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Plane Evacuated At LaGuardia Airport After "Security Incident"; Trump Efforts To Block 1/6 Probe Fuel Fear Over Next Elections; Taiwan Set To Show Off U.S.-Made Missile In Military Parade Amid Tensions With China; Update From Doctor Who Entered 16-Month-Old Son In Pfizer Trial; North America's Biggest Cargo Port Facing Record Backlog; Afghan Refugees Starting Over In America. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired October 09, 2021 - 20:00   ET




PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST: I'm Pamela Brown in Washington. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM on this Saturday.

We begin this hour with breaking news. A passenger aboard an American Eagle flight is in custody tonight after forcing an emergency landing at LaGuardia Airport in New York.




BROWN: One person aboard the flight says as soon as the plane came to a halt the pilots and flight attendants began shouting for everyone to evacuate.

CNN's Polo Sandoval is gathering the latest information.

Polo, what have you learned tonight?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Pamela, the key detail here, all the passengers and crew aboard that flight that made the emergency landing at LaGuardia earlier this afternoon are OK as the investigation gets started here.

That plane actually touched down at about the time that it was scheduled to. However, the landing, when you look at these pictures, it was anything but routine.

The was because the crew aboard American flight 4817 initially reported that emergency or at least declared that emergency after several people aboard that plane noticed a fellow passenger acting strangely. Erratic is the way they described it.

As a result, they reached out to authorities on the ground that scrambled first responders ahead of that plane's safe landing. And according to Republic Airways, which owns and operates the flight flying for American, apparently, moved from that very active runway over to a taxiway. And that's when that emergency evacuation was initiated.

The goal, Pamela, would be to have authorities board the plane, make sure there was no threat. And at this point, authorities don't believe there was an actual threat as they begin to investigate.

We should point out, as we see these powerful images, it is still unclear whether or not the individual seen in this video that was captured by some passengers was the passenger in question.

We also don't know of any criminal charges that have been filed so far. Again, that investigation just getting underway.

This is happening after the Federal Aviation Administration reported an increase in the number of incidents with unruly passengers.

Last check, looking at the statistics here, the numbers showing 4,600 this year. That is a number that is reflective of what appears to be apparently the highest weekly increase in the last couple of months.

And that's, obviously, the kind of behavior authorities have been trying to crack down on.

But we need to be clear, we don't know the circumstances about this particular case. All we know is that the 76 passengers and six crew aboard that plane are safe tonight as that investigation just gets started.

BROWN: And that is very good news.

Polo Sandoval, thank you so much.

We turn to the fight for the truth and the Big Lie about the 2020 election and the growing fear that we could see bloodshed like this or worse all over again in the near future.

Tonight, former President Donald Trump is using every tactic he can think of to stop the House select committee on January 6th from hearing and reading what it wants to know about the attempted coup.

Of the four former Trump aides subpoenaed, two are engaging with the panel.

One finally accepted a subpoena after days of avoiding being served and one.

And one, Steve Bannon, is refusing to cooperate. He cites Trump's claim of executive privilege.

But the White House is refusing to step in and help give Trump any kind of shield. And so Trump may avail himself of the courts, perhaps delaying the probe even longer.

Long enough perhaps for Republicans to win back the House and shut down the investigation for good.

But all of this may just be the precursor for what happens in the next election, the presidential race in 2024.

Trump is the candidate to beat among Republicans. We have seen what he was willing to do to stay in power.

And last night, comedian, Bill Maher, offered a sobering analogy about how Trump and his backers could try to cheat the system again with Trump pushing to get those friendly to him in key positions to oversee the vote count across the country.



BILL MAHER, COMEDIAN & HOST, "REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER": But this time, his claims of illegal voting by immigrants or mail-in ballots coming in after the deadline or the system was hacked by Venezuela, or whatever Giuliani comes up with on the fly --


MAHER: -- they will be fully embraced by the stooges he is installing right now.

What happens when to two presidential candidates show up on inauguration day, both expecting to be sworn in like a bad sitcom pilot?


MAHER: The ding-dongs who sacked the capitol last year, that was like when al Qaeda tried to take down the World Trade Center the first time with a van. It was a joke. But the next time, they came back with planes.

I hope I scared the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out of you.


