Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Newsroom

Biden Warns Americans Not To Join Fight In Ukraine; Area Sheriff "Never Heard" Anyone Take Charge Of Uvalde Scene; Lifeguard Shortage Forces One-Third Of U.S. Public Pools To Close; Americans Feel Strain Of Rising Cost Of Car Ownership. Aired 12-1p ET

Aired June 18, 2022 - 12:00   ET



FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Pfizer and Moderna are both seeking authorization for their vaccines. And if approved, young children could begin getting vaccinated as soon as this week.

CNN's Miguel Marquez, extracting today's a decision. So, Miguel, any potential timeline on when a decision might be rendered or the meeting end?

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Yes, it looked like it was going to come to an end any minute now, but they've just finished up their main presentation.

And now, committee members are asking questions. They are -- they are now sort of centering on the question of previous infection versus children under 5 who have been vaccinated.

There's a lot of parents out there who say, basically, look, my kid had a mild case of COVID previously, and I'm guessing the next case will be pretty mild as well. They're now going through the data and they can't be 100 percent specific or certain, because they don't have a ton of data.

But in general, what they are saying right now is that if they had prior infection, still, a vaccine is going to do a lot more for those children than just allowing them to not be vaccinated and rely on natural antibodies, as it were.

They are expected in the next maybe it sounds like they have a lot of questions right now. So, maybe it's going to be another half hour to an hour before they wrap up, take that vote, and then move that recommendation on to the CDC director who is expected to accept their recommendation.

And then cities like New York will begin to deliver those shots into arms as soon as next Wednesday.

These are two different vaccines. Moderna and Pfizer, slightly different regimes for both.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): The Moderna is a two shot regime, the Pfizer is a three shot regime. They are much smaller doses than those for even kids and adults or older kids and adults.

MARQUEZ (on camera): And they've really gone through all of the process of how these vaccines will get from the manufacturers to the various places to put them into arms. And they expect that it will start all next week. Back to you.

WHITFIELD: All right. Miguel Marquez, thanks so much, in New York.

MARQUEZ: You got it.

WHITFIELD: All right, another rocky week on Wall Street after the Fed implemented its biggest rate hike in decades. Sparking fears of recession is near.

WHITFIELD (voice-over): The S&P 500 closed out its worst week since March of 2020, when the pandemic hit, and the Dow closed below 30,000 for a second straight day.

Meantime, President Biden is trying to reassure the American people that a recession is not inevitable.

WHITFIELD (on camera): For more, let's bring in Arlette Saenz, who is traveling with the president in Delaware.

So, Arlette, the White House is trying to strike an optimistic tone. But a lot of Americans are still very concerned.

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Yes, Fred. And the White House is keenly aware of the economic anxiety that so many Americans are feeling at this moment as they are seeing record high prices at the gas pumps and as the grocery stores as they continue to pay their bills. But the president is insisting that the administration is trying to do everything in their power to lower prices, as he spoke about yesterday, as he held a virtual meeting with world leaders. Take a listen.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In the United States, I'm using every lever available to me to bring down prices for the American people. And our nations are working together to stabilized global energy markets, including coordinating the largest release from the global reserve -- from global oil reserves in history.

SAENZ: But even as the president says he is trying to use every lever possible to try to lower these prices. He has also acknowledged that there is little that he can do in the short term to lower gas prices, and the cost of food.

Now, the administration is considering a range of options, including the possibility of sending gas rebate cards to Americans to help them pay for fuel. But a White House official says it's unlikely they would go down that route, because such a program would be difficult to administer, and it would also be difficult to keep tabs on whether Americans are actually using those cards to pay for gas.

Now, as the president has been making this economic messaging push, he held what has become a very rare interview with the Associated Press, where he said he does not believe a recession in this country is inevitable even as some economists are warning of that.

But the president said he believes the U.S. is in a strong position to combat inflation, while also acknowledging the weariness that Americans are feeling at this moment telling the Associated Press that Americans are feeling really, really down about the state of the country right now.

WHITFIELD: All right. And then, Arlette, while you're there, you know, the president, you know, spending time in his weekend getaway there in Delaware. He likes to get out sometimes interact with people, but perhaps this was not the interaction that he was planning or hoping for today.

He took a little bit of a tumble while biking, but how is he doing really?

SAENZ: Yes. Well, Fred, the president was out on a bike ride with his wife, First Lady Jill Biden. And he went over to greet the public and some members of the press. And he took a little bit of a spill off of his bike. Take a look at this video of that moment.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, made up --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Happy Father's Day.

