tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN August 24, 2021 1:00am-2:00am PDT
hello and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the united states and around the world. i'm rosemary church. just ahead on "cnn newsroom" -- >> we are not leaving americans who want to return home. we are going to bring them home. >> we will continue to get afghans at risk out of the country. >> president biden facing pressure to extend his evacuation deadline while thousands remain desperate to leave a taliban-controlled afghanistan. pfizer/biontech vaccine gets full fda approval but is it
enough to get unvaccinated americans on board. and japan will host another athletic spectacle, we're live in tokyo for the paralympic games. good to have you with us. it remains to be seen if u.s. troops will stay in afghanistan past the august 31 deadline to help evacuate the thousands of people still trying to leave the country. g7 leaders are expected to pressure u.s. president biden to extend the mission during a virtual meeting a few hours from now. the uk defense secretary says it is unlikely but worth a try and u.s. military advisers have told the white house they need to know today if the deadline stands. the taliban want the americans out. >> we are well aware of the
stated desire to -- by the taliban to have this mission completed by the 31st of august. i would tell you that we too are still planning on completing it by the 31st of august. that is the mission that has been assigned to us and that is what we're trying to execute. >> the u.s. says more than 16,000 people were evacuated sunday into monday, more than double the number from a day earlier. but a source close to the operation tells cnn about 6500 people, mostly afghans, remain at the airport. the source says afghans holding special immigrant visas are now permitted on to the base but the gates are still closed. >> we are engaging with the taliban, consulting with the taliban on every aspect of what is happening in kabul right now, on what is happening at the
airport, on how we need to ensure that there is facilitated passage to the airport for american citizens, sivs, third country nationals and so forth, we'll continue those conversations with them. ultimately it will be the president's decision how this proceeds, no one else's. >> new satellite images show the huge crowds outside the airport hoping for a chance to get in. the u.s. army general says the military has relocated 42,000 people out of afghanistan since the end of july. and cnn's international security editor nick paton walsh is joining us live from doha. good to see you. what is the latest information that you have on this evacuation mission trying to bring these thousands of people out of kabul but then of course this him looking august 31 deadline.him looking august 31 deadline. >> reporter: a matter of days
where they still have the chance to get people on to the airport if they are going to get the 5800 troops facilitating the airport out by september. so a race against time. make no mistake, you heard john kirby essentially saying we'll start planning for that deadline. i'm fairly sure the military's perspective is this is not something that they can continue do indefinitely. but today it is a very different scene on that air base with 6500 actually there, flights still taking off. you can see on open source trackers three on the tarmac that could be taking a significant number off. but the question is, who are they bringing back on to augment the numbers. we know overnight according to a source familiar with the situation 300 american citizens were brought on, those are through these alternate routes which john kirby elaborated on a little bit yesterday suggesting that americans are going out to get americans. but no further details on that.
those numbers though not enormous. so the question is not about the allied afghans, the siv special immigrant visa applicants as well. the policy seems to have changed. they are allowed on if they can get there at the discretion of staff on that base. people with a clear and credible link to the united states government. so an opening of the aperture that allows people in, but the gates are still closed, taliban are still running the checkpoints to the airport. you saw on the images there, still huge crowds outside. and so unless you essentially have a way in that is not the gates and there does appear to be sort of flow running unofficially via afghan security forces securing that base, they may be responsible for the constant trickle that makes it hard to tally the numbers of who has flown out, who is known to be there, who is registered or just simply on the tarmac
waiting to get away. that flow continues, 5,000 we believe of the people inside of the 6500 are afghans. so there still seems to be some sort of route where you can get on, but not an official channel for allied afghans. there are still those waiting for assistance to get to the airport. getting them this is something that of course the u.s. have proven that they can do secretly with american citizens. that may be something already under way. but then you get into the numbers game of how many can you do this with, how long can this go on for, how many more days do you have to do this. job will be speaking to the g7 counterparts today, they i think will be asking for a little more time and then if you look at the actual facts of the operation on the ground, british have been having a terrible time just trying to keep their area under control. crushes there being very hard for them indeed.
