tv CNN Newsroom With Alisyn Camerota and Victor Blackwell CNN August 9, 2021 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
he was facing. senator durbin hoping to get at that. >> another reason why this january 6th select committee is so crucial for us to get to the facts about what happened, what led up to the insurrection and what was happening behind the scenes. i assume these people who are interviewing before the judiciary committee will hopefully be called to give testimony to the january 6th committee. thank you for being with us. see you back here at 1:00 tomorrow afternoon. victor takes over from here. hello. i'm victor blackwell. we are starting with more proof of just how well vaccines work, even with the delta variant. a new cnn analysis of cdc data reaffirms that more than 99.99% of people who are fully vaccinated against covid-19 have not had a break-through case
resulting in hospitalization or death. now, this data includes cases up to august 2nd, after the delta variant took over the majority of u.s. infections. that is the good news. here's the troubling news. for the third day in a row, the u.s. is averaging more than 100,000 new cases of covid a day. we've not seen that level of transmission since february. remember, that's when just 3% of the country was fully vaccinated. now, as the cases add up, so do the hospitalizations and the deaths. today more than 66,000 people are in hospitals sick with covid. the nation's top infectious disease experts are concerned that additional variants, more dangerous than delta could form. lucy is following the latest developments including what the latest surge will do to children as they return to schools. >> reporter: as children across the nation head back to school, covid-19 cases are surging.
hospitalizations and deaths have nearly doubled over the last two weeks. the u.s. is now averaging more than 109,000 new covid-19 cases each day and more than 500 deaths per day. florida reported more covid-19 cases over the last week than any other seven-day period during the pandemic. 50 florida children admitted to the hospital on friday alone as many districts return to class this week. a jacksonville church saw six members die from covid-19 in the past ten days alone. >> four of them were under the age of 35. all of them were healthy. the only thing they had in common was that each were not vaccinated. >> now the church is pushing to get as many people vaccinated as possible. texas cases and hospitalizations doubled in the past two weeks. austin, travis county using its emergency notification system to warn people of the dire covid-19 situation. writing health care facilities are open but resources are limited due to a surge in cases. everyone needs to wear a mask and stay at home.
if you are not vaccinated, don't wait to get one. an 11-month-old baby girl battling covid-19 had to be airlifted because there were no more beds available in any of the hospitals in houston. >> it gets me mad that people are taking covid-19 as a joke. it's not a joke. it's very, very serious. our babies are in danger. >> louisiana also seeing the sharpest rate of increases in new covid-19 cases. the head physician of a new orleans children's hospital concerned about a surge in young patients. >> we are hospitalizing record numbers of children. half of the children in our hospital today are under 2 years of age. and most of the others are between 5 and 10 years of age. they're too young to be vaccinated just yet. >> health experts are worried about the delta variant on children. >> i certainly am hearing from pediatricians that they're concerned that this time the kids who are in the hospital are both more numerous and more seriously ill.
this is a virus that is not only more contagious but potentially more lethal. >> reporter: experts say vaccinations are key against protecting against future variants. >> if you are giving the virus a chance to change, you are leading to a vulnerability for a worse variant. that will impact not only the unvaccinated, that will impact the vaccinated. >> reporter: the new orleans jazz fest organizers say that event will be canceled due to louisiana's surge in covid-19 cases. >> llucy, thank you. as i told you earlier, the cdc says nearly everyone who has been fully vaccinated, more than 99.9% of those people have not had a severe break through case of coronavirus that put them in the hospital or ended in death. cnn health reporter jacqueline howard is watching those numbers and the analysis. what do you know?
