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More Than 600K Customers Still Without Power In Louisiana; President Joe Biden To Visit Hard-Hit Areas Of New York And New Jersey This Week; Afghan Chaos, New COVID Surges Take Toll On Biden's Approval. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired September 05, 2021 - 15:00   ET



FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: Hello, again, everyone. Thank you so much for joining me this Sunday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

We begin this hour on the Gulf Coast where a week after Hurricane Ida slammed into Louisiana, millions of Americans are still desperately trying to get power, clean water and other basic necessities.

More than 600,000 customers in the state are still in the dark. Some of the hardest hit areas could be without electricity until the end of the month. Videos showing how some areas remain devastated even a week later, and people are scrambling to find gas for cars and generators. Plus, they're facing long lines while trying to do so.

Some residents have expressed frustration at the pace of the Federal response.

This morning, the former Louisiana lawmaker who is heading up the White House response to Ida insisted the administration is all-hands on deck.


CEDRIC RICHMOND, SENIOR ADVISER TO PRESIDENT BIDEN: One of the reasons why the President wanted to come down and come down so early is because he wanted to see things on the ground and we know what the problems are and we're actually helping to resolve them and that is getting power back on in homes. That's getting gas to fuel stations, that's getting tarps out there so people can start to mitigate their damage and then it's to create and provide that assistance so people that do come home after a week of not having electricity, they have to replenish refrigerator.

And you know most people don't think of it in that sense, but part of why we're here is we want to know what real people deal with.


WHITFIELD: CNN's Nadia Romero is in Kenner, Louisiana just outside of New Orleans. Nadia, you're on the ground with people who are dealing with these conditions right now and what are they telling you? NADIA ROMERO, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fredricka, a lot of

people are frustrated and they are at the point where they have reached their final straw and they're trying to figure out what happens next.

So, they're seeing the lights come on in some neighborhoods, but where I'm at here in Kenner, the lights are still off and they're not optimistic that they'll turn on by September 8th, which is Wednesday, which is when Entergy, the power company says they will likely be on, and look at the mess they still have to clean up.

Look at this power line that came crashing down during the storm and it is still just right here in the middle of the street here. And as you look down this street, all you see is more power lines and power poles blocking the street, so the residents are actually trapped inside of their homes.

Now one woman we spoke with says that they haven't seen a storm like this ever. She said they never had this much damage, the power going out, issues like they've had since Hurricane Ida. They've been living in this neighborhood since 1985, but she said to me that this moment, makes her think of her mother and here's why.


EMILY ENCALARDE, KENNER RESIDENT WITHOUT POWER: My mom, thank God -- well, I say thank God, but she passed from COVID in March of 2020. So, I'm just thankful that she was not here to witness any of this because she would have been so miserable right now. She really would have.

ROMERO: I'm so sorry to hear about your mother. It's one storm after another for your family, it seems like.

ENCALARDE: It seems, yes. I mean, but this is -- this is the nature of the beast. If you live here in southeastern Louisiana, you can expect this sort of thing to happen on a regular basis. That's the crazy part.


ROMERO: And they said what's not crazy is that you do expect this to happen, but you expect the response to be just as quick. They've been through this before. So, where is the help?

We're going to take a look through our mast-cam above this neighborhood and you're going to see the tops of different rooms with blue tarps and that's a sign that they've sustained some kind of roof damage.

The neighbors say when they came out after the storm, there were shingles all over the ground and as a neighborhood, they came out and picked up the pieces themselves, but they are waiting for Entergy, the power company or someone to come out and help them and we know that help should be on the way that's what we're hearing from Entergy, but people in this neighborhood say when, where -- a lot of questions still remain -- Fred. WHITFIELD: All right. Nadia Romero in Kenner, Louisiana. Thank you so


There are a lot of questions in so many portions of Louisiana.

Let's bring in Gordon Dove, he is the president of Terrebonne Parish. Well, I wonder from you, if you can give us an idea of how people are doing in your parish. What are the needs?

