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NEW DAY SATURDAY
Deadly, Fast-Moving Wildfires Ravage West Coast; Oregon Officials Prepare For Mass Fatality Incident; Key Model Predicts U.S. Coronavirus Death Toll Doubling By January; North Carolina Voters Weigh In On Upcoming Election; CDC Report: COVID-Positive Adults Twice As Likely To Have Dined Out; Anthony Fauci: U.S. May Not Return To Normal Until End Of 2021; Thirteen Of The 14 SEC Schools Will Allow Fans For Football Games; Historic Afghan-Taliban Peace Talks Underway In Qatar. Aired 6-7a ET
Aired September 12, 2020 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: I feel cautiously optimistic that we will have a vaccine by the end of this calendar year. It's not going to be turning a switch off and turning a switch on. It's going to be gradual.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At least 40,000 COVID infections have been reported on college campuses in every state.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: College students who knew they had coronavirus throwing a party anyway and they got busted.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, I was a college student once. I get it, but really?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A hundred large fires have burned more than 4.5 million acres in 12 states.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In California, infamous for its infernos, five of the largest fires ever recorded in the state are burning now.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you are notified by emergency officials to evacuate, please do so immediately. You may not get a second chance.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is NEW DAY WEEKEND with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Live look at the city of New York and you see those two beams, the Tribute of Light, this the morning after 9/11. Good morning to you and we're starting with the dangerous and destructive wildfires that are burning across the western part of this country.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: More than 100 large fires are burning across 12 states right now and around 28,000 first responders and support personnel are battling those in the west. Now, fires in California alone have burned more than 3.1 million acres. That's an area twice the size of the state of Delaware and we know at least 26 people have died in these fires since last month and sadly, officials are preparing for the possibility of more.
BLACKWELL: Yes. It's not just the flames that are creating the threat obviously. Almost the entire West Coast is under air quality alerts and now there's a warning for medical professionals that the smoke can make people more susceptible to COVID-19 and other sicknesses. Let's start now with CNN's Camila Bernal. She joins us from Oregon. Camila, more than 500,000 people in that state have been told to evacuate. Tell us what you're seeing and tell us about the evacuations.
CAMILA BERNAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, Victor, Christi. I do want to show you that smoke that we're talking about, the worst in the country according to the governor here. If I turn around as much as I can to show you that smoke, it's difficult to see when you're maybe five, 10 feet away from some -- from places and so it not only makes it difficult for us, but it makes it difficult for the firefighters who are out here who sometimes can't even see that fire line.
So unfortunately it's making their jobs a lot harder and there is a lot of work to do because, as you guys mentioned, these fires are massive and they're still out of control. We're at 0 percent containment and the problem is that there are reports of about dozen missing people and so that is a concern for the governor that there are people who they believe could be missing and then dealing with the number of people who have evacuated.
We're talking about more than half a million people who are under evacuation orders or evacuation zones. That's more than 10 percent of the population of this state trying to find a place to go. I spoke to one man who essentially rented a U-Haul and said he wanted to stay in his car and with his U-Haul the entire time.
Other people are going to shelters, but of course there is that concern of COVID-19 and the dangers of health and dealing with the fires and then there are, of course, those who are choosing to go to friend's and family's homes. That is the best option for so many of the people here, but of course not everybody has that option.
There is a bit of good news and that is that the weather is improving. The forecast in terms of the wind looks a lot better today and moving into this weekend as it did the last week and so firefighters, for the first time this whole week, are saying they're likely going to start making progress, but remember we're at 0 percent containment, so progress is essentially just the beginning of this fire fight. It is here for the long run and they say the smoke is here to stay as well.
Firefighters are saying we could get pockets of clean air, but for the most part, they're expecting the smoke to stay in this area and so it is going to be a long, difficult fight for the firefighters and a lot of days of anxiety for the many, many people who are having to evacuate their homes and who are seeing those flames getting closer and closer to their homes, Victor, Christi.
PAUL: Camila Bernal, we appreciate the update. Thank you so much. Now, ash and debris is all that's left for a lot of these homeowners in two towns in particular in Oregon.
