tv Face the Nation CBS June 28, 2021 3:00am-3:31am PDT
captioning sponsored by cbs >> dickerson: i'm john rocker's in washington, and this week on "face the nation," hopes for finding survivors in the collapsed surfside, florida dim. and a picture of what caused the disaster starts to i emerge. search-and-rescue efforts are still under way this morning,but hopes for finding any of the more than 150 people still unaccounted for alive is fading fast. more than three days after part of the 12-story condo tower collapsed, officials have yet to make the switch to declaring it a recovery mission. >> our top priority continues to be search-and-rescue. >> dickerson: amidst the anguish of families
looking for loved ones, anger increases among evidence that the building officials knew it was a flawed building. we'll talk with republican senator mamarco rubio and miami-dade mayor daniella levine cava. and it doesn't happen often in washington these days, a group of republicans and democrats appearing together, announcing an agreement on a massive, trillion dollar bill to help repair america's crumbling roads and bridges. >> bry >> biden: we made compromise. >> dickerson: but president biden said he won't sign it unless it was focused on child care, education, and more. we'll straighten things out with white house senior advisor cedric richmond after the president was forced to retreat from that veto threat. jon tester is one of the key negotiators, and we'll
talk to him, too. and as the new delta variant threatens to undermine the covid recovery, vaccine rates continue to fall. we'll talk with arkansas governor ac asa hutchinson and former f.d.a. commissioner dr. scott gottlieb. it's all ahead on "face the nation." ♪ >> dickerson: good morning. and welcome to "face the nation." we've got a lot to get to today, but we begin with the staggering event we learned of when we woke up on thursday. that part of a 12-story building had collapsed in the middle of the night without warning in southern florida. our senior national correspondent mark strassmann is in surfside. mark? >> reporter: good morning, john. in the search for survivors, hope is what keeps everyone going here, both the search teams and the relatives of all of the missing. somewhere in the rubble, 156 people remain unaccounted for.
under this mound of smoldering rubble, in the calamity of champlain south, urban search-and-rescue teams look for miracles. >> we don't have a research problem. >> reporter: they are fighting deep fire and smoke and worsening air quality. but workers still battle the weight of the rubble. no survivors have been found. >> governor: you wake up in the morning hoping that more and more people were pulled out. that news hasn't been what we hoped. >> reporter: 1:30 a.m. thursday morning, the 12-story tower shuttered and that collapsed. rodriguez's friends were in the building when it fell. they told him the condition worried them. >> the building was unsafe. i know that the garage was kind of flooded. i know there were cracks on the walls.
>> dickerson: confounding officials why the building suddenly fell. learning the definitive cause could take months. but in 2018, a consultant's engineering review found major structural damage. inside the parking garage, pictures showed abundant cracking observed in the concrete columns, beams, and walls. resident jeanette aqado noticed. >> it was wet in the parking lot. >> dickerson: and there was structural damage below the pool dec and entrance drive. water-proofing had failed. nearly three years later, extensive repairs were set to begin when the building pancaked. >> after we address the support for the families, we are going to do a very deep dive into why this building fell down. >> reporter: champlain
south has a sister property: champlain north, built at the same time by the same developer. for now evacuations there are voluntary. miami-dade county's mayor has ordered a safety audit of all buildings in the account that are at least 40 years old or five stories told, and anything else built by champlain south developer. no one wants a repeat disaster here. john? >> dickerson: thank you, mark. we go to florida senator marco rubio, who visited the site of the disaster yesterday. good morning, senator. >> good morning. >> dickerson: you toured the area. what did you learn yesterday? and did you learn anything new since? >> i can tell you from thursday night until yesterday afternoon, the entire scene has changed. here in florida, we have some of the best search-and-rescue teams. and there is a tent city there. i think what we've learned
is what has been announced publicly. i think the officials have been very good in south florida about sharing with people what they know. they obviously shared they have found or identified five people who perished. they didn't announce the names at the time because some of the family members haven't been able to notify all of their family members. one of the unique things about this build is it had a substantial amount of people who were foreign nationals and who were be in the rubble. obviously the searchers are working hard. you can see from the north side -- you can literally see the layers. inside there, there is everything from toxic chemicals to fire and smoke and all kinds of other hazards. they have to be very careful. if they move one piece of rebar here, they could hurt one of the responders or survivors that might be down there. >> dickerson: in your discussions and tours, what is the most important
