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Interview With Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV); DOJ Removes 11 Sets Of Classified Documents From Mar-A-Lago; Dems' Economic Bill Heads To Biden's Desk For Signing After House Passage; Biden To Sign Economic And Climate Bill Into Law Next Week; CDC Drops Advice To Regularly Test Students Exposed To COVID In Order For Them To Stay In Class; Salman Rushdie Remains Hospitalized After Being Stabbed At Least Twice; California Expected To Lose 10 Percent Of Water Supply By 2040. Aired 12-1p ET

Aired August 13, 2022 - 12:00   ET



FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST (on camera): But there is one athlete whose dreams are just beginning. Thirty-one-year-old Wynton Bernard, spent a decade in the minors. And yesterday, he finally got the call that he was heading to the big leagues with the Rockies and he shared the news with none other than of course, mom.




BERNARD: I promise. I promise, mom, I'm going. Mom --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where will you go?

BERNARD: I got to get figured out all the logistics in a second. They just told me just now, I did it, mommy. I did it mom.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can't believe it.


WHITFIELD (voice-over): Oh, so cute. Of course, who is the first person you're going to call? You're going to call mom.

And his story gets even better with his mom and brothers in the stands, Bernard started the game in centerfield and got his first major league hits in the bottom of the seventh inning.

And then, he followed it up with his first major league stolen base right there. Bam. He's the oldest rookie to pull off that accomplishment in his very first game in more than 70 years.

Congratulations. We will continue to watch his career.

WHITFIELD (on camera): Hello again, everyone. Thank you so much for joining me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

And we turn first to that unprecedented FBI search of a former president's home.

WHITFIELD (voice-over): Court documents unsealed on Friday are giving new details about what the Department of Justice removed from former President Trump's Mar-a-Lago, Florida home, and what potential crimes they are investigating.

Agents say they recovered 11 sets of classified documents, at least, one was marked as top secret/SCI, which is one of the highest levels of classification. The warrant also reveals some of the potential crimes officials are looking at, including violations of the Espionage Act, obstruction of justice, and criminal handling of government records.

At this point, no charges have been filed.

WHITFIELD (on camera): CNN's Evan Perez is back with us with more details on all this. So, Evan, we're learning more about these documents, or at least deciphering what is stated.

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (on camera): That's right, Fredricka, the 20 boxes included these 11 sets of documents of varying levels of classification.

Of course, the concern is always about national security information. And that's really what this is all about. The former president and his legal team have been interacting with different parts of the government since about May of 2021, when the National Archives first asked for the return of documents that should never have left the U.S. government and but ended up at Mar-a-Lago, which is his private home. And of course, this is his private beach club.

And what we know is that these documents included various documents that were labeled as top secret, as a secret and others. But the problem is, you know, the biggest concern are the documents that were labeled as top secret/SCI. And, of course, that's always the concern for the government for these documents, which you know, should never leave the premises of a secure place in the United States government ending up at his home in Palm Beach.

WHITFIELD: And then, evidence, it pertains to those SCI documents -- top secret. Can those things be declassified by a president? And, you know, taken like he has?

PEREZ: Well, that's what he's say. He is saying that, I declassified them. It's a little more complicated than that. And I think, you know, we first have to, like focus on what exactly are the types of documents that we're talking about.

We know, Fredricka, from our own reporting this week is that at least some of the documents that have been taken from Mar-a-Lago and during this entire process over the last 18 months, including documents that are special access programs. Now, these are the most highly secure documents in the U.S. government. These are the types of things like, you know, our nuclear programs; things that have to do with surveillance programs that the U.S. uses to surveil foreign countries.

Those are the types of things that even if you have top secret clearance, you have to have additional clearance to be able to access these documents.

That's the reason why we have come to this place where the FBI showed up at Mar-a-Lago to take them back.

WHITFIELD: All right, Evan Perez, thanks so much. We'll check back with you.

All right, let's talk more about all this with a former federal prosecutor, Renato Mariotti. Good to see you.

So, you know, a lot of people may be confused about the potential crimes the FBI is investigating, especially when it comes to the Espionage Act. What does it mean and what does it entail, exactly?

RENATO MARIOTTI, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Yes, it sounds like a law that might pertain to James Bond or the Rosenbergs. So, something like that. But actually, it -- you can violate the Espionage Act and not be involved with anything like spying or espionage.

It really is a statute that focuses on the mishandling of classified material and sensitive defense material, and that's really something at the core of the issues here today.