BIDEN: I'm good.

SAENZ (voice-over): So, just right after that, the Secret Service really swarmed him to make sure that he was doing OK. The president did spend some time greeting people and the crowd and he told reporters that he was feeling good, after he fell off that bike.


SAENZ (on camera): A White House official said that the President is doing fine at this moment, and that it did not require any medical attention. But there was a little bit of a scare earlier today as he fell off his bike here in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

WHITFIELD: Yes, because now that's my first time seeing that angle. The clip that we showed earlier, you didn't really get to see it. You can only kind of hear that people gasp. But that, that will know that, that looks like that, that hurt.

I mean, that came down pretty hard on his side. I'm glad the White House is saying he is fine. Let's hope that he's you know, still feeling fine a few hours from now, because you're not seeing things can kind of settle in once you take a tumble. WHITFIELD: All right. Arlette Saenz, thank you so much. Keep us posted.

All right, the cost of buying a new car is also jumping. Rising interest rates combined with soaring car and gas prices is making it a lot harder for Americans to afford a new vehicle.

For more, let's bring in Camila Bernal. Camila, so, how is this new rate hike and inflation impacting car buying? I mean, usually we talked to you and people are really grimacing about how high gas prices are particularly where you are. And now, you got two interest rate hikes that make it really hard to buy a new car or even sometimes a used car.

CAMILA BERNAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Yes, Fred, it just piles up. And as you said it, it becomes harder and harder for the buyer.

I mean, the reality is that the demand is high and the prices are high. And that goes for affordable cars, luxury cars, and really everything in between.

The average price for a new car is at $47,000. For a used car, is at $28,000. And the experts that I talked to told me these numbers are especially hard and especially shocking for people who haven't bought a car in say five or 10 years.


ROLAND PAHUD, CAR BUYER: This here is the Wrangler, four wheel drive.

BERNAL (voice-over): This is Roland Pahud's new Jeep. It was a necessity, he says and a quick decision.

PAHUD: I had another car, was a lot of mileage, and I needed a bigger one.

BERNAL: The jeep was about $50,000, leaving his monthly payment at about $800 higher than the most recent Kelley Blue Book monthly payment average at $712.

MATT DEGEN, SENIOR EDITOR, KELLY BLUE BOOK: This is a new record for that monthly payment. This is a new record. And then, the car -- the new car prices are actually near records.

BERNAL: In the last year new car prices have gone up 12.6 percent. Used cars up 16.1 percent. Food 10.1 percent, and gas up 48.7 percent.

But gas prices not necessarily deterring potential buyers at this Southern California Car Dealership.

RAED MALAEB, GENERAL MANAGER, RUSSELL WESTBROOK CHRYSLER DODGE JEEP RAM: Demand is high, supply is the low, and we're still in sub shortage era.

BERNAL: This paired with the high interest rates making it difficult for buyers.

DEGEN: We don't see prices decreasing much. And even if they do, just keep in mind that interest rates are rising. So, the cost of borrowing money is going up. So, that just means you're still going to be paying as much or nearly as much as you were even if those prices go down.

BERNAL: Car, home, and student loans, all higher. Interest rates on a 30-year fixed mortgage have jumped from 2.93 to 5.78 percent in the last year.

PAHUD: This is how it looks.

BERNAL: Pahud wishes his interest would have been lower, but says it was his need and want that motivated his new car purchased.


BERNAL (on camera): And a lot of people are turning to electric vehicles and while it is cheaper to charge, the price of electricity has also gone up 12 percent over the last year. So, Fred, you just cannot win.

WHITFIELD: Getting hit at all angles. All right. Camila Bernal, thank you so much.

All right. Coming up, former President Donald Trump lashes out at the January 6 committee after it detailed how he tried to pressure Mike Pence to join in his scheme to overturn the presidential election.


WHITFIELD: We'll show you what Trump said. Next.


WHITFIELD: All right, the January 6 committee returns next week and Donald Trump is wasting no time lashing out at the panel. The former president calling the committee con artists, as they prepare for their fourth hearing.

Here now is CNN's Jessica Schneider.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I never called Mike Pence a wimp. I never called them a wimp. Mike Pence had a chance to be great. He had a chance to be frankly historic. But just like Bill Barr and the rest of these weak people, Mike, and I say it sadly because I liked them. But Mike did not have the courage to act.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Former President Trump using his platform at a conservative political conference to deny the evidence against him and blast the January 6 committee.

