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The Lead with Jake Tapper

President Biden Leads World Leaders Against Climate Crisis; Rep. Josh Gottheimer Is Interviewed About President Biden's Bill And Senator Manchin; New York Firefighters On Medical Leave To Protest Vaccine Mandate; CDC To Vote On Pfizer Vaccine For Kids; Starving Afghans Sells Daughter For Food; Afghan Girls For Sale; Cancellations And Chaos; Abortion Rights Battle; "The Miracle Workers." Aired 5-6p ET

Aired November 01, 2021 - 17:00   ET



JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: The president saying the eyes of history are on the international climate summit underway now in Scotland, yet back here in Washington, D.C., President Biden's agenda including provisions to address the climate crisis have hit yet another road block.

In moments I'm going to speak with a moderate Democrat and co-chair of the bipartisan problem solvers caucus, Congressman Josh Gottheimer. But first, CNN chief White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins joins me live from Edinburgh, Scotland.

And Kaitlan, this is a pivotal moment for President Biden on the world stage, but I'm sure it doesn't escape the notice of his counterparts that whatever Biden is saying, he has still not yet been able to get Democrats on board to actually pass legislation to accomplish his climate goals.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Jake, and the president seemed to get at that bluntly today in his remarks to the world leaders here on the first day of this summit, acknowledging where the United States is standing on this issue has been over the last several years. Of course, a clear reference to the policies of his predecessor.

But now, Jake, on day one when he is trying to convince these other world leaders that the United States is headed in the right direction, we are seeing this key moderate senator, and Senator Joe Manchin who has been at the center of these negotiations, potentially talk about delaying a timeline, of course, for advancing what the president says is a critical part of his agenda.


COLLINS (voice-over): President Biden issuing an urgent call for action.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We meet with the eyes of history upon us. COLLINS (voice-over): At the biggest global climate summit in years,

the president warning the planet is in peril and the world is at an inflection point.

BIDEN: Will we act? Will we do what is necessary? Will we seize the enormous opportunity before us?

COLLINS (voice-over): Biden pledging the U.S. will take the lead on combating climate change as his own climate ambitions face critical tests at home and abroad.

BIDEN: My administration is working overtime to show that our climate commitment is action, not words.

COLLINS (voice-over): Biden promising the U.S. will keep its word and apologizing after his predecessor withdrew the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accords.

BIDEN: I guess I shouldn't apologize, but I do apologize for the fact the United States, the last administration, pulled out of the Paris Accords and put us sort of behind the eight ball.

COLLINS (voice-over): The president touting his own plan to reduce emissions that still awaiting passage by Democrats in Washington.

BIDEN: My Build Back Better framework will make historic investments in clean energy.

COLLINS (voice-over): While the president's top aides plan a show of force at the global climate summit in Glasgow, there was some notable no shows including China, the world's biggest polluter, Russia, and Saudi Arabia. Biden calling their absence a disappointment.

BIDEN: Not only Russia but China basically didn't show up in terms of any of commitments to deal with climate change. And there's a reason why people should be disappointed in that. I found it disappointing myself.

COLLINS (voice-over): But today Biden declined to call out China directly and instead called for global cooperation.

BIDEN: None of us can escape the worst that's yet to come.

There's no more time to hang back or sit on the fence or argue amongst ourselves.


COLLINS (on camera): Now, Jake, when it comes to the president's own agenda, he did tell us last night in a press conference he is confident that it will get passed through Congress. He said, potentially as soon as this week though he had a caveat that he's not completely sure, of course, when exactly that time will happen.

And in light of that statement from Senator Manchin this afternoon, we quickly got a response from the White House saying they are confident that, in the end, they will gain Senator Manchin's support, Jake.

TAPPER: All right, Kaitlan Collins in Edinburgh, Scotland, thanks so much.

Let's bring in CNN chief congressional correspondent Manu Raju. And Manu, a lot of Democrats expected to vote on the president's economic and climate agenda, the Build Back Better Act this week. Is that even possible after Manchin's announcement today?