GORDON DOVE, PRESIDENT, TERREBONNE PARISH (via phone): Well, you know, people who have stayed here for the hurricane, you know, terrible kind of experience, 155 miles an hour here in Houma and Terrebonne Parish in 155 miles an hour and then we had gust up to -- we registered 185.

There was no flooding. All our -- the levee system we built and up pump stations and pumping system all worked fine, but we do have extensive wind damage and the people are cleaning up. We were able to get a lot of troops out. The National Guard volunteers. We have pods set up all over Terrebonne Parish giving out I.C.E., water, food, and of course tarps. You know, tarps are a big thing that a lot of windstorm, a lot of roofs, a lot of shingles, a lot of homes just completely gone and rooftops.

But a lot of the majority of the homes can be covered and shingled and, you know they would still be okay.


WHITFIELD: So you sound rather optimistic, like everything is fairly under control in terms of recovery. Am I reading you right? Or are there areas where you still need extensive help?

DOVE: Well, no, I mean, if you would have called me four days ago, it was -- I mean, it was really, really putting everything together. And I mean, we still have a long way to go. You know, the silver lining here of our catastrophe is we do not have one confirmed fatality, which I think is, you know, we may -- we may find one, you know, but thank God, we don't have any right now.

And we have no reports of home flooding, and of course, we do have a lot of damage. We have extensive power down. We have Entergy, Cleco, and we have our own power and light in the city of Houma ourselves. But we do have 1,500 trucks, and a couple of thousand men that are working to restore the power that should interconnect with the transmission line this Thursday, and start powering up our Terrebonne General Hospital along with our waterworks.

Now, remember, we have water in Terrebonne Parish that run on the generator. About 60 percent of Terrebonne Parish has water as of this time. None of the parish has electricity, but Thursday, we should start powering up and you know, it will be a couple of weeks to power up especially down the bayous and the low lying areas.

And so you know, where we're moving on. Like I said, the first few days was pretty hectic. The Governor's Office, John Bel Edwards and the whole staff with the state was working with us, you know, we have an Emergency Operation Center. We really have it state of the art that was built a few years back and we have had all the agencies from the Coast Guard, National Guard on a Federal response.

Our biggest problem right now is to get housing. We need housing, because the homes that were destroyed and the people looking to be able to be housed someplace.

Right now, we are shipping people who have no home to Monroe, Louisiana. We have a contract over there and we are trying to get some homes set up.

I've met with -- I heard Cedric Richmond on now. I met with Cedric Richmond and President Joe Biden Thursday and Steve Scalise and the head of F.E.M.A., her name is Christy Allen and -- Criswell, I'm sorry, Miss Criswell -- and they assured me that they would do everything as expeditiously as possible to get us housing.

WHITFIELD: And is it happening already? I realized you just met them within a matter of days, but as a result of that meeting, especially with the President, have you seen that there's an expedited effort to meet the housing needs that you just talked about and to get electricity restored? Is that where the Federal government is able to help you out more expeditiously?

DOVE: Well, the electricity is more of a local level, and in the state, it's for these utility companies to get that. So, that's really not the Federal government. But the housing, I mean, it was day before yesterday when I met with them and they were committed to doing everything they can.

Cedric Richmond, and like I said, Congressman Steve Scalise, and the President Joe Biden, and he met with myself and a couple other Parish Presidents and assured us that they would do everything to get housing.

We may come in with the Marine house, the Marine vessels that already have the housing, but as of right now, we don't have anything, but like I said, it's only been a day before yesterday.

WHITFIELD: And I know that, yes, that meeting was just a couple days ago, but it's been a week since this storm and I imagine that patience is running very thin, people are very frustrated.

For those who either want to get back into their homes or find it difficult to be relocated. What do you say to your residents there who, you know, are just filled with anxiety and they're uncomfortable and they're worried?

