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Sources: DeSantis Expected To Enter Presidential Race Next Week; Nikki Haley Makes Baseless Claim: Some States "Bent The Rules" In 2020; Uber To Let Teens Ride Alone With Parental Permission; FDA Advisers Evaluating Pfizer's Maternal RSV Vaccine; Aggressive Parents Causing National Youth Umpire Shortage. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired May 18, 2023 - 14:30   ET




BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: Ready to launch. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is expected to officially enter the 2024 GOP presidential race next week. That is according to two Republicans familiar with the matter.

DeSantis, who has been polling below former President Trump, but far ahead of the rest of the field, is expected to file paperwork with the FEC declaring his candidacy in the coming days.

Joining us is CNN chief political correspondent and the co-anchor of "State of the Union," Dana Bash.

Dana, we know DeSantis is set to hold a big fundraiser in Miami next week, expecting folks attending will donate somewhere between $100,000 to $150,000.

What are you anticipating from that event and the rollout?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT & CNN CO-ANCHOR, "STATE OF THE UNION": Well, the money issue is something he's shown is a big plus for him, that he can raise money. He has been raising money.

I think we have already seen the rollout, the pre-rollout.


BASH: We've already seen a reset of the campaign in waiting, which you don't see very often. We know he's a candidate and has a campaign that's been spending a lot of time listening to the critiques and the criticisms of the way he operates.

I'm just talking about tactically. We can talk about the substance of what he's been doing in Florida separately, but just tactically,

Look what he did in Iowa this past weekend. He went and he campaigned much more like a traditional candidate in Iowa, where you have to shake a hand, look at somebody in the eye, for the most part, to get their vote. It sounds rudimentary, but one of the biggest criticisms of DeSantis

was that's not his comfort zone. Which might still be the case but he's trying to push out it.

SANCHEZ: There was one who said he sat next to him on a committee and he never spoke a word with Ron DeSantis. It was a criticism early on that he didn't have a personal touch.

I want to show the viewers the newest cover of "Time" magazine, has Florida's governor on it. You see it right there. He's peeling an orange, his hands juicy from doing that. Quite the look on his face.

I wonder what you make of the cover.

BASH: The first thing I thought of when I saw this cover, Boris, was Donald Trump is going to be not happy.



BASH: There are certain brands, historical brands that Donald Trump connects to and takes pride in, having a connection to. And "Time" magazine and being on covers of "Time" magazine is one of the primary ones.

Even though just our media landscape has changed so much, it's not the same as it used to be to be on the cover of a magazine, but it's very symbolic.


BASH: I started reading through the article that our friend, Molly Ball, wrote. It is amazing, very interesting.

The notion of him as a national figure and what he has been doing, not mentioning the substance, which is incredibly important.

In Florida, the reason he delayed his official entrance into the race is to get through the Florida legislature and that session, and push through, in a very robust, very aggressive way, signature issues that put him and Florida on map.

As Molly puts it in a smart way, as a government conservative, which is going to put him at odds with other conservatives, who are more Libertarian, hands-off conservatives.


BASH: That will be a fascinating discussion and debate within the Republican party.

He did win his reelection in 2022 by almost 20 points.

SANCHEZ: Huge. BASH: Double digits-plus. You would think, in some ways, a more

traditional campaign would be, look, I won a lot of Independents, even some Democrats, obviously, so I'm going to take that and make my message on electability on the national scale.

But that's not who he is. He's tripling down on very culturally conservative issues and using government to push those through.

SANCHEZ: Yes. Counterintuitively, he's running to the right of Donald Trump, but projecting himself as a more palatable candidate nationally because of Trump's baggage.

Dana, very quickly, we have to ask about Nikki Haley, her comments about states suspending the rules in the 2020 election.

BASH: You know, this is what he heard from Republicans from the beginning, even those who are not full-on election deniers, of which there are still a lot.

But in this case, one of the ways that Republicans who don't want to get on the wrong side of people who are flat-out lying about the election, and those who don't want to hear that in the Republican electorate or just in the broader electorate, is by mentioning the fact that 2020 was Covid. It was a pandemic.


