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Biden Proposes Worker Protections from Heat; Kenyan Protesters Clash with Police; Articles of Impeachment against Supreme Court; Biden Campaign Tries to Reassure Democrats; Bionic Leg Helps People with Amputations. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired July 02, 2024 - 08:30   ET




KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Right now Hurricane Beryl is on the way to Jamaica, prompting the activation of national disaster response plans by the government there. The brand new numbers just - the brand new numbers keep the stained wind speeds at 165 miles per hour with this storm. So far one person has been confirmed killed by the storm, with fears that the death toll, of course, could rise as its movement continues.

This is the strongest hurricane to pass through the eastern part of the Caribbean dating back to 1851. It's also the earliest category five storm.

The storm is now moving away from the Windward Islands, where it took what's described as being just 30 minutes to cause widespread destruction in Grenada. Grenada. The hurricane is expected to hit Jamaica's coastline by tomorrow.

Also today we are looking at this. With more than 60 million people under heat alerts across parts of the United States, the Biden administration is announcing the first of its kind rule to try to help protect millions of workers from heat-related illnesses and death, establishing the country's first federal safety standard on excessive heat in the workplace.

Arlette Saenz is at the White House with this one for us.

Arlette, what are you learning about this?

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, President Biden, later today, is expected to talk about these new first of its kind regulations that would extend protections to workers who are working is extreme heat conditions. The president will be receiving a briefing on extreme heat and other climate-related issues for - expected for the summer a bit later this morning. And it is there where he's expected to talk about these new rules from the Department of Labor's OSHA, which will require that employers identify heat hazards for workers, also talk about the ways that workers develop heat illness and how employers could respond to keep their employees safe. It's also this new rule which would take potentially years to implement. It would also call for implementing work standards. Things like rest breaks, access to shade and walker - water while these workers are on the job. It's - officials estimate that it could impact around 35 million Americans.

At the same time, President Biden will also be unveiling about $1 billion, which will go to communities to try to prepare for potential weather and disaster related events. It comes at a time when so many parts of the country are under extreme heat warnings and advisories. At a time also when there has been an increase in heat-related deaths in recent years. So, part of what the administration is trying to do is show that they are doing something to help protect those workers working in extreme heat conditions.

But for President Biden, this is also another opportunity for him to remind voters of the threat posed by climate change. That is something he tried to bring up in the debate against Trump last week, saying that climate change remains the one existential threat to this country. He believes that he has a platform of policies that he has rolled out to try to address some of those issues. And so we'll see how exactly President Biden prepares to make that argument a bit later this morning when he speaks at this briefing relating to extreme heat.

BOLDUAN: Arlette, thank you.


JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, cracks before our eyes. Moments ago on CNN, did a Democratic Congressman open the door to President Biden perhaps leaving the race?

And the doctors say a teenager was minutes from dying, but used first aid skills to save his own life.



SARA SIDNER, CNN ANCHOR: All right, we are following breaking news in Kenya, where as we speak protest have ramped up again, leading to new clashes in the capital, Nairobi.



SIDNER: Tear gas, flash bangs, you're seeing it all play out there. It is still happening right now. A heavy police presence as dozens of protesters fill the streets again. They are fighting for getting a better cost of living. At least 39 people have been killed in clashes with police in the last two weeks.

CNN's Larry Madowo is in Nairobi.

I know I just saw you two seconds ago running away from a bunch of tear gas headed your way. What are you seeing at this hour and what are you hearing as well? LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're hearing some of the protestors shouting Ruto must go, referring to President William Ruto, who's respected internationally but is facing a big revolt here locally, especially from young people who feel there's illusion by him. So, some of these protesters have become violent in the last few hours, throwing a lot of stones at the police here who keep trying to break them up with tear gas even though a recent high court ruling in Kenya told the police not to use tear gas or flash bangs or any kind of brute force against unarmed protesters.

In this case, these guys are not exactly unarmed because they've been throwing a lot of stones around here. If you look on the floor, around the cops, you see a lot of stones that have come from these guys. And so far, to the credit of the cops, at least in this case, they've been showing a lot of restraint against the rocks coming from the other side.