Want to talk to Sandra Spelliscy. She's the city manager for Talent, Oregon right now. Thank you so much for getting up early and talking to us because as I understand it, the governor there in Oregon, Kate Brown, said this, she said, "This could be the greatest loss of human lives and property due to wildfire in our state's history." We are so sorry, first of all, for what you're all going through. Please help us understand what's happening there ...
SANDRA SPELLISCY, CITY MANAGER, TALENT, OREGON: Thank you.
PAUL: ... right now.
SPELLISCY: Yes. Well, the fire that tore through the cities that you just mentioned on Tuesday was devastating. The city of Talent has lost anywhere between 500 and 600 structures. We're estimating many of those residences. We lost a huge portion of our major commercial and light industrial core of the city. People are displaced. There are few places for people to go. As you know, most of the state and the western half is burning. So a truly, truly tragic and almost unfathomable day for the people in the city of Talent.
BLACKWELL: The director of the Oregon Office of Emergency Management says that they are preparing for a mass fatality incident. What do you know about the people potentially unaccounted for in Talent?
SPELLISCY: Well, we are only hearing now of about 50 or so names of people who are considered unaccounted for, but we're still very, very early days. It's going to be a very difficult search process. The areas that were impacted are -- we're not talking about half burned buildings or smoldering ruins, we're talking about utter devastation with simply twisted metal and piles of ash.
So once we have a better sense of people who we believe are missing, we will have to enter into a pretty extensive rescue -- or not rescue, but search phase to go back to the places where we think they may have been and see what we can find.
PAUL: How long will it be before you think you can get into those areas? Because I know that "The Oregonian" was reporting that you're starting to get calls from people, you know, who are saying I can't contact my family member. How do I know that they're safe? How long before you think you can get into that area to find out what's happening?
SPELLISCY: Well, the area is accessible if we, you know, had the equipment, the folks, the dogs that we're probably going to need, but I think it's going to be a number of days as that list continues to rise and fall as we find that more people are unaccounted for and then other people can be located and it's because the evacuation happens so quickly and people are really scattered in every direction throughout southern Oregon and throughout the state.
It'll be a while before we're able to have some certainty about who's missing, but we're very hopeful that the numbers won't be as high as some people are saying. Our law enforcement crews work tirelessly throughout the day and night to get people out and so we're very hopeful that we won't see the kinds of fatalities that some people are suspecting.
BLACKWELL: Sandra Spelliscy, the city manager there in Talent. Listen, I know it's the middle of the night there at 3 A.M.. Thank you so much for being with us and our best to you and everyone there as you battle these historic fires. Stay close and make sure that you -- if you're available, you can check in and give us an update when you have time.
SPELLISCY: Thank you so much.
BLACKWELL: Thank you. So this influential model often cited by the White House now predicts that the number of Americans killed by coronavirus will likely double over the next three and a half months. This is the IHME model. Maybe you've heard of it. It says that the worst case scenario here is that the U.S. could reach 600,000 deaths by January.
PAUL: CNN's Polo Sandoval's following the latest from New York. So Polo, we know Dr. Fauci has some pretty sobering projections himself, but he does say he's optimistic. Does he say why?
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes and his message certainly conflicts with that of the commander in chief, Victor and Christi. You recall yesterday Donald Trump taking to Twitter, telling the nation that it's, in essence, time to get back to work if you haven't done so already, but then when you hear from Dr. Fauci, he says perhaps we should consider possibly hunkering down this fall.
Of course the big concern with the flu season is that Americans could be in for a double whammy. You got the flu and of course that lingering coronavirus as well.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDOVAL: A cautiously optimistic tone coming from the nation's top infectious disease expert. On Friday, Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN we may see approval of a safe coronavirus vaccine by the end of the year, though he says it may take several months to get the country vaccinated and protected against the virus.
[06:10:06] FAUCI: It's going to take months to get enough people vaccinated to have an umbrella of immunity over the community so that you don't have to worry about easy transmission and that's what I mean. It's not going to be an overnight event where you have a vaccine and then all of a sudden everything is OK.