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's unclear exactly how that's going to play out. There are negotiations behind the scenes to get -- make changes to that large $1.75 trillion plan and it's also unclear whether Joe Manchin will be there at the end of the day. He is even threatening to vote against the plan if it were to come up in a form that he believes could hurt the economy, could add to the debt, add to inflation. Can those be resolved? That remains to be seen.

But in a hopeful sign for the White House, there are new indications that the separate bill, the infrastructure package, could get a final vote in the House in the coming days. That's because progressives who had been demanding that Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema sign off on the larger Build Back Better agenda before they agree to vote for the infrastructure plan are saying they will no longer demand those two senators commit to supporting it.

They say they're going to leave the White House to deal with that and Pramila Jayapal, the head of the Congressional progressive caucus said that once the negotiations are done with a larger package, her caucus is ready to vote in support of both bills.


REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): We are ready pending some final negotiations on things we care very much about.


Once we have those, we will be happy to vote both those bills and I'm hoping that can happen as soon as tomorrow. The president came to the caucus and said he assured us that he would get 51 votes in the Senate.


RAJU: So that is a shift. Rather than them demanding a vote, assurances from Joe Manchin, they are saying they're going to let Joe Biden deal with it in and of itself. So, Jake, this could play out like this. Once they get the negotiations done, the House could potentially have enough votes to finally send that legislation, the infrastructure bill, to Joe Biden's desk.

And if they get enough votes just a three-vote margin -- can only vote just three votes in the House to pass the larger bill. If they get the votes out of the House, then it will be up to the Senate and negotiation with Joe Manchin will continue to see if his support will also be there to pass that plan, Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Manu Raju, thank you so much.

Here to discuss, Democratic Congressman Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey. He's the co-chair of the Problem Solvers Caucus. Congressman, thanks for joining us.


TAPPER: So you've remained optimistic about the bipartisan infrastructure bill throughout this whole process. You said it would get done in September. You said it would get done last week. Now it's looking like Tuesday might be the day.

It sounds like it's going to happen this week no matter what. Are you surprised that the progressives are going to go along with this even though Joe Manchin has made his vote on the larger Build Back Better Act unclear?

GOTTHEIMER: Listen, I'm obviously will be very pleased if we can get a vote on this bipartisan infrastructure package as you know, we've talked about. It's been sitting in the House waiting since early August for action. And, you know, I was on -- knocking on some doors this weekend with people who are running for office, you know, are up tomorrow for elections back in Jersey, and I consistently heard the same thing.

When are you going to get those roads and bridges done? When are we going to finally vote? When are you guys going to finally vote on that bipartisan infrastructure package? So, I think the country wants it and there's so much in there that's good, whether that's fixing the Gateway Tunnel and getting that built between New York and New Jersey. It's transit. It's broadband. It's fighting climate change.

There is so much that's important, but I think also we need to get the reconciliation package, continue moving on that. And as you heard or I just heard a minute ago, Pramila say that we've really -- we have to keep working through those issues. We're close there, too. We can't, you know-- we continue to negotiate in good faith and I think that's how, you know, we have to keep moving both packages forward here.

TAPPER: Have you talked to Senator Manchin or Senator Sinema because it seems as though what I'm hearing is that the progressives are saying we have a deal to pass both and we're going to hold that -- we're going to honor that even though Manchin and Sinema have still not come out and said they're going to vote for the Build Back Better Act that we want. I mean, are you confident ultimately that Manchin and Sinema are going to vote for it?

GOTTHEIMER: I am confident that we'll get there. They've been pretty clear all along the way that they'll support -- they support the reconciliation package and they haven't, you know, they haven't backed off of that.

Listen, I understand and I don't speak for them, but I listened to Joe Manchin today as well. I understand his frustration that we haven't voted. The president came to the Hill on Thursday. He said I need your vote on infrastructure to the whole Democratic caucus and some people just refused to let that go forward. That's very frustrating especially when you're hearing back home that people want us to get this done.

So I'm really glad that people are coming together. We all worked all weekend to just keep talking and working back and forth to try to work through these last details. We're close. We've got to get both bills done. It's really important. And it starts with getting this infrastructure bill done. And I'm really hopeful we can get a vote on this this week.

