tv CNN Newsroom With Jim Acosta CNN August 14, 2021 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
we also just learned that last month was the hottest month ever. that's based on records going back to 1880. of course, extreme weather is not the only reason why food prices are going up. there are other factors at play. beyond droughts, there's worker sh shortages including the agricultural sector. elevated oil prices and shortage of truck drivers. demand is also rising as restaurants reopen but clearly, extreme weather, much of it caused by the climate crisis, is not helping. he told me he's never seen anything like this where weather reduces the supply of so many different crops all at the same time. he described it as a climate catastrophe. fred, this shows yet another reason that extreme weather is having an impact on everyday americans and unfortunately, climate scientists fear it's only going to get worse from
here. hello again, everyone. thank you so much for joining me. i'm fredericka whitfield. breaking news. haitian officials say at least 29 people are dead after a major earthquake hit the island this morning. the epicenter was far enough from the capital city of port-au-prince that the country may avoid the kind of devastation that we saw from an earthquake that hit the area in 2010, but the nation still feeling aftershocks now and the damage is significant. this is new video. just into cnn that shows the extent of some of the damage. you can see part of the building there, reduced to rubble. haiti's prime minister declaring a month long state of emergency. this disaster coming as two named storms are baring down in the area. patrick oppmann is with us now from havana. are we learning anything more about the damage and lives
impacted? >> reporter: absolutely. it will probably take hours if not days to really get a better idea of the scope, the magnitude of this disaster. areas that have been hit by the earthquake are simply not accessible from the capital of port-au-prince that would make getting aid to those areas very, very difficult. the prime minister, the new prime minister of haiti, we should add, has said that he will be traveling there as soon as he can. he'll be bringing aid with him. he'll be trying to get to some of these cutoff areas. there are eight groups on the ground already in haiti that will be trying to help as well and of course, more aid is expected to be necessary as they go forward. the images really just tell the story though. the enormous buildings, completely pancaked that have fallen to the ground with people inside, people still being pulled from the rubble. many people being treated in the open air because it's not safe
to put them back inside buildings. buildings that could collapse if aftershocks continue as they are expected to do so. and then of course, you have a tropical storm, tropical storm grace that is expected to impact haiti in the coming days and that will just make an even more complicated situation even more dangerous. so as always, seems to be the case, haiti just has too much to deal with, then its government and its people can handle, so the government has asked for help. they expect to receive help, but it probably will not come soon enough for so many haitians. >> terrible. patrick oppmann, thank you so much. mercy corps is among the aid groups and their director karen buck joining me from port-au-prince. so glad you could be with us. how is your team responding to this earthquake and how are you all doing? >> sure. thanks for having me.
you know, the epicenter, a lot of poverty and hunger. it's a location that we have a team of 19 on the ground. so we're trying to assess the gravity of the situation. phone connectivity and internet has been very difficult this morning. very challenging. we're getting information coming in around reports of collapsed buildings. as mentioned, along with the tsunami warning. everyone is just really worried about their families and we're trying to ensure the safety of security of our team and communities we work with. >> you said you have about 19 team members on the ground in the area that was hit and communication is spotty. have you already heard from them? do you have any idea of what they have been assessing? where the needs are? how people are doing? >> absolutely. so we have, as mentioned, kind of confirmed the safety of our team on the ground, which is
about 19 and they are doing an initial assessment. so going out to the communities to get kind of that firsthand view of what the situation is. we're anticipating the needs to be around essentials. making sure people have the basics. water, electricity. food for the time being, but were still trying to assess and receive more information about what's happening currently. >> you're in port-au-prince. roughly a little over 100 miles away from where this earthquake hit. did you feel anything where you are at all? >> absolutely. so i was actually jolted out of bed. i was reading in bed and it was definitely strong enough for me to feel it. it was like the building was on water. i was able to feel it. the team was certainly able to
feel it and the team beared the brunt of it. >> there's the ongoing political situation. the new prime minister who's soon to be making the rounds to assess the damage. how, in your view, is this country going to be equipped to answering to this latest natural disaster? >> i mean, it's a difficult situation, right? over the past three months, we've seen a bit of everything. the presidential assassination, as you mentioned, in addition to covid, right, the delta variant in haiti as well is on the rise. so the ability to assess and address the situation is increasingly challenging, both for teams like mine on the ground as well as the politicians in government. it just keeps escalating and piling on.