>> what we know, the analysis shows that the vaccines are working the way they're supposed to. health experts really emphasize that the vaccines are reducing the risk of hospitalization and death. here's how they came to this analysis. they looked at about 164 million people who have been fully vaccinated and among those people, there were only 99.99%, like you said that have had a severe break through case resulting in hospitalization or death. also among those break-through cases, 74% were among older adults, 65 and older. this data is what you would expect among older adults. their immune systems might be weaker than others, so you might see more of those break-through cases. overall health experts say this is more reason to get vaccinated especially because vaccines can help reduce overall the risk of infection as well. as we know, the lower the risk of infection, the less likely
the virus can jump from person to person and lead to variants. >> let's talk about that because we talked so much about the delta variant, how it's changed the footing in the u.s. now officials are watching another variant, this lambda variant. tell us about this. >> that's right. the lambda variant has been emerging in conversations, there are about 1,000 cases identified here in the united states. but that number, victor, is still very small compared to the many cases that the delta variant has caused here in the u.s. so the lambda variant is not as of concern. the world health organization actually designates it as a variant of interest. the variants of concern, they include the alpha variant that we know originated in the uk. beta, delta, which is causing more than 83% of cases in the united states. so these are the variants of concern. the variants of interest include the lambda variant that you mentioned which was first identified in peru among other
variants of interest. overall we held from the national institutes of health director, dr. collins, he said these variants, they're watching them closely. have a listen. >> at nih, working with fda and cdc, we have a vigorous team that looks at every knew emerging variant to see what would its effect be in terms of the vaccine. will the vaccine work against this one? so far so good. we don't have anxieties yet about delta or lambda or any others working out there. >> so you see, he said they don't have anxieties yet. again, delta is the biggest concern for us in the u.s. >> jacqueline howard, thank you very much. let's take you to texas and the hospital in houston is so strapped for space, there's a surge of covid patients there that is now requiring them to put up tents for overflow. on top of that, texas hospitals are suffering from a severe
shortage of nurses. texas reported 95,000 new cases in the last week according to johns hopkins data. only florida has reported more new infections. joining me now is the president and ceo of harris health systems which runs the lbj hospital. thank you very much for being with me. i read that at the end of june, you had one covid patient in your hospitals. couple weeks later, there were 14. how many do you have today? >> exactly i can't tell you. good afternoon, first of all. thank you for having me. 1 122. >> wow. >> let me start by thanking the health care staff, doctors, nurses, everybody else dealing with this pandemic for now almost 18 months. not just in harris health system but all the hospitals across the harris county, the state of texas and in this nation and
everywhere else. they are truly taking the brunt of this punishment, which unfortunately as we have alluded to at this moment in time is very much preventable. >> yeah. 122 now. so what is -- give us the context. what does that mean for your hospitals, for your staff and how soon will you likely have to use those tents outside of lbj? >> we are going to start using those tents as soon as we can put them up. the context that i'd like to discuss is, yes, the numbers are very high. definitely. we're getting close to the peak of our last surge. what's intriguing about this surge, the point i've been trying to make in the conversations i've had, not so much the magnitude of the numbers, it's the speed by which the numbers are going up. you know, you mentioned at the end of june, lbj hospital had only one patient. my entire system had 11 patients
total. right now, 122. it took five weeks to get from that low of 11 to a high of 122 this morning. when i look at the last surge, it took me three months to get from a baseline to a high. so, it's really a rapid rise in the number of covid patients that is very concerning and really the crux of the issue right now. >> so, as you see the pace increase, i know there was a letter sent by congresswoman sheila jackson lee who represents houston there to the governor saying he has to do something to get some federal resources in. talk to me about your personnel that you have and would a fema team, like the medical team that went to springfield when their hospitals filled up, do you need those? >> yes. let me explain. i'm going to give you a couple examples. first of all to your question