SANDOVAL: Fauci also expressed confidence that the vaccine approval process is being done correctly and without political pressure, though recent polling indicates 62 percent of Americans worry the Food and Drug Administration will rush it ahead of the upcoming elections. The chief advisor to the government's COVID vaccine program says he would take it once it's proven safe and effective.
MONCEF SLAOUI, SCIENTIFIC HEAD, OPERATION WARP SPEED: I would, frankly, turn the question the other way around and say what would be my ethical reason to withhold a vaccine that I could have developed faster from being developed faster?
SANDOVAL: And a vaccine can't come soon enough as reopening schools for in-person learning has become a point of contention. Despite opposition by some students, school district officials in Des Moines, Iowa are defying the governor's order to resume in-person classes for at least 50 percent of their instruction. Meanwhile, at least 40,000 COVID infections have been reported on college campuses in every state. Health officials believe young adults holding social gatherings could be among several factors.
Going into the upcoming flu season, CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen recommending people limit risk.
LEANA WEN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Just because things are open doesn't mean we now need to do it all. If we can go to restaurants, maybe we should not go to bars and restaurants and movie theaters and go back to work and go back to school. We really should look at what are the most essential activities and do that and still follow every precaution when it comes to washing our hands, wearing our masks and following social distancing guidelines too.
SANDOVAL: As for looking back, the coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force says now is the time to get tested if you think you let your guard down over the Labor Day weekend.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANDOVAL: One such example of people apparently letting their guard down, in Ohio last weekend at Miami University where six students were cited for violating city ordinance on mass gatherings. They apparently held a house party even though one of them knew that they had tested positive for the coronavirus just a week before.
We've seen police body camera video of that encounter with these students. Again, six of them cited. Miami University declining to comment, citing privacy laws. However, they did say any students who do violate any kind of quarantine protocols, they do face disciplinary action, Victor, Christi.
BLACKWELL: Yes. It just doesn't make any sense to continue to have those parties. Polo Sandoval for us in New York. Thanks so much.
PAUL: CNN's Rebecca Buck is live near the White House right now. So Rebecca, help us reconcile, if you can, what you're hearing from the White House regarding the President's message versus Dr. Fauci's message.
REBECCA BUCK, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, good morning, Christi and Victor. Once again we are hearing mixed messages from Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, and from President Trump. Trump saying this week that he believes we're turning a corner when it comes to the coronavirus in the United States, meantime Dr. Anthony Fauci with a much more sobering assessment of where the country is headed, saying it could be more than a year before things are back to normal in the United States even if a vaccine is developed and approved by the end of this calendar year.
Dr. Anthony Fauci sat down last night with our Wolf Blitzer who asked him why the mixed messages from you and the President? Here is what Fauci had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FAUCI: You know, I mean, I don't want to answer me or the President. I say look at the data. The data speak for themselves. You don't have to listen to any individual and the data tells us that we're still getting up to 40,000 new infections a day and 1,000 deaths. That's what you look at. Look at the science, the evidence and the data and you could make a pretty easy conclusion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BUCK: An easy conclusion, of course, unless you're the President of the United States who, as I mentioned, is still saying we're on the upswing, COVID is going to be a thing of the past.
BUCK: Christi and Victor.
BLACKWELL: Conflicts with the science. Let me ask you about the trip out west the President's taking this weekend. We just talked about the wildfires, we're hearing from him, but that really isn't the focus of the trip. Tell us about it.
BUCK: That's right. We actually haven't heard much from the President at all about these wildfires for the past few weeks until last night. He tweeted that his thoughts are with the firefighters who are fighting these blazes, but just a month ago, he was criticizing California for their management of forests, essentially blaming the state for what is happening, not, of course, looking to climate change and other factors that experts believe are contributing to these very unprecedented, disastrous fires.