WHITFIELD: What was the most alarming to you or most surprising to you as it pertains to the information in the unsealed warrant?

MARIOTTI: Well, there was a statute that the government cited that was 18 USC 1519. That is usually an obstruction statute. So, if one of my clients came to me and said, I -- my home got searched, and they included that statute, I would tell them that he was under investigation for obstruction of justice, it's possible that they use it here to just show that Trump was obstructing a government agency, perhaps, the national archives or the Department of Energy or something else.

But it's an interesting inclusion, because there may be something obstruction related here.

WHITFIELD: Is that a potential application also, because a year ago, the FBI did see some 15 boxes, perhaps they thought they had all of it, or perhaps they asked for more, didn't receive it, and then now, we're able to produce it. There are indeed more when they went back, by way of this raid?

MARIOTTI: Yes. I think that what may be happening here, Fred, is that essentially, the government asked very politely and add meetings with President Trump's counsel, went and served a subpoena, and didn't -- still didn't get the documents that they wanted. And so, this whole, you know, search warrant execution may very well have just been a way of getting the documents, and securing them, and making sure they were safe. That's one possibility.

Another possibility is that they're further investigating the matter. And I will say there is some serious potential liability for the former president.

WHITFIELD: So, at this juncture, we know this was about the seizure of, you know, White House or government-related documents. How will Investigators now try to decipher what was the intent? What level of the investigation will that be to try to figure out why, Mr. Former President, why would you have needed this information, whether it was declassified or not? What do you -- what's your intent with it?

MARIOTTI: Great question. And I have to say it's a million dollar question, Fred, because it's not clear why you would need national security secrets at a resort in Florida, if you're no longer the president of the United States. Very hard to understand.

And I -- and I suspect that the government is, for example, fingerprinting some of these materials, trying to look at the materials and discern, you know, whether or not they may have been shown to other people or misused in some way.

And I think that's certainly a part of the government's investigation. I will see if there was a trial here, if there were charges. I think it would be difficult for the former president to explain to the jury why he needed this material, I think a jurors would likely think that there would be no reason for him to have that material at his (INAUDIBLE)

WHITFIELD: All right. I know, you're the legal expert, but a little politics here, too. I mean, Trump has, you know, not announced whether he will indeed officially, you know, indeed, run again for a second term in 2024.

But given this kind of the degree of this kind of search warrant, and these accusations or the direction of the investigation, has he, you know, been disqualified, essentially from being able to hold public office at a minimum for not responsibly handling government documents, according to the charge?

MARIOTTI: Well, I will say this. The Constitution doesn't, you know, sets the limitations of who can run for president. He would still technically be qualified to run and I -- it appears that the Republican Party is rallying behind him. I will say that.

So, I'm not -- I'm not a political expert, but it really seems to be very problematic that the former president of the United States decided to treat very highly classified materials as his private property that he can keep on his, you know, his Florida Resort near the pool.

And that's a real problem, I think. Right? From my perspective, I suspect a lot of voters as well.

WHITFIELD: Yes. And I imagined you and many investigators have questions about how many hands may have been? How many eyeballs may have been on these documents, while or even -- while it was being transported, as well as while it has been at Mar-a-Lago?

MARIOTTI: 100 percent. I think there was some reporting that these documents were being fingerprinted. I suspect that a very significant investigation is underway to determine whether or not these documents were shown to a third party, because they really have no way of knowing who is in or out of Mar-a-Lago, who had access to these documents.

And there have been some attempts by foreign adversaries like the Chinese and so forth to penetrate Mar-a-Lago. So, I think it's a concern. And I suspect that the most immediate need from the government's perspective was to get these documents back into a safe place, because it appears from all the descriptions, including was on the search warrant that these represent some of the biggest secrets our government has.


WHITFIELD: All right. Renato Mariotti, always good to see you. Thanks so much.

MARIOTTI: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: All right. Still ahead, President Biden, preparing for a major White House celebration for the now-passed Inflation Reduction Act. How the Democrats plan to use this in their push for the midterm elections. Next.

WHITFIELD (voice-over): Plus, I'll speak with Democratic Congresswoman Dina Titus on what this historic investment in the climate will actually do for Americans?

And later, a whole new realm for COVID-19. What you should make of the new CDC guidelines and how they may help this school year look different than last?


WHITFIELD (on camera): All right. The Democrats landmark health care and climate bill is now headed to President Biden's desk for his signature.

