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Nicholas Makes Landfall as a Hurricane Along Texas Coast; Massachusetts National Guard Helps with Bus Driver Shortage; Ocasio- Cortez Wears 'Tax the Rich' Dress at Met Gala; Norm Macdonald, SNL Star Dies. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired September 14, 2021 - 15:30   ET



ALISYN CAMEROTA: CNN HOST: Congressman John Garamendi, we really appreciate you being on. Thank you.

REP. JOHN GARAMENDI, (D-CA): My pleasure, thank you.

CAMEROTA: OK, in a new twist in the assassination of Haiti's President, a prosecutor is now seeking charges against the country's Prime Minister.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: And another storm is pounding the South with wind and rain. Power outages again. Flooding concerns across Texas and Louisiana.




JOHNATHAN HEMMER, STORM KNOCKED TREES ONTO HIS TEXAS HOME: In and out of the room. And I saw the trees coming through in so many different places, branches in all different places.


CAMEROTA: Houston is in the direct path of the storm. And that's where we find CNN's Rosa Flores. She's on the ground there. So, what does it look like, Rosa?

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Alisyn, assessments are still being made but according to the county judge, Lena Hidalgo, there are no fatalities, no injuries and she says that this was mostly a wind event. That's why we have seen hundreds of thousands of power outages. Now there was rain, of course, that's why you see that the water levels here in Buffalo Bayou are pretty high. The good news is that they are flowing in the direction that they are supposed to, towards the Gulf. They're draining out.

Nicholas making landfall overnight as a category one hurricane in Sergeant, Texas. CNN affiliate KPRC shooting this video of that area. The homeowner telling the reporter, Jacob Rascon, that more than a foot of water was inside his house.

We also have this video shot by CNN affiliate, KHOU. This is of tree piercing a home. The homeowner telling the reporter David Gonzalez there that she was asleep when all this was happening but that she's OK and that she's expected to stay at a hotel tonight.

Right now, Nicholas is over the state of Louisiana. A huge problem for everyone in Louisiana right now, of course, because some of the areas that were impacted by Hurricane Ida are expected to be hit again. One to five inches of rain in some areas. Some isolated areas with about 20 inches of rain. Alisyn and Victor, that's the last thing that those people need right now.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN HOST: Oh, absolutely. We've watch for weeks now as they have tried to get back the power. Some comfort in this as you said is not what they need. Rosa Flores, for us there in Houston. Thanks so much.

Massachusetts officials are activating the National Guard as the state's school bus driver shortage reaches crisis levels.



CAMEROTA: Millions of students are back in classrooms this week but districts across the country are struggling to find school bus drivers. Massachusetts is turning to the National Guard for help.

BLACKWELL: CNN's Pete Muntean has more for us, so tell us about the plan. What's the Massachusetts governor doing?

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION AND TRANSPORTATION CORRESPONDENT: Well, Victor, this is the latest and maybe most extreme example of this nationwide school bus driver shortage. What's so interesting is that right now, 90 members of the Massachusetts National Guard are training to drive school buses. These are the smaller school buses, about ten passengers each, and four districts just outside of Boston, Chelsea, Lynn, Lowell and Lawrence. And the governor says more could be added sometime soon.

I just spoke to the superintendent of the Chelsea School District. She says she's short about 15 drivers. School started about two weeks ago. And since then, that means about 20 percent of all buses have run late. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker says it's a pretty simple solution since many members of the Guard drive as part of their duties for the Guard.


GOV. CHARLIE BAKER (R-MA): The goal here is to try to make sure if we have vehicles, we put people in them who are qualified to drive them and do what we can to make sure kids can get to school. Because obviously, the driver shortage is creating some real issues.

(END VIDEOTAPE) MUNTEAN: Now this is just one approach to fix this problem that's happening all across the country. Schools transportation officials nationwide were just surveyed about this. And about two thirds of them say this is their number one issue -- Victor, Alisyn.

BLACKWELL: I don't know if that's what you expect when you join the National Guard that you'll be doing.

CAMEROTA: But he did say that they do have driving skills.

BLACKWELL: Wonderful service. Pete Muntean, thank you.

CAMEROTA: OK, tax the rich, that was the message on the gown worn by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at fashion's swankiest event, the Met Gala, So there's a lot of rich people there. How did that message go over?



CAMEROTA: It's the fashion's industry most extravagant party of the year. It's the Met Gala in New York. And this year's theme was, "In America: A Lexicon of Fashion." And that provoked some provocative designs.

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wore a white dress with the words "tax the rich" written in red on the back.

BLACKWELL: Now some criticized the message as hypocritical. A typical ticket is reportedly around $30,000. But the Congresswoman said she was invited. The designer of that gown, Aurora James weighed in too.


AURORA JAMES, FASHION DESIGNER: And I think ultimately a lot of these conversations that we have about economic justice usually happen in spaces with working class people. And she wanted to make sure this message was brought into that room and into a group of people who ultimately have to be willing to, you know, be more liberal with their economic values as well. And I think that's what we have done. And to be honest with you, she wouldn't have attended and just worn, you know, a pretty gown without delivering any kind of message to people.


BLACKWELL: Samantha Barry is the editor in chief of Glamour Magazine. Welcome. Welcome back.

CAMEROTA: Welcome.

BLACKWELL: Actually.

CAMEROTA: Great to have you.