so i think that we run into the valiant aspirations of politicians to save as many as they can versus the cold harsh reality of how do you physically get people safely on to the airport without sparking another crush, another rush, and then also the clock ticking on the taliban-imposed deadline. nobody wants to see scenes where people lose their lives or come under risk trying to get on to the airport. and victims could be a victim of their own success. if they keep the numbers getting off the airport so high, more will come. >> it is a difficult calculation. nick paton walsh joining us live from doha. many thanks. the ensuing chaos in afghanistan have roiled u.s. politics. republicans are criticizing president biden for the withdrawal although it was initiated by his presented predecessor donald trump. but adam schiff and others say they don't believe the situation was the result of intelligence
failure. and right now many u.s. lawmakers are pessimistic about the goal of getting all americans and allies out of afghanistan by the end of the month. this is what the first afghan american woman elected to office in the u.s. had to say about the situation. >> we need to come together as americans and understand what the objective is right now in this moment, which is basically we need to focus on how we can support our allies and how we can heavily lean into humanitarian aid and diplomacy now that president biden has made the difficult decision to withdraw. these are reasonable critiques that we are hearing but this withdrawal was negotiated with the previous president and president biden is taking responsibility and everyone is counting on his leadership to fix a bad deal. our international reputation is at stake. but more importantly, lives are at stake. >> meantime u.s. troops are scrambling to meet that
evacuation deadline in one week. and these photos of troops at kabul airport helping afghans flee to safety speak volumes. families and children leaving behind the lives they knew in fear of the taliban. and as they wait for their flight to freedom, you can see the troops comforting and playing with the children, just a few minutes of normalcy during a turbulent time. we have over several hundred million people around the world vaccinated with this vaccine. what does that tell you? it he wills you that we have more data about efficacy and safety than almost any other vaccine in the history of vaccination. the data are clear, the fda has spoken, the vaccine is safe and effective. >> and that was former fda commissioner stephen hahn assuring the american people of
the safety of the pfizer vaccine following full approval by the fda on monday. after the announcement, dr. anthony fauci said if most people who are eligible get vaccinated, then the u.s. could have the pandemic under control by next spring. but despite the best efforts of health officials to assure the public of the vaccine's safety, skeptics remain. elizabeth cohen has more on how the fda approval could hopefully change minds. >> reporter: on monday the u.s. food and drug administration gave full approval for the first time to the maker of a covid-19 vaccine, it is for the pfizer/biontech vaccine and let's take a look at what difference it might make that now this vaccine doesn't just have emergency approval, they actually have full approval from the fda. the hope is that full approval, so not just emergency authorization anymore, but actual full approval like other
drugs will make a difference in some unvaccinated people will say now i feel more confident, i'm going to control up my sleeves and take a shot. also full approval legally allows pfizer to market and to advertise this vaccine and pharmaceutical companies are good at doing that, advertising drugs and vaccines. also the hope is that more employers, more restaurants will feel comfortable requiring the vaccine now that it does have full approval and when there is more mandates, more requirements that more people will get vaccinated. now, let's take a look at who in the united states has not yet gotten even a single shot of a covid-19 vaccine. when you look at folks in the u.s. who are eligible for a vaccine, that is anyone ages 12 and older, about 82 million people have not yet received a covid-19 vaccine. that is 29% of the eligible population. and to be clear, covid-19 vaccines in the united states are not only free, they are everywhere. they are very, very easy to find. so the hope is that now that
pfizer has full approval, that more people will roll up their sleeves. back to you. but so far just over 51% of the american public is fully vaccinated. and some health experts say the u.s. must get at least 80% of the population vaccinated to get the virus under control. we are told the daily pace of vaccinations has been steadily over 400,000 throughout august. the latest state to fully vaccinate at least half of its population is michigan. wisconsin is another of the 25 states to hit the 50% threshold. its governor announced a $100 prize for anyone getting their first dose. >> we are no longer in the fight against covid-19. this is now against the fight against the delta variant and all the potential variants that could follow. >> meanwhile hospitalizations have been up all this month, which is putting a tremendous