about my staffing, today harris health system, my hospitals, we are over 250 nurses short. they're not all critical area emergency room intensive care units operating room nurses. all in all, 254 nurses short. we have more than 140 nurses from agencies that are working in my hospitals right now. just this morning i was quoted a price for an agency nurse of $286 an hour. what is happening is that because of the extensive nursing short damage, not just in my system but across the country, the agency nurses unfortunately are able to name their price. and hospitals are left with no options. other than to fork out the money and get the nurses that we need to take care of our patients. you know, our nurses, our staff are also part of the community. we talked about the number of
cases rising in the state of texas. my staff are not immune. a month ago i had a total of four staff being out due to covid infections. that number today is more than 100. those are staff who are currently not serving our patients in our hospitals. so the situation is bad and it's only getting worse. and i really want to make the point and emphasize the fact that we're not heading towards a crisis, we're in the middle of a crisis. >> wow. let me ask you about vaccinations. we just had jacqueline howard on giving us the analysis that 99.99% of people who are fully vaccinated do not have the cases that send them to hospitals or end in death. is that reflected in the numbers that you have? do you have vaccinated people who are in one of your hospitals? >> i have vaccinated people in my hospitals, but since january
1st of this year, harris health systems, my two hospitals, they have lost a total of 128 patients due to covid. 128 lives lost due to covid. not a single person was fully vaccinated. that's zero percent of people fully vaccinated have succumb to covid-19 in my hospitals. if that's not enough reason for people to rise up and do the right thing, i'm really failing to see how else i can emphasize to folks that these vaccines are safe, these vaccines are effective. these vaccines are keeping people out of the hospital and these vaccines are preventing people from dying. >> yeah. we certainly know there will be the rare break-through case, as you showed, 128 lives lost. not a single fully vaccinated person at your two safety net hospitals in harris county. doctor, thank you very much for
the information and for the time. >> my pleasure. new this afternoon, there's a push by the secretary of defense to mandate covid vaccines for all active duty members of the military by mid-september. barbara starr joins us with the new report. the white house just released a statement that strongly supports the mandate. share it with us. >> the president putting out a statement in part saying that he's supportive of what the secretary of defense is doing to make the covid vaccine mandatory for u.s. troops. you bet he's supportive of it because it was several days ago that president biden ordered the pentagon to study the issue of how to make the vaccine mandatory. now the pentagon moving in that direction. because it was under emergency use authorization, as it is for all of us, the pentagon would have had to get a presidential waiver. now saying they'll go to
president biden, get it made mandatory, and begin to implement all of this by mid-september unless the fda moves faster on getting that full approval. here's the bottom line, the vaccine is moved towards being made mandatory for all active duty troops. they are concerned about the delta variant, and, look, it makes sense in their view because u.s. troops often deploy around the world to places where health conditions may not be what they are in the united states. they have to be prepared to operate in austere environments so they want to get them all vaccinated. right now the military running in the 60% to 70% range of vaccination levels. but moving very quickly now to make the covid vaccine mandatory for the u.s. military. victor? >> barbara starr, thank you. one of the women accusing new york governor andrew cuomo of sexual harassment is publicly
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>> i could tell immediately when he hugged me, it was probably the most sexually aggressive manner than any of the other hugs that he had given me. it was then that i said, you know, governor, you know, my words were you're going to get us in trouble. and when i said that, he walked over, shut the door so hard to the point where i thought for sure someone downstairs must think they must think if they heard that, what is going on. came back to me and that's when he put his hand up my blouse and cupped my breast over my bra. i exactly remember looking down, seeing his hand, which is a large hand, thinking to myself, oh, my god. this is happening. it happened so quick. he didn't say anything. when i stopped it, he just pulled away and walked away. cn nshgnn it following this.