>> president biden authorized immediate aid to haiti. what kind of resources are going to be most needed? >> as i mentioned, we're still assessing the situation and gathering information but certainly, in situation like these, in addition to the current food insecurity in the area, we're looking at basic needs, covering those basic needs of individuals in communities. we're looking at water, electricity, any health provisions or supporting people that may have been injured in the event that is absolutely our top priority. >> kcara buck. thank you. >> thank you so much. still ahead, right here in the u.s., a different kind of crisis. the delta variant is surging and pushing hospitals near their breaking points. we'll discuss straight ahead. plus, the taliban seizes control
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if you think you can't afford health insurance, you can. the coronavirus pandemic taking a terrible turn. the delta variant is spiraling out of control, pushing the u.s. health care system in hard hit cities to the brink. in an unimaginable deja vu, some are supposed to build overflow facilities just as they did at the height of the pandemic last year. look at these images. shot a year apart. almost identical and makeshift medical facility and doctors and nurses with a surge and lagging in vaccinations. another major development, the cdc now recommending that some immune compromised people get a third dose of the vaccine.
joining me right now to discuss, dr. jane morgan. piedmont covid task force. the approved third dose that is for certain patients who are likely to have immune response to a full course of pfizer or moderna vaccine but new data shows more than a million people received unauthorized before the fda decision. what do people need to understand about this new decision? >> thanks for having me today, fred. one of the things we have to think about is this is really the next dose for these patients, not necessarily a booster dose. this is the next dose but certain people not able to amount with the vaccine.
even though they received the single dose of johnson & johnson or two doses of moderna and pfizer, they didn't really reach that high level of efficacy. and so it's been determined that they need an additional dose so that they can reach the same level of protection as the rest of us. there are about 1 million people who have gone out, as we know, from the cdc now and gotten an additional dose. what we would say to that is certainly there's no data to support that. we're not looking towards that. we do see that countries germany and israel are moving in that direction. what we like to see here in the united states is that people move forward with getting the first dose as we continue to try to reach that herd immunity. >> so georgia is now one of five days that have fewer than 10% of icu beds available according to the most recent data from the health department. the piedmont health care system has several hospitals in the state. what do your hospitals look like
right now? >> this is critical. one of the things we have to understand, such a great question, fred, that so many times, these hospitals are going on to diversion. what does diversion mean? that means people who are not suffering from covid but are having heart attacks or strokes or car accidents is harder to get that critical emergency care, including your children, if something were to happen, a choking incident, a fall, more difficult to get care at hospitals now being overrun, including the icus with covid patients. it's not just covid patients and vaccinate and unvaccinated that are impacted, it's the entire society. if our hospitals at a critical juncture because we're not even able to take care of the non-covid emergencies. >> positive cases among students
and staff that started just a little over a week ago. so officials have attributed most of the cases to community spread and say they have not had any outbreaks in the schools, but the district does require masks. so then there's the cobb county school district which does not have a mask mandate and reported over 550 active cases in its schools over the last week. and the governor of georgia has been outspoken against masks. what are your thoughts and concerns when you look at the current scenario and school is only in progress in some cases, just a few days, if not a week? >> absolutely. i think that the science and the research is clear that masks do protect us from viruses. not only the covid virus but it protects us from other viruses as well. we've seen a very, very mild flu season and so we want to continue to think about these masks as part of our uniform. something ease to take on, easy
to take off. now a plethora of ongoing research and studies and documents that are showing us that masks do not put children at risk. the single study out of pediatrics that refuted that is since rebunked and detracted. >> that's a response, sorry to interrupt, to parents and in school district meetings recently in tennessee who said the masks keep my children from getting adequate oxygen and they need oxygen to grow. >> yeah. and that may have been an outreach from that particular study which, again, i want to emphasize, that study not only was debunked but retracted by the journal of the american medical association, so now that is misinformation. that is not correct. so what we know is that masks do protect the nose and the mouth from any aerosolized respiratory
droplets which is how this particular virus spreads and continues to invade our body and host of this virus and every time it invades, it replicates and every time it replicates, it has the opportunity to mutate and learn and become stronger and smarter. and this is how we continue to get these variants that are increasingly becoming difficult for us to manage as we are now in this fourth surge and we certainly want to be concerned about what other variants there might be coming. >> in your view, what more can be done or said to get more people on board with, if not masking in schools, but vaccinating amongst those who are eligible? >> i'm often asked that. when we have people say i never get vaccines, i'm not vaccinated against measles, mumps, wrubell
