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Experts See Reason For Optimism As New Cases, Hospitalizations Drop; Biden Won`t Assert Executive Privilege Over Trump Documents; McConnell To Dems: Don`t Ask For GOP`s Help On Debt Ceiling Again; Police: No Physical Evidence of Laundrie In Florida Nature Reserve; Is It Too Late To Turn The Tide On Climate Change?; Airlines Expect Holiday Travel Surge As Employee Vaccine Mandates Take Effect. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired October 09, 2021 - 13:00   ET



FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: The nation is now averaging fewer than 100,000 daily new infections for the first time since August. The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 is down by more than 30 percent from last month, and deaths are beginning to decline as well.

But one major cause for concern, there has been a big drop in the number of people starting the vaccination process. The latest CDC data shows more than 40 percent -- a more than 40 percent drop in the number of people getting their first shots over the past two months. And right now, just over 56 percent of the total U.S. population is fully vaccinated.

And as we wait for younger kids to become eligible for COVID vaccinations in the U.S., many parents are wondering how and when that might happen. CNN`s Jacqueline Howard has more on the planning process.

JACQUELINE HOWARD: CNN HEALTH REPORTER: The rollout of COVID-19 vaccines for ages, five to 11 likely will be similar to the rollout we saw for older kids.

I spoke with the Association of Immunization Managers, and it seems like the potential sites for administering vaccines to younger kids will be at some pediatricians` offices and local pharmacies, just like the previous rollout with adolescents.

But now, another potential site could be schools, which we haven`t really seen before. For instance, in Virginia Governor Ralph Northam says schools could be included in his state`s rollout plan, have a listen.


GOV. RALPH NORTHAM, (D-VA): The easiest and most equitable way to deliver the COVID vaccine is at school to have the health department come in and give the shots. So, our teams are working with school divisions and Superintendents to do that wherever possible.


HOWARD: Of course, all of this depends on the FDA authorizing the COVID-19 vaccine for younger ages and the CDC recommending it.

But in the meantime, there are steps parents can take to prepare. You can call your pediatrician`s office just to see if they plan to offer the vaccine to ages five to 11 once it`s available. And if they don`t plan to, then at least you know now that you`ll have to make an appointment at either a pharmacy or a local vaccine clinic instead. Back to you.

WHITFIELD: All right, Jacqueline Howard, thank you so much for that. All right, joining me right now to discuss is Dr. Smita Malhotra, a Pediatrician and the Medical Director of the Los Angeles Unified School District which is the nation`s second-largest school district.

Doctor Malhotra, so good to see you. So, how is your school district preparing for a possible vaccine rollout? It -- would it be like Virginia`s consideration of inoculations in schools or at the doctor`s offices for kids ages five through 11 if indeed there is approval?

DR. SMITA MALHOTRA, MEDICAL DIRECTOR, LOS ANGELES UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT: So, Los Angeles Unified School District has actually been at the forefront of this for a very long time. We`ve actually already had vaccine rollouts for students aged 12 and above because we recently did pass a mandate for vaccinations for students aged 12 and above in our school district and so we have been providing school-based clinics that have been providing the vaccines.

In addition, we also have mobile units going to all our middle and high schools, providing vaccinations for our students. And we`ve been working with our public Health Department to provide vaccinations all throughout our district. And so, we`ve really been on the forefront of this and already been doing this.

WHITFIELD: Wow. So then, what would be the impact if indeed a vaccine is made available for kids between five and 11?

MALHOTRA: So, we are already prepared to offer the vaccine for ages five to 11 as we already have this large vaccine rollout plan happening, but we are also, you know, waiting to see what the data shows from the FDA, and also wanting to talk to our university partners and Public Health Department.

WHITFIELD: OK. A recent poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that just over a third of parents with five to 11-year-old kids will vaccinate their kids as soon as they are eligible.

32 percent say they will wait and see how the vaccine is working, while 24 percent say they definitely will not vaccinate their children. So, how do those numbers hit you? What are your thoughts and concerns?

MALHOTRA: So, as a parent of two young children myself, who have been too young to be vaccinated, I cannot wait to get my children vaccinated. You know, now we have this opportunity. We have 28 million Americans in the age range of five to 11-year-old who would be eligible to get the vaccine, and so we have a greater opportunity to stop the transmission of the virus so that eventually, we can get to a place wherein our schools, we`re not masking all the time and testing all the time. We can get to normalcy for our schools and our students.