we read the testimony, but it is so much more when you hear what she's saying. >> it's different when you can see her face and know her name. she is 32 years old. still working in the cuomo administration. she's a single mother, you know, going through divorce at this moment. and she says all of that, mixed with what happened with the governor, has taken a serious toll on her. and she did go into even more detail about the allegations she makes against the governor in the fact of what you just heard. she said that incident happened back in november. but then also talked about an incident where he -- she allegedly says he groped her butt while taking a selfie on new year's eve in 2019. she says she's coming forward now that the attorney general's report is out and also in the
aftermath of filing a criminal complaint at the albany county sheriff's department. i want you to hear more about that from the interview with cbs news. >> why did you file that criminal complaint with the sheriff's office? >> it was the right thing to do. >> it was the right thing to do. the governor needs to be held accountable. >> and just so i'm clear again, being held accountable to you means seeing the governor charged with a crime? >> what he did to me was a crime. he broke the law. >> she says that now she wants to see him resign, though we know that the governor has remained steadfast that he's not going anywhere and has been that way since the beginning of the year when most of these allegations surfaced. we do know about that criminal complaint. it is being investigated by the albany county sheriff's department in conjunction with the district attorney here. we'll see how that moves forward. certainly an emotional interview coming out now in the open. another accuser against the governor of new york, which we
should also mention, of course, the governor denied all those allegations against him and what was laid out in the ag's report. >> that's the criminal complaint and that portion of the investigation. there's also the potential impeachment plans. tell us what's happening there. >> so right now we're hearing from a news conference that is happening with the judiciary committee who started that investigation, again, not just with what was laid out in the ag's report about the sexual harassment allegations but a number of things including the possible misuse of state resources to write his pandemic book. there's a number of things this judiciary committee is looking through with an investigation team it hired itself. so they basically are saying that the governor has lost the confidence of the assembly and they're ready to move forward. timeline, we're still waiting to hear more detail about that. it won't be quick. they say they want to bring this to a conclusion, but we have to
note on friday the governor has a chance to basically bring forth the evidence he thinks those attorneys should consider when reviewing possible articles of impeachment. so we're going to stay on top of this. certainly we won't have a conclusion as to that investigation in the very near future. >> brynn gingrass, thank you. congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez is describing the fear she felt during the january 6th attack on the capitol. what she told dana bash about surviving that experience next.
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. a former georgia prosecutor will be the next ex-official to be interviewed by the senate judiciary committee about the trump white house efforts to subvert the 2020 election. we're getting new details about how far trump and his allies were willing to go to overturn the election to joe biden. jeffrey rosen and rosen's top deputy told the senate judiciary committee that jeffrey clark side stepped the chain of command multiple times to push trump's election fraud lies. dick durbin told cnn that rosen was facing pressure from the top. wa
watch. >> it is really important that we ask these questions. to think that bill barr left, resigned after he announced he didn't see irregularities in the election and his replacement was under extraordinary pressure, the president of the united states, even to the point that they were talking about replacing him. that pressure was on. >> cnn's senior legal affairs correspondent, paula reed is with me now. what else do we know about what rosen and his deputy told the senate judiciary committee? >> both rosen and donoghue told the committee they were not sure whether clark was acting at president trump's behest or carrying out a plot that he orchestrated himself. both men testified that when they interacted with trump he never pressured them to do anything illegal and he did seem to understand that the justice department couldn't do anything to help him because they didn't have enough evidence of fraud. some unusual details uncovered
by our colleagues about what exactly clark was trying to push inside the justice department. our colleagues have done some reporting and they have learned that clark told senior justice officials in late december 2020 that he believed that there was sensitive information that indicated chinese intelligence had used a special kind of digital thermometer to change the results in machines tallying votes. at that point there was no evidence of vote changing mechanisms. we are learning more from both documents and testimony that the pressure the top acting justice officials were facing at this time. >> paula reid with the latest for us. thank you very much. dana bash is cnn's chief political correspondent, co-anchor of "state of the union." dana, i watched that