BROWN: With me tonight, Adam Serwer, staff writer for "The Atlantic." His recent piece looked at ways the attempted coup unfolded and are now public. Also CNN presidential historian, Douglas Brinkley.

Thanks to you both for joining us.

On this show, we have tried to cover this pretty much every weekend, this threat to democracy, the concerns about future elections.

And, Adam, that was a very stark comparison Bill Maher made between undermining an election and 9/11. Is that fair, that prediction, do you think?

ADAM SERWER, STAFF WRITER, "THE ATLANTIC": I mean, you don't need to reach into -- you don't need to go to al Qaeda to find examples of democratic elections being overthrown in the United States.

We have precedents for this in the American south after Reconstruction with the violent overthrow of the Reconstruction governments by Democrats and their paramilitary allies.

So, you know, this is not something that is unheard of in the United States, except we have never seen it at this level, the federal level.

I think what, you know, on the one hand, you know, I think it's probably more likely that Donald Trump may actually win under the Electoral College system that, you know, privileges Republicans because of the geographic distribution of their coalition.

But should he lose, I do agree with Maher, he will attempt to overturn the results as he did last time.

Last time, there were not enough Republicans in the right positions to ensure his plan would work.

As Maher said, as many have other people have documented, the president has been -- the supporters of the president have been installing themselves in the election machinery of various key states.

And should the president say the election was unfair and I actually won, I don't think we can be confident that those people do their duty rather than do what Donald Trump said for them to do.

BROWN: Doug, how concerned are you about that happening?

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: I am very concerned. I grew up, I read the Sinclair Lewis novel, "It Can't Happen Here," meaning authoritarianism and fascism. Yes, it can.

We saw that Donald Trump is a Fascist leader. And he is mobilizing his forces. One would be a fool to not take Bill Maher seriously. Obviously, he's painting a doomsday scenario of democracy unraveling.

And we have to always remind ourselves that Joe Biden won by 10 million votes and that many Republicans are stepping up against Donald Trump.

But the thought that I think Maher nailed is Trump is probably going to run in 2024. It's hard to imagine him not, unless something health- wise knocked him out of the game.

He is a formidable adversary. So it's a warning, I think, to the Democratic Party to stand together and unite.

They don't have the luxury, the Democrats, of having moderates and progressives. They have to be unified anti-Trump forces in order to keep our democracy on track.

BROWN: You know, and I remember before the election, personally, as a journalist, I found it alarming the rhetoric coming from Trump, saying, if I lose, the election is rigged.

And I remember asking politicians, Democrats about it, and they wanted to put that aside and talk about whatever was going on that day.

Lo and behold, we are learning now about all of the ways behind the scenes that he tried to overturn the election results in his favor.

Adam, you lay out all of the ways that he did it in plain view as well in this article that you wrote for "The Atlantic." Walk us through that.

SERWER: I mean, he tried to get the secretaries of state, of the states, not to certify the election.

He tried to get the state legislators to overturn the results in states controlled by Republican legislatures.

They tried to petition the Supreme Court to overturn the election by fiat, which did no work this team.

And they tried to get Mike Pence to decide through a ludicrous reading of the Constitution that the vice president has the unilateral authority to declare the winner of the presidential election. They tried to get Mike Pence to overthrow the results.


And then, finally, when all of those didn't work, they tried to get the mob to do the job for them. And that didn't work either. But that's not to say, again, that it couldn't work next time.

After all, the real threat here is the underlying ideology that the Republican Party has adopted that says the rival party's constituencies are not legitimately American.

And therefore, it doesn't matter if we are overvoted. It doesn't matter if the other side wins the election. Those people are illegitimate and not true Americans and, therefore, only we have the right to govern.

Because of that underlying ideology, it doesn't matter how preposterous the justification for overthrowing the election is, these people who are devoted to Donald Trump will believe it and will justify that as an excuse to overthrow a democratically selected president.

BROWN: Doug, we just heard Adam talk about Mike Pence. We saw Mike Pence follow the Constitution. He knew what was at stake. Yet, here he is just this past week trying to spin his way out of January 6th.

Let's watch.


MIKE PENCE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I know the media wants to distract from the Biden administration's failed agenda by focusing on one day in January.

They want to use that one day to try to demean the character and intentions of 74 million Americans who believed we could be strong again and prosperous again and supported our administration in 2016 and 2020.


BROWN: That one day in January.

What is your reaction, Doug?

