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Don Lemon Tonight

Joe Manchin Don't Agree With $3.5 Infrastructure Budget; More Unvaccinated Died From COVID; Children Not Exempted From The Virus; Governor Abbott Signs Election Bill Into Law; Governor Gavin Newsom Facing A Tough Recall; Crowded Places Not Advisable For People To Go To; A Sure Win for Britney Spears. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired September 07, 2021 - 22:00   ET




CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST (on camera): Thanks for watching. "DON LEMON TONIGHT", the big star, D. Lemon right now.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Let me make something clear, is that rape is a crime.

CUOMO: Here is what I got frustrated about. Forget about what my religion says abortion and how I feel about that.


CUOMO: That was so frustratingly deceptive --

LEMON: And ignorant.

CUOMO: -- and I'm bothered by the applause because it shows what the governor there is doing is effective. Forget about reproductive rights. He's lying about the bill, OK? The idea that hey, you're really OK with rapists not being able to, you know, being able to victimize twice essentially? Yes, because that's a crime so what we're going to do is get rid of the rapists and then it doesn't matter. And they applaud.

LEMON: Man, nobody ever thought of that. How smart of him. I mean, get rid of all the rapists.

CUOMO: And by the way, again, under that bill, people can roll their eyes.


CUOMO: I'm telling you the way that bill is drafted right now if you rape someone, you are not removed from the pool of eligibility to sue someone else for helping the person you raped get an abortion.

LEMON: Just get an abortion. Yes. So that -- that's the reason why I pointed that out. I think you're right on in your -- what you're saying about this. It's just like no one has ever thought that, you know, rapists should be a crime and that they're on the street and his idea of what an actual rapist is, yes, there are some people who are on the street and raping people.

A lot of it happens within families and within -- with people you know. Incest, so on and so forth.

CUOMO: Absolutely.

LEMON: And so, when you can't -- so you -- most times you can't even detect it. When it happens that way at six weeks, most people won't even know.

CUOMO: And that's the part I'm frustrated about.

LEMON: That they're pregnant.

CUOMO: He says, you know, he made it sound like it might even be more than six weeks under the law which it isn't.


CUOMO: And he made it sound like that's a long time, --


CUOMO: -- which it isn't.


CUOMO: And it's just -- that's what bothers me. Just be straight about what you're doing and why you're doing it.

LEMON: Yes, I know people get frustrated and they will be upset but the idea of separation of church and state doesn't seem to apply when it comes to this particular issue.

It's good to see you. It's good to be back.

CUOMO: It is good to be back.

LEMON: It's good to be back and it's --


CUOMO: We just started our second season of the hand off.

LEMON: I know. Right?

CUOMO: Not this handoff.

LEMON: So, what do you think?

CUOMO: I know it's confusing to people. We have a podcast.

(CROSSTALK) LEMON: We have a podcast called the Handoff.


LEMON: And the podcast, we go even deeper than we go now. We're even more real or realer than --


CUOMO: Yes. I'm shocked we got a second season.

LEMON: Well, I'm shocked at some of the things I said today because I compared life to --

CUOMO: Yes. Save that for the podcast.

LEMON: If you listen to the first episode of the podcast, you'll see that not only did I just do us both a favor professionally in terms of keeping this gig. But it's actually a pretty funny thing he said.

LEMON: Yes, I did. OK. OK. OK. I have to say it was funny. All right. I'll see you. I love you, brother.

CUOMO: I love you, too.

LEMON: See you later. So, we got a lot to cover.

This is DON LEMON TONIGHT. Thank you so much for joining us.

And you know what? And welcome back to everyone.

This is a crucial moment for president Joe Biden. It really is. He's facing one huge challenge after another here at home and in the wake of the end of the America's longest war and the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan. He's got the pandemic. The U.S. now facing, passing, I should say 40 million cases, 40 million cases.

The aftermath of Hurricane Ida, as well, 22 people dead in the gulf and at least 52 in the northeast and flash floods and tornados. A dramatic picture showing how the climate crisis is ravaging America's aging infrastructure.