strain on the u.s. health care system. earlier i spoke to dr. william shafner, and i asked him if he thought the approval could lead to vaccine mandates. take a listen. >> we're in a war against this virus. and so far we've depended on a volunteer army. those who come forward to be vaccinated. but delta changed the war. now we have to draft people. >> do some doctors throw their arms up in the air and just wonder sometimes when you have to work with and maybe save the life of someone who is not listening to this scientific data and to advice from medical experts? >> well, i will tell you honestly that there are people who are on the front lines in the intensive care units, not just the doctors, but the nurses and technicians, who have had to from time to time take a deep
breath because they are asking themselves that exact question. why are you coming into us so sick when all of these hospitalizations could have been prevented. >> the doctor added unvaccinated patients are putting medical workers who care for them at risk. the u.s. vice president is in southeast asia, and she keeps getting asked about afghanistan. plus andrew cuomo leaves the new york governor's office amid a string of scandals, but not before taking some parting shots at his critics, that is just ahead. one call to usaa got her a tow, her claim paid... ...and even her grandpa's dog tags back. get a quote.
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kamala harris couldn't avoid the issue of afghanistan. what all did she have to say? >> it was quite interesting because she was part of a press conference yesterday on her first day here in public engagements. and she had to face a lot of questions from journalists. and it seemed clear that they weren't pre-prepared remarks for those. [ today she started a long awaited foreign policy speech about the pacific, but she preceded it by addressing afghanistan understanding that the world is watching the situation there and reiterating the administration's position on focusing on the task at hand and evacuations of refugees. but the big issue on the plate today was south china sea disputes and this is something that she talked about, this is something that lot of academics in the region wanted to hear about the u.s. position, and how
it was going to approach that situation here. she had very strong words as you've indicated. let let's hear what she had to say. >> our vision includes freedom of navigation, which is vital to us all. the livelihood of millions of people depend on the billions of dollars in trade that flow through these sea lanes each day. yet in the south china sea we know beijing continues to coerce, to intimidate and to make claims to the vast majority of the south china sea. >> many here are asking what does china think of all of this, those words were meant to be heard in beijing and they were. in fact the foreign ministry there doing a press conference and we know that spokesperson saying that the current event in afghanistan clearly showing
people what the rules and so-called order of the united states mean because talking about the rules based order is something that the vice president kamala harris did, there has been a chinese response, and obviously it was a strong position to take and it was meant to be that way. moving on, i can tell you that have not kamala harris was due to take off about 20 minutes ago in sinsingapore, but it has bee bit delayed. it has been raining all day and i wonder if the weather has played a part. >> manisha tank, many thanks. and we're following a major development in the january 6 capitol attack. sources say that they will seek phone records of several people including members of congress. the committee is preparing notices to several telecom companies requesting that they save documents. this step could eventually lead to witness testimony.
new york officially has a new governor. kathy hochul was sworn in as the state's first female governor overnight replacing andrew cuomo who resigned amid multiple scandals. mj lee has more. >> reporter: kathy hochul sworn in as the new governor of new york state at midnight. this is a job that andrew cuomo had held since 2011. cuomo of course announced his resignation two weeks ago after an a.g. investigation found that multiple women had accused him of sexual harassment. he has said that that report was biased and politically motivated and we saw him give a farewell speech on monday to the people of new york and in that speech he said what has happened to him is unjust and unfair. here he is. >> the attorney general's report was designed to be a political firecracker on an explosive topic. and it worked.
