioning seems to indicate a very serious investigation. >> reporter: so 11 hours as you point out that the governor was apparently questioned about his treatment of women. and that stems from, as you said, jim, multiple allegations ever either workplace misconduct or sexual harassment. now as you pointed out, the governor has denied inappropriately touching anyone and he also said in i statement this year in response to some of the allegations that he was sorry, his comments may have been insensitive or too personal and sorry so those who may have misinterpreted them. just the fact that the governor was interviewed on july 17th so many is signaling this this
investigation by the new york attorney general could be nearing an end. we don't have a timeline from the a.g. we were told there would be a public report when this wraps up. we reached out to the attorney general reporting at times the 11-hour marathon session at times there were tense moments, specifically the governor questioning the independence and fairness of one of the investigators who had been involved in past investigations involving the governor and his allies. so from the attorney general, this spokesperson giving us the statement noting the attempts to undermine and politicize this process are dishonest and take away from the bravery displayed by these women. a lot of interest in this report and a lot of questions, once we learned that the governor was going to be interviewed, that this could perhaps signal that this investigation is nearing an
end, is wrapping up again as we wait on the public report, jim. >> we'll be watching for it. we should know the state attorney general leading it is also a democrat. erica hill, great to have you on the story. the broward county public school district in florida forced to back down on a mandate for masks for students, teachers. why? the state's governor ron desantis threatened to cut funding for money for the school if they didn't move forward with restrictions. the governor is speaking moments from now and we'll have a live update and see how he answers those questions. that is coming up. our dry roasted peanuts have an incredible ratio of size to substance a delicious, salty, crunchy ratio. planters. a nut above. ♪ ♪ ♪
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very good tuesday morning. i'm jim sciutto. a major health goal for the country reached in the fight against covid. though a month late, the biden administration announced that 70% of adulls in the u.s. now have at least one dose of the vaccine. he is expected to speak a few hours from now on efforts to get more americans vaccinated. a lot of states well below the national rate. important news as the highly contagious delta variant fueled by the unvaccinated is spreading rapidly in many parts of the country. this is leaving hospitals overwhelmed, doctors and hln officials sounding the alarm. some facilities now completely out of icu beds and warning the situation is getting worse by the day. let's begin with john harwood at the white house. john, so some good news reaching that goal, though a month late. the question really now is how