Big picture, OK? A lot is riding on President Joe Biden showing that he can manage all these crises at once. And one of the biggest challenges that he faces is COVID really. President planning to layout his strategy to stop the spread of Delta in a major speech on Thursday.

But the celebrations in packed stadiums we saw over the Labor Day weekend well, they may tell us a lot what to expect in the fall and with more kids going back to school. More than one in four of the weekly COVID cases in this country are now in children. More than one in four of the weekly COVID cases in this country are now in children.

Two hundred fifty-one thousand seven hundred eighty-one child cases of COVID reported in the past week alone. So, for anybody who still thinks that this doesn't affect kids, not so. Not true. Never was true. And we need to get vaccinated and wear masks to protect those kids.



ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: We've got to get the school system masked in addition to surrounding the children with vaccinated people. That's the solution. We don't need to see a big uptick at all in cases if we do it right.


LEMON (on camera): Are you listening, everyone? Are you listening, Florida? There is sad news out of the one of the nation's largest school districts, Miami-Dade. That's where 13 school employees have died of COVID since made August.

The union says all 13 were unvaccinated and African-American. A reminder that there are unvaccinated people in every population and there can be extra challenges in reaching some. Listen to what the superintendent of Miami-Dade tells Erin Burnett tonight.


ALBERTO CARVALHO, SUPERINTENDENT, MIAMI-DADE COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS: I think this underscores the big tragedy that we see occurring across America even though in my community, 98 percent of individuals got at least one dose of the vaccine, there is still a lag specific to individuals that represent ethnic minorities in Miami-Dade.

And this is a result of understandable historic facts that have in a certain way prejudice the understanding of these communities about the viability of the vaccine.


LEMON (on camera): So that's COVID. But there is also the challenge the president faces from the climate crisis. The Washington Post says one in three Americans have suffered the effects of extreme weather this summer from fires to floods to tornados to hurricanes.

The president traveling to hard hit New Jersey and New York just today making his pitch for his infrastructure bill and his broader economic agenda including fighting the climate crisis.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Climate change poses an existential threat to our lives, to our economy, and the threat is here. It's not going to get any better. The question can it get worse. We can stop it from getting worse.

(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON (on camera): But infrastructure faces a rough road from a member of the president's own party. Joe Manchin calling for a pause on the $3.5 trillion bill. President Biden saying this tonight.


BIDEN: The goal at the end has always been there and he's always been with me. I think that we can work something out and I look forward to speaking with him.


LEMON (on camera): And on the heels of Texas' six-week ban on abortions, abortions and Attorney General Merrick Garland's pledge to protect abortion clinics in Texas, the state that's always been red moves even more sharply to the right. Governor Greg Abbott signing just today a bill that points -- that puts major new restrictions on voting in one of the nation's fastest growing and diversifying states.


GREG ABBOTT (R-TX): I'd be astonished if a law like this was not challenged in court. We've seen it happen wherever laws like this are passed. The first thing the Democrats do is they run to the courthouse and try to challenge it. I feel extremely confident that when this law makes it through the litigation phase, it will be upheld in a court of law.


LEMON (on camera): Well, the law facing an immediate legal challenge from voting rights groups and two federal lawsuits were filed before the bill was even signed.

So here is some of the real-life effects on real people who are just trying to exercise their right to vote. OK? The bill bans 24-hour voting, which helps shift workers into communities of color, OK? Communities of color. People who do shift work. Under the new law voting is only allowed from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. So, you can exercise one of your most precious rights as an American citizen only until 10 o'clock, 10.05 you're out of luck.

And drive-through voting, nope. Never mind it allows people to vote safely in the middle of a deadly pandemic, the law also takes aim at voting by mail, making Texas provide their driver's license number or the last four digits of their social security number.

Making it a felony for public officials to send out unsolicited mail- in ballot applications. It means local election; local elections officials can't provide absentee ballot request forms to get out the vote groups. It empowers partisan poll watchers to move around polling places at will.

Anybody who assists people with disabilities other than those voter - -voter's caregivers will have to fill out paperwork and take an oath to obey limits on their assistance to vote, voters. And the Texas secretary of state's office will have to do monthly checks on voter rolls.