This began, these protests, three weeks ago against a controversial finance bill. President William Ruto was forced to withdraw that bill. But these young people now are angry generally about the high cost of living in the country. They are upset about corruption in Kenya. And some of them extremely upset about extravagant lifestyle of some government officials. And so they have been coming out here every Tuesday and Thursday for the third straight week to try and express their voices. And some of them say, we are peaceful. Telling the police not to break them up as violently as they are doing.

It's muted right now, but this kicks off at any time. And the police throw tear gas - sometimes they throw tear gas back at them. And that's - that's a rock that just came straight at us. That's the danger here. That's why we're wearing all this, the flak jacket and the helmet, because we don't know whether we're safe from the tear gas or from the rocks or from any of the things that's being used in this very chaotic scene which we've been seeing for the last three - again, there's another rock coming right at us. That's one of the big dangers of covering these protests that you just don't know what's going to come from the protesters or how the police are going to react. And sometimes we are caught up in the middle of that between the police and the protesters.

SIDNER: And you've been caught up in this before. We saw when there were a few protesters storming parliament, were able to get into parliament. But live rounds were used and you watched that happen just before your face. So far you were telling us, right, that there are no live rounds. Those bangs that we're hearing are actually rocks hitting some of those - those metal sheets that have covered the buildings, correct?

MADOWO: That is correct. We have not seen too many live rounds, even though some of the protesters claim there have been live rounds. I think he's about to fire another either stun grenade or tear gas. So, that's one of the dangers here.

But we did see outside parliament last week, as protesters stormed parliament, police, using live rounds. And we have done reporting here at CNN that some of these processes were unarmed. The police used excessive force, violating their own rules. And there's been no response so far from the Kenya police or from the ministry of interior. In fact, President William Ruto said the police did their best in those circumstances and called them criminals.

SIDNER: Larry Madowo, please keep yourself and your team as safe as possible as you're watching these protests unfold yet again there in the capital of Kenya. Appreciate your time this morning.


BERMAN: All right, this morning, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez says she will introduce articles of impeachment against the Supreme Court over its ruling on presidential immunity. She called the court's ruling, quote, "an assault on American democracy," and that the Supreme Court has become consumed by corruption crisis beyond its control. And she added, "it is up to Congress to defend our nation from this authoritarian capture." Again, those are her words.

With us now, CNN's Sunlen Serfaty.

Sunlen, how serious is this move from the Congresswoman?

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, it certainly underscores the anger that Democrats on Capitol Hill are feeling in this moment in the wake of this ruling and their desire to show, mainly to voters, that they are trying to do something. We've heard them pledge that they will move aggressively legislatively. And we heard this proposal from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to move articles of impeachment against the justices on the court.

But notably, there's not much that they can do right now in a Republican-led Congress. So, for the moment, these are just words and proposals. It's likely not going anywhere.

Significant, though, we are also hearing from Speaker of the House Mike Johnson. Notably last night he responded to President Biden's comments at the White House, his own response to the immunity ruling. And Johnson slammed Biden's response as despicable and dangerous, saying he's desperate now, this is Mike Johnson saying of Biden, that now that he believes that Biden showed the country that he's unfit to continue, that he does not have the capacity to serve.


So, all of this, of course, wrapped up in the response to that huge ruling from the Supreme Court.


BERMAN: And as for the political campaign, Sunlen, we've been talking about the idea that maybe we're beginning to see some cracks among Democratic members of Congress and the Biden campaign here. What's been happening over the last few hours?

SERFATY: That's right, the level of concern is only growing with each day and, frankly, hour, John. We just heard on our air just a few hours ago the first congressmen to really show some openness to potentially replacing Joe Biden - the first Democrat I should say - Congressmen Mike Quigley, on air with Kasie Hunt just a moment ago.


REP. MIKE QUIGLEY (D-IL): we have to be honest with ourselves that it wasn't just a horrible night. But I won't go beyond that out of my respect and understanding President Joe Biden.


SERFATY: And that really farther than we've heard many other Democrats go in the last few days since the wake of the debate. And that certainly is a remarkable statement coming from an ally and a Democrat in the party.

We also heard from Sheldon Whitehouse. He told WPRI, quote, I think a lot of people - "I think like a lot of people I was pretty horrified by the debate. I think people want to make sure that this is a campaign that's ready to go and win, that the president and his team are being candid with us about his condition - that this was a real anomaly and not just the way he is these days."