there was a political and media stampede. but the truth will out in time. of that, i am confident. you know me. i am a fighter. and my instinct is to fight this because it is unfair and unjust in my mind. but you also know that i love new york and i serve you. that is the oath that i took. >> now, cuomo also spent a chunk of that speech talking about covid saying that he is very worried about the delta variant. he also talked about some of his own accomplishments during his time as governor and interestingly over the weekend we saw him dealing with the tropical storm that came to new york and when he was on a call with president biden to discuss that storm, he was joined on that call by then lieutenant governor kathy hochul because she was sworn into office. so this was a sign that even
hours before she had taken this job officially, it was clear that preparations were under way because as soon as she has taken that job, that issue as well as the covid pandemic are really going to be on her plate. a lot coming her way and we expect hochul will make a speech herself this afternoon in new york. back to you. >> thanks for that report. rescuers in tennessee are searching for about ten people still missing from the devastating floods over the weekend. at least 21 people were killed, among them 7 month old twins who were swept out of their father's arms. that is according to a family member. just tragic. health officials in one nevada county are warning residents to stay indoors because of poor air quality. smoke from the caldor wildfire
is contaminating the city of reno, officials call it the worst air quality they have recorded in the area. that wildfire and others have forced more than 42,000 people from their homes in northern california. the caldor fire has destroyed more than 400 homes and it is only 9% contained. pedram javaheri has the latest. >> good morning. this has been an incredible run here for fire weather activity across the state of california. you look at the state in particular year to date comparison, 1.5 million acres of land have been consumed so far in 2021 across the state of california. that is about 50% more than where we were this time last year, three times more than where we should be for this time of year in general. so incredible run again of fire weather activity. you noted nine large active fires, 13 in total now dotting the state. and the cardor among the largest with 114,000 acres of land
consumed. notice the containment right around 9%. but the concern is not just for california but the steering environment in the atmosphere, we're getting quite a bit of smoke and haze and a lot of poor air quality observations seeing over the area. reno, they are in the very unhealthy category. boise all the way into billings, you will be feeling the impacts of what is happening downstream into northern california and unfortunately, it won't change until the weather pattern changes and it doesn't look to in the coming several weeks. but again widespread coverage of smoke taking place along the western u.s. national view here shows severe potential weather in the midwest, and big time heat in parts of the southern u.s., about 40 million americans under heat advisories, heat indices up to 107 in louisiana and new
orleans. something to watch there. and also leaving you with what is happening around the tropics, three areas of active weather that are set to really make the tropical activity pick up over the next week or so with 40%, 40%, 50% chance of development respectively. >> thanks so much, pedram. coming up next, a u.s. air base is now over capacity as nearly 8,000 vaccines from afghanistan wait for their next flight out. that story when we come back. and concerns are growing that the taliban takeover will make afghanistan a haven for terrorists once again. we'll have the details when we return. surfaces kills more germs on moe it's a simple fact: it even kills the covid-19 virus. science supports these simple facts. there's only one true lysol. lysol. what it takes to protect. tony here from creditrepair.com taking to the streets to talk about credit. can you repair your credit yourself? yes. -great. how? uhhh...
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the u.s. has accelerated the pace of evacuations out of afghanistan, but about 6500 mostly afghans are inside the kabul airport right now waiting to leave. and for thousands of others who have already escaped the country and the taliban, they are now waiting at the air base in germany for their flight to the u.s. journalist atika shubert is there. >> reporter: in the last three days at least 39 evacuation flights have landed at this air base, the number of evacuees now waiting here has swelled to nearly 8,000. all of them desperate to get to the u.s. to speed up mobilization, the pentagon ordered some extra help. delta air lines waiting for passengers to board, but as you can see, this is no ordinary
flight. that is part of the civil reserve air fleet that has just been activated. what is happening here is that military planes are bringing evacuees from afghanistan to u.s. bases and now commercial airliners like delta will be flying those evacuees back to the united states. but as we wait for departure, the planes stay put. as of monday night, the u.s. government says only one flight had left this base to bring evacuees to the u.s., a military plane with 60 passengers. that is nearly 8,000 in, 60 out. a bottleneck. the state department responsible for processing afghan evacuees says the combined resources of u.s. bases in germany, italy and spain alone will be able to shelter about 15,000 afghans as they wait transit to the u.s. but for now, what was supposed to be a 48 hour transit stop is taking much, much longer.