Real life consequences of the assault on voting rights. So, what do you do? How do you protect the right to vote? President Biden tweeting that "we're facing an all-out assault on our democracy. We need to pass the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Achievement Act to protect the sacred right to vote. I urge Congress to send them to my desk immediately," that's a quote from the president.


But both bills face long eyes. I talked to the president about that during our CNN town hall this summer.


LEMON: This is important for people who look like me. My grandmother would sit around when I was a kid --


LEMON: -- fifth grade, had a fifth-grade education. I learned that she couldn't read when I was doing my homework. She would tell me stories about people asking her to count the number of jelly beans in the jar --


LEMON: -- or the soap and -- so why is protecting the filibuster, is that more important than protecting voting rights especially for people that fought and voted for that?


BIDEN: No, it's not. I want to see the United States Congress, the United States Senate pass S1 and S4 the John Lewis Act to get it on my desk so I can sign it.


LEMON (on camera): The assault on voting rights in Texas and across this country is nothing less than a plan to give the GOP the power to overturn the next election if they don't like the results. It's not about politics. It's about our most sacred right as Americans, the right to vote. A right worth fighting for.

So, like I said, a lot is riding on President Biden showing that he can manage all this crisis at once. Up next, we're going to talk to two people who have some real insight into whether he can turn them into a political opportunity.


BIDEN: We got to listen to the scientists and economists and national security experts. They all tell us this is code red. The nation and the world are in peril. That's not hyperbole, that is a fact. (END VIDEO CLIP)



LEMON (on camera): Crisis after crisis over the summer has left President Biden with an uphill climb going into the fall. The president is facing the aftermath of severe weather across the country, a surge in coronavirus cases and deaths and the fallout from the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, and a whole pile of legislation still not sent to his desk.

Joining me now CNN contributor Evan Osnos. Evan is the author of "Joe Biden: The Life, The Run and What Matters Now."

Evan, thank you for joining. So, let's get into this. Talk about a summer of challenges and crisis and almost a year out from the midterms. How important are the next few weeks in shaping the future of Biden's presidency?

EVAN OSNOS, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: This is a crucial period, Don. You know, he said the term today talking about climate change. He said we reached an inflexion point in which the choices we make now, the decisions we make now will have long-term consequences.

And you can extend that analogy into this political season. He's really at an inflection point into presidency where a lot of the things that they've been assembling over the first seven months are now going to be in a proving ground. And this is the time when you are going to hear him start to say things in private and in public.

You know, you earlier mentioned, Don, Joe Manchin. There is no more important relationship right now than there is between Joe Biden and Joe Manchin. You're not likely to hear much in public of Joe Biden pressuring the senator from West Virginia but in private, that's one of the people he needs.

This is sort of all of the 50 years of political practice that Joe Biden has been working on about finally coming to Joe Manchin and saying this is the moment. You know, I had a conversation with Manchin earlier in the year about their relationship and Manchin said, look, the truth is I want Joe Biden to be a successful president.

And he said, if he appeals to me directly as he did on the stimulus bill earlier in the year, then I am willing to meet him even if I have my hesitations. So, you may see that kind of private conversation unfolding over the course of the next few weeks, but I wouldn't expect to see Joe -- Joe Biden raking Manchin over the calls.

LEMON: I want to bring in Dana Bash. Dana is our chief political correspondent. So, Dana, the president used today's storm damage visits to sell his infrastructure plan and tonight he said that he thinks he can work things out with Senator Joe Manchin to get it done.

I mean, this could be landmark legislation that defines a presidency but it's also a total, it's in total legislative limbo.

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: It's a total legislative limbo, Don. And just like Evan was saying, this is going to be one of the key moments that Joe Biden is going to have in his presidency and a legacy defining moment where he is going to have to reach back to all of the decades that Evan was describing of his experience that he has in order to maneuver and to negotiate with Joe Manchin.

And the fact is, I interviewed the White House chief of staff Ron Klain on Sunday who said, you know, if I had a dime for every time somebody told us that this infrastructure or any kind of but of this agenda was going to be stopped I'd be a very rich man.