WHITFIELD: Yes, I too. I can`t wait. I mean I`ve got two kids who are under 11. I can`t wait for them to be vaccinated. I had such a sense of relief when my 16-year-old was able -- an eligible. And so, I feel good that he`s got a vaccine, I can`t wait to have the same feeling for my younger kids.

But there still is a, you know, a great reluctance. What, if anything, will you say to those parents, how do you convey to them the kind of optimism that you share? How do you impose that on them?


MALHOTRA: So, I understand those questions. I`ve been asked that a lot. And I want to emphasize that the process that the FDA uses to release an Emergency Use Authorization for vaccines, it`s actually quite extensive, and safe.

And when they release the vaccine for the different age range, what they have determined is that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks and that there is enough compelling evidence to the effectiveness of the vaccines for that age range and in those children.

And so, there are multiple safety tracks, including the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, who will also look at the data and advise the CDC on how to proceed.

And so, there`s multiple safety tracks, and I believe in the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 process, and -- the vaccines and the EUA process.

WHITFIELD: So, how about this now? A new study suggests that kids always had a similar risk of Coronavirus infection as adults but they`re more likely to be asymptomatic. And this counters the false narrative from early on in the pandemic that suggested that kids were not affected by the virus.

And I feel like we`re light years away from that, but there`s still that kind of messaging that some folks are hanging on. So, what is your message to those parents who still believe that?

MALHOTRA: So, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, almost 6 million children have been diagnosed with COVID-19, with 850,000 cases in the last four weeks. Now, this is due to the Delta variant, not the severity of the Delta variant, but the increased transmissibility of the Delta variant.

And out of the 500 Americans under age 18 who have died from the virus, 125 of them have been aged five to 11 years of age. And we have to understand that COVID-19 is now becoming a vaccine-preventable disease. And for any parent to lose a child to a vaccine-preventable disease is a tragic.

WHITFIELD: Yes, that`s devastating. I want you to listen to this. A video of protesters now in California shouting at parents for kids having to wear masks.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, he`s going to be traumatized if you put that mask on him and you don`t let him breathe through it. Your child cannot breathe through it



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s my child. You better just leave my child.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Masking children is child abuse. You mask your child, you`re a child abuser.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You should choose what goes on your child`s face and in your child`s body. This is rape. This is rape. They`re trying to rape our children with this poison.


WHITFIELD: I mean, this is what happens -- is what is happening. And then you see on, you know, both sides of the argument there, there are children in attendance. So, well, you know, how heartbreaking is this for you to see?

MALHOTRA: This is absolutely heartbreaking, and it speaks to the amount of misinformation that there is out there. Masking protects not only you but others around you. And what this pandemic has shown me is how interconnected we all are.

And when we wear a mask, we are doing it for ourselves and our communities, and to prevent the transmission of this virus even further for new mutations to arise, and so we can ultimately get to a sense of normalcy. It`s just one of the mitigation measures among many that we use.

And children have been remarkably resilient to masking. Both of my children, age four and seven, have been wearing masks since the beginning of this pandemic. And now it`s a second nature to them. It`s almost fashion to them.

WHITFIELD: Right, you don`t even have to ask, I mean once you get into a rhythm of things. And they understand the benefits as well.


WHITFIELD: All right, Dr. Smitan Malhotra, thank you so much. Appreciate it.

MALHOTRA: Thank you for having me.

WHITFIELD: Absolutely. Come back.

All right, still head, subpoena showdown, and a fight over executive privilege. We`ll bring you the latest as the January 6 Committee works to uncover the truth.

Plus, as the search for Brian Laundrie enters the fourth week, I`ll talk with the Criminologist about the puzzling timeline and what we know about the days after Gabby Petito went missing.



WHITFIELD: All right, we`re following new developments on the Capitol Riot investigation. A source tells CNN that Dan Scavino, a top aide to former President Trump has now been served with a subpoena.

Scavino is one of several former Trump aides the January six Select Committee wants to appear at a deposition next week. And this comes amid a growing showdown over executive privilege.

President Biden is rejecting Donald Trump`s request to withhold White House records from the Committee investigating the Capitol Riot. Trump is trying to assert executive privilege to keep documents and other information secret from the Select Committee.

Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, lawmakers are facing a flood of challenges. Just days after the U.S. Senate narrowly voted to avert the U.S. government defaulting on its bills, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is now telling Democrats not to ask for his help on raising the debt ceiling again come December. This comes as President Biden is trying to put an upbeat spin on a dismal new jobs report.

