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FL Education Board Sanctions Eight School Districts With Mask Mandates; Oversight Committee Finds Evidence That Trump Hid Millions; Texas Abortion Provider Resumes Procedures After Judge's Order. Aired 9:30-10a ET

Aired October 08, 2021 - 09:30   ET




JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Is it your view, you've heard this from, for instance, Scott Gottlieb, right, that he believes this is the last big surge of the pandemic, the Delta surge, do you feel the same way?

OSTERHOLM: I do not. I disagreed with Scott. In the spring when he said, we wouldn't have any cases in the summer either. And so I am one of those who believe, because we still have 65 million Americans who have not yet been vaccinated who could be, and the fact that these surges come and go on their own, they last anywhere from six weeks to eight weeks, if you can explain to me why they occur, and then why they disappear, then I can tell you, then, you know, there will be or there won't be surges in the future.

But, you know, look at what's happened just in the last two months, we've seen very little activity in New York City, or in the LA area, those are areas that are just primed for a future surge. And so we're not done, this surge is over, it's obviously on the way down, but we're going to have more surges in the future.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, I'm just looking at the number of vaccinations here, the most recent numbers from the CDC on their website. Over all, the numbers sound really good. If you look at the eligible portion of the population, so anybody over age 12 --


HILL: -- we're talking about more than three quarters who have at least one dose. Even if it's a small number of five to 11 year olds in the beginning, let's say it's only a third of eligible five to 11- year-olds whose parents decide they are ready to get their kids the vaccination, what difference would that make? How significant would that be in helping the overall population, helping us really move to a better phase of the pandemic and maybe hold on to some of the gains that we're starting to see?

OSTERHOLM: Well, I think the best example I can give you is right here in Minnesota, we are seeing major outbreaks in schools throughout our entire state. Now kids in general do not get a severely ill as often. And we surely acknowledge that. But the problem is they can also serve as major sources of spread in the community, so that we do have to worry about grandpa and grandma and mom and dad and older brothers and sisters getting infected from them.

So getting those 28 million kids, five to 11 years old vaccinated would be really helpful. I think we've got a job in our hands to get that done, because turning a vaccine into a vaccination in that group is even going to be harder, I think, than it has been for the 12 to 17 year olds.

SCIUTTO: It's such an essential message the pandemic throughout, right, the vaccination, it's not just about protecting yourself, right, but protecting others and stemming the spread. Let's hope Michael Osterholm, it gets through to more people. Thanks so much for joining us this morning.

OSTERHOLM: Thank you.

SCIUTTO: Well, Florida's Education Board has now voted to punish several of the state's largest school districts for defying a rule banning mask mandates. Previously, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis threatened to dock the pay of school board members in districts who mandate masks.

HILL: Well, last night the State Board of Education actually voted to withhold that pay and any money that the districts received from the Biden administration that would help to make up for some lost funding. CNN's Nick Valencia joining us live. Nick, this is, I mean, talk about politics taking over science here. What is the response this morning from those districts?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Good morning, Erica. These districts are furious, if only because they know just like the rest of us, the logical rest of us that mask work in helping reduce your chances of getting the coronavirus. But wearing masks in schools is something that the Department of Education in Florida chose to punish during their meeting yesterday finding eight school districts not to be in compliance with an emergency rule in Florida that prevents universal masking protocols, and also gives parents the authority to decide whether or not his child should stay home, even if they're exposed to COVID-19 but aren't showing symptoms themselves.

Now the Department of Education Commissioner recommended sanctions as you mentioned, you know, docking pay of the school board members in those districts also withholding state funding to offset any federal grants that those districts may have received that were perceived as encouraging those mask mandates. The superintendents were offered a chance to rebut this decision and these recommendations by the commissioner in the school board.

One superintendent saying that it is disappointing that the school board or the Department of Education to say in Florida had caved to the politics of Governor Ron DeSantis, as you remember was back in July that DeSantis signed an executive order banning mask in schools. And here's what the superintendent in Miami-Dade had to say to the recommendations. This is after that vote took place, unanimous vote, we should add.

This is Albert Carvalho saying, our school board's commitment to safeguarding the health and well-being of all students and employees has not wavered. We disagree with today's State Board of Education's recommendation and, as stated during this afternoon's meeting, wholeheartedly believe that we are in compliance with law, reason, and science.

Now the Board of Education said that these school districts do not have a proper opt out function for the parents. They are given the chance of medically opting out but parents that just really just baseline don't want their kids to wear masks in schools are not able to opt out if there's no medical reason for them. We should mention six of the districts that were sanctioned have filed a joint challenge to this emergency rule. That lawsuit was filed just recently. Jim, Erica?