TRUMP: The con people, that con artists. Trump's attacks come as the committee is gearing up for several more hearings. CNN has learned Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger will be at Tuesday's hearing with his deputy.

TRUMP (via telephone): All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have.

SCHNEIDER: They'll testify about Trump's efforts to pressure them to change the election results. The committee also wants to talk to Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas about her communications with Trump Attorney John Eastman.


SCHNEIDER: Eastman devised the scheme to pressure then-Vice President Mike Pence to block the certification of Biden's 2020 electoral win.

MIKE PENCE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: To tell her is verified, appears to be regular and form and authentic.

SCHNEIDER: Something Pence ultimately refused to do.

REP. BENNIE THOMPSON (D-MS): We have sent Ms. Thomas a letter, asking us to come and talk to the committee.

We look forward to a comment.


SCHNEIDER: Ginni Thomas issued a short response to the committee via the conservative publication Daily Caller. Saying she can't wait to clear up misconceptions. "I look forward to talking to them."

Eastman denying he ever discussed election litigation that might come before the Supreme Court with Ginni Thomas or with Justice Clarence Thomas.

Eastman writing, "We have never engaged in such discussions, would not engage in such discussions and did not do so in December 2020 or anytime else."

While the committee has requested cooperation from outstanding witnesses, it is, so far refused to share full transcripts of all of its interviews with the Justice Department.

But the committee says it will not be an obstacle to Justice Department prosecutions.

THOMPSON: We are not going to stop what we're doing to share the information that we've gotten so far with the Department of Justice. We have to do our work.

SCHNEIDER: CNN has learned the panel is running into problems securing witnesses for an upcoming hearing about Trump's efforts to pressure the Justice Department to support and promote his false election fraud claims. While Jeffrey Rosen and Richard Donoghue, the top two officials at DOJ in the final weeks of the Trump administration are expected to appear, the committee is so far striking out with Pat Cipollone. Cipollone is the former White House lawyer credited with talking some sense into Trump by threatening to resign.

Sources say Cipollone is not expected to join the hearing in person, despite already talking to the committee privately.


SCHNEIDER (on camera): And the New York Times is also reporting that the committee could start sharing transcripts of those witness interviews with the Justice Department as soon as next month.

Jessica Schneider, CNN, Washington.

WHITFIELD: All right, and we're following other developments in the January 6th investigation. Former Trump trade adviser, Peter Navarro has pleaded not guilty to contempt of Congress charges after failing to appear for testimony or turn over documents to the committee.

Navarro joins Steve Bannon, as the second Trump advisor to be charged over failing to cooperate with the committee.

All right, here with me now to discuss, former federal prosecutor Michael Zeldin. Always good to see you, Michael.

So, is it possible that Peter Navarro could face jail time if he is convicted?

MICHAEL ZELDIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST (on camera): Well, it's not clear that he would actually get sentenced to jail, maybe a few days in jail a week or two in jail. But the stigma of having a felony conviction is very damning to a fellow like Navarro. And I don't think he has a very strong case defend himself.

He just flat out refused to cooperate. And the claims that he didn't have to because of executive privilege, just to me, or unavailing, in this case.

WHITFIELD: So, president spoke -- President Trump spoke out rather, about the January 6 defendants just last night at the Faith and Freedom Coalition in Nashville. Take a listen to what he said.


TRUMP: People should not be treated the way they're being treated. And if I become president, someday, if I decide to do it, I will be looking at them very, very seriously for pardons very, very seriously.

They've been treated very unfairly.


WHITFIELD: You got any reaction to that. Or, you know, promising if he were to run, that he is already looking at pardons?

ZELDIN: Well, two things. First, is it's unbelievable that a former president of the United States could consider pardoning people who engage in an insurrection against the Capitol to obstruct the orderly transfer of power.

And then second, what is the message that he is sending to other people who are determining whether to plead and cooperate? Is he saying to them, sit tight, and, you know, wait for me, and I will take care of you in the end.

So, is that obstructing their decision to cooperate and plead? You know, it's very close.

WHITFIELD: Well, at a minimum it's securing whatever kind of support he feels like he has from them, right?

I mean, and he's calling the committee a bunch of con artists.

ZELDIN: Well, he is. Of course the support for those people who have been convicted and pled guilty to felonies, they can't vote, because Republicans don't like convicted felons to vote.