thing that you wanted to know that you can help out with? >> i wanted to make sure they had all of the resources they needed that are available to them across government. there are things the federal government has that it might be able to provide. i know the army corps of engineers has sent a couple of engineers to do the preliminary assessment of the building still standing, and those immediately alongside that complex, just to make sure in the search process you're not going to suffer some additional collapses and damage. and the other is that there is still very much in rescue mode. some of the people working on this were in haiti, for example, after that earthquake, when they pulled people out of the rubble 10 days after. remember the case of the 70-year-old woman that was pulled out of the rubble almost a week and a half after the earthquake. so they are very much intent on saving lives still. and they understand every day gets more difficult. but that is very important. >> dickerson: you mentioned there were a lot
of residents of the building who have relatives overseas, here on the foreign relations committee. how does that process work with the federal government and the state department in terms of connecting with those families? >> well, i think how it works -- i know it works by the first thing that happens is they go -- if they're overseas, they have to get an emergency visa. if they come from a country that requires a visa to enter into the u.s. so we were able to get them those visas or process them through the state department. the state department was excellent. on top of that, what we were able to do -- the state department is on site. and it is going to help expedite this visa process as arrangements have to be made for relatives to come. sadly, we know there may have to be arrangements where the bodies -- the remains of those are to the sent overseas if they're going to be buried there or cream nated cremated .
we're very grateful to the state department for helping with that. >> dickerson: as you reach out to the community and talk to the community, people are searching for some explanation to this. it is going to take a long time, and nobody wants to jump to conclusions. but there is the question if any contributing factor may affect any other building in south florida. how much is that a concern? and has that been taken care of by officials there? >> i can't say it has been taken care of because that's a very complicated question. this is unusual, right? this has never happened before. we hope it never happens again. it shouldn't happen anywhere. obviously something very unusual happened here. i do know and understand why people living in the area, specifically the building north of it, basically a swi twin, would be concerned. if they would like to relocate, fema will help
them with those arrangements. i know the county is taking this very seriously. i know a team is now in from washington, from an agency under the department of commerce, that specializes in massive catastrophic failures. they're going to identify what kind of things need to be preserved for a full-scale investigation. i have little doubt we will know why this happened and be able to make changes to building codes to prevent it from happening again. right now 99% of the focus is on try to find any survivors and give these families closure on this terrible tragedy, even as already thoughts are coming into place, why this happened and so that it never happens again. >> dickerson: you sponsored a very different piece of legislation called "built to last," which is to have more climate-resistant infrastructure, and that's different from what happened here, but in south florida, people worry about the rising is
sea levels, the air, the salt -- do have you questions about the environmental impact and whether that is a larger issue to look at? >> i don't think we should start an inquiry bi like this by ruling anything out. everything needs to be on the table. whatever the cause was, whatever contributed to it, we need to know it. we shouldn't be in the position of ruling anything out because we just don't know. it is important not just to provide certainty about what happened here, but from that information, i would imagine you can deduce whether other places are similarly in danger and what we need to do moving forward to protect against it. >> dickerson: with the minute we have left, senator, i want to ask you about infrastructure in washington. there is a bipartisan deal. is that something you might be able to sign on to? >> yeah. i want to be for infrastructure. i think it is important for us to build infrastructure in this country, including to mitigate against the rise of the sea level, which we