But then he went on to talk about the ways that he thinks that Joe Manchin is persuadable all of which had to do with ways to pay for the very large price tag that Joe Biden and the Democratic leaders have for this just the so-called reconciliation piece that we're talking about of course, but it has a lot of the Biden agenda in it.

And a lot of what Klain was saying in terms of paying for this were about new taxes. And it's really unclear whether Joe Manchin or not just him but other moderate Democrats who don't put themselves out there, they don't write op-eds like Manchin does but they are -- some of them are just as reluctant because they're on the ballot in purple states.

LEMON: Evan, the president is set to give this major speech in the next phases of the pandemic on Thursday. And even though the current spike is because of the unvaccinated, it's happening on his watch. Do you think the president is frustrated by the resistance to the public health efforts?

OSNOS: No question about it. Look, I think if you -- if you could talk to him candidly about the one piece of our current reality that he didn't anticipate is the degree to which people even now as far into the pandemic as we are with lifesaving vaccines available would still find themselves resisting for these reasons of, you know, abstract political commitments, or sort of this vague sense of hesitation despite all of the things we've heard, all of the evidence we've seen on the ground about the difference between being vaccinated and being unvaccinated.


But, you know, I think one of the things that we're approaching now is the point at which this didn't -- even though this is happening on his watch and he now has to be the one who is taking responsibility for it, he's also contending with a set of political facts that didn't happen overnight.

You know, I'm reminded of the fact, Don, that trust in government, which is really sort of one of the dimensions of this vaccine issue has been eroding for decades long before Joe Biden was in the presidency. In 1964, 88 percent of Americans said they trusted the government. Now

it's down to 18 percent. He has to try to rebuild that confidence in a hurry and that means talking about things like infrastructure, trying to show things on the ground and put some realistic demonstrations about government can work for you and begin to rebuild some of that confidence and he has to do it in a hurry. It's going to be tough.


LEMON: He's going to have to do the real thing, the stuff that people care about. And it doesn't. Listen, the right-wing media and the Joe Biden haters can say what they want, right? That's just rhetoric. But he's going to have to really, Dana, have some accomplishments in order to get people to continue to support his presidency and his initiative, as well.

Listen, the fight over voting rights is also becoming a defining issue for him and he is pushing for two voting rights bills to be passed. I mean, you just got back from Texas where that restrictive voting law was signed by the governor but similar laws are being put in place all across the country. Is he losing on this battle?

BASH: Yes, he is. He is because this is all about whether the federal government, he and his fellow Democrats in Congress can somehow find a way to enact new legislation that would either negate some of these state laws or at least put a freeze on them. And it's really unclear whether that's going to happen.

And it goes back to the person we were talking about, Joe Manchin and again other Senate Democrats, and talking to -- I'm working on a special about voting rights, Don, and talking to Democrats from Texas, to Arizona to Georgia and even further out and wider when you're talk about all of the states more than a dozen states have actually -- mostly Republican led states have passed new laws that really make it more difficult for people to vote.

Republicans who are in charge say that it's about election integrity and it makes it so that the voting is more secure but the reality is that in many of these places, there was -- they're looking for -- they're coming up with a solution in search of a problem.

And until and unless the federal government does something to get back some of the 1965 voting rights law, which the Supreme Court chipped away at in two separate decisions, then there is nothing that the federal government can do and they don't have the votes now, the Democrats, despite fighting really, really hard to get the majorities.

LEMON: Dana, and look, as we know, according to all facts and all studies and all -- and everyone involved not in the court of the way I feel, this is the most secure, that 2020 was the most secure election in the nation's history.

You're right. It was a solution that didn't have a problem. So, you know, hey, we're here because of people feel that the election wasn't secure, not that there are facts that show it. Evan --

BASH: Because they were told.

LEMON: Because they were told, right. They were told. I want to say that with Evan. Evan, when you talk about the attacks on our institution over the past, because I think you said for the past 40 years, it certainly didn't help with the last administration attacking institutions as much as the Trump administration and the Trump folks did and do as well.