But yes, the whole thing is very sad in its, you know, sort of macro sense that says where we are as a country.

WHITFIELD: Yes. Oh, boy. All right. Well, sticking with the issue of pardons that committee has said. Several lawmakers including Congressman Scott Perry, actually reached out to former President Trump, asking for up harden preemptively, you know, over their possible role in the insurrection.


WHITFIELD: So, while no pardons were ever, you know, formally issued by Trump on their behalf, is it possible that the president could have issued some sort of secret pardon? Do those exist?

ZELDIN: Well, they couldn't have been secret, because they have to be made public. But the secretive part of it was that these people felt that they engaged in some form of conduct that a pardon was, you know, important for them, because they contemplated the possibility they may have done something illegal.

That's the stunning part for me, Fred, is that you have members of Congress who may have helped the insurrectionist do some sort of reconnaissance in the Capitol or engaged in some other conspiratorial behavior with them. They knew it. And they secretly asked for a pardon. Pretty, pretty terrible stuff.

WHITFIELD: It really is. And so, requesting that pardon is essentially admitting that there is some stuff on you. Right? Admitting a level of guilt. So, I wonder if, there would potentially or if there might already be some follow up within the Department of Justice.

Does that assist in any kind of potential prosecution? ZELDIN: Well, you can seek a pardon and not sort of acknowledge that you've done something that's illegal. People can seek pardons for different reasons. Generally, however, they seek pardons when they have done something or anticipate that they have done something that the Justice Department would find to be criminal.

And you think that the Justice Department, in evaluating the evidence with respect to these people might take account of that as part of their state of mind.

WHITFIELD: All right, Michael Zeldin, always a pleasure to see you. Thank you so much.

ZELDIN: Good to see you, Fred.

WHITFIELD (voice-over): All right, this quick programming note, I join some of the biggest stars as they lift their voices for "JUNETEENTH: A GLOBAL CELEBRATION FOR FREEDOM". Live tomorrow night at 8:00 Eastern right here on CNN.

All right. Still ahead, President Biden says he was briefed on three American volunteer fighters who have gone missing in Ukraine, while heavy fighting continues in two key areas of eastern Ukraine. We will discuss the latest with a retired U.S. Air Force colonel.



WHITFIELD: All right, President Biden says he has been briefed on three American volunteer fighters who have gone missing in Ukraine. And as he left the White House yesterday, Biden issued this warning to Americans who may be thinking of joining the fight in Ukraine.


BIDEN: I want to reiterate, Americans should not be going to Ukraine now.

WHITFIELD: This image appears to show the capture of two of the fighters, while a third American listed as missing in Ukraine has been identified as U.S. Marine veteran Grady Kurpasi.

Although, Eastern Ukraine, a brutal fighting has left many cities devastated, CNN's Ben Wedeman went looking for signs of life in cities on the war's front lines.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A portent of things to come on the road to Lysychansk, a city that has been in the line of fire for months.

A school basement serves as shelter for dozens of residents. Tatiana (PH) shows us where they sleep. The only light provided by our camera.

Everyone is outside now, she says, because it's too dark and hard to breathe down here. Outside, they wait a soup cooks over a fire.

There is no gas, no power, no water, Maria tells me. We have nothing.

Most are old, tired, terrified, and beyond despair.

I'm alone says 82-year-old Masha. My legs are tired, I can't go anyway.

Lydumila is leaving.

We thought it would calm down but it only gets worse and worse, she says. I can't take the sounds anymore.

Natalia is leaving too.

The windows in my house are broken, she says. There is a huge crater by my house. It's the end of the world.

The sunny weather belies what has become a post-apocalyptic existence. Residents' line up for unfiltered water so they can wash the flush toilets. Almost four months of war with no end in sight, frustration flares.

Where is our mayor? Where is our governor? Asked Mykola. They should have come here at least once.

Just across the river, savage street fighting rages in Sievierodonetsk. Lysychansk isn't near the front, it is the front.

WEDEMAN (on camera): At 3:00 in the afternoon, Russian aircraft hit this building. This building was serving as a shelter for people. Three were killed and it really goes to show there is nowhere in Lysychansk that's safe.

WEDEMAN (voice-over): Lydumila (PH) was in that building. Her husband injured in the strike. Yesterday, he was crushed under the rubble, she says. She can do nothing but weep. She waits for a ride to see him in hospital.


