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At This Hour

Airlines Cancel Thousands Of Flights Over Memorial Day; Beijing, Shanghai COVID Restrictions Ease Amid Drop In Cases; Mom Donates Breast milk To Help Families Without Formula. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired May 30, 2022 - 11:30   ET




PAMELA BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Millions of Americans are hitting the road this holiday and facing record-high gas prices again.

The average cost for a gallon of regular gas is now $4.62, and that's not the only travel headache for vacationers, airlines have canceled over 2000 flights since Friday.

CNN's Pete Muntean is live at Reagan National Airport. So, Pete, what are you hearing from people traveling today?

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Well, Pamela, this is a huge test for the airlines not only the first major travel rush where we do not have the transportation mask mandate in place, but also airlines are canceling flights because they're facing these major worker shortages.

Look at the latest data from FlightAware. 335 flights canceled so far today, about 2100 flights canceled since Friday when so many people are returning to travel.

The TSA has screened about two million people a day for the last few days, 2.1 million people yesterday it projects 2.21 million people to pass for security at America's airports today.

These numbers are about 90 percent of where we were back in 2019 before the pandemic and the TSA says as the summer drags on, we could see numbers actually higher than pre-pandemic levels.

I asked Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg about this. I want you to listen now to what he says when I asked him whether or not airlines are up for the challenge now.


PETE BUTTIGIEG, U.S. TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY: We saw a lot of airlines during the pandemic thinning out their schedules and thinning out their workforce not knowing when demand was going to return.

Now, faster than expected, the demand has come roaring back and they are struggling to keep up.

That's true whether we're talking about flight attendant crews, whether we're talking about pilots, and so we've got to make sure that we have short-term and long-term approaches.


MUNTEAN: One of those short-term solutions Delta Airlines is proactively canceling flights in the month of July, shedding about 100 flights a day from its schedule.

Remember though, that Memorial Day is really more of a driving holiday. AAA anticipated about 34.9 million people will drive 50 miles or more over the five-day Memorial Day travel period.

And this is all coming as people are really shelling out for gas, the national average is $4.62 for a gallon of regular.

And even when you put that against inflation, we are at the highest level we have seen for a gallon of regular gas since 2012 Memorial Day 10 years ago, Pamela.

BROWN: Wow. That puts it in perspective. Pete Muntean, thank you.


BROWN: And we were also monitoring the first hurricane of the season. Agatha is headed for Mexico and has rapidly intensifying over the last 24 hours.

It went from 60-mile-per-hour winds to 110-mile-per-hour winds and that is just shy of a category three hurricane.

Forecasters expect the storm to keep building until it makes landfall tonight, along the stretch of Taurus beaches and fishing towns on Mexico's southern coast. Some areas could get up to 20 inches of rain.

And coming up on this Memorial Day, hero moms doing their part to feed as many babies as they can as the nation's baby formula shortage continues.



BROWN: Major COVID news out of China, authorities in both Beijing and Shanghai are now relaxing restrictions as local cases continue to drop.

Everything from malls, to restaurants, and museums are starting to reopen. CNN's Selina Wang, live in Beijing. So what's the latest there, Selena?

SELINA WANG, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Pamela, people here are feeling a mix of relief and caution because our lives here in Beijing are still very much restricted even though you've got some public venues like these malls and parks starting to reopen, the capacity is very limited, and visitors have to show proof of a recent COVID test in order to enter.

And also restaurant dining here is still banned indefinitely. I've gotten to COVID tests nearly every day in the past several weeks. I've got to scan a health code to get into any public venue.

This health app includes all of our public -- our personal information as well as when we got our last COVID test.

And authorities through this health app which virtually everybody in China has, they can track her movements and easily contact trace when a positive COVID case is later found.

Now, worth keeping in mind that all these restrictions remain here in Beijing despite the Capitol, which has more than 20 million people only reporting over a dozen cases on Monday.

China's still very much sticking to its zero-COVID policy. In fact, officials just today, saying that one new COVID case in a Beijing district, just one, led to 300 people in his building getting sent to the government to centralized quarantine, it led to 5000 people in his community being forced to be quarantined at home, and it led to 2 million people in his district being forced to work at home.

Still, across China, there are more than a dozen cities under some form of lockdown impacting more than 120 million people.

And, of course, Shanghai, which is China's wealthiest and most cosmopolitan city, that city is finally starting to crack open the seal on a two-month-long brutal lockdown.