HILL: Sometimes it just leaves you speechless. Nick Valencia, appreciate it. Thank you, my friend.

Just in to CNN, lawmakers now see they've uncovered evidence. Former President Trump hid millions of dollars in losses at his Washington, D.C. hotel. Also new details on money he received from foreign governments. Details on what's in these new documents, next.



HILL: New this morning, former President Trump failed to disclose conflicts of interest while in office. This is for my House Committee which says, it has uncovered evidence of not only that, but also that Trump reportedly concealed millions of dollars in losses at his hotel in Washington, D.C.

SCIUTTO: Documents also appear to show Trump hid debts and received millions from foreign governments. CNN national correspondent Kristen Holmes, she joins us now with more. So Kristen, I mean, these documents are fascinating. What have we learned?

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Jim and Erica. They're absolutely fascinating. There's so much to unpack here. And what this appears to be is the most detailed version of his finances that have been made public to date. And particularly noticeable or notable, excuse me, is the access that this Committee got.

You have to keep in mind here that a lot of this information is stuff that Congress was chasing for years when President Trump was in office and never got their hands on. So this is an in depth look at some of those finances. And I want to take you to the top line about the Trump hotel. These are claims that Trump made that the hotel in D.C. was making money when it was actually losing money.

You take a look here it shows and these are from the documents, that the Trump hotel reported more than $156 million in annual employment income. That was not the reality. Actually, they were losing more than $70 million over this time period, and had to be loaned more than $24 million from one of Trumps other holdings.

Now, take a look at the big umbrella picture here. And you touched on some of this. This is what the Committee says that these documents show that President Trump was misleading, provided information that was incorrect on annual financial disclosures that he received preferential treatment from foreign banks that he accepted millions in emoluments from foreign governments and concealed millions in debt from the GSA when bidding on that old post office building where his hotel is located.

The Committee is saying that they're not done yet, that they believe that this is an open investigation, that they are seeking more documents. And if you look at the big picture here, the reason why this is such a big deal, is because we're getting access and insight into something that has largely been a black box at Trump's finances. And if the Committee continues to get that access, we might actually be able to shed some light on this issue.

And it's really incredible, and almost even astounding, when you think about the fact that this man was in office and president for four years, and we are still just learning some of the basics of his financial situation.

SCIUTTO: Amazing and so much, making it up, right? Claiming wins where there aren't wins. Claiming money made where there was no money made, back lost.

HILL: Right. Which there was a pattern of in New York City --


HILL: -- for a long time.

SCIUTTO: Yes. Kristen Holmes thanks for bringing that down.

HILL: In Texas this morning, a group of women's clinics, Whole Woman's Health has resumed abortion services for patients who are more than six weeks pregnant. Now this of course comes after a federal judge blocked that Texas law which bans the procedure starting at six weeks, again, no exceptions for rape or incest. Joining me now to discuss is Amy Hagstrom Miller. She's the founder and the CEO of Whole Woman's Health, which operates several clinics in Texas and some other southern states. Amy, it's good to have you with us this morning.

This is -- this temporary reprieve for women in Texas, I know you actually had a waiting list of women who needed your services, who needed your health care services, what are you hearing this morning from those patients?

AMY HAGSTROM MILLER, FOUNDER & CEO, WHOLE WOMAN'S HEALTH: So we've had to turn hundreds of people away during this five weeks of a basic all out abortion ban. So many people don't even know they're pregnant before that six week timeframe. And so many of our patients are parenting, they're juggling work, and school and childcare. And they can't just sort of pick up and leave the state and go somewhere else to have their abortion.

And so they have asked us, please keep us on a waiting list. Please let us know if you're able to block this law. And so yesterday, we were able to call a few of those folks who were on the waiting list who had already complied with the state mandated information and waiting period and all of the other regulatory scheme that still is in place in Texas. We were able to invite them in to have the care that they had been waiting for.

And we've been consenting people and taking care of the 24-hour waiting period yesterday and today. And hopefully, can provide those folks with their abortions as well. Everybody is sort of waiting, knowing that the state will likely challenge this law in the Fifth Circuit. But for the time being, we have a little reprieve.

HILL: You're not only waiting to see if this is challenged, but the reality is, even as you proceed now we know that, you know, this -- if and when this ban on the law is lifted, any procedures performed in this time period during the so called pause if you will, you know, retroactively you could be held liable or someone else who helped a woman could be held liable. You were dealing with threats every day prior to this law. I know they didn't stop once that ban went into effect. What has that been like for you, that toll for you and your staff? And how concerned are you moving forward?