conversation you had with the majority whip there. about the testimony that he he heard. he didn't give a lot of specific details but he seemed to be impacted by what he heard. tell me your takeaway from that conversation. >> yes, that there were clearly a lot of details that he and the staff and the other senators who were in there learned. it was seven hours of testimony over the weekend. this was on saturday. and the fact that his takeaway was that this might not have been a direct ask from the then president, donald trump, to the people like jeffrey rosen and others in the justice department. but donald trump was making it very clear what he wanted them to do. and that rosen and others that have testified have said so far that it was -- he was trying to use the levers of his own
government at the time to try to prevent his loss. and that was a takeaway. we're not going to know everything until this committee puts together a report. but they're not there yet and it's a big open question about whether or not they'll hear from jeffrey clark. >> carrie, let me come to you about the last point about how over the last couple of weeks we learned how the trump administration used the doj to weaponize that agency to try to overturn the election. listen to alberto gonzales on his confidence on the institutions but also the importance of having the right leadership. >> this was far from a coup. the institutions did hold. if he had been successful in persuading the acting attorney general to send the letter that
he had drafted, it would have surely complicated things. it would have given republicans in congress a reason to question the outcome of these elections that perhaps stopped the certification. the electoral college vote. yeah, there were some issues that happened here. >> we're learning more about how much the acting a.d., jeffrey rosen, held off with that pressure. what's the residual impact of this? what's the lasting legacy of what we're learning? >> i wish i felt quite as positive as former attorney general gonzales on the ability of the institutions to hold. in this case, the acting attorney general and his senior leaders did withstand the pressure from the president. but there was someone in the high position, the acting attorney general for the civil division, a high ranking department official who was all in on these theories and trying to assist in the efforts to overturn the election.
so, i think we came very close on january 6th in particular but for the actions of the vice president and the heroics of the law enforcement officers to the institutions not holding. that is the dangerous lesson for the future. >> dana, on another topic, you have a new series premiering tonight at 9:00 right here on cnn. your first guest is congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez. i've seen just a few clips. she's being especially candid. >> that's the goal of the series, is to talk more about the human beings behind the sound bites that we often see in washington for politicians and just people of influence in general. and speaking of january 6th, that is one thing i spoke to her about. listen to what she said. >> i think one of the reasons why that impact was so doubled that day is because of the
misogyny and the racism that is so deeply and rooted and animated that attack on capitol. white supremacy and patriarchy are very linkedin a lot of ways. that violence and i didn't think that i was just going to be killed. i thought other things were going to happen to me as well. >> so it sounds like what you're telling me is that you didn't only think that you were going to die, you thought you were going to be raped? >> yeah. yeah, i thought i was. >> victor, the context here, she was -- she knew she was a target. she got lots and lots of threats way before january 6th, but even more leading up to january 6th. and also she is a survivor of sexual assault, which we will hear more about tonight. you combine those two realities and you end up with the fear
that she just described that she felt on january 6th when she was hiding in the bathroom in her building office. >> understandable. it looks like it will be quite a conversation. watch the premiere of "being: aoc" it tears tonight at 9:00 p.m. on cnn. the senate is preparing for a final vote on the infrastructure package as soon as tomorrow. the legislation still faces an uncertain future in the house. we'll focus on that next.
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the senate is preparing for a final vote on the 1.2 trillion bipartisan structuinfrastructur. the bill cleared a key hurdle late sunday after a rare weekend session in the senate. it is a top priority, as you know, for the biden administration, but it still faces an uncertain future in the house. speaker pelosi has not yet agreed to take up the measure. lauren fox is on capitol hill for us. when is the package expected to pass in the senate? if it does, what happens next? >> that's a bit of a point of negotiations right now, victor, on cap pitol hill. it's scheduled to pass around 3:00 in the morning. lawmakers are trying to see if they could get an agreement so it would pass later in the
morning. so far senator bill haggerty had been digging in and blocking lawmakers from being able to expedite this process. i just talked to him a few minutes ago, he told me it would not conflict with his goal of delaying this if senators waited until a more sane hour in the morning to actually vote on this legislation. so it is unlikely at this point that it would happen in the middle of the night. instead, it sounds like lawmakers are trying to find some kind of fwreagreement to d this tomorrow morning at some point. once they vote on this legislation, then democrats will put down their budget resolution. they'll have to have a discussion about how long that debate for that budget resolution will go on. then they will vote on that as part of a budget vote-a-rama. that is the process in the senate where lawmakers can offer amendments, endless amendments throughout the evening up until the next morning. after that, they could leave for their august recess. a lot of moving parts happening now. we expect that this vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill will happen within the next day.