atika shubert, for cnn, in germany. earlier i spoke with afghan filmmaker about her escape from kabul just after the taliban took control. >> i went to airport with my family, my brother, and his daughters and two of my assistants. so then they -- after a few hours they closed and all employee of airport, afghan employees, they just left airport. and then thousand, thousand people, they just -- i couldn't catch the flight at 4:30 because we miss because a lot of people without any checking, they just get inside the airplane to get out. so we miss. then with the help of ukranian government, president of ukraine and also slovak government and also turkish government, they
just help me to get to next day flight. but about my future, i'm still in a big shock and i'm still solving some issues. so i lost everything. i lost everything. i was working with different projects, some in post-production, so i left everything. i didn't even time to get even one cent from bank. so what i did miss, it was humanitarian cries. it was like people that just -- when they hurt because we have very bad memory we talk about in past. so for us, it is nightmare to leave under the regime of taliban. >> and she says that she will return to film making once she recovers from the trauma of her departure from afghanistan. along with the taliban's rise to power is a growing worry
about terrorist threats to the united states. those fears are intensified by the declining intelligence capabilities on the ground. brian todd has the details. >> reporter: u.s. intelligence and law enforcement agencies are expressing concerns about a potential long term terror threat to the u.s. homeland amid the fallout over the taliban's victory in afghanistan. an isis affiliate already posing a threat to u.s. personnel on the ground. >> what is present in afghanistan right now to our forces at the airport is a serious threat from isis which we'll try to deal with. and of course a possibility that saed al qaeda could reconstitute. >> reporter: america's capabilities have been dramatically cut back as units withdrew, especially the human human intelligence assets on the ground. >> what we have now with the closure of the u.s. embassy and
really with the definite solut definite have a solution is of the afghan intelligence services is the human piece dissolving. >> reporter: u.s. officials say the sudden collapse of afghanistan's government has prompted resources to be moved from elsewhere. cnn is told in the longer term there is concern that afghanistan could spiral back into what it was before 9/11, a safe haven for training camps again. >> just a matter of time before al qaeda rises again in afghanistan and threat to the homeland is going through the roof. >> reporter: as we approach the 20 year anniversary of 9/11 and the ramped up tensions associated with that, officials and analysts say the taliban's victory doesn't mean an attack on america's homeland on the scale of 9/11 is imminent. but with groups like al qaeda now re-energized -- >> we're seeing groups that
would plan such an attack to reconstitute, to strengthen. >> reporter: another security concern regarding the taliban's victory, the threat from domestic did x. extremists inside the u.s. a u.s. law enforcement official say they have been surprised by the anti-government forums online, an example of how groups like the taliban, al qaeda and isis once they have free territory can inspire attacks anywhere. >> this will be tremendously energizing for any kind of jihadi minded person. some will travel there to join the great victorious holy warriors and some arwillradical ize on their computers. and the release of prisoners are already some of the worst enemies who only got more radical in prison.
b brian todd, cnn, washington. airbnb says that the travel community will house 20,000 afghans globally free of charge. yea will be paying, but it is thanking hosts for offering up their homes. chesky is also asking other businesses to follow suit and help respond to what he calls one of the biggest humanitarian crises of our time. the former u.s. president says he's been vaccinated and halfheartedly urged his supporters do the same. but they don't seem to be listening. >> have you got your vaccine shot? >> nope, don't want it. >> why not? >> they ain't tested it enough. 5 key nutrients that can help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and wake up refreshed. the brand i trust is qunol.