LEMON: So, but when justifying -- you know, just back to Biden. When justifying, Evan, this is for you, justifying Afghanistan, the withdrawal there. The president said that it was what the American people wanted. If the president stays focused on what voters want, do you think that will pay off for him in the long run? He's got to accomplish some things. But if he stays focused on what voters want, will that pay off for him in the long run?

OSNOS: Yes, and focus is exactly the word. I think, Don, you know, in a moment like this, presidents are sort of inundated with competing pieces of political advice and instinct, you know, moments where they might say, OK, I'm going to sort of dash over here and try to meet whatever the short term political incentive might be.

You didn't see him do that on Afghanistan. Look, the reality was that was a painful episode, it obviously was difficult for him but you saw him stay committed to the policy which he believed was in the long term interest, the vital national interest as he often says of this country and Americans, by in large in polls support the decision to end the war in Afghanistan.


And so, you are likely to see him return to this idea that you'll see this later in the week when he talks about the need to get the COVID pandemic behind us.

Look, the reality is whatever people believe politically, wherever they line up on the partisan distinction, the fact is people need to get this pandemic behind us. And I think you're going to hear him appeal to those messages in liberal terms, in conservative terms and say it's time to turn the page.

This is going to take all of his political skill because the last administration stacked the deck in a way that made it very hard for people to put a bet on Joe Biden. But this is the moment when it's arrived.

LEMON: Evan, for those of us old enough, Carl Bern said I'm so glad we had this time together. I'm tugging my ear. I will see you. Thank you very much. I'm going to keep dana. Thanks, Evan. I'll see you soon.

Dana, before you go, let's talk about your new CNN podcast that is premiering tomorrow total recall California's political circus. It takes a hard look at the last recall election in the state and you actually talk to the man who won that election Arnold Schwarzenegger, what should we expect?

BASH: A really deep dive into what happened almost 20 years ago. It's kind of hard to imagine. A lot of people don't even remember that Arnold Schwarzenegger became governor because of a recall and here we are on the cusp of another election.

Very different circumstances on a whole host of issues, particularly the very different candidates, governors, Gray Davis back then, Gavin Newsom right now. But I did talk extensively to Arnold Schwarzenegger, and one of the things we talked about is that there is a similarity when it comes to the palpable anger that Californians are feeling right now. Listen to this.


FMR. GOV. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER (R-CA): There's millions of people out there that are dissatisfied, dissatisfied maybe the way the coronavirus was handled, dissatisfied with the fires, dissatisfied with the blackouts.

BASH: You're saying dangerous for Gavin Newsom.

SCHWARZENEGGER: Very dangerous. Yes, absolutely. It's very dangerous for him because you got to take this stuff seriously. For too long they didn't take it seriously but now I think they do take it seriously.


BASH: And we know they're taking it seriously for a lot of bits of evidence that show that, not the least of which Kamala Harris, the former senator from California, now the vice president is going to campaign with Gavin Newsom.

And one of the biggest challenges they have is that the anger that Arnold Schwarzenegger is talking about that very much exists is propelling people who are willing to go to the polls to go because they want to recall Gavin Newsom and the challenge for the Democrats is to get the passion out there and to basically stoke fear in a lot of Californians who might not want what the Democrats are determining a Trumpian governor.

So, you got to get out there and you got to vote and you got to vote no on the recall. That's what the Newsom message is, and they have been out there very aggressively. But as Schwarzenegger said, it took a little bit for them to realize that this could be a big problem.

LEMON: Yes. They were slow --


BASH: But this podcast -- yes, but this podcast is very, very interesting and to look at not just the similarities and the differences but more importantly, how much of our politics today, Don, was born or at least was foreshadowed in the 2003 recall. LEMON: I was going to say, what do they say, history doesn't often

repeat itself but it rhymes and so it's very similar, right, what's happening now as to what happened then. I know it's a very good get, Dana. Thank you very much. Can't wait to hear the entire podcast and it's good to see you.

Be sure to check out Dana's podcast, total recall California's political circus. The first episode drops tomorrow. And there will be new episodes weekly. You can listen on Apple podcast or wherever you get your podcast.

New data showing kids now represent more than one in four COVID cases nationwide and it's happening right as our schools, schools across the county are reopening.