Ben Wedeman, CNN, Lysychansk.


WHITFIELD: All right, let's bring in now Colonel Cedric Leighton, he is a CNN military analyst, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, so good to see you. I mean, it's just heartbreaking to see what people are still enduring there. Those cities in eastern Ukraine that Ben Wedeman just reported on, I mean, they're devastated, and you see the people who have survived it are saying, I've had enough, I thought maybe it would get better, but it hasn't. So Ukraine says Russia continues to bring in reinforcements in the east. Can Ukraine continue to defend the East any longer? COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, Fred, it's really going to be difficult for them. And you know, as much as your heart goes out to these people, in Lysychans'k and some of the other cities that Ben was talking about, it really is pretty clear that this is a very difficult situation for them. The civilian population there is at great risk, you know, it's very obvious, you know, with no water, no power, you know, no conveniences of modern life, they basically been forced back into the 18th century. And that's something that most people, quite frankly, in the 21st century are not prepared for. And I think it's going to be really difficult for the Ukrainians from a military standpoint, to regain that territory in a very coherent fashion so that these people are protected.

WHITFIELD: Let's talk now about the three Americans that the U.S. knows of that have been, you know, assisting in the fight and now reportedly have been captured by Russia. Russian forces, in your view, how does this embolden the Russian troops who may have captured them?

LEIGHTON: So anytime, Fred, when they capture Americans, that's kind of a trophy for them, you know, whether it's the Russians or the separatist forces in the Donbass. So they look at these people, as you know, being bargaining chips for one thing. But on the other side of that, you know, as these negotiations or whatever you want to call them, the dealings that we'll have to have with the Russians or with the separatist parties in eastern Ukraine, whatever you want to call those in, the real thing here is that they are considered, you know, from our standpoint, to be prisoners of war, from the Russian standpoint, they are, in essence considered to be common criminals, and they are treatment is going to be something that is, it's going to be part of, you know, the discussions, obviously, and it's also going to be a critical factor in whether or not they sort of frankly, survive this situation, I think they can survive it.

And I think the Russians won't do anything to, you know, deliberately kill them in these situations. But you can't really say that about the separatist forces, they're more rogue, if you will, than, you know, the Russian forces themselves.

WHITFIELD: Oh, yes, so what kind of position does this put the U.S. in, because at the start of this invasion, there were messages coming from the State Department and the White House and then again, reiterated by the President yesterday, who is imploring or have been imploring Americans not to engage to be part of the fight. But then when you have, you know, their pictures up, and you've got Americans who now reportedly, you know, who are being captured, does this put this the U.S. in a position where it has to get more engaged or involved in trying to win their release?

LEIGHTON: Yes, most certainly, the US will absolutely do everything it can to release these prisoners or alleged prisoners, that the Russians or the separatists have, what they're going to try to do is find a way to get them out of there. The negotiations are going to be protracted. They may last as long as this conflict lasts. And that's, you know, probably a fairly sad prospect, you know, when you have to deal with something like this. But, you know, on this -- in this area, it's very clear that there's a long tradition of Americans doing this kind of thing going back, you know, well over 100 years that you'll get Ernest Hemingway, for example, in World War I in Italy. He was involved before the U.S. got involved in war. So we do this kind of thing because of what we believe. But it does put the U.S. at risk. And it does give the Russians in this case, a propaganda victory in the sense that they've captured these and use them as bargaining chips.

WHITFIELD: And this after the lengthy list of Americans who are still being held against their will in Russia that including Brittney Griner, which will give you a little bit more of an update on in a minute. Colonel Cedric Leighton, thank you so much.

And so indeed a big blow to efforts by the U.S. government and the public to try to free Brittney Griner, a WNBA star. Russia has now extended her detention. The WNBA star has been held since February, when she was arrested at an airport in Moscow for allegedly smuggling drugs. Supporters including Griner's family and the WNBA have advocated for her release expressing concerns that Russia would use Griner as a political pawn amid tensions over Russia's invasion of Ukraine.


All right, coming up, remarkable new details on the police response to the Uvalde School shooting, a sheriff who rushed to help says he didn't hear anyone at the scene when they were in charge.



WHITFIELD: All right, we're learning new details about the police response to the Uvalde School shooting in Texas. The sheriff from a nearby county was among those who rushed to the scene and said he never heard anybody say they were in charge. And once inside he says the scene in the hallway was hazy and foggy. CNN's Rosa Flores is following this story for us from Houston. So Rosa, that sheriff says he didn't hear anyone take command, nor did he hear gunshots what else is being said?