DOVE: Well, most of our residents here, you know, last year we had seven hurricanes and tropical storms coming to this area, but they weren't nothing in the mag -- this is the strongest hurricane ever to hit Terrebonne Parish, so -- but their resiliency, they are actually cleaning up themselves and like anything else, they want results.

[15:10:09] DOVE: Now, we are bringing generators to convenience stores to try to

get gasoline moving. We've got two supermarkets set up. And so you know, we don't wait on anyone here in Terrebonne Parish. We're moving ourselves. And you know, we're hoping the Federal government does come up with some housing, you know, to F.E.M.A. and I think that's our biggest -- our biggest bridge to cross is that.

WHITFIELD: Okay All right, Terrebonne Parish President Gordon Dove, thanks so much for being with us. And I think people can feel your optimism there and your hopefulness that you will all be able to weather the storm together -- the aftermath of the storm. Thanks so much.

All right, so after visiting storm damaged areas of Louisiana this past week, President Biden will now hit hard hit areas of New York and New Jersey on Tuesday. At least 50 people died in the northeast after the remnants of Hurricane Ida brought tornadoes and historic flash flooding to the region.

CNN's Polo Sandoval is in New York for us. So, New York is still also trying to pick up the pieces. What are you hearing about the pace of the recovery?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So Fred, before we get to really what a lot of residents here in Queens are hoping that the Federal government and the state government will actually do to help them rebuild, I want you to take a look at some fresh video that was just actually released by the New York Police Department.

And what it does, it really captures a tremendous sense of urgency on behalf of several New York police officers as they were trying to desperately save some individuals that they had heard, who were actually trapped in a basement as we know, a majority of those deaths here that were reported in New York City where individuals that were leaving living in basement or cellar apartments and in this video, you can see those police officers tried to basically submerge themselves and access this area.

As authorities have said, sadly, because of locked doors, rising flood water, and live electricity, that's a pullback and it wasn't until hours later with the help of a rescue scuba team that they went in and sadly found the bodies of three people. It was a couple and their two- year-old toddler. They are among the dead that have already been previously confirmed by authorities here.

Meanwhile, for so many others, especially those residents in parts of Brooklyn, parts of Queens, and those isolated pockets that were just devastated by the storm on Wednesday, they are now left to wonder and wait when or if they will get any kind of Federal assistance to try to help them repair or in some cases even rebuild.

I want you to hear from Barbara Martinez. We caught up with her as she was leaving one of about five service centers that have been temporarily set up by city officials to try to offer folks some resources.

Barbara didn't find much help there. She says what she needs is much more than just contact information for various nonprofit groups.


BARBARA MARTINEZ, NEW YORK RESIDENT: I came by here today because I thought I might be able to get assistance. My water heater is shot, you can't get a plumber. My boiler also gone. And all we've been told with everyone that's here today is call 3-1-1 to file a complaint, which I did and was closed out. I don't know what to do.

We need financial assistance. We need to get back on our feet.


SANDOVAL: Now one city official did tell me that the city is doing everything they can. Obviously, this is only about four days after some of these families were affected. So, it's going to take some time.

But we heard from New York Governor Kathy Hochul, who said they are hoping the Federal government will actually help the state provide that kind of individual assistance to people like Barbara -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right, slow going. Polo Sandoval, thank you so much in New York.

All right, still ahead this Holiday weekend, COVID cases are up more than 300 percent since last Labor Day weekend. And now, experts are sounding the alarm on a new variant already in so many states.

Plus, President Biden getting heat on multiple fronts from the confusion over boosters to the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan. And now he is seeing his poll numbers take a hit. Can he rebound? We'll discuss, next.



WHITFIELD: All right, a new chapter in the fight against coronavirus. Cases are up more than 300 percent since last Labor Day weekend. Hospitals are at capacity. There is high community transmission and fears for children are growing -- those kids who have yet to be vaccinated.