So a lot of states did change the rules to make it easier for people to vote so they wouldn't get a deadly disease.

That's a way that Republicans can kind of again find more comfortable political ground to take about 2020, and I think that's what you're seeing with Nikki Haley.

SANCHEZ: The devil is in the details. A big difference between changing mail-in voting laws and, as Trump claims, rigging an election.

BASH: Very, very different.

SANCHEZ: Dana Bash, always appreciate your perspective. Thank you very much.

BASH: Thank you.


JIM SCIUTTO, CNN HOST: Uber is now going to allow teens as young as 13 years old to ride alone as long as they have parental permission.

The popular rideshare app is rolling out teen accounts next week in more than a dozen cities across the country, including New York, Atlanta, Dallas and Phoenix.

CNN's Pete Muntean is joining us now. Pete, obvious concern here is potential safety issues. But I would

venture a guess this is not the first time teens have ridden alone in an Uber, perhaps on their parents' apps.

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No doubt. Think of the old, don't get in a car with strangers. That is what the app is essentially allowing teens as young as 13 to do now.

Even though the rule was that, unless you were 18 or over, you could not order an Uber.

So there's plenty of anecdotal evidence out there of teens using their parents' app or even creating spoof accounts so they could simply get around the rule.

SCIUTTO: It's not a straight-up


SCIUTTO: You have the number and you have an account. I'm not eliminating this concern. I am just saying it's just different from any car driving down the street.

MUNTEAN: Let's talk about the safety issues. That's what Uber is trying to get at. They're saying they can delineate the accounts in a different way and make sure there's live tracking for your child's account. It's linked to a parent's account.

There's an encrypted audio recording where a parent can theoretically even listen in on the ride.

And the drivers are a different set of drivers. They can only be the most highly rated. They also have to pass a background check.

There's some backlash from drivers saying this has opened them up to more liability. They don't really want this. But this allows teens to get around, which is something they need to do in society that teens really rely on in some ways.

SCIUTTO: Teens can have very busy schedules.


SCIUTTO: Being a parent of a couple of teens.

And then there's an alcohol factor.


SCIUTTO: Can you imagine going to a party, someone is drinking, better to have an Uber driver than someone drive.

MUNTEAN: Let me read this quote. This is the flip side of the "anti" argument. This is from a non-profit: "By providing parents with safe alternatives to help their teens get around, we hope this will help create more equitable solutions for families facing barriers to transportation."

Uber points out jobs, sports, the mall. When I was a teenager, I was a horrendous mall rat and called my mom on a pay phone saying pick me up at the food court and pick me up.

This changes the game for teens. And it tries to get at some of the safety issues that Uber had problems with before. This is something where they're trying to get ahead of the safety issues by building a feature baking it into the app.

SANCHEZ: Expand the market a little bit.


SCIUTTO: Pete Muntean, thank you very much.

MUNTEAN: Anytime.


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: Pete Muntean, man of mystery and recovering mall rat. The things we learn on CNN NEWS CENTRAL.


KEILAR: Happening now, FDA advisers are deciding whether to recommend approval for a new vaccine to protect newborns from the respiratory ailment known as RSV. We'll have details on these trials just ahead.

And a newly released video shows a police officer clinging to the roof of a suspect's car while the suspect speeds away. We'll have that story next.



KEILAR: RSV is a virus that is the number-one reason or child hospitalizations in the U.S. As any parent knows, RSV is almost unavoidable. Although most children end up with mild cases, it can be very dangerous to newborns, to very small babies.

That's why FDA advisers are meeting right now to consider whether it makes sense to vaccinate pregnant mothers against RSV.

CNN's Meg Tirrell is joining with more on this.

Meg, studies show this vaccine is highly effective at protecting newborns from severe RSV infection. There is a very important caveat. Tell us about it.

MEG TIRRELL, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Brianna. Of course, the FDA has to consider the benefits and risks of any drug or vaccine that it evaluates.

Today, the risks the experts are focused on is whether this vaccine increases the risk for preterm birth. It's not necessarily clear that it does. But that's one of the things they're discussing.

As we discovered with one mom we visited, the need for a vaccine to protect against RSV is really high.

Take a look.