Arlette Saenz is in Wilmington, Delaware where the President is spending the weekend. Let`s begin, however, with Daniella Diaz, and the next phase of that debt limit fight. So, Daniella, McConnell sending this letter to President Biden, now what?


DANIELLA DIAZ, CNN CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER: Well, now we wait and see what happens, Fred. Look, this week was really busy, especially on the Senate side as the Democrats navigated trying to figure out how they were going to pass a suspension or raise the debt ceiling before this October 18th deadline that Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned, it would be the day that the nation would default on its debt.

And they would have a dramatic effect on the economy in this country, which is why the Senate was bracing to try to address this after the House passed a bill raising the debt ceiling.

So, look, Mitch McConnell -- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell warned weeks ago that Democrats would have to go at this alone, that Republicans would not help Democrats. However, he did cut a deal with Schumer this week, which is why they suspended the debt ceiling until early December.

But he did send a letter to President Joe Biden last night where he had very strong words for Democrats saying that he`s not going to do this again. He`s not going to help them again. Take a listen to what he wrote.

Senator Schumer marched the nation to the doorstep of disaster. Embarrassingly, it got to the point where Senators on both sides were pleading for leadership to fill the void and protect our citizens. I stepped up.

Now, the problem here is Democrats are now going to have to scramble to figure out how they`re going to address the debt ceiling in early December, so the nation does not default on its debt. And they`re going to have to do this alone.

Now, they`re looking at many ways to do this, possibly through a complicated process called budget reconciliation, however, they would have to put a number on the debt ceiling -- to raise the debt ceiling, and then they would have to own that, which is what Republicans want. But Democrats were hoping to avoid that.

And also, Democrats argue that this has been a bipartisan issue since 2011, which is why they wanted Republicans to help them with this.

So, bottom line here is lots of tension, lots of arguments here within Republicans and Democrats as now they`re going to have to work these next two months to figure out how they`re going to address this, Fred.

WHITFIELD: A tension to say the least. Daniella thank you so much.

Let`s go now to Arlette Saenz in Wilmington. Arlette, what is the President saying about this disappointing new jobs report?

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fred, President Biden is trying to put a positive spin on that weaker than expected jobs report for the second month in a row, only 194,000 jobs were added last month.

The President argued that this was due to the Delta variant. The survey was taken around mid-September when cases were reaching a peak. But now, we`ve kind of seen a drop in many COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

But the President also was trying to point to some bright spots in these numbers. He argued that the unemployment rate fell from 5.2 to 4.8 percent, but it`s worth noting that that might be due to the fact that thousands of people have left the labor force.

The President was also pointing to a jump in wages, as well as, overall job growth since he took office amid this pandemic. And the President argued that there is steady progress being made, even if it`s not as fast as people would like. Take a listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Right now, things in Washington, as you all know, are awfully noisy. Turn on the news, and every conversation is a confrontation, every disagreement is a crisis.

But when you take a step back and look at what`s happening, we`re actually making real progress. Maybe doesn`t seem fast enough, I`d like to see it faster, and we`re going to make it faster, but maybe it doesn`t appear dramatic enough.


SAENZ: Now, this is just one piece of the challenging economic puzzle that the President is trying to address. His economic agenda is still stalled up on Capitol Hill.

And as you heard Daniella talk about that looming fight over the debt limit coming up in just less than eight weeks, all of these challenges, things that the President will need to address as he`s hoping to try to boost the economy going forward.

WHITFIELD: All right, a lot of the table. Thank you so much, ladies. Arlette Saenz, Daniella Diaz, appreciate it.

All right, the price of filling up your gas tank has reached a seven- year high. CNN`s Matt Egan has more on the reasons behind the rising prices.

MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Fredricka, pain at the pump is real for many Americans right now. Gasoline prices are above $3.20 a gallon nationally, the highest level since 2014. Drivers in California, Colorado, and Illinois are seeing even higher prices.

High gas prices hit low-income Americans the hardest, and they threatened to intensify America`s biggest inflation scare in more than a dozen years. This is a political problem for President Biden too, even though the blame from Republicans is largely misplaced.

Voters do not like high gas prices and fair or not, they tend to blame whoever`s in the White House. And even though electric vehicle sales are booming, they still represent a small piece of the pie.