i think that's an important landmark because the president campaigned on this issue, he argued that if he were in the white house he would be able to get republicans to work with him. this is a clear demonstration of him following through on that campaign promise. >> we will watch that overnight. another issue that the president campaigned on, voting rights. and i understand you have some reporting on that. >> that's right. lawmakers have been working on the democratic side for more than a month now to try to come up with some kind of consensus bill that would get all 50 democrats on board. if you remember, last month they held a vote to discuss the issue, to begin debate on the issue. it was stalled by republicans. in the meantime, there has been an effort to try to get people like senator raphael warnock of georgia as well as senator joe manchin of west virginia on board with the same bill. those efforts are still under way. i was told from a source familiar this afternoon that it
is possible they unveil their proposal later this week. however sticking points still remain. one of them is on the issue of voter i.d. laws. manchin made it clear he wants a national voting i.d. law. some democrats in the caucus are uncomfortable with that. they're trying to figure out if there's a middle ground. it's possible this unveil this legislation later this week. it's also possible they have a vote to discuss the issue. that would be blocked again by republicans. >> we'll see if democrats make progress there. lauren fox, thank you. the situation in afghanistan is rapidly deteriorating. the taliban has taken another capital city and senior officials fear catastrophe. nce. and we disagreed with you, and we stopped letting you sit with us at lunch? i do. well turns out you were right, we just misjudged them based on their commercials. they're actually a quality insurance company, been saving people money for nearly 60 years.
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the situation in afghanistan is getting nasty. the taliban has seized its fifth provincial capital. it depicts a region that is spiraling. nick payton walsh and orin leiberman are here to lay out how critical this is becoming. let me start with you. string of victories for the taliban. the taking of kunduz. why is it so important and what does this mean long term? >> the other capitals we're talking about are minor compared to kunduz.
month. is there any slim indication from u.s. officials it will be a change of strategy? >> quite the opposite, in fact. pentagon press secretary a moment ago in his briefing was asked whether the biden administration, whether the president himself would shift course on this. try to keep troops longer p shift the strategy in any way and he made it clear the white house maintained the mission to complete the withdrawal by the end of the month by august 31st. on that crucial question of continued air strikes afteraugust 31st and would will there by in, he declined to comment. the expectation is it is the expectation that those air strikes will curtail severely once that withdrawal is complete at the end of this month. fa changed in last couple of days. they seized five provincial
capitals. there's a number of others under threat. there's growing question of whether they are moving to cut off major pop pop youulation centers. there had been a question of what strategy the taliban would pursue. wasn't one of using the territory they gained for leverage and negotiations to create the government or was it a continued offensive. that answer at this point is all too clear as they build on the gains they have already made taking more territory and controlling more people and population throughout the country. >> all right. orin leiberman and nick payton walsh, thank you. a chirj in florida has lost six members to covid over a matter of days. what the church is doing now to try to save lives.
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. there's a new analysis of cdc and it finds that covid vaccines saves lives even with the delta variant. cnn analyzed the cdc numbers and found that more than 99.99% of people fully vaccinated have not had a graek through case result rulting in hospitalization or death. it includes cays up to august 27bds. it's after the delta variant took over the majority of the u.s. infections. we have not seen that level of transmission since february. that's when 3% of the country was vaccinated. as cases go up, so do hospitalizations and deaths. today more than 66,000 people are in hospitals sick with covid. more than 500 people a day on average are dying from covid. the nation's top