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vaccine dose is having an impact. the government is also imposing new restrictions ahead of schools reopening next week and the upcoming jewish new year holiday. so let's bring in a journalist who is live in jerusalem. so what all is the data revealing about the impact about the third covid booster shot policy in israel? >> it seems to be quite encouraging. 1.5 million israelis, about 16% of the population, has now received a third dose of the vaccine. and one of the key most watched for numbers if you like is the r rate, the kind of infection coefficient, how many people each infected person is infecting and that has been declining since the third dose was rolled out initially to over 60s and then subsequently to everyone over the age of 40. and there was a study carried out by a big hmos in israel, and it sound that for over 60s who received the third dose, at
least seven days previously, they were -- the vaccine, the third dose, was 86% effective against infection. and the leader of that study said quite categorically that the triple dose is the solution to curbing the current infection outbreak. so that is the good and encouraging news. on the flip side the number of cases in israel is still rocketing. there were almost 10,000 new cases of covid-19 infections in the past 24 hours. that is the second highest on record. and in addition to that, israel has now hit the 1 million mark, 1 million people in israel out of a population of just over 9 million, have now been infected with covid-19. and there are just over 1 million israelis who have yet to be vaccinated because they have simply decided that they don't want to and haven't been persuaded to do so just yet. now, prime minister and a half t
bennett says that they won't go into a rockefellelockdown and ad into school, they are imposing newhan dates ss ss ss to to ens lockdown doesn't need to happen. >> many thanks. and we told you at the top of the program about the fda's decision to fully approve the pfizer covid vaccine and how it could convince people on the fence to get the shot. but in a recent donald trump rally, many of the people who came to hear him did not appreciate trump suggesting that they get vaccinated. cnn was there and spoke to trump supporters about the vaccine. >> no, not getting the vaccine. no, no, no. the vaccines are not good, hon. >> are you vaccinated? >> no, but i have a lot of hmed at my house. >> don't want it.
they ain't tested it enough in my opinion. >> the pfizer shot is about to get full fda approval. will that change your opinion? >> not until they do a whole lot more investigating. nothing is going in me until then. >> right. do you think that would take a long time? >> about ten years or so. >> i don't trust the government, i don't trust the cdc, i don't trust none of them. >> what is it about the vaccine that -- >> because i've watched dr. penny and she's done a lot of research. >> reporter: she is a discredited conspiracy theorist who pushes dangerous misinformation about vaccines. >> i'm sure you've seen the pictures all over the internet of people who have had the shots and they are magnetized. they can put spoons and forks all over them and they can stick. >> reporter: and it landed her on a list known as the disinformation dozen, super spreaders of covid misinformation. >> these 12 people are out there
giving misinformation. anyone listening to it is getting hurt by it. it is killing people. it is bad information. >> reporter: but the step are finding appeal among some trump supporters. >> my own doctor told me to get my shot and i told him to watch her. >> so you trust this woman more than your own doctor? >> i do. >> to listen to the internet or rather than the professionals, the scientists, the secdc, the fda, if you look at the history of vaccine, it has been again the greatest gift we've ever been given. people today wouldn't be at any of these events, they would either have polio, they would have smallpox, they would have many other diseases. vaccines have saved us. >> reporter: trump came here to alabama saturday. it is the state with the lowest vaccination rate in the nation. and at the time of this rally, every icu bed here was if you would. his timid suggestion to get the
shot was met with years. >> and i believe totally in your freedoms. you have to do what you have to do. but i recommend take the vaccines, i did it, it is good, take the vaccines. but you got -- no, that is okay. that is already. you got your freedoms. but i happened to take the vaccine. if it doesn't work, you'll be the first to know, okay? >> trump got the vaccine. >> yeah, they keep saying that. i don't know that. i mean, i'm not fully convinced of that. >> you don't think got it? >> i don't think that he did. i really don't. >> in so many people's minds, so many people who don't want to get the shot, this is a republican/democrat thing. >> oh, absolutely. but i will tell you, i don't personally see that that virus came over here on a donkey or on an elephant. and it is affecting everybody. >> i watch prophets of god and news max and maybe that is a little fox, that is about it. that is about it. i've turned away from news, i don't want to listen to it, i want to listen to what god is
saying, what he's fixing do. that is all i'm concerned about. i think that it is a time where god is separating the sleeps from the goats. >> what are you? >> i'm a goat because i ain't a sheep. i'm not doing what they tell me to do. i'm fighting against it. >> reporter: and judy smith the alabama public health official that you heard from there in that piece said for some anti-vaccine people, for some vaccine hesitant people, the only way that they become convinced of getting the shot is when they see a family member or loved one ending up very, very sick in hospital with this virus. dough any owe 'sullivano'sulliv birmingham. and just ahead, some afghan athletes will be missing from the paralympics. but officials have found a way to show them support. >> we will include the afghanistan flag in the ceremony as a sign of solidarity.