BRINKLEY: Well, Vice President Pence is spineless. He did the right thing on one day.

And thank goodness for former Vice President Dan Quayle, who advised Pence, my god, are you kidding me, there's no debate, follow the law.

But Pence's feeling that all the momentum, the mojo is in -- with team Trump. He is trying to ingratiate himself back into that crowd. He made an embarrassment of himself by his recent comments.

I mean, he probably should have gone gracefully into the night. We would have gotten accolades in history as somebody who did the right thing on January 6th, on that crucial turning point in U.S. democratic political history.

But, alas, he is doing what Bill Maher worried about, and that's pandering to this Trumpism because you are either with Donald Trump 100 percent or you're against him.

And that is what authoritarianism is all about.

BROWN: All right, Douglas Brinkley, Adam Serwer, thanks for coming on, sharing your perspective on this very important topic that we're going to continue to stay on, on this show.

Thank you so much.


BROWN: Taiwan set to show off its U.S.-made Patriot missile and a big military parade meant to get China's attention. We will take you live in a moment.

And talk about how Taiwan is becoming a major test for President Biden and why every American should care about what is happening there.

Also ahead, I speak to a doctor who enrolled her 16-month-old son in the COVID vaccine trial for kids.

Then, why your holiday gift orders may take longer to reach their destination this year.

And then finally, I meet a family who escaped the violence in Afghanistan to start a new life in America. How it's going for them, coming up in the show.


BROWN: Today, in Taiwan, a military parade set to take place in the streets of Taipei marking the country's National Day. It's a show of patriotism for this tiny island nation, which split from China in 1949 during the civil war.

But today's display will also be a show of force aimed at its powerful neighbor.

Speaking today, China's President Xi said peaceful reunification would best serve China's and Taiwan's interests. But Taiwan's defense minister says the tensions are the worst in 40 years.

In recent weeks, Beijing has flown dozens of warplanes into Taiwan's airspace, ratcheting up fears that China is ready to act in a long- standing battle to reunify by reunify with Taiwan by force if necessary.

And there's concern the U.S. could get caught in the middle.

Joining me to explain, CNN's Will Ripley, in Taipei, and Arlette Saenz, with the president in Wilmington, Delaware.

Great to see you both.

Will, we'll start with you.

Tell me about the parade and what it's intended to convey, especially that U.S.-made Patriot missile.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Pam, it's an extraordinary sight that we're expecting here in the coming hours, something that a lot of people on island of Taiwan never thought they'd see, to have missiles rolling through the streets of Taipei in front of the presidential palace.

This National Day parade, normally peaceful, is striking a much more militaristic tone this year. And it really is an ominous sign of escalating tensions in the region.

You talked about the Chinese warplanes flying in Taiwan's self- declared air defense zone. Not Taiwanese airspace itself, but it extends 12 miles from the coast, this buffer zone.

When planes enter it, the military scrambles its own fighter jets. They deploy anti-missile defense systems and they also issue radio warnings like this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The PLA military aircraft situated at 6,900 meters in southwestern Taiwanese airspace.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please pay attention. You have entered my airspace and affected out flight safety. Turn around and leave immediately. (END VIDEO CLIP)

RIPLEY: Taiwan is bolstering its defenses. They bought $5 billion in weapons from the United States last year, Pam. And that includes, as you mentioned, those U.S.-made Patriot missiles.

BROWN: And, Arlette, here is what makes this really tricky for the Biden administration.

You have a lot going on here. You have the relationship with China. Sources say the U.S. Marines have been stationed on Taiwan for more

than a year to help train Taiwanese troops.


But the Pentagon has not confirmed those reports. But if true, it would put the U.S. in the middle of this tense situation.

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It would, Pamela. This comes as the U.S. is really becoming increasingly concerned about China's military actions and buildups regarding many different areas of our regional security.

And this week, you had the national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, speaking with his foreign counterpart of China in meetings during Zurich where he brought up some of these areas of concern, including Taiwan.

President Biden said that he spoke with President Xi about the issue of Taiwan as well.

And the Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned towards China about taking actions like this, which he called provocative.

Take a listen.


ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: The activity is destabilizing. It risks miscalculation. And it has the potential to undermine regional peace and stability.

So we strongly urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic and economic pressure and coercion directed at Taiwan.