I've gotten out of the prediction business after these last weeks every time I feel like we're very close, but the bottom line is, what is clear is this is a bipartisan bill that must get done and there's, you know, the country wants it. There's two million jobs a year on the line.

We're talking about fixing our crumbling roads and bridges and tunnels. There is so much in there that matters. We've got to get that across the finish line. And for the president, he asked us to get it done, so we better deliver.

TAPPER: There's also still major sticking points to work out in the Build Back Better Act on allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices. Senator Sanders says he's still trying to get that in the bill. If this does comes to a vote this week, Build Back Better, do you think that provision allowing Medicare to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to lower drug prices, will that be in it?

GOTTHEIMER: Well, there's a lot of conversation as you know still going on about prescription drug provisions. I think we'll get prescription drug provisions in there, you know, the final details yet have to be worked out. You know, we're still talking about other -- there's still other questions that have to come up. We're holding off on trying to get some scoring.

As you know, we're waiting on -- the White House promised us some numbers there that I think are going to be really important. So, we're still waiting on information but again, everyone is operating in good faith right now. Everyone is at the table working hard to get this done and I think that's what we need to do. Keep working until we get that across the finish line.

But again, no reason to hold up the bipartisan infrastructure package which is a separate bill. It's been voted on in the Senate --

TAPPER: Right.

GOTTHEIMER: -- with 69 senators sitting, waiting for action here. Let's get that done and, you know -- and again, I'm really optimistic we'll get the reconciliation package or the Build Back Better package done as well.

[17:09:59] TAPPER: Congressman, help me understand. Is there any other reason

beyond the fact that big pharma gives a lot of money to politicians, is there any other reason to deny Medicare the ability to negotiate drug prices? It's not as though they're demanding free drugs. It's just allowing a negotiation.

GOTTHEIMER: Well, as you probably know, there are plenty of provisions that we're talking about right now to get the prices down. And there's provisions that will allow for negotiating in some of what's being talked about. Again, the final negotiations are still going on so I don't want to get ahead of it.

But I think at the end of the day what is clear and I believe strongly we've got to get the cost of prescription drugs down for folks. Just like we (inaudible), we've got to make life more affordable for folks across the board. As you know, I'm fighting to reinstate the state and local tax deduction or SALT. That will be part of this package as well because overall, we've got to make life more affordable for folks. I know that's a big issue in my district and I'm going to keep working for it.

TAPPER: You've been working behind the scenes to try to get House Republicans to vote for this bipartisan infrastructure measure. At the end of the day, how many Republicans do you think will vote for it?

GOTTHEIMER: Well, there's been a lot of back and forth and, you know, if it were a few months ago, we would have had a lot more, you know. But I'll tell you, I feel good that we'll get some Republicans as well. There were many who were part of helping craft this, Democrats and Republicans.

If you look at how the infrastructure bill came together, we started working back in April. Democrats and Republicans in the House and the Senate sitting together actually helping craft a bill that we need, right.

Everything from broadband to dealing, getting lead out of the drinking water, all came together by working together. And now, we're going to get some of those Republicans behind it. And that's going to be a key part of the win for the country, I hope this week. And I hope that's what I hope, Jake, as we get done. But as you know, there's still things to work out in the other package.

TAPPER: This is legitimately a bipartisan bill. It was drafted by Democrats and Republicans. Why would there be some Republicans that would have voted for it a couple of months ago but not today? What's the reasoning?

GOTTHEIMER: Well, you should ask them about that. I'll tell you this, though. If you look at what happened in the Senate just to remind everyone, we had 50 -- all 50 Senate Democrats and 19 Republicans. You had everyone, right, from Joe Manchin to Bernie Sanders to Mitch McConnell vote on that package. We had a great momentum.

And so, you know, again, I'm optimistic we'll have Democrats and Republicans voting for the infrastructure package. But like everybody, people are frustrated with this back and forth and sitting here and not -- and holding this, you know, holding this bill up instead of voting for it when we know it's waiting to get shovels in the ground and people to work.

And it's the delay after delaying even after the president asked us to vote for it. So I think you're seeing a lot of frustration and I get it. But now we got to get it done and we will. And I can't stress enough that people are really working closely together. Everyone was talking all weekend on working out those last-minute issues on the other package, and I'm optimistic we'll get there, too, as long as we can work through some of those issues.