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tooeparalympics officially n today. >> and we're just hours away from the paralympics opening ceremony. so much to look forward to. almost 540 events scheduled across 22 sports at 21 venues. japan's capital becoming the first city to stage two paralympics having also hosted in 1964. and american golfer tony finau celebrating the win at the northern trust open after a final round delayed until monday due to tropical storm henri. he kept his cool to win a playoff against cameron smith. finau snapping a winless drought that had stretched back to 2016. in england, the hammer's all-time leading scorer scored twice in the 4-1 route of
leicester. and he lifted up the card board cutout of himself and then sealing it with a kiss as well. and in italian football milan opening up with a victory, diaz with the only goal of the match. all three points for the rotten ham as i send it back to you. >> thank you so much. and as patrick mentioned, the paralympic games opening ceremony will begin in the coming hours. but like the olympics, these games are happening under the had shadow of the pandemic as cases sky rocket across japan. blake essig is joining us. how will japan keep its citizens and athletes safe amid the gain in the covid cases and how are the athletes preparing? >> reporter: paralympic organizers say the playbooks in
place thattout line the covid measures worked well within the olympic bubble a few weeks ago. and organizers are saying that once again they plan to lean heavily on the playbooks to ensure the safety. and while no question that the movement of people increased as a result of the olympics, organizers maintain that there is no connection between the games and rising cases in tokyo. but since the olympics started about a month ago, cases in the capital have skyrocketed with the daily case count now about three times higher than it was back then. and just last week tokyo's governor called the situation a disaster level emergency. currently only 41% of japan's population is fully vaccinated and medical professionals say the recent surge in cases has put the medical system under immense pressure. 19 prefectures are under a full or quasi state of emergency and as a result, no general spectators are allowed to attend
any events. while health and safety was the story throughout the olympics and will continue to be the story throughout these paralympics, the flame will be lit inside the national stadium behind me as the city prepares to host its second paralympics games, first time back in 1964. and compared to the festival atmosphere surrounding the olympics this we saw a few weeks ago, clearly not quite that level of excitement surrounding these games. but it is still early and we've talked to several people throughout the day who say that they are more excited about this event, one that highlights diversity and equality especially in a country where prejudice against people with disabilities still exists. >> absolutely. blake essig is joining us live in fr from tokyo. thanks very much. and thank you very much, early start i go o.t.atart is up next.
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move your xfinity services without breaking a sweat. xfinity makes moving easy. go online to transfer your services in about a minute. get started today. decision day. the president must decide whether to extend the evacuation deadline from afghanistan. cnn is live in kabul. the biden administration at home facing new questions, not one but two infrastructure bill jeopardy. the fda gave the approval of the covid vaccine. it is tuesday, august 24, 5:00 a.m. in new york. i'm christine romans. >> and i'm laura jarrett. welcome to our