SAENZ: So this is something that the White House is certainly watching closely, the developments regarding China's military build-up around Taiwan as well as Taiwan's ability to defend itself.

Of course, the U.S. relationship with Taiwan has always been very sensitive, in part, due to that defense situation.

But it also comes as the White House has really tried to shift their foreign policy to really focus on China from a competitive standpoint and also those issues of regional security.

Now, the White House has said that they are teeing up a virtual meeting between President Biden and President Xi Jinping later this year. It's expected to happen by the end of the year.

They are expected to talk about a host of these issues as the U.S. wants to make sure that they can keep some of those security issues in check, but also maintain that competitive stance with China.

BROWN: And, Will, Taiwan's president spoke and said, quote, "Taiwan does not seek military confrontation. It hopes for a peaceful, stable, predictable and mutually beneficial coexistence with its neighbors. But Taiwan will also do whatever it takes to defend its freedom and democratic way of life."

Taiwan appears to not be looking for a fight here, Will, but what about China?

RIPLEY: Pam, I want to point out that we received just moments ago -- this from Taiwan's military national defense. It a list of the missiles that will be on display here.

We just need to clarify, the U.S.-made Patriot missiles will not be rolling in front of the presidential palace. But four other kinds of missiles will.

You're right. The big question, is China looking to absorb Taiwan as every Chinese leader since Mao has vowed to do. Chinese President Xi Jinping is the first, arguably, who has a military to do it.

Some U.S. military exercises predicted it would be a matter of days potentially, even with U.S. backing, if China were to launch a full- out assault on the island.

The island is trying to deter China as much as possible with this porcupine strategy, to hold off Chinese's incoming forces as much as possible.

While they seek assistance from allies like the U.S. and Japan, which doesn't want to see Taiwan fall into the control of mainland China because that could put missiles within 100 miles of Japan.

What happens in Taiwan strategically is hugely important. And also ideological. The president has said that this island is front and center of a fight between authoritarian governments and democracy.

The U.S. and China representing two very different systems and ideologies, clashing because this is the only Chinese-speaking democracy in the world.

Now, 24 million people who elect their own leaders. But it is a fragile democracy, at best.

Because they know here in Taiwan that they are outspent by roughly 15 times in terms of national defense spending by the mainland.

Therefore, they are relying on the U.S. and other allies to come to their defense.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has talked repeatedly about what he calls reunification of Taiwan. Listen.


XI JINPING, CHINESE PRESIDENT (through translator): Those who forget their heritage betray their mother land and split the country will come to no good end. They will be disdained by the people and condemned by history.


RIPLEY: Here in Taiwan, President Tsai and other leaders point out this island has governed itself since the end of China's civil war for 70 years.

They say the People's Republic of China, Beijing, has never once ruled this island. So they don't agree with that term reunification.

They want a sustainable coexistence with their system, their democratic system remaining intact.

BROWN: It is clear, though, tensions are rising between the two, and there are serious geopolitical ramifications particularly for the United States in all of this.

Will Ripley, Arlette Saenz, thank you both.


Well, the U.S. is very close to kicking off vaccinations for kids younger than 12. It's thanks to parents like our next guest who enrolled her kids in vaccine trials. She joins us next for an update with her kids. We will see if they are still around after this break.


BROWN: In the fight against COVID-19, there's a potential game changer for many parents of young children.

FDA advisors meet later this month to discuss emergency use authorization for a vaccine for 5-to-11-year-olds. That means their shots could be just weeks away.


Joining me now to discuss is Dr. Thao Galvan from the Baylor College of Medicine. We talked with her in the spring after she enrolled her toddler son in the Pfizer vaccine trial for babies as young as six months. Thank you so much for coming back to talk with us.

And we have your adorable children, your 3-year-old Charlie, 20-month- year-old, Nathan, who is seems to be snacking. I'm kind of jealous of him right now. But he seems to be doing just great after the trial. Tell us how he's been doing. THAO GALVAN, ENROLLED TODDLER SON IN PFIZER VACCINE TRIAL: But thank you for having us that.

BROWN: So, tell us how because I remember we talked at the time you would just enrolled him in the -- in the trial? Were there any side effects? Anything like that? And what do you want to say about this news that the -- that it looks as though shots will be approved for kids five and up?

GALVAN: Yes. So, the children did perfectly fine. They did very, very well, they were having dance parties, after each shot. So, I think that they did fine.