TAPPER: All right, Democratic Congressman Josh Gottheimer from the garden state, thanks so much. Appreciate your time.

GOTTHEIMER: Thanks so much. Thanks for having me.

TAPPER: A CDC panel is set to decide whether young kids can get the Pfizer vaccine. We're going to talk to a former member of that panel next.

Plus, the Supreme Court today hearing arguments in one of the most controversial and anticipated cases. That's ahead.



TAPPER: in our "National Lead," hundreds of firefighters in New York City called out sick today in an apparent effort to protest the city worker vaccine mandate which kicked in Friday night. Listen to Mayor de Blasio's warning.


BILL DE BLASIO, MAYOR OF NEW YOR: Do the right thing. Come to work. Protect people as you took an oath to do. And, look, this is something that we don't tolerate. In the end, when people do this kind of thing, there are consequences.


TAPPER: Let's go right to CNN's Polo Sandoval live in New York. Polo, how are fire department leaders responding to this sick-out?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Jake, one of the most important key points here is about 81 percent right now of the FDNY is already in compliance with that mandate. So it's a vast majority. I mean, that number certainly higher than we expected. A number that has been that I think we should note, slowly ticking up here.

Now, when it comes to the sick-outs, about 2,300 FDNY personnel have called in sick so far as of today. That's according to New York City's fire commissioner. And according to that commissioner, he believes that many of those are firefighters who aren't sick who are calling in sick, using that as an opportunity to protest this mandate that's now in place requiring all New York City Employees to have at least one shot of a COVID vaccine before they can head back to work or go on unpaid leave.

We heard from various unions that represent these firefighters responding to those remarks that were made not just by the fire commissioner but also by Mayor Bill de Blasio.


ANDREW ANSBRO, PRESIDENT, UNIFORMED FIREFIGHTERS ASSOCIATION: No one on this board would ever condone anyone using our medical leave policies fraudulently and we agree with the commissioner on that. We don't believe it's going on.


SANDOVAL: So here's the other big question. How is that or how is that not affecting public safety here in New York City? Well, I can tell you that 18 fire companies have been taken out of operation. Now, for important context, 18 out of 350. No fire houses have closed just to give you an example.

The one that you see here behind me, you can see how it houses multiple fire companies. So simply because one of them is not in operation does not mean that the entire house is basically shut down here. Authorities here in New York at the (inaudible) level assuring the public that they are responding to every call that comes in here.

But nonetheless, they are having to move some of their resources around to make sure that everybody is covered here. And finally, an important number to share with you, roughly 9,000 municipal workers were sent home today on unpaid leave. But at the end of the day 91 percent of the entire workforce is in compliance with the mandate.

TAPPER: All right. Polo Sandoval in New York City, thanks so much.


Let's bring in Dr. Julie Morita. She's the executive vice president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for our "Health Lead." Dr. Morita, from a public health perspective, how should the company weigh the risk of unvaccinated first responders versus the risk of having understaffed police departments or fire departments?

JULIE MORITA, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, ROBERT WOOD JOHNSON FOUNDATION: Well, I think it's really important to understand why it is the fire department employees aren't getting vaccinated. I mean, I think it goes for any group of people who aren't -- choosing not to get vaccinated is to understand why.

I think we spent a lot of time working with communities to get into the communities and hear and listen to them. We also need to do the same thing with these fire department employees to understand what it is that's triggering them or preventing them from getting vaccinated.

Many of the people that we've heard about have had problems with questions about their own personal health, a specific underlying health condition and whether that's a reason to not get vaccinated. So you really need to talk to their health care providers or trusted sources. There's so much misinformation out there. It's really critical to get the right facts into their hands so they can really make an informed decision.

TAPPER: Let's say that for a lot of them it has to do with their concept of freedom and not thinking that the government has any right to tell them what shots they have to inject into their body.

MORITA: I think, you know, the reason that we are -- the mandates are in place is because COVID is a communicable disease and it spreads from person to person very easily. And we've seen incredible success with vaccine mandates as it relates to childhood vaccines in school requirements or influenza vaccine in health care settings.