EGAN: Unfortunately, industry sources telling me there isn`t really much Biden can do about energy sticker shock. Plan A, was to get OPEC and its allies to ramp up production. That has failed so far, at least. Plan B could be to tap America`s emergency stockpile of oil, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

Now, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm suggested that could be in the cards, but the Energy Department leader walked that back and told me there is no immediate plans to tap the SPR.

There`s a lot of skepticism that releasing barrels would work because of the size of the supply shortfall. One analyst told me this would be like bringing a squirt gun to a fight. It`s just not going to make a dent.

Another idea would be to ban oil exports. The Energy Secretary seems to suggest that was a possibility, but the Energy Department walked that back too.

Banning oil exports could actually make prices at the pump go higher. That`s because oil is a globally traded commodity. And limiting U.S. barrels would make world prices go higher. So, that brings us back to plan A. Convincing OPEC to aggressively add back supply.

Of course, energy diplomacy would seemingly run counter to another top priority this fall, climate diplomacy. Biden is meeting with world leaders in Glasgow later this month at a summit aimed at leaning the global economy off fossil fuels.

But Fredricka, all of this shows how addicted the world remains to fossil fuels. No one said this energy transition would be easy.

WHITFIELD: All right, Matt Egan thank you so much for that.

All right, coming up, the manhunt for Brian Laundrie is intensifying, but constant updates to the timeline of his disappearance have left even authorities confused. The latest on the investigation is straight ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


WHITFIELD: All right, the search for Brian Laundrie is coming up on four weeks now, but Gabby Petito`s fiance remains missing. And though we`re learning more about the timeline leading up to Laundrie`s disappearance, authorities don`t seem to be any closer to finding him. CNN`s Athena Jones reports.


ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): As the search for Gabby Petito`s fiance, Brian Laundrie, approaches its fourth week, no police activity visible Friday at the Carlton Nature Reserve where Laundrie`s parents believe he went before disappearing.

Meanwhile, new details emerging about the period after Laundrie returned home in Petito`s white van without Petito on September 1, and before Laundrie left his parent`s home on September 13, telling them he was headed to the 25,000 acre Reserve.

North Port Florida police now revealing they were watching Laundrie before he left but were limited in what they could do because he had not been charged with a crime.

JOSH TAYLOR, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER, NORTH PORT POLICE: If you talk to a lot of people who have experience in law enforcement, the guy goes for a walk in the Carlton Reserve, he`s not wanted for a crime. I mean, what are we -- what are we supposed to do? Are we going tree to tree -- tree to tree following him back through the woods? I mean, you know, it just wasn`t there with the information we had in this case.

JONES: Petito`s remains were found in Wyoming on September 19, the Coroner ruling at a homicide. Police say they never spoke with Laundrie before he left the home he in Petito shared with his parents. They did not see or speak with him during their visit on September 11, the day Petito`s parents reported her missing.

Authorities visited the home again on September 17, when Laundrie`s parents reported him missing but refuse to answer questions about Petito`s whereabouts. Behavior police described as odd.

Police did not see or speak with Brian during that visit. Police also confirming they do not have the cell phones, Laundrie or Petito used during their cross country trip.

CNN previously reported Laundrie bought a new cell phone from an AT&T store in Northport on September 4 and then left it behind on September 13.

Laundrie has not been charged in connection with Petito`s death, but he is suspected of using a debit card Petito`s family says belongs to her to access over $1,000 after her death. A federal warrant has been issued for his arrest.

In an interview with Fox News that aired Thursday, Petito`s family pleading with Laundrie to turn himself in.

NICOLE SCHMIDT, MOTHER OF GABBY PETITO: People want to know how I`m feeling, and that`s I`m feeling I`m upset, you know, I want to just turn yourself in. That`s all I wanted. It`s just getting more and more frustrating as he is gone.


JONES (on camera): The Laundrie family tells CNN they are hopeful Brian Laundrie is still alive. Petito`s family calls Brian Laundrie the missing piece of the puzzle, they believe he has all the answers to what happened to Gabby Petito. Athena Jones, CNN, New York.

WHITFIELD: All right, thanks so much, Athena. I want to bring in now, Criminologist and Behavioral Analyst, Casey Jordan.

Casey, I always enjoy talking to you because I`ve learned so much. So, what`s your feeling? Do you feel like investigators are perplexed, or is it just publicly they`re not revealing everything they know about his potential whereabouts?