There's also confusion -- confusion about when booster shots will be available. The White House playing defense this morning after its announcement on a planned booster rollout for September 20th came before the green light from the F.D.A.

And today, on CNN, the White House Chief of Staff tried to clarify.


DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Did he get ahead of the science by setting that specific date for boosters before all the data was in? RON KLAIN, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: No, Dana, I think what we said

was that we would be ready as of the 20th, which was the projection we were given from the senior science team as to when the F.D.A. would clear the boosters.

I want to be absolutely clear, no one is going to get boosters until the F.D.A. says they are approved, until the C.D.C. Advisory Committee makes a recommendation.


WHITFIELD: And all this, as the virus spreads rapidly. Virtually all Americans live in areas with high levels of community transmission.

Florida is seeing its deadliest days of this pandemic. The average number of daily deaths reported in Florida has broken records for three straight weeks.

Across the country, hospitalizations nearly tripled in July and then doubled in August and now concerns are growing about the new mu coronavirus variant beginning to circulate.

CNN's Natasha Chen joining us with more on all of this.

Natasha, several states dealing with record hospitalizations. What is the latest?


NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Fred. Let's just start with putting things in perspective where we were last year at this point versus today.

From the Health and Human Services data, if you look at this chart -- this chart starts at Labor Day of 2020. It shows that we are 300 percent higher right now compared to a year ago when it comes to new coronavirus cases, seven-day moving average out of every 100,000 residents. It's really not a good place to be.

And if you take a look at this chart of the deaths across the U.S., also a seven-day moving average, that has increased. That's a bad trend right there, higher than last year's summer surge for sure.

Then look at hospitalizations across the country. Daily hospitalization numbers are topping 100,000 as you just mentioned, tripling in July, doubling again in August.

And if you zone in just on California where we are, this is also mirroring the troubling increase across the country. California is seeing a huge increase in hospitalizations since late June. One of the examples of this is in Northern California.

I saw this letter written by the Humboldt del Norte County Medical Society, and it really caught my attention because these are a bunch of doctors who signed this letter to their community pleading to have them get vaccinated. Here is what they said: "We ask this from the bottom of our hearts. As

your physicians and as the people with whom you have worked, played, laughed, and cried, we must admit we are tired. We will keep working, of course, but we are tired. We are tired of the suffering, pain, and death that can be avoided by getting vaccinated."

This is particularly a message that needs to hit home in places where that vaccination rate is relatively low. In Del Norte County, that's not yet 38 percent of the population fully vaccinated, and the State Health Department here has sounded the alarm with the San Joaquin Valley in the central part of the state with fewer than 10 percent of staffed ICU beds remaining available for three consecutive days.

And in one of those counties, we're talking about fewer than a third of the adults of the population there fully vaccinated. That's a lot lower than some of the more urban areas in California.

So, this is a problem across the country. And the trends are really in the wrong direction --Fred.

WHITFIELD: It sounds like members of that medical community are really pleading for help in terms of cooperation from the general populace.

Natasha Chen, thank you so much.

All right, a programming note, Dr. Anthony Fauci will join my colleague, Jim Acosta next hour, 4:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

And we'll be right back.



WHITFIELD: All right, President Biden is spending the holiday weekend in Wilmington, Delaware and he is facing multiple pressing issues after a pretty rough two weeks. The latest jobs report dragged down by the pandemic communities across the nation in need of aid following extreme weather events and COVID hospitalizations surging amid confusion over booster shots.

Joining me right now to discuss is David Swerdlick, a CNN political commentator and an assistant editor for "The Washington Post." And Jeff Mason, a White House correspondent for Reuters.

Good to see both of you this holiday weekend. Gentlemen, thanks so much for being with us.



WHITFIELD: So David, you first, you know, the Acting Commissioner of the F.D.A. has acknowledged the confusion over booster shots and listen to this from Dr. Paul Offit, a prominent member of the F.D.A.'s Vaccine Advisory Committee.