So we know with infectious diseases that are spread from person to person, that these mandates really work. And so in this particular situation, where we have a really serious disease that is causing people to be hospitalized and die, these mandates are appropriate.

TAPPER: Tomorrow is a big day for vaccines for kids. A key CDC panel will decide whether or not to recommend this smaller Pfizer dose for kids 5 to 11. You used to be on the advisory committee on immunization practices. Take us inside the decision-making process. How does it work?

MORITA: Yes, so this is a critical step in terms of approving the vaccines for children or for adults. And it's tried and true. It's been in place for many decades. The committee itself is 15 independent physicians, some infectious disease experts and internal medicine physicians, pediatricians, some that are in research. Some that are doing public health.

They look at the data. They evaluate the data and they make the best recommendations regarding how the vaccine should be administered, who should get them, how frequently they should get them. And so tomorrow that committee will be weighing that evidence that FDA reviewed last week and will be making a recommendation regarding the vaccination for children 5 to 11 years of age.

TAPPER: The American Academy of Pediatrics says that more than 101,000 kids tested positive in the U.S. just over the past week. Cases for kids have been steadily declining. That's still a very high number. How important is it for parents to get their kids vaccinated as soon as their kids are eligible?

MORITA: Well, we know that children are getting sick and while we -- there wasn't as much attention being paid for them early on in the pandemic. We do know that millions of children have gotten infected, thousands of children hospitalized and that some children have actually died because of COVID.

So, it's critical that they get vaccinated. The vaccines are safe. They are effective based on FDA's review and once ACIP makes their recommendation, then I'm hoping the vaccine will start rolling out. TAPPER: All right. Dr. Morita, thank you so much. Good to see you


Coming up next, the disturbing look at the crisis in Afghanistan wherein CNN witnessed desperate families who say that conditions are so bad they are being forced to sell their young daughters in order to survive. Stay with us.



TAPPER: We're back with our "World Lead" now and a distressing story out of Afghanistan showing the harsh reality of the humanitarian crisis engulfing the country, especially post-Taliban rule. Desperate families so impoverished they tell CNN they have no choice but to sell their young daughters into some twisted form of marriage in this exclusive report.

CNN witnesses the tragic fate facing these helpless little girls in this culture where girls and women are too often treated horrifically. The parents gave us full access and permission to talk to the children and show their faces because they say they cannot change the practice themselves. CNN's Anna Coren reports.


ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In this arid, desolate landscape, not a scrap of vegetation in sight, lies a makeshift camp for some of Afghanistan's internally displaced. Among its residents, 9-year-old Parwana. Her bright pink dress squeals of laughter and childhood games, a ruse to the horrors unfolding in this inhospitable environment.

Parwana family moved to this camp in Badghis province four years ago after her father lost his job. Humanitarian aid and menial work earning $3 a day providing the basic staples to survive. But since the Taliban takeover, two and a half months ago, any money or assistance has dried up.

And with eight mouths to feed, Parwana's father is now doing the unthinkable.

I have no work, no money, no food. I have to sell my daughter, he says. I have no other choice.

Parwana who dreams of going to school and becoming a teacher applies makeup. A favorite pastime for little girls, but Parwana knows she is preparing for what awaits her.


My father has sold me because we don't have bread, rice and flour. He has sold me to an old man. The white bearded man who claims he's 55 years old comes to collect her. He's bought Parwana for 200,000 Afghanis just over 2,000 U.S. dollars. To cover it up, Parwana whimpers as her mother hold her. This is your bride please take care of her says Parwana's father. Of course I will take care of her, replies the man.

His large hands grab her small frame. Parwana tries to pull away.

As he carries her only bag of belongings, she again resists. Digging her heels into the dirt, but it's futile. The fate of this small helpless child has been sealed.

Child marriage is nothing new in poor rural parts of Afghanistan. But human rights activists are reporting an increase in cases because of the economic and humanitarian crisis engulfing the country.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These are devastating decisions that no parent should ever have to make. And it really speaks to what an extraordinary breakdown is happening in Afghanistan right now.