CASEY JORDAN, CRIMINOLOGIST: Listen, I think if we knew more than they are saying, they would have -- they need the public to help them solve this. I think if they had any pings off of his cell phone, any legitimate sightings of him in a particular area, they would be sharing that with us in hopes that the public could help solve this. But the fact that after a month of searching the Reserve, or three weeks of searching the Reserve, they haven`t found anything, nothing at all.

WHITFIELD: That`s amazing.

JORDAN: They are -- they`re abandoning hope at the Reserve, and I -- you`re left wondering if they have anything else.



So what`s the psychology behind Brian Laundrie`s father joining in on the search when it doesn`t sound like he was very cooperative at the beginning?

JORDAN: I think it`s just another fin on the red herring.

I think Brian`s father wants to legitimatize their story. And I think the story that they contrived with Brian that he was going to the reserve.

There`s a lot of stuff that doesn`t make sense. Like the Mustang being there allegedly abandoned. It`s almost like they were putting a little time-date stamp to infer he was there. I personally don`t believe, Fredricka, that he was there ever.

But the father going to the reserve and showing them possible campsites where he may have been in the past, I think the police know that he`s not there but they wanted to observe Chris Laundrie, and watch his behavior, try to figure out whether or not he is being truthful.

And then gauge from there if they could actually get him to trust them with what he does know. Because there`s one thing for sure. The Laundrie family knows a lot more than they are telling the police.

WHITFIELD: Right. So you said you don`t believe that Laundrie has been at that reserve at all. You believe the family, in some way, has been helping Laundrie buy time to make some other escape.

Where do you suppose -- which direction might he go, if not where the family says, the reserve. Do you think he`s still in the country?

JORDAN: I don`t believe he`s in the United States at this point.

To be fair, I don`t know if the Laundrie family is actually aiding and abetting or just buying a story he told them hook, line and sinker.

Let`s assume that that`s why they`ve done, that they are unknowingly helping Brian at this point. But what is today? The 9th. We haven`t seen him for almost four weeks.

It`s the camping trip that they took north that has me most interested. (CROSSTALK)

WHITFIELD: Once he came back on September 1 in the van that belonged to Gabby Petito.

JORDAN: Right.

CABRERA: So this camping trip, what do you think happened on that camping trip?

JORDAN: We know he picked up the phone on September 4th. From the 6th to 8th, according to his parents, he went to the DeSoto Campground, north, about an hour`s drive away.

That campground is all water. It is a peninsula with these sand bars.

And it occurs to me that could have been a dry run or it could have been the last time that we saw Brian, that the family saw Brian. There really aren`t any confirmed sightings of him after the 4th.

It would be so easy for a boat to pick him up at the DeSoto Campground and take him to the Caribbean, maybe to Cuba, that doesn`t have an extradition treaty.

But I believe he is alive. And I believe his parents know more. And I really hope that, if they do, they will cooperate with the police and tell them more about how and why he disappeared.

WHITFIELD: It sound like you believe it`s inconceivable the family would not have had a discussion with Brian Laundrie. How is Gabby? Where is she? How come you came back without her?


JORDAN: Correct, Fred.

Look, obviously, there were discussions. The question is whether or not Brian told them the truth or lied to them.

And if he lied to them, is the family engaging in what I have dubbed a pall of denial, a willing suspension of disbelieve because of their love for their son.

You see this all the time, it`s a level of denial so far to this side that they actually almost self-brainwash and believe these lies, even though they are irrational or illogical.

So the real question is, how deep are they in this? And do they know or do they not know?

If they came clean and cooperated with the police a little bit more, I think we would have a good chance of figuring out where Brian Laundrie is.

WHITFIELD: Right. See what I mean? Casey Jordan, we may not have more answer about where

he is, but what you`ve done, is you`ve helped reveal exactly what investigators might be thinking, questions they are asking, and the directions in which they are going in order to find Brian Laundrie.

Casey Jordan, thank you so much.

JORDAN: Always great to be here, Fred. Appreciate it.


WHITFIELD: All right, still ahead, thousands of gallons of crude oil poured into the Pacific Ocean last week but now investigators think the cause of the leak may have actually happened a year ago. Details straight ahead.



WHITFIELD: One week later, an oil spill off the southern California coast near Huntington Beach is still spreading.

Investigators now say that a crack in the pipeline that caused as much as 130,000 gallons to spill into ocean may have happened several months to a year ago.

This, as balls of tar had also started washing up on beaches further south along the coast.