DR. PAUL OFFIT, DIRECTOR, VACCINE EDUCATION CENTER, CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL OF PHILADELPHIA: I think that there's enormous frustration that the administration basically just pronounced that we are going to have a vaccine -- that's a three-dose vaccine for the general public by September 20th without doing it the right way.

This is what we didn't like about the last administration when they would just proclaim things like hydroxychloroquine or convalescent plasma or Clorox chewables whatever they were doing.


WHITFIELD: So, David, is this going to be a costly misstep for the Biden White House?

SWERDLICK: Fred, I don't think it'll be a costly misstep if they get this in hand really quickly. This reminds me of, in May, when the C.D.C. dropped the mask guidance and that caught a lot of people off guard and then along came the delta variant. Now, you have the White House, getting a little bit ahead of the science, or at least what the government scientists wants.

They have to figure out how to get everyone -- C.D.C., H.H.S., White House, President, White House press shop, speaking from the same sheet of music so that the public knows exactly what is going on and what steps the government is taking and where they are being taken by government leadership.

WHITFIELD: Right. And Jeff, I mean, this underscores -- this is the challenge for any White House, right? You want to present a hopeful tone without making any real concrete promises. I mean, this doesn't seem to be going well, right now for this White House.

MASON: It's been a rough period, there is no question about that, Fred, on multiple levels, and COVID is certainly one of them. In some ways, COVID has gotten a little less attention over the last few weeks because of what was going on in Afghanistan, but I think we're going to see that ramp up.

The Biden administration -- President Biden specifically hinted last week that they are going to come out with new measures this week. So, stay tuned -- this coming week -- so stay tuned for that.

But yes, I think they are trying to balance, giving a hopeful message while also encouraging people to follow the guidelines and do what they can, do more in President Biden's words to tackle delta.


WHITFIELD: David, President Biden's job approval rating dropped to 44 percent in a new Washington Post/ABC News poll. That's down six points from June. This is not an outlier. Biden has seen high single digit drop in his ratings across multiple polls, but should this be worrisome to him?

SWERDLICK: So, I think administrations always look at their approval rating. President Trump was actually hovering at about 40 at this point in his first year. President Obama was higher, but at a later point, in his first term, he almost got down to 40.

So, President Biden at 44, still has plenty of time to get back over 50, to right the ship, to show people that he is in command, get his approval rating up. He does have 77 percent of people in that same poll who approve of getting out of Afghanistan, even though less than half approve of the way it was done.

I think the key for them is to get this going before the midterm election year, which starts -- I mean, we're going into the holidays and the next year is an election year. And that, I think, is what the administration has to worry about more than their own prospects.

WHITFIELD: So Jeff, some of Biden's recent moves, like what David says, you know, Afghanistan, getting a lot of criticism from the opposite side of the aisle. But he is also getting some criticism from within his own party, for example, the departure, you know, from Afghanistan. This is just the latest example of the divide in the Democratic Party.

So, is he worried about being able to lead the Democratic Caucus?

MASON: I don't think he is probably worried about being able to lead the caucus, but I do think it is a challenge for him to bridge those differences in the Caucus and Afghanistan is one of them. And certainly, we're seeing an even bigger divide coming in the coming days about the legislative packages that that the Biden White House wants to get through Congress, and the challenge there between the left and the centrist parts of his party.

So, it's a challenge. He did run on a on a promise to unite the country, but he also has to unite his party, and whether or not he is able to successfully unite them completely, or just bring them close enough together to get some of his agenda done, I think he'd be happy with the latter if he is able to achieve that.

WHITFIELD: All right, we'll leave it there for now, gentlemen, and have a great holiday weekend. Jeff Mason, David Swerdlick, always good to see you.

SWERDLICK: Thanks, Fred.

MASON: You, too, Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right. Thanks. All right, still ahead, the once powerful Catholic official Cardinal Theodore McCarrick pleads not guilty to sexual abuse charges. Next, I'll talk to a lawyer representing one of his alleged victims.