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Fred, there's a lot to unpack here. So let me start from the top. Now Zavala County Sheriff Eusevio Salinas says that he arrived on scene after 12:00 p.m. Now according to Texas DPS is official timeline, that's more than 30 minutes after the shooter had entered the classroom and started shooting but before the shooter was shot and killed at 12:50.

According to Salinas, he approached the scene from the south east side of the campus. Now according to Texas DPS, the shooter entered the school from the west side of campus, Salinas that when he approached the scene, there was already a perimeter set. It was chaotic. He had his portable radio with him. He says that he could hear radio traffic by Texas DPS but he could not hear radio traffic by Uvalde PD nor Uvalde School Police either. Now I asked so who was in charge of the scene at that point in time, he says that he never heard anyone say that they were in charge of the scene. Texas DPS, however identified School Police Chief Pete Arredondo as the incident commander, but in an interview with the Texas Tribune, Arredondo told the Tribune that he didn't see himself as that.

Now back to Salinas. Salinas says the shortly after he arrived as an off duty Border Patrol agent at was asking for help evacuating children. He said that he helped evacuate between four to five classrooms. And then after that, he heard that the shooter was down so he got closer to the area of the school where the shooting actually happened. He says he entered into the school into the hallway for moments. He says he remembers that the hall was hazy and foggy, it was loud. There were a lot of people on the ground getting medical attention.

He says he left swiftly because an officer asked for help to clear other classrooms and he left. So I asked why did officers not go into that school and stop the shooter sooner? And he says that he didn't hear any gunshots. Now, Fred, if you're like me, you're probably wondering, how is that even possible that he was on the scene on this campus and that he didn't hear any gunshots for some context.

Now I've been on the ground and Uvalde and I talked to a woman who lives across the street from the school but on the opposite end of where this shooting happened. And Fred she says that she was there all day long and she did not hear gunshots. Fred?

WHITFIELD: Wow, it just gets more complicated and more confusing by the week that passes after that horrific day. Rosa Flores, thank you so much.


All right, still ahead, more than 25 million people in over a dozen states are under heat alerts. We'll have the latest forecast next.


WHITFIELD: I know it seems hard to believe but officially we are still two days from the start of summer. But for more than 25 million Americans under extreme heat warnings it is already in full force as they suffer the wrath of triple digit temperatures yet again, this time across the Gulf Coast and plains states. Let's go now to meteorologist Allison Chinchar. I mean I don't even think hot is the right word to describe what it feels like outside in so many places.

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Right, because when you think of hot you think of what summer is supposed to be. But the key thing here is that these are record breaking temperatures, we had a heat wave this last week, some states getting maybe about a day or two break before the next heat wave sets back in. So it's also the back to back nature of dealing with such extreme temperatures. All of the areas you see here in orange are dealing with heat advisories. But we have other heat alerts out as well. And some of those take into account not only the air temperature but also the humidity. For example Memphis looking at a high temperature today around 94 degrees but that heat index will be up around 101, New Orleans looking at a high temperature of 95 today with that feels like temperature right around 106. But here's the thing, all of that heat is really going to start to spread over the next five to seven days.

By the time we get to the middle of the upcoming week. The vast majority of the country is looking at temperatures at least 10 degrees above average in some cases even more. And all of these dots red indicate at least an area that could have a record temperature set over the next few days. Some of them could break multiple days worth of records in a row.

WHITFIELD: Oh my goodness, that is extremely alarming to see nearly the entire nation will be super, super hot. Sweltering is the better word, right? All right Allison Chinchar, thank you so much.


All right, summer plans at pools or beaches could be in trouble where people like to cool off with heat like this, and you want to know why? Because there aren't enough lifeguards. The American Lifeguard Association says about a third of the nation's public pools will not open this summer because of staffing shortages. CNN Vanessa Yurkevich takes a look at Philadelphia, a struggle to attract summer workers.




YURKEVICH: How long ago was that?

BORLANDOE: I'm 70 now.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): This summer, Robin Borlandoe is taking the plunge getting back in the pool in Philadelphia to be a lifeguard 54 years later.

BORLANDOE: I want to do something and feel worthwhile, purpose or something.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): She found her calling after she heard the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department wouldn't be able to open all of their 70 pools this summer. They're facing lifeguard shortages, and so is the rest of the country. One-third of the 309,000 public pools nationwide will not open.