la, wrubella, i'm so healthy. the reason you're healthy is because as long as you're a small slice, you benefit from the herd immunity and by and large, the majority of the people are immunized so there's not an opportunity for the virus to penetrate. not that you've reached a certain level of nirvana or some type of physical superiority or a certain cocktail of vitamins you're taking, no. you don't take vaccines and main healthy because i'm taking my vaccine and you live in my community. so you're actually dependent on me for your health. so we have to think about that with this covid vaccine as well. you determining not to take the vaccine certainly impacts others and makes you dependent on others for your health. >> all great points, dr. jane morgan. great to see you. stay well. >> thanks, fred. still ahead, i'll talk with
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the taliban today continuing its surge across afghanistan. seizing control of more provincial capitals. the militant group controls 21% of the 34 capitals, territory grabbed in just a matter of weeks. a pentagon spokesman telling cnn they were surprised by how quickly the taliban was able to advance. >> the lack of resistance from
afghan forces on the ground. as you heard the president speak just a couple of days ago, what's needed is for political and military leadership in afghanistan. no outcome has to be inevitable. they're flying more air strikes than we are on a daily basis. but you can't, money can't buy will. will has to be there. the ability to exert leadership on the field, that has to be there. >> 3,000 u.s. troops are arriving this weekend in the capital of kabul and they are there to help the u.s. embassy as it begins to draw down personnel. meanwhile, the cnn team on the ground in afghanistan gets a chilling look at a former u.s. base there. now the home of taliban fighters. this exclusive report from cnn's chief international correspondent clarissa ward. >> reporter: this is what remains of the u.s. presence in much of afghanistan. the hollowed out skeletons of
sprawling military bases now under the control of the taliban. once, there were hundreds of u.s. and nato troops in gozni province. last americans left a couple of years ago but their memories still lurks, ghost-like. just so strange to see this, you know? the taliban granted access to cnn along with award winning afghan filmmaker. keen to show off the spoils of war. so we're just arriving at another u.s. base and already, i can see a large number of military vehicles over there. according to the taliban, afghan forces surrendered when their food ran out, leaving weapons and ammunition and more. when the americans were here, were you and your men attacking this base a lot? >> translator: yes. many times we attacked this base
when america was here. we did operations. we were using ieds. the americans had their helicopters, weapons and tanks on the ground. resisted very well. >> reporter: now they roam through what's left of the tactical operation center. anything of value will be stripped down and sold. walking through what's left of these american bases, you have to ask yourself, what was it all for? america's great experience with natio nation-building, now vanishing into dust. >> it's our belief that islamic law will not come to just afghanistan but all over the world. we are not in a hurry. we believe it will come one day. jihad will not end until the last day. >> reporter: it's a chilling admission from a group that claims it wants peace.
despite continuing a bloody began its withdrawal in litant's flag. at the end, a bizarre similar sight. the days of underground insurgency and the america it once aimed to destroy. the taliban governor insists the group has changed since then. >> the difference between that taliban and this taliban is that the taliban of 2001 were new and now this taliban is experienced, disciplined. our activities are going well. we are obeying our leaders. >> a lot of people are concerned that if the taliban takes power
again, women's rights will move backwards. how can you guarantee women's rights will be protected? >> translator: we assure this to people all over the world, especially the people of afghanistan. islam has given rights to everyone equally. women from their own rights. how much islam has given rights to women, we will give them that much. >> reporter: that is clearly open for interpretation. next to the mosque, we find a classroom of young girls. but their teacher says they will only receive religious education and will not attend separated y male colleagues and sleep in the woman's part of the house with the children. >> i've been talking to some of the women in the room and promised i wouldn't show their faces but it's interesting because the taliban talks a lot about how it's changed and girls can go to school now, but i
asked if any of these girls would be going to school and i was told, absolutely not. girls don't go to school. and when i said why don't girls go to school? they said taliban says it's bad. >> reporter: here, what the taliban says goes. this is now what afghanistan's future looks like. far from what the u.s. once envisioned and what so many afghans dreamed of. as the taliban pushes on towards an all but certain victory. clarissa ward, cnn, gazni province, afghanistan. >> reaction from some veterans who served in afghanistan has been strong. u.s. general robert abrams in active duty four star general say it's gut wrenching to watch what is happening and said progress made but in the end, not sustained, heartbreaking. with me right now, tom ameta and