San Diego, to the north, another environmental crisis. Dozens of California`s giant sequoia trees have burned.

The KNP Complex Fire has scorched 85,000 acres, destroying at least 74 of the treasured trees. Four firefighters were hurt as one of those trees was falling.

Here to help us work through all of this, Professor Kim Cobb. She`s a climate scientist and the director for the Global Change Program at Georgia Tech.

Professor Cobb, so good to see you.


CABRERA: So, we`re all witnessing now the impacts of climate change every day, wildfires burning out west, more frequent and more powerful hurricanes and storms.

It seems the fallout from the use of fossil fuels may be largely to blame. So have we reached the point of no return or are we too late to turn the tide?


COBB: No. Not at all.

But first, we really have to recognize the vast untold damages of our continued dependence on fossil fuels, not just this horrific oil spill, not just this particular year of headlines that we`ve all had to witness as well.

But obviously, all of the decades of communities that have suffered at the hands of contaminated water, contaminated air, and really, you know, health impacts for decades.

It`s not too late. That`s the good news here, is we still have time.

And this year is a very important year in thinking about how we can enact the deep and sustained cuts to fossil fuel emissions that will keep it to a minimum and reserve the rest to cool in the latter part of this century.

CABRERA: Wow. Every day is vital to try to promote some change.

So, the U.N. climate change conference begins in just a few weeks. Biden will be there.

What kind of policy do you want to see come from this conference to reflect the real urgency, the global urgency?

COBB: Well, the new U.N. report on climate change very clear. In order to keep warming to a bare minimum this century, that most ambitious target of 1.3 Celsius, countries will have to come together and chart -- come together and chart a course for net-zero emissions by mid- century.

But it`s really important that countries think about what kind of near-term actions need to occur because we need to begin those reductions today.

The other thing we`re looking at here at home is whether the Biden administration can move forward, the most significant climate action in decades here in the United States.

And bring that to the table this fall at the New York climate negotiations to really help other countries understand how we can come together and fight this challenge. And this is the year.

WHITFIELD: There`s a number of key provisions in the sweeping multi- trillion-dollar climate and economic package being negotiated in Washington right now.

So how critical it is for countries to start taking this climate threat seriously with real impactful policies, beginning with the U.S.-led policies?

COBB: Yes. Well, there are a number of provisions in these bills making their way through this tortured process in Congress.

Both to reduce emissions within our borders as well as to help communities gird themselves against what we know will be accelerating climate impacts over the next two decades until we can reverse this.

The tune of these bills is in the hundreds of billions of dollars total. But when we think about this bill, we have to think about the size of what we`re facing with climate change impacts.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration just yesterday releasing a report that Hurricane Ida, $60 billion of damages to our economy. This year, already $100 billion of damages from weather and climate extremes.

So you really have to compare apples to apples in terms of what this might cost us to get going in a serious way. And what the continued damages will be year-on-year on year if we don`t get serious about this.

WHITFIELD: It`s not just the immediate impact of an extreme weather event that can have untold circumstances.

One climate professor put it like this. I`m quoting now. "I don`t think there`s a misunderstanding that all communities are hit the same. But I do think, when the dust clears, not enough attention is given to the post-disaster trauma that exists after the headlines are gone."

So in your view, is enough being done particularly to address the long-term impacts?

COBB: No. Unfortunately, we`re not prepared to weather these in an emergency sense day-to-day as they occur in real-time.

We`re not prepared to help communities come back from these kind of damages in the short term.

And we certainly aren`t thinking about the longer-term consequences.

We can talk about Hurricane Harvey and the studies that have come out and that have shown the intergenerational poverty and loss that`s written into communities in Texas from that event alone.

We know that`s only one of several dozen that we put at the top of our heads in terms of devastated kind of impacts that have occurred, unfortunately.

WHITFIELD: All right. Professor Kim Cobb, of Georgia Tech, thank you so much for joining us.

COBB: Thanks for having me.

WHITFIELD: A volcano in the Canary Islands is causing a major disaster. Lava is spewing into the Spanish town of La Palma burning down homes in its path. More than 1,000 have now been destroyed since the volcano first erupted last month.

The airport even had to shut down this week due to volcanic ash cloud. And thankfully, thousands of people had already evacuated the island.


All right. Holiday travel could be back in full swing this year. But as most of the major airlines implement employee vaccine mandates, will they be ready for the travel surge?