(on camera): How many do you think you realistically will be able to open this year?

KATHRYN OTT LOVELL, COMMISSIONER, PHILADELPHIA PARKS & RECREATION: We're going to have about 80 percent of the staff we need, so we're hopeful we're going to get to about 80 percent of pools we're able to open.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): It's part of the fierce competition for workers in a red hot summer job market, fueled in part by the lack of foreign workers following COVID immigration restrictions. There are 11.4 million unfilled jobs with an unemployment rate of 3.6 percent. And despite raising wages, a marketing campaign on TikTok, and free certification, the Philadelphia Parks and Rec Department can't find enough lifeguards.

LOVELL: We have people saying to us all the time, Target is offering $18 an hour, you know, I'll be in the air conditioning and I get a discount. Who doesn't want to a discount at Target?

YURKEVICH (on camera): How do you fight that though?

LOVELL: It's hard.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): When public pools don't open, it leaves some neighborhoods without an escape from the heat and crime.

LOVELL: We're experiencing a huge uptick in violent crimes, specifically gun violence, critical for us to have safe spaces like this.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): And across the country, YMCA's which typically serve lower income families have 75 percent of the 250,000 staff members they need to operate.

PAUL MCENTIRE, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, YMCA: We have competition in our maintenance, cleaning, and cooking staff with anything that would fall under the hospitality industry.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): Those camps, more than 1,700 of them nationally, also act as child care when kids are out of school. Critical so parents can work.

MCENTIRE: We still have most of our camps, a need for more staff to be able to take children off the wait list.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): As Borlandoe waits for Philadelphia's pools to open by the end of this month, she now sees her role as more than just a lifeguard.

(on camera): How do you think it's going to be different this time around?

BORLANDOE: Well, I'm hoping that being a mother and a grandmother, I'm hoping I'm a little wiser now. And that's what I want to bring, just natural, just that warmth but don't test me, though.

Vanessa Yurkevich, CNN, Philadelphia.


WHITFIELD: Wow. That Robin Borlandoe, pretty amazing there.

All right, so what is typically a funny segment on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" ended with an arrest this week. Members of the production team that shoot segments for Triumph the Insult Comic Dog were arrested by U.S. Capitol Police and charged with unlawful entry.

According to CBS, the shoot was prearranged and authorized. And after completing interviews in some of the congressional members' offices, the crew was getting additional footage in the hallways when Capitol Police detain them. And if you're not familiar with the Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, here's a sample of one of the comedy bits.


STEPHEN COLBERT, AMERICAN COMEDIAN: The most distinguished and accomplished journalist I have ever worked with Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. Tonight, it is with great pride that we present triumph exclusive report, Jim.

TRIUMPH THE INSULT COMIC DOG, FICTIONAL CHARACTER: Here in the nation's Capitol, our leaders have gathered for the solemn process of voting along party lines, and the Republicans have complained about the length of these hearings and having to sit in the chamber for so many hours without having a spine to support them. Senator Lindsey Graham has been particularly inconvenienced as he was scheduled to have attended a scrapbooking convention with the other elderly women of South Carolina.


WHITFIELD: OK, so while the clips are meant to be funny, the fallout could be serious for the Colbert crew. Capitol Police say it is an act of criminal investigation and additional charges may be filed.

All right, days after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, CNN Hero Aaron Jackson traveled to Poland to help refugees after finding dog friendly accommodations for people with pets, he took over an animal shelter in one city and then welcomed 17 dogs and two women who helped them survive.



AARON JACKSON, PLANTING PEACE FOUNDER: When the dogs were already in route to us, they told us that two refugees had joined the convoy and asked if we could help them. When Valerie and her mother first got to us, I could definitely tell that they were a little nervous and scared. I couldn't help but notice that all the dogs really love the two refugee ladies that had to accompany them.

And then I learned these dogs had been in a bomb shelter with Valerie and her mother for the last 40 days before coming to us, 40 days with hardly any access to food, hardly any access to water. Valerie was so good with dogs, so we gave her and her mother a job, which we are excited about. The dogs helped her get through the worst 40 days of her life and she helped get those dogs through the worst 40 days of their lives.


WHITFIELD: That's extraordinary. So to learn more about their journey and the dogs go to And while you're there, you can nominate someone as a CNN hero. CNN Newsroom continues right after this.