dan blakely with the book called "20 year war" released on 9/11 dedicated to veterans of the global war against terrorism and they both served in the 75th ranger regiment including towards in afghanistan. good to see both of you. >> thank you very much for having us. >> you hosted a podcast called never left behind dedicated to sharing the stories of veterans. i want to play a quick clip from an episode. >> i think there's a lot of threads of shared experience. the reasons that people chose to serve. there's a lot of similarity across five or six major buckets, if you will. there's a lot of threads of similarity on how they transition. whether it was positive or negative, but everyone's journey really is, it's true but it was crazy. they were their own unique
thing. >> that idea of a shared experience that everyone goes through who serves. is there a sense that this is heartbreaking, just as the general tweeted, is that kind of the shared response or assessment? >> well, let me be very clear. i can't speak for the entire veteran community and somebody who authored this book with 71 unique stories in the book, the 20 year war, you can't quantify everybody at once but the comments i've been getting from the veteran community has been utter heartbreak in what's happening in afghanistan. feeling like they left something behind or that they had something left to finish, but ultimately, every veteran has a different experience with how they process it very different. they need to speak up and have their voice in how they want to process what's happening in afghanistan right now. >> and then what about for you, then? what are your thoughts and
feelings? do you go as far as saying to yourself, what did we do this for? as a result of now seeing the taliban taking over. what are your thoughts? >> yes. you would like to say, i wish i could go back and change things and things would be so much different if i could have a little bit more say or action on the ground or whatever the case may be. but ultimately, when i look back at my experience, it's not about what's happening today, it's what i did while i was there. and ultimately, i provided security and safety for a lot of people and a lot of the afghani population that they didn't have prior to the last 20 years. so i'm proud of what we did while we were there, just what's happening today, just kind of heart wrenching to look at. >> tom, how about for you? what goes through your mind particularly when you see those images that we just saw in clarissa ward's piece of the taliban in walking through what was once an american base,
reclaiming that space? >> it breaks my heart and dan, as he is, much more levelheaded than i am by nature and i'm sort of the fiery italian of the group and i'm just so angry. i don't understand the why now of it, i don't understand the methodology of it and most importantly, the answer i would really like to hear from this administration is why the inconsistent policy. one of them, we make sure we don't just walk out and some stability.
>> where he said something to the effect of i'm frustrated because concerned more than they do, i think that's a really fair question to ask. i think that the other side of that and the thing i'm wrestling with is i can't imagine how demoralized i would be if i was back on the ground the way i've been and all support and the people people. not explaining for the afghani allies we were leaving. that's a demoralizing thing for morality and at some point, self-preservation will kick in. these men and these women are not going to leave afghanistan. that's one of the things i think so many people are missing. they're going to have to try to live in this new reality and are you going to try to keep a low
profile so you can continue to live and breathe . i haven't heard a vet that said let's keep staying in afghanistan, but it's the why. why now? why this way and why are we abandoning these people? >> and then, dan, what are your concerns or worries about the afghan allies that, you know, tom was talking about? we heard our kim dozier earlier who has covered the u.s. wars in afghanistan and iraq extensively that said many of the after began military that essentially abandoned ship wasn't necessarily because of their lack of will but because the taliban was far more influential and they had to look at it and
i'm going to die versus if i walk away from the military that the u.s. helped us establish and if i walk away, the taliban is going to allow me and my family to live. and that's the kind of choice that they were left to make. >> i couldn't imagine having to make that choice. that's got to be incredibly difficult to hear that, whether it's through your county or your province officials or the tribes that you're a part of and i know the people that i got along with had to deal with that day-to-day. there was always a risk that they were taking every day that they decided to volunteer and fight against the taliban. one more instance where it's really up to them at this point because of our policy, active policy is up to them, either they're going to put down their weapons and conform to what the taliban says or decides to fight back and i really hope they
decide to try and stick with some of the american influence ideals that we try to instill there and get more freedom to the people of afghanistan. >> quickly, next. is there any way at this juncture to find a fix? >> i'd like to say it was an easy black or white fix, ultimately it has to come from the international community and a combined effort and get back with the nato allies and come with a plan of how we're going to act or enact in that space and either deal with a humanitarian crisis and try to help the afghani people with the military presence to push back the taliban. >> dan blakely, tom amente, thank you for bringing your
point of view with your photojournal as well on september 11th. i appreciate it. >> thank you for having us. >> we're back in a moment. challenging times are nothing new. neither are resilient people. there's strength in every family story. learn more about yours. at ancestry. if you're 55 and up, t- mobile has plans built just for you. switch today and get 2 lines of unlimited and 2 free smartphones. plus you'll now get netflix on us.