CHRISTINA STRICKLAND, CALEB'S MOTHER: When I went to pick him up, he was cold.

TIRRELL (voice-over): There had been no major signs that 6-week-old Caleb Strickland was dangerously sick before his mom, Christina, put him down for a nap one day last September -- just sniffles and less of an appetite.

STRICKLAND: And so I picked him up. He was lethargic. He would open his eyes, he would close his eyes, open his eyes, close his eyes.

TIRRELL: After a call to his pediatrician, they rushed him to the hospital.

STRICKLAND: Before I even knew what happened he was being admitted and pumped with oxygen and trying to be stabilized.

TIRRELL: Eventually, Christina says Caleb tested positive for RSV or Respiratory Syncytial Virus.

STRICKLAND: And that was the first time we had ever heard of RSV.

TIRRELL: The CDC says almost all kids will get infected with RSV by the time they're two years old. For most, it's like a mild cold.

But for others, particularly young infants and those born prematurely, or kids with weakened immune systems or other health conditions, it can be severe.


The CDC says RSV puts as many as 80,000 kids younger than five in the hospital each year in the U.S.

DR. COURTNEY BYRD, CHILDREN'S HEALTHCARE OF ATLANTA: We can see RSV really affect anything in the system, in the body, but what seems to get children into trouble and in the hospital with RSV is when it affects their breathing or their respiratory status.

TIRRELL: There's no vaccine against RSV for babies and kids. And the first for older adults, produced by company, GSK, was just approved earlier this month.

One of Pfizer's RSV vaccines that's being considered for approval would be a single shot given during pregnancy late in the second or third trimester and could help protect babies like Caleb through the first six months of life.

BYRD: That is called passive immunity. The mother passed it to baby and baby now has some protection.

TIRRELL: Christina Strickland says it's something she wishes had been available to her to protect both Caleb and his twin brother, Andrew.

STRICKLAND: If there was any vaccination I could have taken, I would have definitely taken it to protect them.

TIRRELL (on camera): How are Andrew and Caleb doing now?

STRICKLAND: They are wonderful. They are fat and juicy and moving around. Very healthy.


TIRRELL: So the vote today is just a recommendation to the FDA. The agency is set to decide on this by August -- Brianna?

KEILAR: That's what you want, fat and juicy babies, healthy babies.

Meg, thank you so much for that report.


SCIUTTO: Now to some of the other headlines we are watching this hour.

Nevada's Republican governor has vetoed three gun-safety bills that passed the state legislature on Monday. Democrats hold a super majority in the assembly but they would need at least one Republican to vote with Senate Democrats to override the governor's veto. We'll watch that.

And a driver who took an Iowa police officer for a wild ride has been sentenced to up to five years in prison and must pay the officer restitution as well.

In 2021, the officer tried to stop the man on an outstanding warrant. See the video there. First climbed on the hood and then had to hang on for dear life as the driver sped off, hitting 50 miles an hour before the officer was bounced off the car. He has since recovered from his injuries.

In Charlotte, North Carolina, firefighters are battling a massive blaze at a construction site. At least one person is reportedly injured. You see the video there. First responders were able to rescue a worker trapped in a crane just above the flames.


SANCHEZ: Being an umpire in Little League these days is not just about calling balls and strikes. It's also apparently babysitting parents. And it's having a big impact on the game. We'll explain when we come back.


[14:52:10] SANCHEZ: Little Leagues across the country are facing major umpire shortages. The reason why may not be what you think.

CNN's Vanessa Yurkevich spoke to some umpires, parents and players about what's happening on the field.


VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS & POLITICS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's one of America's favorite past times.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Baseball is just like -- it's very fun.

YURKEVICH: But the kids' fun is being ruined by --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is happening?

YURKEVICH: -- adults.

Around the country, brawls are breaking out at youth baseball games.



YURKEVICH: A coach coming after an umpire at a Little League game in Alabama.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't -- he already heard you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know what, I'm going to forfeit the team.

YURKEVICH: Parents aggressively yelling at an umpire in Texas.



YURKEVICH (on camera): I can't understand what could get someone so upset at a children's baseball game.