LEMON (on camera): The U.S. passing 40 million confirmed COVID cases, more than four million of those coming in the last four weeks alone. Now the American Academy of Pediatrics is warning one in four of new COVID cases last week were in children. It is an alarming number at a time when millions of children are now back in school and experts are warning that we could see a huge post Labor Day surge in cases.

Joining me now to discuss CNN's chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Sanjay, thanks for joining.

So, Americans have traveled for the Labor Day weekend, now kids are back in schools. Schools in session with kids making up more and more of a share of new cases now. How concerned are you about children and Delta?

SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I'm pretty concerned because the numbers are just so high that when you start to raise the denominator of cases that high, more kids are going to get infected. I mean, that is the concept behind herd immunity. Herd immunity is more of a concept than an actual number.

You get enough people vaccinated to protect those who can't be vaccinated, but unfortunately, the cases are just rising and rising. You know, I could show you, Don, last year compared to this year. Three and a half times the number of cases right now compared to this time last year, two and a half times the hospitalizations, nearly two times the number of deaths.


If you were to ask me a year ago what these numbers meant this year, I would have said it means that we don't yet have a vaccine, that we didn't get yet the vaccine. And yet, we do have a vaccine and these numbers are what they are.

But the thing about kids, is that the more virus that is circulating, especially a contagious virus like this, the more kids are going to be at risk, especially the ones that have not yet been vaccinated, cannot be vaccinated.

LEMON: Yes. And look, this is where we are now. This is the first day back for many folks including myself. We saw massive crowds gathered at football games this weekend. I mean, not every outdoor event becomes a super spreader but Dr. Fauci is saying today it's not smart to be in a crowded outdoor event, at crowded outdoor events without a mask right now. What's the risk?

GUPTA: Well, I think one thing about this Delta virus is that it's just much more unforgiving. You know, there was a study that came out over the summer saying look at football games from last year in limited attendance. They did not seem to be these spreading events, but now there're obviously not limited attendance.

These are fully packed as you just point out and the Delta virus is that much more contagious. I think you've got to look at what's going on in the area. What is vaccination rates like? What is transmission rates like?

So that game you're showing I think is in Auburn, Alabama. We know that the transmission is very high there, higher, much higher than the rest of the country. We know that the vaccination rates are really low there. So that's obviously a problem.

But on top of that, you got to sort of put that together. You say I'm sitting next to the same people for a couple three hours, there's lots of shouting going on, lot of virus getting into the air. Previously outdoor transmission wasn't that much of a problem but in situations like that, it can be.

I mean, there is no magical answer here. People want, you know, outdoor is totally safe, indoors is not. It's not going to be that easy especially when you have viral transmission the way that it is. These are the things you got to pay attention to and you almost got to imagine, Don, that if you could see the virus, if you could just see the virus like a rain shower, you'd get a better idea, OK time to pull out your umbrella, put on your mask do whatever to take cover. That's the problem with games like that.

LEMON: Yes. So, let's turn now to the administration's booster strategy, Dr. Gupta. Today Dr. Fauci says that a third dose may be part of COVID-19 vaccine regimen. Listen.


FAUCI: It looks very much like it isn't as if two doses of a vaccine are failing, it's that, the proper regimen will very likely as we look back on it months from now will be that three doses is really what you should be getting of an mRNA.


LEMON (on camera): So, would that be it? No annual booster like a flu shot?

GUPTA: I mean, that is I think the expectation here. You know, flu shot is a little different because it's not an annual booster as much as it is a new vaccine because the flu virus does change that much year to year. What's interesting here, Don, is that the message all along has been the vaccines work well and that's still the message because they do work well.

It dramatically lowers the risk of you getting severely sick, needing hospitalization or dying. At the same time, the administration is saying, hey, based on what we think is happening in Israel, to some extent in this country as well, we think a booster will be necessary.

What Dr. Fauci is now saying in that clip you just played is that kind of was the plan all along. Most vaccines, adult vaccines require boosters. Take a look, Don, we pulled this for you to show you. If you look at hepatitis vaccines, for example. You look at herpes zoster vaccine. You look at human papilloma vaccine. All of them require at least two shots, some of them three shots.