COREN: For months, the U.N. has been warning of a catastrophe. As Afghanistan, a war ravaged a dependent country descends into a brutal winter. Billions of dollars in central bank assets were frozen out of the Taliban swept to power in August. Banks are running out of money. Wages haven't been paid for months, while food prices soar.

According to the U.N., more than half the population doesn't know where their next meal is coming from. And more than 3 million children under the age of five face acute malnutrition in the coming months.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People of Afghanistan need a lifeline.

COREN: And while a billion dollars has been pledged by U.N. donors to help the Afghan people, less than half those funds have been received. As the international community holds off recognizing the Taliban government.

ISABELLE MOUSSARD CARLSEN, HEAD OF OFFICE, UNOCHA: People of Afghanistan will be dying of hunger in the next couple of months. And not just a few. This is just making people more and more vulnerable. We cannot accept that.

COREN: Sentiment shared by the Taliban.

MAWLAWI ABDUL HAI MOBASHER, TALIBAN DIRECTOR OF REFUGEES, GHOR PROVINCE (through translator): We are asking aid agencies to come back to Afghanistan and help these poor people, otherwise the crisis will worsen.

COREN: For this family in neighboring Ghor province, they are trying to sell two daughters. Nine-year-old Leeton (ph) and four-year-old Zaiton for 1,000 U.S. dollars each.

Do you know why they're selling you? The journalist asked Zaiton. Because we are a poor family and don't have any food to eat she says. Are you scared? He asked. Yes, I am. Another family in Ghor province borrowed money from their 70-year-old neighbor. Now he's demanding it back but they have nothing to give, except their 10-year-old daughter, Magul. My daughter doesn't want to go and he's crying all the time. I am so ashamed, he says. Terrified she threatens to take her life.

If they push me to marry the old man, I will kill myself. I don't want to leave my parents.

Days later, she discovers the sale has been finalized. Another Afghan child sold into a life of misery.


COREN: Jake it is just gut wrenching knowing what these young girls will be subjected to and just an update on young Magul the last girl in our story there. She will be handed over to the 70-year-old man in the coming days. It's just a tragic fate that awaits this young girl.

Now if the aid situation is not addressed urgently. The U.N. predicts, Jake, that by the middle of next year 97 percent of Afghans were living below the poverty line, not meaning that hunger and starvation will be facing these people alone, but that other girls will end up like Magul and Parwana, Jake.

TAPPER: Such a horrible story. It's so tough to watch. You know that this this happened. This this tradition, this awful thing was predated the Taliban taking over again.


But how has the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan earlier this year made it worse? How is it exacerbated this problem of families selling their daughters?

COREN: Absolutely. You're absolutely right. This has been around forever. However, from the local journalists that that we've been speaking to and working with, they say that once upon a time, it was behind closed doors. Now it is out in the open.

The international community is obviously refusing to recognize the Taliban as the official government and as a result they are freezing billions of dollars in reserves that would, you know, otherwise go to the people of Afghanistan that they're doing this to, to try and hold the Taliban to account especially on their record regarding human rights of women and of young girls. But by punishing the Taliban it means that that money is not getting to Afghans most vulnerable, which obviously includes the girls in our peace, Jake.

TAPPER: Really tough, really tough to watch. Anna Coren, thank you so much for that important story.

Coming up, widespread cancellations for the third day in a row a closer look at the major issues facing U.S. based airline stay with us.



TAPPER: And our money leads stuck frustrated, cursing cancellations, that was where thousands of passengers found themselves after a spiraling few days for American Airlines. Since Friday, American has canceled more than 2,100 flights leaving passengers scrambling to rebook or cancel altogether. This time, it's American with the scheduling issues but Southwest Airlines had a similar problem less than a month ago. CNN's Pete Muntean is digging into why these delays keep happening.


PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): American Airlines passengers are now the latest victims of airlines pushed to the max as people rush back to travel.

UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: They just keep canceling and canceling.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sure it's terrible for a lot of people at places to be and family to be with.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Incredibly frustrated.