[15:37:23] WHITFIELD: Former Catholic Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has pleaded

not guilty to three counts of criminal child sex abuse in a Massachusetts Court. The Vatican defrocked McCarrick in 2019 over sex abuse allegations, 91-year-old McCarrick is the highest ranking Catholic official in the U.S. to face criminal charges for sex abuse of a minor.

Mitchell Garabedian is an attorney who is bringing a pair of civil cases against McCarrick.

Mitchell, so good to see you. So, to be clear, you are not involved in this criminal case against McCarrick, but can you tell us how unprecedented it is to bring criminal charges against a high ranking Catholic Cardinal.

MITCHELL GARABEDIAN, ATTORNEY WHO REPRESENTS ABUSE SURVIVOR IN CIVIL CASE AGAINST THEODORE MCCARRICK: Thank you, Fred. I sent my client to the police for an investigation. The police determined that the facts were there and the District Attorney decided to proceed with charges in Massachusetts.

This is unprecedented. To name a Cardinal in a criminal complaint for sexual abuse, and of course, these are only allegations at this point, is unprecedented. It's momentous. It's never been done in the United States.

You have the Cardinal, the supervisor of church officials, the one who is supposed to be making sure that children are being kept safe, the one who is supposed to be watching the flock, being the actual sexual abuser is unprecedented in the United States, and it breaks new ground and hopefully it will break new ground around the world.

WHITFIELD: And then as someone who represents an alleged victim of McCarrick in a civil suit against him, what does it mean to the alleged victims, their family members to see that now these criminal charges are being brought?

GARABEDIAN: The alleged victim and all survivors -- clergy sexual abuse survivors are just filled with hope. They are filled with kindness. They want to help each other. It means so much to them to have their voices heard, finally, through the criminal proceeding against the Cardinal no less.

It's an emotional roller coaster, make no mistake about it for many clergy sexual abuse survivors, but they are overcome with joy. They are happy and they feel as though they can be -- they can have self- esteem and self-respect and rid themselves that unnecessary guilt that so many clergy sexual abuse victims feel.

They feel -- they are beginning to feel whole. They're trying to heal. They're trying to gain a degree of closure.


WHITFIELD: McCarrick is charged with assaulting the teen nearly 50 years ago. So, what is unique about the State of Massachusetts that allows charges like this to be brought after so many years?

GARABEDIAN: Yes. Massachusetts criminal law has a nuance in it, it makes it unique, and a few states have that. New Hampshire, I believe, also has it, too.

If the sexual abuser does not live within a state, and he leaves the state after sexually abusing the child or the adult, the statute of limitations freezes. It stops running until the sexual abuser or the alleged sexual abuser comes back into the state.

So in this case, McCarrick sexual abused my client in Massachusetts. He left the state, he did not live within the state. The statute of limitations froze in time, and my client was able to proceed as a complainant in a criminal case against Cardinal McCarrick.

WHITFIELD: Mitchell Garabedian, good to see you again. Thank you so much for joining us on this day to help us see the direction of your case and others. Thank you so much.

GARABEDIAN: Good to see you. Thank you.

WHITFIELD: And we'll be right back.



WHITFIELD: California's recall election is now nine days away, and Governor Gavin Newsom is taking all the help that he can get. He is campaigning right now in Los Angeles. In fact, CNN's Dan Merica is joining me.

So Dan, the polling is looking up for the governor. But what are you hearing from voters?

DAN MERICA, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER: Yes, you can certainly tell there's a bit of a much more upbeat nature from the Newsom camp this weekend. Last few weeks have been pretty tough. There was some polls showing that he was in real danger. You've had a string of polls that show him in a better position, and you really can feel that here.

We're at a labor event near downtown LA. There is a lot of tacos being served. A number of different labor groups here supporting the Governor. I can tell you, labor has been critical to the governor getting out the vote, going door to door, a number of door knocking efforts throughout the LA area today and a number of weekends prior.