So, certainly remarkable statements, John, coming from Democrats and really speaks that concern, the panic among Democrats about the nominee that they potentially will put forward.


BERMAN: It shows that perhaps this - the campaign is not out of it yet, as it were.

Sulen Serfaty, great to see you. Thank you very much.


BOLDUAN: Let's talk about that.

Joining us right now is former Trump administration official Matt Mowers, and Democratic strategists and co-founder of Lift Our Voices, Julie Roginsky.

So, we just heard some of what Mike Quigley said to Kasie Hunt, Julie. Another thing that Quigley said was, "I just want him," Biden, "I just want him to appreciate at this time just how much an impact not just on his race, but on all the other races coming in November." Kind of indicating what the - what - a fear it has to be for a down-ballot Democrat is the impact, not just on the president - not on the White House but also the impact on them as well. Hearing tried and true Democrats like Mike Quigley, just take that in isolation, what impact does that have hearing that publicly?

JULIE ROGINSKY, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Look, it's a huge impact. I think a lot of these members are going to go home for the Fourth of July recess. They're going to see what their constituents say. And that's going to be determinative for them as to what they're going to say when they come back to Washington next week.

Look, like any Democrat, I think Congressman Quigley and I and any Democrat, we just want to beat Donald Trump. That's the - that's priority number one. Because of the Supreme Court's decision yesterday, that threat to our democracy has become even more severe. And so if Joe Biden is the best pathway to do that, then that's fine. If Joe Biden is not the best pathway to do that, then we need to find somebody who will.

But the bottom line is, we need to beat Trump. And that's all that matters right now.

BOLDUAN: How that's decided, who decides that and what the tipping point is, that is what is not clear right now, though, Julie, right, because it seems the fallout is not over. What it looks like today and how it feels today, unclear if it would look and feel the same for Democrats in two months, but you don't - but Democrats don't have that kind of time.

ROGINSKY: We don't have that kind of time, and only Joe Biden can decide, right? He has the delegates committed to him, pledged to him to be the nominee. So, it's only up to the president. Now, the president has to make a decision. The president has to figure out truly look in the mirror and think about the fact whether he is the best person to carry us forward in November. And that's something that I hope he gives a lot of thought to over the Fourth of July recess. I hope he hears from people, not just in his own circle but also from leadership in Congress and others.

He doesn't need to listen to the punters. He doesn't need to listen to us. But he does need to listen to people who look at polling. He needs to do some polling of his own quickly to see what the base of the Democratic Party wants.

Look, this party has never won with the majority of the white vote since Lyndon Johnson. We need to know what voters of color want specifically. Black women are the backbone of this party. We need to figure out whether jumping over Kamala Harris, if he drops out, is going to offend them.


ROGINSKY: There's so many things to consider, but he needs data and statistics, not pundits to tell him what to do.

BOLDUAN: But, Matt, on the data and statistics, on polling, I mean that's one thing that you're looking for in terms of the next round of polling coming out and what - and what it looks like and the impact of it.

I'm curious if you have an idea of - for you, and, yes, you're not in the business of helping Democrats, but in the business of analyzing - analyzing data that's available, how big of a dip, I'll call it, do you think would be the threshold for any political party to start taking action beyond freaking out?


MATT MOWERS, FORMER TRUMP ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, you've got to remember, going into the debate, Joe Biden's numbers were close to rock-bottom. They truly were. And if you look at it in even some pretty deep blue states, he is underperforming significantly. He was - you know, there's polling that showed that he was actually down in New Jersey. Some of that was even before the debate. Some of that sample was taken after the debate.

So, you're not going to see a precipitous drop. The challenge is going to be, you're going to see just enough of a drop that he's not going to be able to climb out of it because voters' opinions of him are so cemented at this point. They assumed he was probably - his age was too big of an impact going into the debate. He confirmed it because of the debate. And the problem the Democrats have right now is that Joe Biden, at least as of today, is still the second least popular politician in America. The most unpopular is Kamala Harris. And I just don't see it.

