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At This Hour

Two Hosts of The View Test Positive before Interview with V.P. Harris; Army Trailblazer Helps Military Families of Color; Police Says, Tennessee Shooting Suspect was a Third-Party Vendor for Kroger. Aired 11:30-12p ET

Aired September 24, 2021 - 11:30   ET



REP. DEBBIE DINGELL (D-MI): You know what? House of Representatives is an equal body. It would be good for him to come up and talk to the House members.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN AT THIS HOUR: Do you think that view is pretty pervasive?

DINGELL: I know it's pervasive and I've communicated it. And I'm probably in trouble for saying it publicly. But I don't care because I think it needs to happen.

BOLDUAN: Thank you for being candid. Congresswoman, thank you for coming on. What's that line that we often use a line, and you and I have discussed it many times when it comes to the Capitol Hill, it's the darkest before the dawn. I don't know if that's what this is, but it's looking pretty dark. It's good to see you. Thank you.

DINGELL: But hope. Remember, the dark sky shows you the star (INAUDIBLE). We can't fail, simply cannot fail.

BOLDUAN: I always I appreciate your perspective. Thank you.

DINGELL: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: We'll be right back.



BOLDUAN: We're following breaking news. Two co-hosts of The View have just tested positive for coronavirus. Here's the key, this is moments before Vice President Kamala Harris was scheduled to appear in a live interview on set with them. Our former colleagues, Ana Navarro and Sunny Hostin were taken off the set after learning of these test results. We want to play you for the moment that this was announced. Watch this.


JOY BEHAR, CO-HOST, THE VIEW: So, since this is going to be a major news story any minute now, what happened is that Sonny and Ana both apparently tested positive for COVID. No matter how hard we try, these things happen. They probably have a breakthrough case and they'll be okay I'm sure because they're both vaccinated up the wazoo. You know, a lot of vaccines.

So -- and the vice president is being prepped for her arrival, right? They clean the table, we washed the hands, everybody's getting all cleaned up and she'll be out here in a second.


BOLDUAN: But, first and foremost, it's good to hear that Ana and Sunny are doing okay. But let me bring in CNN's Brian Stelter and Jeremy Diamond for more on this.

Brian, can you tell us more about what you're learning has happened.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN CHIEF MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Yes. This interview with the vice president has been derailed because of these COVID tests and the positive results. Now, maybe they're going to be able to interview the vice president remotely. But, obviously, it's a concern whenever the vice president is around folks who have tested positive for COVID. And that is why there are so many tests. When you're on a show, like The View on ABC, you're getting tested before you go into the studio. And so the host, you know, received their rapid test and apparently live during the program, during the hour, they receive their positive test results.

Now, we know that there are lots of these positive cases among vaccinated people. Most folks never even --- many have even showed symptoms. And that's one of these situations with Ana and Sunny feeling just find, but it turns out in their nose there is a little bit of COVID, and so they were having to leave the set. But it does derail the vice presidential interview as a result.

This was interview that's been on the books for weeks, Kate, a very big moment for the first female vice president on this talk show geared toward women. And now, who knows what will happen.

BOLDUAN: Yes. And the video we're showing everyone, this is actually from the show, Open. You see that Ana and Sunny are there at the desk as they came out, and that they were on set, ready to let this play out, as one would expect.

So, Jeremy, what have you heard from the vice president's office about this?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, they did confirm to me that indeed the vice president is going to be doing this interview but she's going to be doing it remotely from a studio in the building separate from that larger studio where the hosts are and where Ana Navarro and Sunny Hostin were just seated moments before they were taken off of that set.

We are also hearing, according to a White House official, that the vice president did not interact with Ana Navarro or Sunny Hostin before the show. So there's no indication that she has been exposed or that she is a contact as it relates to both of those women testing positive for coronavirus.

But, obviously, this is an abundance of caution that the White House is taking these precautions to keep the vice president out of the room where the other hosts who have not tested positive but who were clearly in contact with Ana Navarro and Sunny Hostin are still seated.

Look, the White House takes -- undergoes a lot of precautions as it relates to the president and the vice president. Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, told me earlier this week that the president is regularly tested. The same applies for the vice president, and people who interact with them in close quarters are also regularly tested. The White House press pool, for example, when traveling, the small group of reporters, photographers who travels with the president or who was in the room with the president in the Oval Office and smaller events, they also must be tested on the day in which they are in that pool.