But still, the desperation and hopelessness people faced in Shanghai for months? That is going to leave a permanent scar, Pamela.

BROWN: Oh absolutely. So loosening restrictions, but not business as usual the way it was before. Selina Wang, thank you so much.

And also new this morning, the World Health Organization announced that there is no current concern that monkeypox will cause a global pandemic.

Right now, 22 countries are reporting cases of the disease including 14 confirmed or suspected cases here in the U.S. Biotech companies and health officials are now looking to make PCR testing for monkeypox more widely available to Americans.

Labs currently use more generalized tests for Orthopoxvirus, which is a larger category that includes monkeypox, smallpox, and other viruses.

Now, the CDC says it's exploring ways to get monkeypox-specific testing out to states.

And now to the baby formula shortage across America, the latest numbers from data simply show that 70 percent of formula products nationwide were out of stock at some point during the week ending May 22.

That's up from 45 percent the week before and about 5 percent at this point last year. While desperate parents wait for store shelves to become full again, some moms are stepping in to help with their own breast milk.

CNN's Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen joins me with all the details. So tell us about this, Elizabeth.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Pam, these women are quite amazing. They saw the shortage. They don't need formula.

They're breastfeeding their children or they're not there know what they have older children, but they are stepping up and literally giving of themselves, of their bodies in order to help these families.

So, let's first meet Marie Millan. She is a nurse in Oregon. She's breastfeeding her six-month-old, but she's pumping and donating to a milk bank to help families who can't find a formula. In one day -- in one day, she donated more than a gallon of milk.

Or Hillary Demmon, she's a filmmaker and a professor in Pittsburgh. She's mom to one-year-old Remy. Now, Hillary has done nursing. She's done.

But she is going to keep pumping for six months because she still has milk and she said if I have milk, I should pump and I should give it to other people. So she's also going to donate.

And Cori Callahan. Cori is a very interesting, interesting situation. She has three daughters, but she stopped nursing the youngest a year and a half ago so she has not had milk for a year and a half, but with the help of the Lecce league, she's trying to read lactate.

She's trying to bring that milk back so that she can donate it to women near her home in Missouri. So she's pumping every couple of hours.

She wakes up in the middle of the night, she is not doing this for her family, she is doing this for others who are looking for formula. Let's take a listen to what has to say about why she's doing this.



CORI CALLAHAN, MOTHER: There are so many different ways that you can show love to people, and like what better way to help a mama feed her baby.

This is just kind of a way where I can, you know give something to these babies and help moms out and show the love of Christ and it's kind of just a whole thing for me.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COHEN: Now, any mom who pumps, and that was me years ago knows what a pain in the neck it is. It is not terribly fun, but these women are doing it to help others, Pam.

BROWN: It is a pain in the neck. That is right. I did it too, Elizabeth. These women are incredible. Thank you so much.

Well, coming up. A preview of the new CNN film that takes us behind the scenes with Julia Child, one of the world's most beloved chefs, an interview with a top celebrity chef who says his job might not exist without her.



BROWN: Julia Child was a culinary icon who inspired Chefs for decades. With her unmistakable voice and light-hearted approach to cooking, Child changed the way Americans think about everything from food to the roles of women in American life. The new CNN film, Julia, tells a story of her remarkable life.


JULIA CHILD, CHEF: I'm going to try and flip this over, which is a rather daring thing to do. You just have to have the courage of your convictions, particularly if it's sort of a loose mass like this. Well, that didn't go very well.

SARA MOULTON, AUTHOR: If she made a mistake, she was not remotely rattled.

CHILD: I didn't have the courage to do it the way I should have. But you can always pick it up. And if you're alone in the kitchen, who is going to see?

MOULTON: She felt that making a mistake was a good thing, just so that she could then show you how to fix it.

CHILD: Anytime that anything like this happens, you haven't lost anything because you can always turn this into something else. We'll pretend that this was supposed to be a baked potato dish.


BROWN: Kate Bolduan spoke with celebrity chef Bobby Flay about Julia Child's legacy and her impact on his own life.


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN HOST: So I read that when you were younger, you watched superheroes after school, one of them being Julia Child.

BOBBY FLAY, CELEBRITY CHEF: For sure. I think it was -- it was the galloping Gourmet and Julia Child was basically my lineup. I was lucky enough to spend some time with her over the years when I

first started cooking. I think the very first experience I had with her was -- 1984 was the very first week of the school that I was in had opened.