As far as the news is concerned, as a physician, I'm ecstatic. You know, this last wave was devastating for us here in Texas for the whole country, really. Our children's hospital was overwhelmed. And so, it was something that, you know, I -- and then of course, it preceded starting school. So, I think for a lot of parents, a huge, huge weight lifted. Certainly, it's not the only thing we can do to help mitigate the effects of this pandemic, but it's a very important one.

BROWN: So, you first enrolled your baby, little Nathan, and then you decided to enroll your 3-year-old son in the trial. So clearly, no hesitation there?

GALVAN: No. You know, I wouldn't -- I didn't hesitate that I had reservation, but it's really just a balance of risks and benefits. It's not a matter of if the children will encounter COVID, it's a matter of when. And so, for me, it felt prudent, actually, very conservative to enroll them in this trial, because you know, every parent, they just want to protect their children as best they could.

You know, I knew the data, I understood, and I worked with some of the best specialists in the field. And I was very comfortable with Dr. Munoz (PH), who is the PI on this project for us. And so, understanding everything I had and all the resources that we were afforded, it made sense for our family to participate.

BROWN: I just want to point out that as you were talking, Nathan, shared his snack with his big brother, Charlie, and that is something that I don't see in my household with my 1-year-old and 3-year-old. So, you're going to have to give me some tips on how you get your kids to share.

But Pfizer and BioNTech is now officially seeking FDA emergency use authorization to vaccinate children 5 to 11, as we were just talking about. You admitted just then that you were a little bit worried, you know, you had some reservations about getting your child through this -- the trial, the vaccine, and so forth.

What message do you have then for parents who might hesitate once the shots are available for their kids?

GALVAN: Well, I have to admit to you once school started in the fourth waves began, I was so grateful that I had enrolled. And so, we know now that children are just as likely to contract the virus, they may not necessarily have symptoms, but they certainly can contract it to others. And then now we have more and more children with this Delta variant being admitted to hospitals and suffering the consequences of COVID.

We don't know the long-term effects of COVID. There are changes in their brain based on MRI findings. Even asymptomatic patients are having changes. And so, I think understanding this and understanding the nature of vaccines, it makes sense that we all try and do what's safest for us, for our family aqnd for our peers. And as you can see, it's been fun activity.

BROWN: I know it's probably sweet Nathan's bedtime, but really quickly, I want to ask you, because inevitably, some parents will decide not to vaccinate their children, right. And so, that's going to be an interesting dynamic for young kids at school, some who have been vaccinated, others who haven't. Is it important for parents to have conversations with their children about that?

GALVAN: A hundred percent. And then, also, I think it would be very important to include your pediatrician in this discussion. We certainly actually involve their pediatrician and we're making these decisions. And I think it's a really safe resource to use. Oh, geez, I'm so sorry.

BROWN: Do not apologize. I have a baby, I know. I get it.


BROWN: He just has a lot that he wants to express on the show and that's OK. He wants to spread the word of how great vaccines are for kids.

GALVAN: He's a healthy boy. And I think we should all try and keep our children as healthy as possible, our teachers, our family members, our grandparents. I think vaccination, if it's known to be the safest route (INAUDIBLE)


BROWN: We hear you, Nathan. We're hearing you loud and clear, buddy. Nathan, Charlie, you were so well behaved. Thank you. And Dr. Galvan, thank you so much for that important and entertaining segment.

GALVAN: OK. We're done.

BROWN: See you later.

Well, off the coast of California, a record number of cargo ships are parked in the ocean. And if you shop, so all of us, that's a problem.


STEPHEN BOR, U.S. COAST GUARD: You're looking at all of the electronics. You're looking at all of the health goods. You're looking at all of the things that people are looking forward to buy this coming holiday season.




BROWN: Your holiday gift orders may take longer to reach the door this year, and some of your grocery store faves may be missing too. Just as demand bounces back, dozens of cargo ships are struck off the West Coast at the country's two biggest ports.

CNN's Kyung Lah hitched a ride with the Coast Guard to see what's going on.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And so, we get a second (INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm going to go some shorter time.

LAH: To understand the problem on the ground.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Five, four, two, we're going to take off.

LAH: You first need to see it from the air.

BOR: We'll fly right over the anchorages just South of the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach.

LAH: This is where the global supply chain meets the U.S. economy, says Coast Guard commander, Stephen Bor.