MUNTEAN: Four days of issues kicked off Thursday when the airline says high winds hit its Dallas hub. American says that started a chain reaction of cancellations that left workers out of position. In a memo, American says it wanted to create certainty for flight crews. So it began proactively canceling flights leaving thousands stuck waiting in long lines and on the phone for hours.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't understand why it's canceled. I've heard they don't have enough staff. Well, you sold me a product I paid for it. Now it's your job to get me there.

MUNTEAN: American cancelled more than 1,000 flights on Sunday alone and all more than one in every 10 American flights has been canceled since Friday. Similar issues hit Southwest Airlines three weeks ago, causing it to cancel more than 2,000 flights.

But travel experts for your frustrations on the ground are getting dragged into the air. The FAA says flight crews have reported 4,941 incidents of unruly passengers this year alone. Just last week and American Airlines flight had to divert to Denver after a passenger punched a flight attendant in the face and broke her nose.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This should not be part of their job.

MUNTEAN: In a video statement. American CEO Doug Parker called the incident one of the worst in its history and said the airline was fully pursuing punishment. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg says a federal banned list for violent passengers should be on the table. PETE BUTTIGIEG, U.S. SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION: We will continue to look at all options to make sure that flight crews and passengers are safe.

MUNTEAN (on camera): Federal authorities discharged a California man for last week's assault. He is 20-year-old Brian Sue of Irvine, airline unions have been pleading with the Department of Justice to get tough on unruly passengers. The FAA only has the power to impose civil fines, but not criminal charges. Jake.


TAPPER: All right, Pete Muntean, thank you so much for that report. Turning to our politics lead now the Supreme Court today hearing arguments on the most closely watched issue on its docket this term the restrictive Texas abortion law, which bans abortions around six weeks, and encourages citizen vigilantes of a sort, to sue anyone involved in an abortion. CNN's Joan Biskupic joins us. Now, Joan, you were in the room today, did the justices give any hints as to how they might vote?

JOAN BISKUPIC, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes. And Jake, it was great to be in the room. Remember, the justices are relatively new to this courtroom after more than a year and a half of isolation from the pandemic. And it was a very dramatic three hours of back and forth.

I'll give you the lead first.


BISKUPIC: And that's that justices Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh showed their hand in a way that suggests that they would vote in this round against Texas. They were two of the justices in the five justice majority that let this law take effect on September 1. And they seem to suggest by their questions that they would allow at least the abortion clinics that have challenged this law to at least get into federal court, which might mean in upcoming days, the court would actually block the law from taking -- for being in effect while the litigation plays out. So that was the most important thing there.

And then Chief Justice John Roberts, who actually had been against Texas initially, and had dissented when the court majority allowed this law to take effect was quite suspicious, skeptical of the Department of Justice case. Now, the clinics and DOJ have come in here. And the chief said, you know it's pretty broad what the federal government is arguing here.

So I'm looking ahead to possibly some sort of split decision coming up. But remember, this is just the first phase and what was at issue was not the right to abortion, which, you know, essentially has been suspended in Texas during this but yet this unusual mechanism that you referred to that impact private citizens to bring these cases not Texas -- not against Texas --


TAPPER: Yes and if there are opponents of Roe v Wade on that court they're going to get another chance when the Mississippi law comes up.

BISKUPIC: That's right. On December 1, the court will hear a much more direct challenge to Roe v. Wade. That's the Mississippi 15-week abortion ban. And that's when they could really take us back to before 1973 when Congress -- when the court said women had a fundamental right to end a pregnancy.

TAPPER: Yes. In fact, many court observers think that that is -- that is going to happen. All right, Joan Biskupic, thank you so much. Next, one CNN correspondence personal battle, and involves a disease that impacts so many young children. Stay with us.


TAPPER: International lead cancer is the leading cause of death by disease for children in the United States, according to the National Cancer Institute.


But of the total $6 billion budget in 2018 for that research group, only 5 percent of it was spent on researching pediatric cancer. For our colleague, Rene Marsh, that lack of funding is personal. Her son Blake, passed away this April with brain cancer, he was only two years old.

And joining us now is CNN's Rene Marsh. She is author of a brand new book called The Miracle Workers: Boy Versus Beast," it comes out today. All of the proceeds go to the Blake Vince Payne Star Fund at the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.

And Rene, you wrote this book, this beautiful, heartbreaking book while your son was in the hospital, what inspired the characters.