What we do expect to hear from the President in Nevada later -- of course these are more of his campaign events on the road flouting local COVID gathering guidelines as relates to large crowds. He'll be in Reno and Las Vegas, but it will be very difficult for him to avoid the subject of the wildfires in California and Oregon and out west because the air quality, particularly in Reno, is very bad. They've actually told local officials not to do outdoor events, but the President, of course, moving ahead, as he does, doing things his own way, Christi and Victor.
BLACKWELL: Rebecca Buck out there battling a little bit of rain for us in front of the White House. Rebecca, thanks so much. OK. So listen, in this polarized environment, you'd imagine that people -- most people have made up their minds, but there are undecided voters. Still 52 days left. We are heading to North Carolina and we're taking you there to hear from some of them.
PAUL: Also, did you know the furry friends on "Sesame Street," they have questions about virtual learning as well? Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Erica Hill are meeting with Big Bird, Elmo and their friends to answer all of your questions on health and safety in school. Plus, how to make virtual learning work for everybody, including parents. We know it's tough out there. You want to be sure to see "The ABCs of Back to School" this morning at 10 A.M. right here on CNN.
BLACKWELL: Fifty-two days now until the November election. Let's go to North Carolina where so far more than 618,000 voters have requested an absentee ballot.
PAUL: Yes. North Carolina is an important battleground state, as you know. Well, President Trump carried that state by nearly 4 percent in 2016 and he wants to keep it that way. So CNN's Jeff Zeleny talked to some voters there about what they're planning to do.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMIE OSWALD, UNDECIDED VOTER: I want to vote for somebody other than Donald Trump, but I don't want to vote for Biden. It's hard.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Meet Jamie Oswald, a hairdresser and undecided voter. She grew up in a Republican family and likes President Trump's economic record, but not much else.
OSWALD: If he could just not talk, you know? The stuff that he says, it's just like embarrassing.
ZELENY: If he could just not talk, that's saying something about a President of the United States.
OSWALD: It is. It's saying a lot.
ZELENY: Yet so far, she's not sold on Joe Biden.
OSWALD: I think he's been in office for so long and he really hasn't done a whole lot.
ZELENY: Oswald says she's never voted, but will this year, inspired by the pandemic that left her unemployed for more than two months. She's one of 1.3 million new voters in North Carolina since 2016 when Trump narrowly won the state by 173,000 votes. Now it's a battleground he's visited three times in the last three weeks. Voting here is already underway, a sign that coronavirus is influencing the election, including how people cast their ballots. BAKARR KANU, DEMOCRATIC VOTER: So it's very important for everybody to go out this time because there is a lot of stake.
ZELENY: Bakarr Kanu, a professor, received his absentee ballot in the mail this week. He dismisses any talk of fraud, saying Trump is trying to intimidate voters, yet the President's supporters here are already echoing his questions about the election's legitimacy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And mail-in ballots, I wouldn't trust it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I will -- I will definitely go in person.
ZELENY: At the end of a challenging week for the President where his own words to Bob Woodward became a new flashpoint, Trump supporters are unwavering. Sarah Reidy-Jones, who leads a women's Republican group, believes in Trump now more than four years ago, in part because of judicial appointments.
SARAH REIDY-JONES, PRESIDENT, UPTOWN CHARLOTTE REPUBLICAN WOMEN: Four years ago, President Trump wasn't my first, second, third, fourth choice (ph). We're saying get beyond that rhetoric and go with what that record of accomplishment.
ZELENY: That record does not sit well with bar owner Blake Stewart who believes the President's leadership on coronavirus has been appalling.
BLAKE STEWART, DEMOCRATIC VOTER: He had the opportunity to grab this bull by the horns. Instead, he let it run us all over.
ZELENY: His business is still closed. For that, he blames Trump, not the state's Democratic governor. He planted this voter registration sign outside hoping to find new voters to help block the President's path to re-election. There's little question Trump supporters here are fired up, but there are also signs he's awakening the other side. His presidency motivated Angela Levine to become politically active for the first time and work against him.