JOHN DUGAN, PRESIDENT, RAMSEY BASEBALL AND SOFTBALL ASSOCIATION: I - I don't -- I'm with you, I don't understand it either. But there's an expectation that, you know, every game is do or die for their kids' future in this sport.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): The physical and verbal abuse by parents is having a dramatic impact -- an umpire shortage.

Since 2017, the number of youth umpires in the U.S. has dropped. And at the high school level, there are nearly 20,000 fewer referees across all sports than before the pandemic, but with signs those numbers may tick up this year.

DUGAN: We've suspended people from the park and --

YURKEVICH (on camera): Suspended parents from the park?


YURKEVICH: For how long?

DUGAN: Usually, it's - usually, it's one game, two games to begin with. And then if it becomes worse than that, then we ask them not to come back.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): On this picture-perfect evening in Ramsey, New Jersey, the Robins are playing the Orioles.

Twenty-one-year veteran umpire, Carl Kearney, is calling this Little League game.


I'm the boss out there, no doubt.

YURKEVICH: He's a calm boss --

KEARNEY: All right, here we go.

YURKEVICH: -- which works in his favor.

YURKEVICH (on camera): How have parents been in recent years?

KEARNEY: Some can be a little louder than the coaches. Some vulgarity at times. But I let the parents say what they're going to say.

If they continue, then you have to then tell the coach, you know, you have to kind of manage your parents. If you don't calm that down, I'm going to have to ask you to remove them.

YURKEVICH: (voice-over): Mike Wood has gotten into his fair share of arguments with umpires.

MIKE WOOD, FATHER OF LITTLE LEAGUE PLAYER: It has been suggested maybe I should leave a game --

YURKEVICH (on camera): Suggested by who?

WOOD: -- but -- but -- but we never -- but we never got to that point.

YURKEVICH: Suggested by who?

WOOD: By the umpire. The umpire said, look, I mean, if you don't like the way I'm calling the game you can leave. But I'm not going to leave. And it doesn't mean I have to enjoy the way that you're calling the game, you know?

YURKEVICH (voice-over): But his son, Jack, catcher for the Orioles, and, Evan, catcher for the Robins, see it from a different perspective. JACK WOOD, LITTLE LEAGUE PLAYER: The umpire is like the top-tier man.

And like you have to respect him.


YURKEVICH (on camera): Do you think it's appropriate for parents to be so involved, yelling things at the umpire?

EVAN PETERFRIEND, LITTLE LEAGUE PLAYER: They should be excited and like focused on the game. But, like, when they, like, talk to umpires and like make -- yell at the calls and stuff, I think that's a little unnecessary maybe.

YURKEVICH: Unnecessary because why?

PETERFRIEND: Because like it's like a kids' game and it's just like Little League. So, kids are just trying to have fun.


YURKEVICH (voice-over): When adults behave badly, the kids lose.

KEARNEY: I have to stop the game. And nobody wants that. I can also understand that a parent, you know, wanting their child to, you know, to succeed. But not at that price.



YURKEVICH: In the end, the Robins beat the Orioles for first place. But, really, everyone's a winner. It was a clean game by the kids and the parents.


KEARNEY: Good game. That was a great game. Great game.


YURKEVICH: This verbal abuse by coaches and parents against umpires is not exclusive to baseball. We have seen this happening at softball games, basketball, soccer games.

And these parents have told me that it's a big financial investment, right, to put kids into youth sports. The more money they put in, the more invested they are, which can translate to some of this aggression you're seeing on the different fields.

But, Boris, these umpires make between $45 and $65 per game. That's not enough money to withstand this kind of abuse.

Something needs to change here, Boris. Parents need to realize that by being bad on the field, this is really hurting the kids in the end -- Boris?

SANCHEZ: When kids are the voice of reason and they're appalled by your behavior, that should tell you something.

Vanessa Yurkevich, thank you so much for that.


SCIUTTO: Listen, I've been to a lot of sports games, it's always the parents with the worst sportsmanship.

Anyway, Montana's governor just took a big step against TikTok, banned it on personal devices in that state. More on what that ban could look like. And how would they enforce it? That's a good question. We'll have that story just ahead.