know is a major issue. in, for example, southeast florida, the problem we have seen is two things. obviously because of this tragedy, i haven't had a chance to sit down and go line by line about this deal. obviously there is the mixed measure by the white house, whether the support for that is support for another issue. there may be things in there i can't support. generally speaking, i want us to do infrastructure. >> dickerson: all right, senator rubio, we'll leave those details to a future discussion. we thank you for being with us, and our hearts go out to you and your community. thanks again. >> thank you. >> dickerson: joining us now is the mayor of miami-dade county, daniella levine cava, who joins us from surfside. mayor cava, thank you for being with us. our hearts go out to you and your community. can you give us an update
on the latest? >> mayor: the good news: we were able to control the fire and the smoke as of noon on saturday, so saturday afternoon and through the night on sunday, there was clear visibility. the search continued. they are, of course, doing everything from above. they're using the sonar, the cameras, the dogs. they have the tunneling below, and they created a trench to separate the smoky area from the not smoky area to be able to proceed unabated. >> dickerson: it has been three and a half days, is that time nearing that it will switch from a rescue effort to a recovery? >> mayor: we are in search-and-rescue. we have just been joined by additional search-and-rescue team from israel. we had already some mexican experts on scene. everybody that is needed is on the site and doing the work, and we're
continuing our efforts to find people alive. >> dickerson: normally nobody wants to jump to any kinds of conclusions. in this case, there is some urgency because there is some worry that anything might have contributed here might affect other buildings. how is that affecting how you think about other buildings in the area? >> mayor: i'm definitely focused on the search-and-rescue operation. we are working with our regulatory staff at the county to review all buildings that are approaching or are at their 40-year recertification and beyond to make sure everything is in order with the recertification. we're doing a deep dive over the next 30 days to assess if anything further is needed with any of those buildings. and some of the cities are taking their own actions because i'm responsible for the county buildings outside of cities, and the cities have their own process. >> dickerson: we've all
been struck by the grief and the staggering amount of sadness. what is being done in the community to handle the emotional portion of this tragedy? >> mayor: the families are togeth together in the famiy assistance center that has been established, and their numbers are swelling as people come from around the country and around the world to be here on site, a vigil, until more news is known. and we have every possible support for them. we have grief counselors, we have clergy of every sort. and we have the community. the community is really providing the support for each other, and the inner circle of those who are directly affected, and the whole community, surfside, is on standby for this important time and in solidarity. and the whole world -- we feel the support of the whole world for us right here in surfside. >> dickerson: mayor, you haven't been on the job for long.
can you give us an insight of trying to handle the emotional challenge that no one could ever imagine having to be prepared for? >> mayor: i thank god that i've had 65 years of experience and wisdom to contribute to this situation. clearly nothing i ever anticipated, and it is something that i'm fully dedicated to addressing with all of my might. >> dickerson: all right. daniella levine cava, we are very grateful for you being with us. and good luck. >> thank y you. >> dickersrson: thank k you. >> dickersrson: thank k you. "face the e nation" wiwill be baback in one mmoment.t. baback in one mmoment.t. stayay with us.. was the e samet t here. stilill came thehe belly pai, discscomfort, anand bloating. awful feelelings she e kept sugarar-coating. fifinally, witith the helpp of herer doctor, i it came to . that herer symptomss were allll signs of f ibs-c. and thatat's why shehe said yes to adddding linzesess. linzess isis not a laxaxativ. it helps y you haveve more freqequent and cocomplete bowowel movemen.
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and, also, we're going to do anything and everything that we can to assist. and so we signed the emergency declaration -- the president signed the emergency declaration as soon as he got it. the fema director is going down to make sure our federal assets are helping, and that we're doing everything possible to help. >> dickerson: let me move on to the president's infrastructure plan, a part of his american jobs' plan. he came ut out in support of a bipartisan infrastructure bill, and he tied it to a larger trillion dollar spending package. that angered some of the republicans he had been negotiating with. yesterday he put out a statement that seemed to walk that back. where are we with this? >> the president expects to fulfill his promise to the american people, which started with the american rescue plan, which we passed. we're winning on vaccinations, growth is up, unemployment is down.