Now, look, admittedly, I'm not a Democrat. I'm not going to give advice. But I find it very hard to believe that a delegation, the Democratic National Convention, the delegates of that convention, are going to pass over the sitting vice president, who happens to be the first woman of color to ever have that position, to potentially become president. And so I'm not sure why the Democratic Party would trade Joe Biden, who admittedly is the second least popular politician, for the most unpopular. I'm not sure that setting them up for success.

And that's the predicament the Democrats find themselves in. And that's coming on the heels of some early state polls now coming out. You know, there's not a ton of polling that's really reliable since - since Thursday night. But a new poll in New Hampshire came out yesterday, showed Donald Trump beating Joe Biden by two points. Last time that same firm, or that same institution polled was December, Joe Biden was leading Donald Trump by ten points in December. He's now down by two. That's the problem that Democrats are finding themselves in, is states like New Hampshire, and even potentially New Jersey, which Julie and I both know well, are potentially competitive, they're - the floor is falling out right now.

BOLDUAN: Yes, I mean, the thing is, in terms of, you know, unpopular candidates and unpopular politicians, that's - that's been the conundrum throughout this race has been both candidates are not liked, Donald Trump and Joe Biden, and so that's the phenomenon of the double hater. That's how this is - that's how this is kind of come to light.

Julie, what are you watching for to indicate - I asked the, what are you watching for, because we're really in the middle of it. And so it's hard - I don't want to get into the place of like, what is it going to look like in two weeks, unclear because we're in unchartered territory. But what do you - what do you really watch for or listen for? I think going - I think the Fourth of July holiday is a - is important indication because that is what a lot of politicians are meeting and greeting and hearing from their constituents. But how do - how will you know, do you think, to indicate it's - it's either the bed wedding brigade, as has been described, the pushback has been by the Biden campaign against people who are speaking out and concerned, or this is something more that is not going to go away and they really do need to deal with.

I - is there -- for you, is there a tipping point that you would be -

ROGINSKY: Yes. And, Matt - Matt knows this because we both do this for a living. Look, you need to see some qualitative and quantitative data. You really need to look at data to see what's going on. And the rest of us - and, Matt, by the way, if any Republican wins New Jersey this year, I will go up to New Hampshire and I will buy you the biggest dinner of your life. It's never going to happen. So, let's take that poll with a grain of salt. Let's take that poll with a grain of salt.

But I will also say this, look, you and I both know, we need to look at real qualitative and quantitative data. The rest of us don't really know what's going on. My gut, your gut, anybody's gut is not the way to go here. What we need to do is look at, as I said, I want to see a sample for - of voters of color with a huge oversample, specifically of black - of black women to see where they think this party needs to go. They are the backbone of the Democratic Party. And Matt is right, if you jump over Kamala Harris, the first woman of color, how does that affect Democratic turnout in November.

BOLDUAN: Can I just - let me just - I was just handed this, a tweet by Tim Ryan. Obviously, he's run, he's served and he ran in the Democratic primary as well for president. Tim Ryan just posted, "we have to rip the band aid off. Too much is at stake. The VP has significantly grown into her job. She will destroy Trump in debates, highlight choice issue, energize our base, bring back young voters and give us generational change. It's time!" That from someone who's been in the bright spotlight of a presidential primary, who's represented an important state of Ohio as well.


ROGINSKY: I don't know. I mean, that's the real question, right? The real question is, we don't know. He may be right. He may be wrong. We need to see data, and we haven't seen any data. We have seen flash polls, some of which are not reliable, as we just talked about the New Jersey poll.


ROGINSKY: But others - others, we don't know. And the Biden campaign does know because they poll all day, every day. And the DNC should know if they don't know already. And that's something the rest of us need to take a look at before we come to any conclusions.

BOLDUAN: Yes, it's really interesting.

It's great to see you both. Thanks. Thanks, guys. Let's continue this conversation.



BERMAN: All right, the sensational murder trial in Massachusetts that has gripped the nation. A hung jury in the case of a woman accused of killing her police officer boyfriend.


BERMAN: This morning, a major advancement for people with amputations. A bionic leg linked to the brain.

CNN's Jacqueline Howard is with us now.

How exactly does this work?

JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER: Yes, John, it's really fascinating science. The users' own nervous system is what controls the bionic leg in this case. That's how it works. Electrodes are placed between the amputation site on a person's leg and the bionic leg itself.