WHITFIELD: Princess Diana is considered an icon by millions around the globe for so many reasons, her royal status, her style and fashion sense, and her incomparable media savvy.

In the new CNN original series, "DIANA," we take a revealing look at the many ways Diana also blazed the trail in celebrity activism.

Our Max Foster has a preview.




MAX FOSTER, CNN LONDON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Diana`s sons unveiling a statue they commissioned in memory of her for the garden they used to enjoy together as a young family at Kensington Palace.

She`s portrayed by them here, surrounded by other children, and in the later years of life, as she gains confidence in her role as an ambassador for humanitarian causes.

The way she engaged with them was nothing short of revolutionary. And it reinvented what we now know as celebrity activism.

Take this image from 1987, where she`s seen shaking hands without gloves, with a man dying of AIDS, at a time when many incorrectly believed the disease could be transmitted by casual contact.

PRINCESS DIANA: HIV does not make people dangerous to know, so you can shake their hands and give them a hug.


FOSTER: Two years later, she did it again, during a visit to Indonesia, where she shook hands with leprosy patients to dispel the myth the illness could be spread by touch.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She`s asking whether you`re alright.


FOSTER: May Lloyd worked with the princess on leprosy awareness.

MAY LLOYD, LEPROSY MISSION: She spoke to people and touched them, and not afraid to get down in the dirt and kneel next to someone or speak to someone or sit next to them.

She was always on the lookout to help the person who needed the most help at the time.

FOSTER: Even in her final year of life, 1997, Diana risked everything to walk through a field in Angola littered with active landmines.

The man guiding her was Paul Heslop, with the Halo Trust.

PAUL HESLOP, HALO TRUST & U.N. MINE CLEARANCE CHIEF: The first time I did it, I was pretty nervous. And I didn`t have two billion people watching me on TV. But she wanted to do it. She wanted to do it.

FOSTER: Heslop says the publicity that came from that visit was instrumental in creating the momentum for an international treaty to ban land mines, signed later that year, though Diana never lived to see it.

PRINCESS DIANA: I`m not a political figure. I`m a humanitarian figure, and always have been and always will be.


FOSTER: The media was Diana`s biggest curse, as well as her greatest asset.

By drawing cameras and attention to causes that really needed it, she was able to change perceptions like nobody else living at the time.

Celebrities have been following in her footsteps ever since.

Max Foster, CNN, London.


WHITFIELD: That`s only part of why so many loved her.

Be sure to tune in, the all-new CNN original series "Diana." It premieres tomorrow night at 9:00 p.m. only on CNN.

We`ll be right back.



WHITFIELD: All right. Right now, Delta Airlines is the only one of the four major U.S. airlines that is not requiring employees to be vaccinated. The Delta Pilots Union is instead telling employees it supports your individual right.

But other major companies are taking a different stance. American Airlines is giving its workforce a simple ultimatum, get vaccinated or get fired.

But with holiday travel season around the corner, can the airlines keep up with the expected travel surge?

CNN`s Pete Muntean has more. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: American Airlines has set the deadline for its employees in the United States to get vaccinated as the day before Thanksgiving.

It`s the timing that is so interesting here, because the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is typically the kickoff to the busy holiday travel season. American will not say if that is intentional.

But the airline is going one step further than other vaccine mandates. It`s requiring that these employees get vaccinated fully by November 24th. Meaning, somebody getting the Moderna shot would have to get their first dose on October 27th.

The clock is ticking for tens of thousands of employees here, who just got a sternly-worded memo from American Airlines, which says, "To be clear, if you fail to comply with the requirement, the result will be termination from the company."

We know that these mandates work on the vaccine hesitant. Take United Airlines mandate, just went into place last week.

And 67,000 employees in the United States had to submit to this, and of those, only about 232 resisted. And United tells us that number went down as the firing process for those employees began.

Pete Muntean, CNN, Washington.


WHITFIELD: All right, Pete, thanks so much.

More ahead.

Hello, again. I want to thank you so much for being with me. I`m Fredricka Whitfield.

We begin this hour with new developments on the capitol riot investigation. A source tells CNN that Dan Scavino, a top aide to former President Trump, has now been served with a subpoena.

Scavino is one of several former Trump aides the January 6th Select Committee wants to appear at a deposition next week.


CNN`s Marshall Cohen is covering these developments for us.

So, Marshall, what more do we know about the subpoena being served and received?

MARSHALL COHEN, CNN REPORTER: Hey, Fredricka. How are you?