I was in the very first class of the French Culinary Institute in 1984. And the gas had not been put on yet. And so we were -- we were actually cooking on like little burners, like a little --

BOLDUAN: Like a Bunsen burner.

FLAY: Bunsen burners, exactly. And Julia Child called and said, I've heard about this French school, I want to come and see what it's like. I want to do a story for Good Morning America.

And we literally cooked lunch for Julia Child on Bunsen burners. Julia was the best. I had lunch with her one time and she ordered something I'd never heard of before.

She liked to have a cocktail here and there. She ordered an upside- down martini, which is mostly vermouth and a little bit of gin. And that's when she shot about four or five of them.

BOLDUAN: I like -- I like a cocktail as well and I've never heard of that.

FLAY: Yes, I know. It's Julia Child.

BOLDUAN: I mean -- and teaching us still today. Look, you can cook anything. You're amazing at your craft. But when I think of Bobby Flay, I don't think of like a Crepes Suzette, like something very delicate.

FLAY: It's --

BOLDUAN: Have you ever taken -- you're not --

FLAY: What do you saying, Kate?

BOLDUAN: You're not a delicate man, Bobby.

FLAY: Oh, good --

BOLDUAN: Your food is very non-delicate.

FLAY: Well, OK.

BOLDUAN: Do you -- have you ever taken on? Like, have you -- have you taken on the challenge of mastering the Art of French Cooking?

FLAY: Yes, well, it's actually interesting because I -- as I was saying, I went to the French Culinary Institute so my training is really in basic French techniques.

And when you think about it, basic French technique is the basis of most cuisines in the world. Not every you know, not maybe not Asian cuisine, etcetera, but like,

for the most part, I put those practical fundamentals that French techniques to use in almost every time I cook.

By the way, I'm making sauces, etcetera. And I might be adding chili peppers and big flavors like (INAUDIBLE) garlic--

BOLDUAN: Choke everything.

FLAY: Yes, exactly. I -- at least you're paying attention.

BOLDUAN: I am. I am. I am a student that's why I could see it.

FLAY: Yes. But at the same time, French technique is part of my life every day.

BOLDUAN: It's amazing.

FLAY: Yes.

BOLDUAN: What was it even at a young age that captivated you about her?

FLAY: She was fearless. And I think -- I mean, you -- that clip that you guys showed, I mean, really shows what it was like.

You know, it really reminded me of my first few years at Food Network which is a long time ago now. We didn't have -- the network had no money for editing at all so we had a cook live to tape and you had to hit the cues from commercial to commercial.

And there was no editing. It was all the -- my first show was a show called Grillin' & Chillin.' Please don't show that.

BOLDUAN: Grillin' & Chillin'?

FLAY: Grillin & Chillin. And we shot 42 shows in seven days.


FLAY: 6 a day, right at -- one after the other.

BOLDUAN: And anyone not in television that is --

FLAY: It's insane.

BOLDUAN: Exhausting and insane.

FLAY: It's crazy.


FLAY: I mean -- so, yes, we still -- you know we call the live taping and that's -- and that's the way we cooked. And she did the same thing. BOLDUAN: She's had an impact on so many things not only on food, not only on TV, I mean on TV performance, if you will on what it looks like to be a chef on TV, but also on culture.

I mean, what is it? What do you think -- her legacy is so much, but what do you take from her legacy?

FLAY: She set the -- she set the tone. She set the tone, she set the bar for people like myself who are able to you know play out my culinary fantasies on television, I mean without Julia Child, you know, who knows if that would have ever happened?


FLAY: And so many great things -- like so many great things that happened, it happened by accident. I mean, she just kind of happened to be in the right place at the right time.

She kind of pushed through away into the -- into the network so to speak. And they were like, OK, let's give it a roll and it just -- it just caught on.

But I will tell you this. Here's the really important thing.

And it's one of the things that I've always thought from my own career, which is that she cared so much about the food first, so that no matter what the people like the crew that was eating the food, they knew that like -- they knew they were going to get a good meal because she really cared about what the food was about.

And I think that that's what gave her longevity, not just that she was awesome on TV because she was, but she had an amazing foundation.


BROWN: Julia premieres tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN. INSIDE POLITICS starts after a quick break.