So, these precautions are ongoing and, of course, we know that the president, he is set to receive his booster shot because he's over 65. We don't know yet whether the vice president is going to receive a booster shot, but I would think that she would apply or that she would count in the category of frontline workers who are now also entitled to that booster shot.

BOLDUAN: Yes, absolutely. And, I mean, one thing this does show is the importance of regular testing, easily available testing with a rapid result testing, because that is what we're seeing play out right here.


Jeremy, we know the vice president -- one of the things that the vice president was going to face was likely some very tough questioning from the panel about the administration's policy at the border, the administration's handling of the Haitian migrants at the border. I mean, just look no further than how defensive the strong defense that President Biden tried to put forward in that press conference just last hour and what he said about what he's seeing. What are you hearing -- and Kamala Harris is likely to face similar questioning here.

DIAMOND: Yes. Look, she actually had spoken out about those images of those border patrol agents on horseback before the president even did. When we heard from the president today condemning those actions, vowing that those border patrol officers would pay a price, those were his words, that was the first time we'd heard from the president. But we had already heard from the vice president, some pretty strong words a couple days ago when those pictures first emerged. She has been in conversations with many of those administration allies who have been extremely critical of the White House and its handling of the Haitian migrants. Most notably, she met earlier this week at the vice president's residence with members of the Congressional Black Caucus who, in recent days, have been really at the forefront of urging this administration to make some serious policy changes as it relates to these Haitian migrants, not just to punish those border patrol officers who were -- appeared to be swinging their reins in the direction of those Haitian migrants but really to take some broader steps in terms of changing the policy as it relates to those migrants, thousands of whom are still being deported back to Haiti, which, according to the special envoy who resigned this week, is essentially a collapsed state.

We don't know yet whether the White House is going to be taking any of those steps to change policies, but certainly the rhetoric has gotten stronger from the White House and I think we can expect to hear similar words from the vice president today once she ultimately appears on the show, albeit in different fashion from what they were expecting.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely. And, Brian, my intrepid reporting executive producer, Javi (ph), just said that he got a text from Ana and that she is feeling fine. So, importantly, they are doing okay.

But you were kind of getting at this, Brian. I mean, this is -- I don't know if this is -- how would you describe it? The new normal, the way this is going to be was the country grapples with getting back to live production and getting back to a way of life in the midst of having to work and controlling this virus?

STELTER: Yes. What a COVID-19 case meant in April of 2020 is not what it means today. When you are vaccinated, having a case of COVID-19 means you might have the sniffles. Now, some people do end up getting a bit more sick and a very small number of vaccinated end up in the hospital. But we know that when you're vaccinated, having a COVID-19 case is not what it was when you were unvaccinated. And I think this is the new normal and we're seeing it play out on television in a way that's interesting because millions of people are watching it happen live.

I think it also underscores the importance of having rap I would testing. The United States has failed in this regard. Europe, other parts of the world have been much better about having lots of available rapid tests so that you can walk into a studio and know ten minutes later whether you're positive or not.

America is lagging behind on this matter, but in the television world, on movie sets, in Hollywood productions, there are lots of these rapid tests. It's basically a prerequisite to go to work in the morning. And that's why it was at the view today because the vice president was coming by, that's why all the hosts were getting tested and had to get checked out. So, there's this interesting disconnect, I think. If you're going to be appearing on national temperature on The View with the vice president, you get a rapid test, you get a quick result. A lot of Americans though when they go to CVS, when they go to Walgreens, they can't get these rapid tests. That remains a problem. I wonder if The View panelists will bring it up to the vice president now.

BOLDUAN: Maybe a good topic to bring up the availability of affordable testing across America today. Thank you both for jumping on. We'll continue to follow this and, of course, wait to hear, you know, what questions the vice president does face when they do begin. Jeremy, Brian, thank you. We'll be right back.



BOLDUAN: This week in a special series, Champions for Change, we get the opportunity to spotlight everyday people making a big difference. Today, we want to introduce you to a retired three-star general who is helping military families of color through the organization, Blue Star Families.