ANGELA LEVINE, DEMOCRATIC ACTIVIST: I became a much more informed voter. It's why I got this blue wave tattoo. This is to remind me never to assume someone else is going to do all the hard work.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZELENY: So absentee balloting is underway and then early voting starts next month. There are 17 days of in-person early voting across North Carolina. So not only is coronavirus affecting how you vote, it's also affecting, in some cases, who you're voting for. There is no question North Carolina and its 15 electoral votes are squarely in the sights of the Trump campaign. Not only did President Trump visit three times, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump also all made separate visits to the state this week. Joe Biden is coming soon. Jeff Zeleny, CNN, Charlotte, North Carolina.
PAUL: Jeff, thank you so much. So did you know there's a new CDC report out that says eating out is more dangerous than some of the other activities that are going on amidst this pandemic? We'll tell you what we know. Stay close.
BLACKWELL: Twenty-eight minutes after the hour now. Now, several states have loosened restrictions on indoor dining, but remember that eating at these restaurants, it's still a pretty risky activity.
PAUL: Yes. A new study from the CDC found adults infected with COVID- 19 were twice as likely to report eating at a restaurant in the two weeks before they started to feel ill. Here's CNN's Jacqueline Howard.
JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER: A new study from the CDC suggests that adults with COVID-19 are about twice as likely to say they dined at a restaurant in the two weeks prior to feeling sick. Researchers looked at more than 300 adults who were tested for COVID- 19. There were no major differences between those who tested positive versus negative when it came to other activities such as shopping or going to a salon, but overall, the CDC has guidance on this when it comes to restaurants.
You'll see a list here of what the CDC lists as low risk versus high risk and CDC says, you know, low risk ways to enjoy your favorite restaurant are to order takeout or delivery or curbside pickup and outdoor dining, spaced six feet apart is lower risk than indoor. Back to you.
PAUL: Oh, thank you so much, we appreciate it, Jacqueline. So many of us, I know, I mean, we're learning to adopt this new normal and Dr. Anthony Fauci warns, we should not expect life to return the way it was pre-COVID until well into next year.
BLACKWELL: Yes, potentially, the end of 2021. And with us now, Dr. Abdul El-Sayed; epidemiologist, CNN political commentator as well. Good morning to you, doctor, let me start here with what we're hearing from Dr. Fauci and returning to pre-COVID. Is that really a possibility that it will be without masks, without social distancing, that it will look like 2019 in the best-case scenario?
ABDUL EL-SAYED, EPIDEMIOLOGIST: Well, look, we've learned a lot from this virus and it's certainly changed our behavior in numerous ways. And the reason that we're doing all of the social distancing, we're wearing these masks, we are so vigilant is because it's -- the virus is transmitting amongst us in ways that we can't see.
If we get to a point where enough of us have acquired immunity, meaning that there was a vaccine or people had gotten sick, and therefore immune, the virus won't be pain between us the way it is right now, and ostensibly, we can go back to what we call, quote- unquote, "normal". The fact is though, is that we're not nearly there. And what I worry
about is a lot of people are trying to go back to normal right now, and that is a really dangerous thing, right? The fall starts up, it's sort of the unofficial beginning of the new year, starts up schools, starts up colleges, and people want to pretend like COVID is over. It's not. We have to keep doing these things, and we've got to be tucked in for the long haul until we've got a safe and effective vaccine that enough people have taken, that it is again safe to go back to quote-unquote, "normal".
PAUL: Dr. El-Sayed, Jim Acosta from CNN talked to some folks who were at President Trump's rally earlier this week, and there was one conversation in particular that struck me. I want to listen here to what Jacob Bowers had to say when he was asked why aren't you wearing a mask?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACOB BOWERS, TRUMP RALLY ATTENDEE: These little things, this is the worst pandemic in the world -- a little mask, a little mask. This protects you from the world's deadliest and scariest virus that ruined our economy and we have to wear this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, the -- well, the health experts say it will help protect you if you wear a mask --
BOWERS: Yes, and W.H.O also said it doesn't spread from person-to- person, it doesn't spread to animals, but hey, we've got to pay to china because, you know, they have all of our jobs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: OK, so he pivoted to political there in the end. But he said something about the W.H.O. and that they had initially said, it didn't spread person-to-person. How do you manage getting through to people when to -- not to his credit per se, but to his point there -- listen, there have been a lot of really confusing fluid conversations and information coming out of a virus that in the beginning seems to not be understood. So we've had this natural evolution of new information and guidance coming out. How do we fully educate people so they really know what to do?