But what is really noticeable is how Newsom is trying to nationalize this race. Yes, he is running to be the top executive in California, but when you hear him speak, he speaks about the national implications of this race. And he had Elizabeth Warren, senator from Massachusetts here yesterday. Take a listen to how she nationalized this race.


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): Larry Elder dreams of being California's own Donald Trump.


WARREN: And I don't know about you, but I will fight with everything I've got to keep from putting one more Donald Trump Republican in office.


MERICA: So you can hear in that reaction how potent that argument is. Obviously, Donald Trump lost California by about 30 points in 2020. It's a strong argument, especially when it's made by national Democrats.

We have Warren here yesterday. You have Amy Klobuchar, senator from Minnesota here today. And later in the week, you have Vice President Kamala Harris coming to California to campaign for Governor Newsom -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: Lots of big heavy hitters. We'll see how it may or may not impact the outcome. Dan Merica, thank you so much. Appreciate that.

All right, still ahead, the battle for equal pay and equal respect by women in the world of sports.

But first, as heat waves become more common, one company is using technology and nature to cut your air conditioning bill. Here is today's "Mission Ahead."


RACHEL CRANE, CNN BUSINESS INNOVATIONS AND SPACE CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Air conditioners and electric fans account for 10 percent of all global electricity consumption.

As the planet warms, the demand for this type of cooling is expected to triple by 2050.

ELI GOLDSTEIN, COFOUNDER AND CEO, SKYCOOL SYSTEMS, INC.: The more electricity we use for cooling, the more challenging it is to operate and to provide electricity reliably.

CRANE (voice over): That's why the company SkyCool wants to make existing cooling systems run more efficiently by taking advantage of a natural phenomenon called radiative cooling.

Almost all objects give off heat in the form of infrared radiation, cooling down in the process. But some objects radiate so well, they become cooler than the air around it. Like these frosted blades of grass, a phenomenon only observed at night and out of the sun.

So SkyCool designed a new material with radiative cooling properties that work 24 hours a day. It is hundreds of tiny optical layers emit a specific wavelength of radiation to maximize cooling, but it's also highly reflective, staying cool, even under direct sunlight.

GOLDSTEIN: That combination of properties has never been found in nature.

CRANE (on camera): Are they actually physically cool to the touch?


CRANE: Yes, they are much cooler than what I would expect. I mean, it's a hot day and that's cool to the touch.


CRANE (voice over): The panels work by chilling water running through pipes embedded behind them, then, that cold water flows into a building's cooling system helping to chill refrigerant liquid, which eases the workload for the condenser. The less your condenser runs, the less you pay in an energy bill.

This grocery store in Stockton, California saw a notable difference after SkyCool installed panels on its roof, despite an increase in electricity rates.

JESUS VALENZUELA, MANAGER, GROCERY OUTLET: We've saved on average about $3,000.00 a month.

CRANE (voice over): As SkyCool grows with additional retail installations, the company hopes its panels can someday be put on the roofs of homes.


GOLDSTEIN: You could imagine using this on the roofs of uninsulated buildings in Asia, or Africa, or India where it is expected to be billions of air conditioners coming online in the next 30 years. And we're just excited to be able to use this new technology for good.

CRANE (voice over): Rachael Crane, CNN.




WHITFIELD: Four Olympic golds, four World Cup championships, but now the players on the U.S. women's national soccer team may be facing their biggest challenge ever, the fight for equal pay.

They sued the U.S. Soccer Federation in 2019 alleging that they don't get paid equally to the men's teams and they're hardly alone in the battle.

As we approach the premiere of the CNN film "LFG," which chronicles the players' battles on both on and off the field, our Carolyn Manno takes a look at what women across the sports world are doing to get the equal pay and respect they deserve.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BILLIE JEAN KING, TENNIS LEGEND: As a girl growing up, I was always

taught to be so grateful for the crumbs and women are taught that.