BOR: It's record-breaking, it's unprecedented. There are more ships than there are parking spots. We are effectively operating ourselves and waiting a lot in the Pacific Ocean.

LAH: This bottleneck of container ships as far as the eye can see carries more than half the made in Asia items purchased by the American consumer.

BOR: You're looking at all of the electronics. You're looking at all of the health goods. You're looking at all of the things that people are looking forward to buy this coming holiday season.

LAH: Zero ships usually stay parked here, but on this day, Commander Bor counts 55 in the ports and more drifting further out in the Pacific. While worst here, the backup is at all West Coast U.S. ports.

What does that indicate to you about what's happening in the supply chain?

BOR: You know, I think everybody can see that things are slowing down.

LAH: Slowing down and piling up at sea, and at the ports of entry. This is what happens when a global economy snaps back after the COVID slump of 2020. American consumers are back buying with force, but the supply chain is struggling to catch up.

MARIO CORDERO, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, PORT OF LONG BEACH We need to have an Amazon state of mind in this industry. And by that, I mean Amazon changed everything.

LAH: While shoppers click 24 hours a day, factories in Asia are still stopping due to COVID. Then in the U.S., national labor shortages and limited work hours the Port of Long Beach is just now experimenting with round the clock operations.

CORDERO: What with this is a wakeup call for all of us in this industry to realize you can't operate with a model of yesterday.

LAH: The goal cut the wait time for truck drivers. The next link of the supply chain, moving containers out of the port.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every day, there five, six hours in the harbor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You had to wait like six hours.

LAH: Six hours?


RUBEN PONCE, TRUCK DRIVER: I was in there for nine hours.

LAH: Nine hours, Ruben Ponce lost that he could have been moving merchandise.

PONCE: I'm making less money, yes, because I can't do as many rounds.

LAH: National data shows there is a truck driver shortage. But Ponce says the problem is even more basic than that.

PONCE: So now, the port is backed up. Us, were backed up, the truckers were backed up. Everyone's backed up. And it's just a big problem.

LAH: So, it's like a chain reaction.

PONCE: Exactly, exactly.

LAH: Delayed trucks means delays at warehouses like Canton Food Company in Los Angeles.

CHO KWAN, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, CANTON FOO COMPANY: I have about eight containers out in the harbor somewhere from China and Vietnam.

LAH: Filled with food.

KWAN: Still just waiting.

LAH: That means for this warehouse, empty shelves with no date to fill that basic economics or at play, scarcity drives up prices.

So, it's almost doubled in price.

KWAN: I would say maybe at least 70 percent.


LAH: Prices for ingredients restaurant owner, Ricardo Mosqueda, has to pay.

MOSQUEDA: All those different products that you have to substitute, you have to change now at 30 percent more, 50 percent more, 100 percent more.

LAH: This La Taqueria brand location operates in a renovated shipping container.

The supplies Mosqueda needs sit out at sea in the same metal bins, a cruel irony after barely keeping his restaurant open through the pandemic.

MOSQUEDA: We worry as far as -- because you don't know what's going to happen, right? You don't know what's next.

LAH: How long are these ships going to be floating out here?

BOR: I really can't say how long they're going to be like this. I think we're all going to wait and see how long this shakes out.

LAH: Now the consensus from the coast guard to the economists to the workers on the supply chain, this could last into next year. So, what does that mean for you? Well, start your holiday shopping now. The truck driver you heard from, he's already going through his list because he wants to make sure his nephews get what they want.

Kyung Lah, CNN, Long Beach, California.



BROWN: Our thanks to Kyung.

A chance to hit the reset button on their lives. How Afghan families getting settled into a new home and country still face challenges, but are already enjoying what the rest of us often take for granted.


SOORA JAWAD, REFUGEE: I couldn't just make myself eat. I was like so stressed. Since the day we stepped in this country, I don't see myself to stop eating.



BROWN: Tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Afghanistan as it fell to the Taliban. I'm sure you remember those images coming out, some even clinging to planes taking off from Kabul. But getting out was just the first step in a long journey. So, what has life been like for those who actually managed to escape and make it to the U.S. Well, I've met with one family adjusting bit by bit to a new home, and a new country.



ABID JAWAD, REFUGEE: Every day, I feel like I'm starting a new life.