EL-SAYED: Well, the hard part is that, this is how science works.
PAUL: Yes --
EL-SAYED: The positive number of hypothesis, about how the world is and then we test them, and we then take the data and interpret what we found and adjust the way we understand the world. And that's the hard part, is that people think that science is a body of knowledge. Like there was a pre-packed book about COVID-19 that we just had to pull off the shelf somewhere and read, and then we'd know what we needed to do. That's not how it works.
COVID-19, the novel coronavirus that causes it hasn't been in humans for even a year. And so, we're just learning and getting up to speed about how it's transmitted. You know, initially, we thought it might be transmitted person-to-person without aerosol spread. We learned that it was spread via aerosol. Initially, we thought that it was spread only by people who had symptoms. We've learned that it's been spread by people who don't have symptoms, which then means that all of us should be wearing masks because we don't know who might be having it and spreading it.
And there's a bigger question here in our country about understanding of science and belief in science, and that the scientific processes either, it teaches us new things as we go along, and we have to adjust what we do to protect ourselves based on what we know. It's also hard not to interpret the fact that this person is aping a president who has been politicizing this pandemic for a really long time. And when the president tries to tell you despite knowing that this virus is not so serious, that it's going to go away in the Spring and in the Summer, that, you know, it's just like the flu, that it's not something that we should be shutting down our economies over.
Of course, a lot of people who follow him are going to start aping those same comments, and unfortunately, it's causing -- it's costing lives -- that it's costing lives.
And we have a responsibility and I think to meet that space with empathy, but also with the facts and the realization that 185,000, now 190,000 people didn't have to die in part because it was because of this dismissiveness that they have.
BLACKWELL: Yes, and I point out there, plenty of prophylactics that can fit in the palm of your hand that will prevent many diseases and viruses. Let me go here and talk about football and colleges. Polo Sandoval at the top of the hour talked about the tens of thousands of college students who have tested positive for COVID-19, parties that are thrown, disciplinary actions of students who ignore masking or social distancing rules, and then I wake up, in my e-mail, I see that 13 of the 14 SEC schools are allowing spectators into stadiums to watch these games. I think we have the percentages that we can put up on the screen. It seems ill-advised or am I over-generalizing or simplifying this?
EL-SAYED: No, Victor, look, I live in Ann Arbor. I am a huge University of Michigan football fan. Of course, Ann Arbor is home to the big house, it is the biggest stadium to watch in college football game in America, we're proud of that. But we're also proud of the fact that his university that leads with science and the science tells us that these kinds of fundamentally unnecessary events are a bad idea in the middle of a pandemic. Look, I love college football. I wish we could be packing into the big house to watch this game. But I also know that it's not worth potentially getting thousands of people sick to do it.
And I worry that, unfortunately, a lot of these colleges and universities have shown that their filthy to their bottom line is bigger unfortunately than -- they're filthy to the science that they teach in their classrooms. And so, yes, there's a lot of money to be made on college football and there's a lot of money to be lost by cancelling in-person college football. But we've got to go with the science here. We've got to protect our society and get to a point, hopefully, where we can get to next Fall and know that we'll have college football like normal because we did the work we needed to do right now.
BLACKWELL: Yes, we're looking ahead to Jacksonville Jaguars allowing fans in their stadium tomorrow for the game against the Colts. We'll talk about that with Dr. William Schaffner coming up in the next hour. Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, always good to have you, sir.
PAUL: Thank you --
EL-SAYED: Thank you for having me, I appreciate you.