MILLER: Yes, you know, I -- it's been really incredible to try to navigate this pressure. Our staff are scared of being sued. They're scared of the antiabortion, really domestic terrorism that they have to walk through every day. At the same point, it's heartbreaking to deny people the abortion care that they need. Our staff are the people who are looking patients in the eyes. They are the people who have to explain this law to the patients and have to deny them that care. And it's heartbreaking when they are there to care for people. They've dedicated their lives to this work. And they're fully trained, highly professional medical folks who are denying people care, just because of politics.

And so we've had to make these decisions on an individual basis, people have had to look at their own risks and the comfort level. And you know, staff are opting in and some staff are opting out. And that's completely fine with us. We understand that there's a lot of risk to navigate here. But we do have a few physicians and a few staff who felt comfortable enough with Judge Pitman's injunction to resume care. And we have others who are waiting to see what happens next with the Fifth Circuit and potentially the Supreme Court.

HILL: As you wait for that, I would encourage people to read your op- eds in both the "Statesman" and the "L.A. Times" where you write very eloquently, but it is also very raw about what you are seeing and what this means for you. In terms of waiting to see what happens with the Fifth Circuit, potentially the Supreme Court, are you hoping that this makes it all the way to the Supreme Court?

MILLER: You know, the Supreme Court right now is very different than the Supreme Court, Whole Woman's Health was in front of in 2016, when we knocked down another set of abortion regulations in the state of Texas and won that case. And, you know, we are supposed to be able to expect justice in this country. We are supposed to be able to expect access to safe abortion care. Abortion has been legal almost my whole lifetime.

And I think we have to remember that this law, S.B. 8 does not represent the feelings and the beliefs of the majority of people in this country. It doesn't represent the majority of people in Texas. Most people believe that people should have access to safe abortion in their community. We all know somebody and love somebody who's needed an abortion at some point in our lives. And this is not what we want anyone you love to go through. People deserve respect and compassion.

HILL: Amy Hagstrom Miller, appreciate taking the time to join us this morning, thank you.

MILLER: Thank you.

HILL: We'll be right back.



SCIUTTO: All right, so get ready this Sunday, an all-new season of "This is Life with Lisa Ling" will premiere on CNN. You're going to want to watch it.

HILL: The first episode looks at the recent rise in anti-Asian hate and hate crimes around the country and how it's rooted in a long history of discrimination.


LISA LING, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER & HOST, THIS IS LIFE WITH LISA LING: So Mr. Cheng (ph), this is where your car was parked here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, my car, burn out here. You can see black?

LING: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can see, right? Burn the street too, black and dirty. See?

LING: So when you come out of your house, and you see this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think, you know, what happened to my car? Who do my car? And fire department come in, but too late.

LING: Makes you sad. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sad, I know.

LING: So the only cars that burned that night was your car and another Asian man's car?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Do you think it may have to do with the fact that you are Asian?

LING: I don't know, 100 percent I don't know who did find the car, we don't know.


HILL: And joining us now is the host of "This is Life," Lisa Lang. It's so nice to see you in person again.

LING: Thank you, nice to see you.

HILL: This is -- as you kick off the season, right? You've taught us so much about so many people in this country. But this is a really important history lesson in many ways. That helps get us to where we are today.

LING: This is and this whole season, we are dedicated to those events in American history that didn't make it into the books because I've always believed that we can't know where we're going. We can't really move forward unless we know where we've been. And our first episode takes a look at this, the Asian hate that we've been experiencing in the last year and a half.

But the fact that it's been a pattern of discrimination and scapegoating that spans a century. And we examine the story of Vincent Chin (ph), who in the 1980s, a Chinese man in Detroit who was brutally murdered and accused of being Japanese and taking away American jobs during a downward spiral in the automobile industry in Detroit.

And, Jim, you know, I'm such a fan of your reporting. You've done such an excellent coverage of tensions between the U.S. and China that are continuing to rise. And I'm really concerned as an Asian American that that people are going to conflate the actions of the Chinese government, with the lives of people who are living here in America today so, because there's precedent for that kind of discrimination.

SCIUTTO: That's -- there's such a pattern, right? You know, blame, blame the outsider, by the way, fueled by the public statements, really, U.S. politicians similar in this, right?


LING: That's right. That's right. And those are things that we examine in our first episode.


HILL: So great. We're really looking forward to it.

LING: Thank you.

HILL: Thank you.

And of course, you can catch the all new season of "This is Life with Lisa Ling." It premieres Sunday night at 10:00.

SCIUTTO: Well stocks were down slightly. You can see there on the breaking news this morning, another just disappointing jobs report. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh will join me next live with his take on the numbers.


SCIUTTO: Very good Friday morning to you. It is Friday.

HILL: It is Friday. We made it.



HILL: And I'm Erica Hill. But boy, this is not the way a lot of people want to go in to the weekend.