then we wanted to pass an infrastructure bill. and we did. we came to an agreement on an historic infrastructure deal. and then we're going to pass the families plan. and so the president, yesterday, was bringing the focus back to the fact that there are 10 million homes in this country with lead pipes, 400,000 schools with lead pipes, bridges that are collapsing, and back to the historic nature of the deal that was struck with republicans. i think that an important part of this is to say where democrats and republicans can agree, we should agree. move on. create progress for the american people. and where we don't agree, we can fight, and we can fight hard. and that's what we expect to do on the american families plan. >> dickerson: let me ask you this: as historic as it may be, it won't be historic if it didn't math. so are the republicans back on track, and do you think you'll get 60 votes
for this infrastructure package? >> we hope to get more than 60 votes for this package because of all of the things it does for the needs in the country. what we're hearing, and even some of the interviews i've seen on tv, republicans are standing by the deal. the president is going to honor his word, and we're going to hope that they're going to honor their word. we would hope that more come along because this is historic. we have crumbling bridges and roads all around the country and we need to do something about it. >> dickerson: it seems that the president has a bump in the rug problem. you push the bump down and it comes up somewhere else. his problem now is liberals in his own party. they want a commitment that the environmental protections, child care, al of the things part of his original infrastructure package are going to get a fair hearing and they're worried that it won't. so democrats may not vote for this infrastructure bill, or are they all set and ready to vote for it? >> i think you're going to
see overwhelming support for a bill that removes lead pipes, that invests in electric buses and electric vehicle-charging stations, a clean energy power grid. all of those things are historic in nature and widely supported by democrats and supported by republicans, also. and we think that democrats are going to vote for it. but the budget resolution will be crafted in the senate and house of representatives. and the process on it will be controlled by them. >> dickerson: here is the problem, mr. richmond: those liberal democrats are saying, if i don't get a promise now, what will happen is those negotiations will take place, and the environmental provisions that i care so much about will just get dealed away. and they'll have lost all of their leverage. that's why the president was making a promise, to lock in his promise so they would do what they want him to do, particularly on the environment. >> i would remind you and those democrats that the president has met all of the challenges that he has faced and he has kept his
promises, from the american rescue plan to the infrastructure plan. and, by the way, we put all of the green stuff in the legislation for the infrastructure bill. so whether it was the clean energy tax credit or some of the other things, we're committed to it. it just now shifts over to the american families plan, along with the care economy and the education and all of the other things we want to do. and we fully expect to get it passed. but people -- >> dickerson: but for the infrastructure bill -- >> everything we have done so far has come out the way the president has planned it. i think it is not wise to underestimate this president, this ability to bring people together, unify his party, and move this country forward. and so he has done that with everything he has done so far, and we expect to do it with the american families plan also. >> dickerson: let me ask you about the announcement this week that the president made to take on
rising gun crime. the president, in his proposals this week, said money set aside for covid relief could be used to hire more police. there has been a big debate about defunding the police. it seems that the president's statement rendered a decision -- >> the president said on the campaign trail that he wanted to give $300 million towards policing in this country. to provide cameras and technology. and, two, he supports the constitution of policing, and that the community and the police have a better relationship. what we did here is make sure that cities understood that they could use the money that we sent them for state and local aid to replenish their police forces because a lot had to fur allowing poice and other first responders because of the pandemic and the loss of revenue. >> dickerson:
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watch cbs in bay area with the kpix 5 news app. ♪ >> announcer: this is the "cbs overnight news." good evening, and thanks for joining us. the painstaking search for victims at a collapsed condo in surfside, florida, intensified today. even as hopes diminished that anyone would be found alive. the confirmed death toll climbed to nine, with four more bodies recovered. more than 150 people are still unaccounted for. cbs's manuel bojorquez has been covering the disaster for the last four days. >> reporter: jericka, good evening. rescue crews have been able to dig a trench within the rubble