SAMANTHA BARRY, EDITOR IN CHIEF OF GLAMOUR MAGAZINE: Good to see you. BLACKWELL: So, before we get to the Congresswoman, I'm always surprised how people interpret the theme, right. If you read the theme and look at some of what the gowns and the suits and jumpers, how they get from that to this.

BARRY: The theme this year was "In America: A Lexicon of American Fashion," and it's the first of two parts because the Met in May, which usually happens the first Monday of May, obviously it's been pushed because of COVID. So, we're going to have two pretty back to back Met Galas.


This first part is about that language we use around American fashion. And I think historically can be in comparison when we're talking about European fashion, people use the words like "simple" or "denim".

And I think the "lexicon" is really about that patchwork quilt of an American quilt of different language around American fashion and a different vocabulary to use around it.

CAMEROTA: OK. So, let's talk about the political messages. So, I mean I read that the ticket for the Met Gala is $35,000. And so, she had tax -- AOC wore "tax the rich." This is obviously one of the wealthiest events. How did that message go over?

BARRY: Look, the Met Gala and that red carpet is always, always -- people come with meaning. And for her of course she stayed on message, right. She was a guest of the Met and she stayed on message. And I think it was important. She was going to come to that gala which, there were a lot of one percenters there, of course, but her message is "tax the rich."

And I think what's important as well about this is who she decided to dress here, and it is Aurora James. It's a young black designer. It is a woman that has really led the path in a pledge, a 15 percent pledge for retailers, for magazines to have at least 15 percent representation of black designers in everything that they do in stores, in magazine pages. So, I think it was really important who she got to dress her as well.

And she wasn't the only politician there. We had Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney was there. She had a message on her dress as well.

CAMEROTA: Right, ERA, "equal rights for women," she wore. Which was -- she was festooned, I would say, in it.

BARRY: And I think it's her second, third time maybe at the Met. She always comes with a message. And it was a very big moment on the carpet as well. Look, and I think that it wasn't just the politicians that have meaning to what they dress in.

CAMEROTA: Yes, tell us who else you saw.

BARRY: Well, this year the hosts were a lot of Gen-Z hosts, right, which is it brought this amazing youth to the carpet. So, you had Timothee Chalamet, he came in sweatpants and high tops and a Rick Owens turtleneck.

You had Amanda Gorman who had a re-imagining by Vera Wang of the Statue of Liberty with 3,000 little stars stitched into hers.

Billie Eilish was dressed by Oscar de la Renta. And she would only come in Oscar de la Renta if they made the promise to be fur free in their brand

And you had Naomi Osaka who took the American fashion theme but really wanted to incorporate her Haitian and Japanese heritage. And her sister co-designed that dress.

So, it was lovely to see the Gen-Zers, the young people on the red carpet taking a lot a risks but really coming to the carpet with their values. And I think you're seeing that more and more in fashion.

BLACKWELL: Sweatpants and high tops, love that idea. But the one I think, the person who stole it for me, Iman. I mean the head dress, the gown. I think we have photos of this. Just was a moment. Look at that.

BARRY: And you don't want to step on that dress. But that's taking up a lot of room.

CAMEROTA: You don't want to sit behind her at the movie theater.

BARRY: No, in the cocktail priority, exactly. She was fabulous. There was and also there was a cross generational Sharon Stone was there looking amazing. Debbie Harry came in a beautiful American flag trial of a dress. I mean it was amazing. It felt like New York was back.

CAMEROTA: OK, can you explain Kim Kardashian's outfit to me? We have Kim Kardashian's now, normally she likes to show off I would say her curves.

BLACKWELL: Face at least.

CAMEROTA: OK, OK, fine ---

BARRY: I think this is Balenciaga fashion moments --

CAMEROTA: What's happening here?

BARRY: Well, first of all, autumn, fall is here, tight season is back.

CAMEROTA: Over your head?

BARRY: Tight season is back and black boots are back. And also, look, I think her makeup probably took a lot less time to get ready with this amazing Balenciaga outfit.

And there was a moment where I think when she got on the carpet that people weren't sure who she was with. She wasn't with Kanye. She was with the designer, the creative director of Balenciaga and I think that was a lot of conversation on social media. But the reality is when you step on that carpet, whether it's AOC or

Kim Kardashian, there are millions upon millions of people waiting for that look and sharing it and talking about it. So, it's a great moment.

CAMEROTA: I love the silver lining of the -- it cuts down on hair and makeup. You may see me in the black stocking tomorrow.

BLACKWELL: Remember that year, Kim Kardashian dressed as a shadow, I mean, it just came off like that. Samantha Barry, thanks so much.

BARRY: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: All right, COVID cases -- serious turn now -- among children are surging and an important decision on boosters is pending. Dr. Anthony Fauci joins CNN to discuss that and much more, next.



CAMEROTA: We have some sad breaking news to share. Norm Macdonald, the beloved comedian and former "SNL" cast member has died at 61 years old.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Burt, can you please pick a category?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sure give me Sarg

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's "S" words. It's "S" words. And for how much, Mr. Reynolds?

MACDONALD: The hell lets go on that, stores for 48,000.


CAMEROTA: The actor lost a long and private battle with cancer that his longtime producing partner said he had battled for nearly a decade.

BLACKWELL: Macdonald appeared on "SNL" for five years as the weekend update anchor and was also known for as you saw there the impression of Burt Reynolds.

CAMEROTA: That's said. I feel like we have an affinity even for fake news comedy anchors.

BLACKWELL: I mean, it's my favorite part of that show when you get to the weekend update. And Norm Macdonald was one of the best. He will certainly be missed.

"THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper starts right now.