PAUL: So, every Saturday we're highlighting cities across the U.S. with resources to those of you who really need it right now. So grab your phone or a pen and a piece of paper, you can write this information down for yourself or for somebody you know that needs help. First, let's go to Georgia this morning. The Dream Center Church indicator is holding a free food give-away, this is happening from 10:00 to noon.
They're providing 10,000 pounds of food on the second and fourth Saturdays each month. So, to register for free groceries, text dRCares to 71441. And in Hawaii, The Pantry By Feeding Hawaii Together employs a grocery store-style experience there. People are able to shop online, pick up food by appointment. They offer a range of food to choose from all free.
Each household is welcomed to shop once a week, so to apply there, you have to register online. Their website is on our screen. And in Idaho, St. Mary's Food Bank is providing food to people who need it regardless of religious affiliation, they're opened Mondays and Fridays only from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The food is brought out to residents in their cars or outside the building, just so, you know. And as always we do recommend calling each of these locations before you go to confirm their service hours and their requirements, but we certainly hope that, that helps.
BLACKWELL: Coming up, an important diplomatic development, Israel and Bahrain. We are taking you to Jerusalem for a full report on the normalizing of relations between those two states, those two countries, and we'll get you all the details and the implications moving forward.
PAUL: Happening right now. Historic peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban in Doha this morning. This of course is after 19 years of war there.
BLACKWELL: In his opening remarks, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged both sides to seize the opportunity to reach a deal and offered the U.S'. Support in negotiations. Now, among current and former U.S. National Security officials, there are still concerns that President Trump's desire to withdraw American troops from the region could jeopardize the success of any peace agreement. And President Trump said that Israel and Bahrain have agreed to the establishment of full diplomatic relations.
PAUL: He's calling the move a step toward peace there in the Middle East. CNN correspondent Oren Liebermann is in Jerusalem with more for us. Oren, help us understand the significance of what's happening this morning.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Victor and Christi, this is a major foreign policy accomplishment for both President Donald Trump and for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. And it comes on the heels of the agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates to normalize arrangements. It was essentially the momentum for this follow-up, and as many leaders here and there have pointed out, it took 26 years to get from the last agreement with an Arab state, that is Jordan to get to the one with the UAE, it took only 29 days to get from the agreement with the UAE to an agreement with Bahrain.
And that means that this coming Tuesday, there will be four countries at the White House, the U.S., Israel, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. And it is a major accomplishment from that perspective.
One of the key questions at this point though is, what does Bahrain get out of this? We know that answer from the perspective of the UAE. The UAE made it clear they've succeeded at least for now in halting Israel's annexation of the West Bank, and they believe it makes it easier to get F-35s. What does Bahrain get?
Well, certainly, closer relations to the White House and to Israel. We've seen discreet relations or know of discreet relations for probably decades at this point. And now, those are coming out into the open. What else do they expect from Israel and from the United States? That remains a key question as we watch what will be a historic ceremony at the White House next week.
BLACKWELL: Oren, tell us about this second lockdown that's likely and the spike of coronavirus cases there.
LIEBERMANN: It's more than just likely at this point, I would say. It's all but assured, the coronavirus cabinet voted this week to impose a second general lockdown because of surging cases here. A new record, 4,217 new cases on Thursday, and that marked three straight days with more than 4,000 cases. Long gone are the memories when there were less than 20 cases a day, and this will look very much like the first general lockdown in April. People will be restricted to within 500 meters, about a quarter mile of their homes, restaurants will be closed except for take-outs, leisure venues, entertainment venues, all of these will be closed as the country tries to get this under control.
When does that lockdown begin, that's still unclear as it needs final approval from the government. That's expected tomorrow, and the expectation at least at this point is that the lockdown will start at the end of the week right before the Jewish high holidays when there are generally family and religious gatherings that could spread this even more if they go forward.
BLACKWELL: Oren Liebermann, thanks so much.
PAUL: Oren, thank you. So the big boys of college football getting ready to kick off the season today.
BLACKWELL: Andy Scholes is taking it all in at Notre Dame. Andy?
ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS REPORTER: Yes, good morning guys. This is the first big Saturday for college football. The majority of the ACC and Big 12 teams kicking off their seasons today and many of them will have fans in the stands, but it will certainly look much different. Coming up, we'll tell you what to expect.
BLACKWELL: Some big college football programs are not playing this Fall, but others are going to the field and with fans in the stands.
PAUL: Andy Scholes is at Notre Dame where they're going to play later today. So what's the plan there, Andy?
SCHOLES: Well, good morning guys. So here at Notre Dame, they're planning on having around 16,000 fans for their game against -- opening game against Duke. And that crowd is going to be made up of mostly students, faculty and players families. And while they're playing here in South Bend, Indiana, just across the state, Indiana University and Purdue University are not playing football because the big ten postponed their seasons due to COVID concerns, but many big time programs kicking off their seasons today across the country.
Here are the power five teams that are playing today. They are going to have fans in the stands. The SEC not playing yet, they're kicking off in two weeks and every school, but Vanderbilt is planning on having fans in that conference. And because of so many cancelations, you know, Notre Dame is playing as a member of the ACC this year, and despite having outbreaks on campus and even suspending in-person learning for a two-week period, head coach Brian Kelly says, he thinks they can play safely.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIAN KELLY, HEAD COACH, NOTRE DAME: I really had a hard time envisioning not playing because I didn't know anything else for 30 years. But now, it's hard to imagine that we've gotten here. We knew we had good procedures and protocols, that we had good science, that we had doctors that were really following, you know, what they believe to be the best protocols and procedures. And so, we were following them diligently, hoping that we would get to this point.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHOLES: All right, kick-off here in South Bend set for 2:30 Eastern. All right, we had two thrilling games in the NBA playoffs last night. The Raptors and Celtics playing game seven of their series. Up by two, under a minute to go, the Celtics' Marcus Smart chasing down Norman Powell for an amazing block, play of the game right there. Boston holds on for a 92-87 win to advance to the Eastern Conference finals against the Miami Heat. The Clippers meanwhile are trying to close out the Nuggets. L.A. had a 15-point lead in the second half, but Paul Millsap leading the Nuggets back. And then up by 2, about a minute left, Michael Porter Jr. who was very critical of his team after game four hitting a huge three.
And Nuggets survive 111-105 to force a game six tomorrow night. Now, the NBA and NHL bubbles are going so well, Major League Baseball is looking at doing it for their post-season. A source tells CNN, the National League Playoffs will be held in Texas while the American League in southern California. The World Series would possibly be played at the Rangers new Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.
Any deal for MLB bubble would have to be approved by both Major League Baseball and the Players Association. Now, that news comes as Major League postponed the Giants-Padres game last night, and again tonight after someone in the Giants organization tested positive.
More than 40 games now have been postponed this season due to COVID. Now, back here on campus at Notre Dame, guys, you know, this is always such a special day, kick-off Saturday for college football. But I tell you, it feels so much different. It's very quiet around here last night. There weren't tens of thousands fans here for the game, and you have to wear a mask if you're coming to this game and if step foot on campus, there's no tail-gating, there's not going to be any band for it again. So while college football is here, it certainly is going to look different and has a much different feel to it.
BLACKWELL: Yes, for the folks there and for viewers at home. Andy Scholes for us there at Notre Dame, thanks so much.
PAUL: Andy, thank you. You're seeing Andy today because Coy, I can finally tell you is a new dad. Baby Ruby, look at her here, she was born yesterday at 4:43 in the morning. So, she's already keeping up -- keeping her parents up. That's Ren, their first baby obviously who is two years old now. But Ruby is 8 pound, 12 ounces, tall like her mama Claire, and they are both healthy. We're happy to tell you. Daddy says Ruby is already -- has more hair than he ever had.
And he knows that, little Ren there is going to be waiting for her little sister to come home now and teach her how to say the word "stethoscope" pieces. Congratulations to the family, we're so happy for you.
BLACKWELL: Yes, congratulations. Next hour of your NEW DAY starts after a quick break.