CAROLYN MANNO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT (voice over): When it comes to gender equity in sports, images like those from the weight rooms at this year's NCAA tournament underscore a heavy truth for female athletes.

MEGHAN DUGGAN, FORMER PRO HOCKEY PLAYER: Women professional and national team ice hockey players have to battle and fight every single day. The resources that the National Hockey League players have access to are unbelievable, and you know they've earned them, but so have the women.

MANNO (voice over): The U.S. women's national teams in both hockey and soccer have fought for increases in wages and equitable treatment, arguing the value they bring to global events like the Olympics and World Championships isn't being compensated fairly.

In 2017, members of the U.S. hockey team reached a landmark four-year deal with U.S.A. Hockey after threatening a boycott.

This past April, the soccer team reached a partial settlement with U.S. Soccer on better working conditions. The team is still appealing the dismissal of an equal pay lawsuit filed against the Federation in 2020.

The U.S.S.F. provided a statement in August saying "U.S. Soccer is committed to equal pay and is proud to support these pieces of legislation, which seek to ensure that all national governing bodies offer equal opportunity, including investment, promotional support, working conditions, and compensation for their athletes, staff, and other senior officials."

ALEX MORGAN, PRO SOCCER PLAYER: We will continue to fight. We did file an appeal. And as many people know, that takes many, many months. So, we're in the thick of it right now, and we're really optimistic for the outcome, but we know that we have to be patient along the way.

MANNO (voice over): In professional leagues, women's average salaries are making small scale gains over time. The leagues were established later than the ones belonging to their male counterparts, but the pay gap remains alarmingly wide.

MUFFET MCGRAW, FORMER NOTRE DAME WOMEN'S BASKETBALL COACH: If you look at the WNBA, they are not trying to get the same salary as the NBA, they just want a little bit more. They want to be able to live without having to go to Europe and play.

They want to have a salary that will accommodate them for the entire year. I don't think that's too much to ask.

CANDACE PARKER, WBNA STAR: You know, I realized that the WNBA is 25 years young. The NBA has been around for 75 years. I understand that just because LeBron makes $90 million, it doesn't make me that way.

But it's the perception of what women's athletes are in the sense that they cannot sell, and that goes with marketing.

MANNO (on camera): The athletes and executives that I spoke with point towards corporate investment as an area that can have a tangible effect on closing the pay gap and we are seeing a little bit of that.

Last week. Michelob Ultra invested $100 million in marketing women's sports over the next five years, and AIG set a new benchmark in the LPGA at the AIG Women's Open. Their payout is now set at $5.8 million. That's the largest in the sports history, lucrative opportunity at the U.S. Open here as well. And of course, this event set at a venue bearing the name of one of the titans of gender equity.

CATHY ENGELBERT, WNBA COMMISSIONER: We're so thankful for athletes like Billie Jean King who have stepped up, have used her voice and continue to use it over decades.

PARKER: Now, I'm looking in this generation and I'm seeing now my daughter is going to have far more doors open for her. So, it's our responsibility to continue to push this forward.

KING: We're only going to be happy with the cake, the icing, and the cherry on top. We deserve it and we're going to go for it.

No more being happy with the crumbs.

MANNO (voice over): Carolyn Manno, CNN, New York.


WHITFIELD: And be sure to tune in the all new CNN film "LFG" premieres tomorrow at 9:00 p.m. Eastern only on CNN.

And thank you so much for being with me this weekend. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. The CNN NEWSROOM continues with Jim Acosta right now.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN HOST: You're alive in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Jim Acosta, and Washington as bad as coronavirus pandemic was last year at its peak, it's worse now in many parts of the U.S.

Georgia is now seeing its highest number of hospitalizations since the start of the pandemic with less than 10 percent of ICU beds left. One hospital there nearly doubled its ICU capacity, but it is still overflowing.