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he will need to manage. cnn's arlette saenz. president biden at camp david but what is he facing right now and when he returns to the white house? >> reporter: the challenges are certainly piling up on president biden's plate and this is a working weekend for the president in camp david. perhaps top of mind for him is the deteriorating security situation in afghanistan and to that end, we are told that the president received a briefing this morning on that situation in afghanistan. you can actually see in this photo released by the white house, a secure video conference with vice president harris, secretary of defense lloyd austin, national security adviser sullivan and other officials to talk about the drawdown of embassy personnel in afghanistan. the president already ordered 3,000 military members to go in to help with that drawdown and evacuation and are also talking
about the processing of those special immigrant visas for countless afghans who helped the united states during this 20 year war. now through all of this, the president has remained steadfast in his decision to withdraw troops from afghanistan in the coming weeks. in addition to the situation in afghanistan, the white house also confronting this new challenge as an earthquake in haiti earlier this morning. the president, vice president were also briefed on that as well and the administrator of usid said experts already on the ground in haiti to assess the situation and what support the united states can give. on top of these foreign and international issues, there is also a host of issues facing the president back here at home. perhaps one of the most important is that ongoing fight against the delta variant which we are seeing take hold across the country. you've seen the white house really pushing back on many
republican governors for making decisions that fly in the face of public health. just yesterday, president biden also held a phone call with some school administrators who have been pushing back on bans in their states against mask mandates. the president also is keeping close tabs on the future of his infrastructure proposal, as they will need to keep democrats all in line over in the house and then there's the issue of immigration as even the homeland security secretary said there's serious challenges when it comes to border crossings. all of these things are really stacking up for the president to confront when he returns back to washington but his team insists they're working away. >> arlette saenz, thank you so much at the white house. of course, president biden at camp david. we're back in a moment. odor causing bacteria. detergenl adding lysol laundry sanitizer kills 99.9 %. lysol, what is takes to protect.
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welcome back. a former saturday night live cast member, horatio sanz is accused of assaulting a teenager. the teenager is suing the comedian, snl. she said she had sexually explicit conversations with sanz online and in may of 2002 when she was just 17 years old, the accuser says the comedian kissed and groped her after several parties. an attorney for sanz denies the claims and calls them categorically false. new york lawmakers have announced they will halt their impeachment investigation into outgoing governor andrew cuomo. the state assembly speaker carl
hastie says the state constitution does not allow the legislature to impeach an official who is no longer in office. many of his critics had called on the assembly to continue the impeachment process even after the three-term governor stepped down. cuomo told "new york" magazine in an interview that he believes he would win an impeachment trial but didn't want to embarrass lawmakers or the state. still ahead, the latest on our breaking news out of haiti where a massive earthquake has struck near port-au-prince. we have new pictures on how bad the damage may be. but first, native americans have the highest rate of youth suicide in the u.s. in today's episode of "the human factor" dr. sanjay gupta introduces us to a woman who is telling her story in hopes of saving lives. carol was 16 years old when she decided she didn't want to live anymore.
>> i had a pretty tough childhood. you don't know how to deal with it. >> she found her father's hunting rifle. after a night of drinking, pulled the trigger. the gun slimmed, her life spared, but the injury destroyed her nasal passages. >> i remember praying, dear god, i don't want to die anymore. >> reporter: ten years of reconstructive surgeries took a toll on her mental health. >> i have a severe wound on my face. i was in bed 20 hours a day. >> reporter: then one day something changed in her. >> i told myself to go for a two mile run. how hard could it be? >> reporter: she could only run a couple of blocks and she walked the rest of the way. she did that every day for a year. each time, running a little further. that was seven years ago. today, she's an ultra marathoner. >> being out there for hours.
>> reporter: her longest race, 100 miles. >> i just tell myself to keep putting one foot in front of the other. >> reporter: carol's mission to stop anyone who thinks life is not worth living. she speaks in schools and does runs for mental health awareness and suicide prevention. >> there are beautiful and perfect moments waiting to be reached. >> wow, incredible is not even a big enough word for her. if you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, reach out to the national suicide prevention lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. thank you so much for joining me today. i'm fredricka whitfield. the cnn newsroom continues with jim acosta in a moment.
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you are live in the cnn newsroom. i'm jim acosta in washington. we begin with breaking news. a 7.2 magnitude earthquake has struck near haiti and the damage could be devastating. the u.s. geological survey estimates a large number of casualties. at least 29 people have been confirmed as of now but that number is likely to go much