RENE MARSH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So I mean, this book is really a book of hope, and what inspired the characters was during my journey, I found myself in a place where I was scrambling to find hope on a day to day moment to moment, minute to minute basis. And I just started thinking about this idea of instilling this idea of hope, at a much younger age, perhaps it'd be easier when you're an adult to deal with these sort of life circumstances.

So in the book, Blake is my Blake. But for anybody reading this book, it can be the child's reading the book, and the monster, for my family was pediatric cancer. But for any child reading this book, it could be bullying, it could be anything we've all been through a lot in the last year and a half a pandemic.

Children have lost caregivers. People have lost their jobs. It's a lot for children. And so my hope is that this book will inspire the young children and their parents. And the other part of this is raising awareness and funds for pediatric cancer.

TAPPER: Yes, which is so important. And I should underline that this book is a hopeful book.

MARSH: It is.

TAPPER: It was heartbreaking for me to read it because of your Blake. That's why it broke my heart. I want to read one little section because you write the battles not won by the physically strong. If you want to defeat a beast of this kind, the key is to -- the key to the fight is right there in your mind. That was a big theme during your time in the hospital.

MARSH: Yes, it was. Because this idea of hope. I will say to anyone going through a trying circumstance, that is the thing that we had, my husband and I had in our survival toolkit was hope. And I truly believe to this day, if we were hopeless when going through this, we would not have survived that.

So that's what this message is all about. Just it's in the mind. Sometimes the story doesn't work out the way we want it to. But imagine going through a heartbreaking situation, and you're hopeless from the very beginning. That to me is even worse. So that is what I hope that children will take away and their parents too.

TAPPER: So our colleague Andrew Kaczynski and his wife, Rachel, they also are fighting to raise money and awareness for childhood cancer for pediatric cancer after the death of their daughter Francesca, who they called Beans (ph). There she is. There's little Beans (ph) who they lost. Where should parents turn for resources and knowledge if they find themselves in this unimaginable situation?

MARSH: Yes, I mean, I have partnered with the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, which has an array of resources. There's the Children's Oncology Group as well. There plenty of resources out there. But when you talk about Andrew, I mean, my goodness, he just ran a marathon to raise money for cancer. I'm writing a book to raise money for cancer. There are other parents selling T-shirts, they're shaving their heads.

There's something wrong with this scenario. I mean, it's great that we're fighting for our children who are no longer here. But if this is the way that we're funding pediatric cancer, I think that as a nation, we have to take a step back and try to figure out if this is the way to do it.

TAPPER: Yes, well, kids don't vote. Right.

MARSH: That's one issue. Yes.

TAPPER: So politicians don't --


TAPPER: -- fund it. Last month, you spoke before Congress, you petitioned President Biden to quote, include a comprehensive strategy to end pediatric cancer as part of his national plan. Is there any legislative momentum going on?

MARSH: There are two strong pieces of legislation to give children a chance act as well as the Gabriela Miller 2.0 Act. They've been introduced in the House. Gabriela Miller has been introduced in the Senate. They have not been passed yet, but they are strong pieces of legislation.

The problem with Washington is Jake, that there is the will. There's no one that you will find in Washington who doesn't believe that we should fund pediatric cancer, but you know, as well as I know getting things done in this town it's hard and it takes a long time.


The problem is, there are children in real time with this disease, waiting on those decisions to be made, waiting on that funding to come through. So that is the heartbreaking issue at the end.

TAPPER: Yes. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, the adult leaders of this country are failing the children --


TAPPER: -- of this country over and over, but thank God for you. And thank God for Andrew Kaczynski and your spouses and we love you and congratulations on this book. It's called the "Miracle Workers: Boy Versus Beast." It's out today and again, all proceeds will go to the Blake Vince Payne Star Fund at the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, the Foundation Funds Pediatric Brain Cancer Research, including a pioneering initiative to develop treatments for Blake's rare disease. I will be tweeting out information about this so people know how to get it, where to get it. And thank you again.

MARSH: Thank you.

TAPPER: So good to see you again.

MARSH: Thank you so much.

TAPPER: We'll be right back.