BROWN: The Jawad family arrived in the United States in August after fleeing Afghanistan on a Special Immigrant Visa.

What was that like when you stepped foot in the US?

S. JAWAD: Fresh, the first word that comes in mind. All this greenery and stuff out there fresh, wonderful.

BROWN: The Jawads were initially on their own when they arrived, living in a bare-bones basement apartment, sleeping on the floor and surviving off just enough saved up money for food as they awaited housing help from one of the nine resettlement organizations receiving funds from the U.S. government.

S. JAWAD: We have to start everything from zero.

BROWN: But they at least felt safe, unlike their final weeks in Afghanistan, when the Taliban was rapidly taking over.

Abid Jawad says he worked alongside a U.S. defense company and knew his family could be targeted.

S. JAWAD: Our daughter was our concern, was our priority. That's what made us move out. I couldn't just make myself eat. I was like so stressed. Since the day we stepped in this country, I don't see myself to stop eating.

BROWN: The Jawads are among an estimated 60,000 Afghans resettling in the U.S. after our rapid and chaotic withdrawal from the 20-year war in Afghanistan.

ALEJANDRO MAYORKAS, U.S. HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: So many of them have gone through a tremendous amount for us that we consider it not only our obligation, but quite frankly a privilege to dedicate resources for them in return.

BROWN: But the unprecedented relocation efforts have come with challenges, like finding affordable housing, and airtight vetting and security procedures for people entering the United States.

MAYORKAS: We take their fingerprints, we get their biographical information, we take their photographs.

BROWN: Do you know of any instances where someone didn't pass the screening and they couldn't come through?

MAYORKAS: Oh, yes, we have. And quite frankly, if we learn of information at any point in time, remember, we have our enforcement authorities as well that we could bring to bear and have brought to bear.

BROWN: In September, a measles outbreak among Afghan refugees halted evacuations for a few weeks. But resettlement efforts have resumed after the CDC make new vaccine and quarantine requirements against infectious diseases including COVID-19. Where refugees initially end up in the U.S. depends on their status.

MAYORKAS: If in fact they are U.S. citizens and they're U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents or visa holders, they are actually able to resettle directly into the United States. But if they are not, then they go to one of eight military facilities where a tremendous amount of resources are dedicated to their wellbeing.

BROWN: The U.S. government accommodations for Afghans have raised questions about why the same isn't being done for migrants arriving at the southern border and record numbers.

But the U.S. government was able to set up the system so quickly for Afghans, why not set it up so quickly for those that are in need coming to the southern border?

MAYORKAS: Remember, we are working with countries to the South that are dealing with a border management challenges themselves, resource constraints and like, so the challenges are very different here than they are with respect to the Afghan nationals.

BROWN: The Jawads are now living in a one-bedroom apartment in Virginia they found through one of the resettlement organizations.

But Miry Whitehill founder of Miry's List, a group that helps incoming refugees says housing alone is not enough to make refugee families feel at home in the U.S.

MIRY WHITEHILL, FOUNDER, MIRY'S LIST: Imagine, you are coming to a new country being dropped off, we can intervene to make sure that the arrival is a completion to the refugee experience and the beginning of a resettlement experience. These are our newest Americans. We have a tremendous opportunity to show up for them.

S. JAWAD: It's handmade by someone who doesn't even know us.

BROWN: The Jawad family says Miry's List gave them comfort items like this handmade blanket and toys for their daughter and comfortable beds to sleep in.

S. JAWAD: I said, OK, we need beds. And then she said, what type of beds? And that was surprising for me. I was like, OK, I get to choose what type of bed?

BROWN: Soora and Abid will be on their own paying for rent after two months and are both looking for work, Abid as an accountant and Soora potentially finishing her pursuit of becoming a heart surgeon.

S. JAWAD: I did my MD and I was halfway to become a heart surgeon and I was in third year of my residency. It's a five years program, but I had to leave. I hope I can do something to be useful to the society.



BROWN: And if you want to help, go to to find a refugee family, and please visit for more ways to assist.

Thank you so much for joining me this evening. And remember, "Diana" premieres tomorrow night at 9:00 on CNN. The new original series introduces us to the person behind the princess and reveals a life more complicated and fascinating than the world new.

I'll see you again tomorrow starting at 6:00 p.m. Eastern. Up next, "The Windsors: Inside the Royal Dynasty."