Here is CNN's Brianna Keilar.


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR (voice over): They say that military service is a family business and that's really the truth.

CHARO BATES, MARINE CORPS SPOUSE: The sacrifice of military families, it's not a temporary moment that we sacrifice. We sacrifice every single day.

KEILAR: This is a cause close to my heart because I'm a military spouse and my kids are part of a military family. My husband is an Army Special Forces officer. He missed the entire pregnancy of our three-year-old. At the heart of Blue Star Families is making life better for military families so that service members can continue to serve of because it gives people a network.


LT. GEN. GWEN BINGHAM, U.S. ARMY (RET.): I couldn't be the ready soldier I was if my husband and my kids weren't cared for.

KEILAR: General Bingham, she's a trailblazer. She's the second black woman to be a three-star general in the army. She has so often been the first woman, the first African-American to do the job that she's doing.

BINGHAM: For every first that I made, there was someone else that came before me and plowed tough ground.

KEILAR: After 38 years, Lieutenant General Gwen Bingham retired from the army, but she's not done serving. She's putting her experience and expertise to work as a board member for Blue Star Families.

Blue Star Families recognized that families of color were experiencing greater hardships than other military families. That's really where General Bingham stepped up. Blue Star Families tapped General Gwen Bingham to be the co-chair of this Racial Equity and Inclusion Initiative.

BINGHAM: What we're looking to do is to assess the needs of our military families of color and to get a sense for what their highs and their lows are.

KEILAR: They were reporting more financial distress.

BINGHAM: Military spouse employment continues to be a concern.

KEILAR: The Racial Equity and Inclusion Initiative has recruited a number of military spouses from military families of color, and they are training them in how to really help make life better for military families.

BATES: This fellowship provides me, the first step, get phenomenal mentors to work with us and teaching you just from a leadership perspective as a military spouse how to position yourself to move forward and upward. This is life-changing.

KEILAR: Policymaking can be kind of boring sounding, but that's what change is, you know, taking challenges and problems and figuring out how to make solutions. That's what Charo is doing and that's what many, many more people are going to be doing in the future.

BATES: Ultimately, I would love to be on the Hill making change on the policy side.

KEILAR: Can you please give me two plates.

I'm a mother of two children of color. And because their dad is in the military, they are more likely to join the military when they get older. And I want to make sure that it is an inclusive place. That's where General Bingham is a champion for change because she wants to make sure that other people can have the same successes that she's had.

BATES: As someone who has fought as hard as she fought and broken down the barriers that she's broken down believed that you can do this too, then you can.

BINGHAM: I just feel a sense of wanting, a sense of desire to pay it forward or pay it back to the next generation that's up and coming.


BOLDUAN: Brianna, General Bingham is such an amazing leader. What an amazing woman. Can you tell us more about how this initiative got started?

KEILAR: This really started just as issues of racism and inclusion, Kate, have been a bigger issue in society writ large. So, you had a lot of military service organization and veteran organizations, like Blue Star Families, which, full disclosure, I am lucky enough to be on the board of. And they were listening to people that they were serving and realizing that these issues are also issues that are confronting the military and they're confronting military families.

And then that was driven home you'll recall in the last spring when we saw all on camera a Latino army officer who was in uniform pulled over by police in Virginia, and he was pepper sprayed, all caught on camera, as I said. But you have issues obviously like that, but there's also issues like financial distress, as we mentioned in isolation, and these are things that are confronting military families of color that certainly need to be addressed, and that's really what you see happening here.

BOLDUAN: That's great to spotlight it. Thanks for bringing that to us.

KEILAR: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: You can watch Champions for Change, a one-hour special General Bingham's story, and so many more, tomorrow night at 8:00 P.M.



BOLDUAN: All right, an update on another breaking news story. Officials in Tennessee just announced that the suspect in yesterday's mass shooting in a Memphis-area grocery store was a third-party vendor for Kroger. Police say ten store employees, five customers were shot during the attack. One person was killed.

Now, the suspect was found dead at the scene of an apparent self- inflicted gunshot wound. You can be sure there are many more updates all the more tragic coming from that.

So much breaking news today, thank you for being with us. I'm Kate Bolduan. Inside Politics with John King begins after a quick break.