And I think the only thing that sort of struck me about this whole conversation, which is quite a heated conversation about boosters and the scientific community, is that, if that was the plan all along, that we were going to need a booster at six to eight months, they probably should have said that because I think it left some people with this idea that the vaccines aren't working as well. They are, but now they're saying a booster would actually give it longer, more durable protection.

LEMON: Dr. Gupta, we appreciate the time that you give to us. Want to know why? Because you're so busy. I want to tell everybody to make sure you check out Sanjay's upcoming book. There it is on your screen right there. It's called "World War C: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic and How to Prepare for the Next One." It's out on October 5th. We wish him well with that. Thank you, Dr. Gupta.

GUPTA: Thanks, Don. Any time for you, sir, thank you.

LEMON: A huge unexpected turn in Britney Spears' legal battle with her family. Her father tonight apparently agreeing to end her 13-year conservatorship.



LEMON (on camera): OK, so there is a new twist in the Britney Spears conservatorship battle. Her father, Jamie Spears, has filed a petition to end the 13-year arrangement. Earlier this summer, the singer alleged conservatorship abuse during a motion court hearing, sparking an outpouring of public support.

Let's talk about this now. CNN entertainment reporter Chloe Melas is here, and CNN legal analyst and civil rights attorney Areva Martin, are both here.

I said to you guys during the break, what is this, some jedi mind trick? What is going on? Chloe, what are we learning? What are you learning about this new petition tonight? CHLOE MELAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: I mean, I think that the

free Britney movement and people all over the world have been waiting for someone to file a petition to terminate and here it turns out to be her father, first time in 13 years. But remember, Britney Spears' new attorney, Matthew Rosengart, has been filing petition after petition putting pressure on Jamie Spears to resign, to step aside, you know.

And there was that potential that Judge Brenda Penny was going to be suspending Jamie Spears at the next hearing on September 29th.


I want to read you part of the statement from Rosengart, telling CNN this filing represents another legal victory for Britney Spears, a massive one, as well as vindication for Ms. Spears. It appears that Mr. Spears believes he can try to avoid accountability and justice including sitting for, Don, get this, a sworn deposition and answering other discovery under oath.

Remember, Britney Spears said twice over the summer at two different hearings multiple times at two hearings that she wants to charge her father with conservatorship abuse. So, could that happen?

LEMON: Areva?

AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Absolutely, that can happen, and you're right, Don, this is an incredible turn of events. This is a huge legal victory for Britney and it is vindication. I agree with her attorney.


LEMON: Let me read this, Areva. Let me read this in part so that -- because this is where you're going. And part of the petition it says this. Recent events related to this conservatorship have called into question whether circumstances have changed to such an extent that grounds for establishment of a conservatorship may no longer exist.

So, go on. But maybe that was the key to turning it around. Sorry to interrupt. Go on.

MARTIN: No, no problem. Well, that statement is dramatically different than a statement made just, you know, several days ago by Jamie Spears when he pushed back on the petition to have him removed as conservator, he claimed that he was still in the best position to be the conservator that he wanted what was best for his daughter and he was t one point, fighting the petition filed by her new attorney to have him removed.

So, things are moving pretty quickly, Don. But one thing that Chloe said, which we can't move side of, this new attorney that just got involved in this case in July has been incredibly aggressive in filing petitions, and making it clear that he was going to do a very thorough investigation to determine whether there's been any kind of financial mismanagement. And he has served, Jamie Spears, with a deposition notice which means he has to show up, give testimony under oath and then answer other discovery that has been served on him by the new attorney.

So, I think we were about to start to see some light of days and transparency with the way that this conservatorship was handled. And the attorney has said even with this new filing, this request to terminate the conservatorship, he is not giving up, he is going to continue his efforts to investigate how this conservatorship was handled for the last 13 years.

LEMON: You remember, I mean, when they said that her net worth was $60 million. And I said well, wait a minute, what happened to all of Britney Spears money? That is -- it is a lot of money. When you think about someone who's been in the business, you know, starting as a kid for him, what is it, the Disney, it was a -- she's a musketeer, right, if I'm not -- if I'm not mistaken.

MELAS: Right. Mickey Mouse club.

LEMON: And the Mickey Mouse club. And she's been doing this and has hit after hit after hit and I think some of it she wrote, you know, and she's been performing. She had -- what do you have it when you're in Vegas?

MELAS: Residency.

LEMON: Residency. And you make tons of money on that. She should have made $60 million alone just from that. But anyway, I mean, she has been under conservatorship, Chloe, since 2009. How soon could this change go into effect. What happens next?

MELAS: I mean, it's pretty much over. I mean, I think it just kind of, you know, all there has to be is the hearing on September 29th, Judge Brenda Penny has to set the hearing. We'll probably going to see that in the next couple of days and then essentially, it's over.

But right, there are still things that have to be taken care of like, you know, there are some loose ends with the money. Britney Spears' father is saying that he's owed nearly $2 million. Half a million dollars for a salary and all this money for legal fees.

So, it's not going to be over and you have Rosengart saying we're not going to pay that $2 million and then Britney Spears' medical care. You know, she's under supervision of Jodi Montgomery, the conservator of her person, a team of doctors and nobody wants anything to happen to Britney. So that has to be kind of put in place, as well.

But essentially, Don, we're going to see the free Britney movement in full effect --


MELAS: -- outside of the Los Angeles county superior courthouse.

LEMON: Areva.

MELAS: This is going to be incredible. You bet I'm going to be there.


MELAS: I'm going to be there.

LEMON: Areva, this is really the -- this is following the money. That's what the new attorney is doing and the dad is -- yes.

MARTIN: Yes, you're right, Don. This has always been about money unfortunately, and that's why so many people have railed against this type of conservatorship for someone like Britney, as you just identified, who's been able to perform in Las Vegas and be a judge on a competition show --


LEMON: A lot about that one.

MARTIN: You know, normal activities but yet to be under conservatorship for so long is really been appalling and I couldn't be more elated about this recent turn of events. I should note that the court, though, will have the final say on whether the conservatorship is terminated.

The court still has to make a determination that Britney has the mental capacity, the ability to take care of her own affairs or health affairs or financial affairs, but definitely this filing by the father saying that he wants to or he believes that the conservatorship should be terminated is big step in the right direction.


LEMON: Thank you both very much. I appreciate it.

MELAS: Thank you.

LEMON: So, in other celebrity news. I mean, let me just say. I only -- I had the pleasure of meeting the next person I'm going to talk about once here in the green room at CNN. And you could not have met a better person. And then just conversing with him every once in a while, by text on some wonderful project that he did.

And now this. Social media is lighting up. Yesterday and today with words of praise and touching tributes for actor Michael K. Williams. Best known for his role as Omar Little in HBO's series "The Wire." Williams was found dead in his New York apartment on Monday afternoon. A law enforcement source says the investigation is underway.

Williams was also known for his work on "Boardwalk Empire," "Lovecraft Country, and the series, "F is for Family." A lot of speculation out there but we're thinking about his family and what an incredible loss. He was 54 years old.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON (on camera): Take this. More shootings over the Labor Day weekend in Chicago than last year. Sixty-three people were shot, six fatally and 49 shooting incidents during the holiday weekend. Compare that to Labor Day 2020 when CNN reported there were 53 people shot with eight deaths.

Now, according to police, at least eight children were shot over this past weekend including a 14-year-old and an 11-year-old at a back to school event.

In New York, some positive news. The mayor and police are reporting a decline in violent crime. The NYPD reporting that shootings were down almost 31 percent compared to last August. Murders were down almost 9 percent from last year. The mayor says shootings in Brooklyn were down almost 50 percent compared to last August.

And while those numbers are encouraging, other types of crimes are seeing an increase including hate crimes. The NYPD says reported hate crimes are up over last year across the board. Reported anti-Asian hate crimes are up, get this, 375 percent. Anti-Muslim hate crimes are up 350 percent. And anti-Jewish hate crimes are up 51 percent.

Stop the hate. President Biden trying to change the focus back to his domestic agenda but he may be facing more hurdles than he bargained for.