WHITFIELD (voice-over): Congress passed the $750 billion Inflation Reduction Act along party lines Friday, handing the president a major legislative victory.


The bill targets climate crisis, health care, and spending.

CNN's Arlette Saenz is traveling with the president in South Carolina where he's vacationing. Arlette, what's the president saying about the promise of this bill?

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Well, Fred, President Biden is taking a bit of a victory lap after the House passed that Inflation Reduction Act yesterday, taking a major step towards achieving some of the president's key priorities for his domestic agenda.

The president watched that vote while vacationing just a short ways from where we are in Kiawah Island, South Carolina. And last night he tweeted following that vote, saying, "Today, the American people won. Special interests lost. With the passage of the inflation Reduction Act in the House, families will see lower prescription drug prices, lower health care costs, and lower energy costs. I look forward to signing it into law next week."

Now, while the president will formally signed it into law at some point in the coming week, he's planning more of a celebration, including lawmakers at the White House for September 6th, right after the Labor Day holiday.

But yesterday, he did phone-in to the Roosevelt Room in the White House, FaceTiming his staff to congratulate them as the bill was passing.

But really, if you take a step back and look at what is exactly is in this bill, it really achieves a key list of what the president had talked about when he ran back in 2020.

It includes historic investments and climate change. It also allows Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices for the first time. And how exactly do they pay for it? Where there are some new taxes including a 15 percent corporate minimum tax rate.

Now, this is far smaller and doesn't achieve all of the priorities that the president had initially laid out, but it does mark a significant type of development for Democrats, especially heading into those midterm elections.

The White House is hoping that this is something that Democrats will be able to tout to voters.

It was also interesting from that tweet, the president's tweeted last night, there's been this emphasis from the White House on how they believe Democrats are standing up against special interests and Republicans are siding with them.

That is something that the White House is hoping to message, heading into those November midterm elections, is they're hoping that Democrats will be able to hold on to their majorities on both sides.

But certainly, this does mark a major moment of celebration for this president, who is now seeing some of his key priorities, soon become law once he signs that bill later this week.

WHITFIELD: All right. Arlette Saenz. Thank you so much. Johns Island, South Carolina, are with me right now to talk more about all of this Congresswoman Dina Titus. She is a Democrat from Nevada and a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Congresswoman, so good to see you.

REP. DINA TITUS (D-NV): Thank you for having me.

WHITFIELD: All right. So, tell us why you believe this bill is good for Americans?

TITUS: Well, it's certainly good for Nevada. And it's not just about the message, you just need to look at what it contains, negotiating for Medicare prices, capping the cost of insulin, investing in climate change, the greatest investment in climate change we've ever seen.

And that's important in Nevada, as are the healthcare issues, because we have a low level of people who are insured. And we also have a lot of seniors.

So, people are going to see the benefits of this right at that kitchen table we always talk about.

WHITFIELD: But do you worry that many Americans won't actually feel the impact of the bill -- some of the impact for a long time. I mean, it's called the Inflation Reduction Act, but the Congressional Budget Office says the bill is not going to do much to lower inflation this year, or even next.

TITUS: Well, a lot of the economist are saying that inflation is already coming down, gas prices are coming down. So, I believe that you will be able to feel it.

Unemployment is very low now, people are back to work. So, that's not the definition of a recession. And so, people will feel that every day. And I'm optimistic about it.

It's here in Nevada, when you have the monsoon season, people know that they need help when it comes to climate change.

WHITFIELD: Yes. In fact, let's talk about, you know, the climate and what your state is experiencing, and others. I mean, this bill is the largest climate investment in U.S. history. And your state, you know, has felt extreme weather, you know, firsthand. I mean, this week with the monsoon rains and flooding Las Vegas streets.

I mean, we're looking at some of the images here that downpour, you know, comes as the West is in a severe drought. So, how do you see this bill as potentially addressing the crises that your cities, you know seem to be facing as a result of climate related issues?

Well, climate has caused strange swings. We are in a 1,200-year drought is the hottest, driest, sunniest summer ever up until now. Crops are dying, the desert is drying. This look goes all across the southwest.

And if you look at Lake Mead, the bathtub rings, it just keeps dropping lower and lower.


Now, at this monsoon season we've swung back to the other extreme. We usually get about four inches of rain a year, you got about a third of that within 30 minutes. Las Vegas has only no drainage pipes, no sewers and all just washes down the streets.

And two people have died, you've had property damage, you saw rain coming down inside a couple of the casino floors. You know, now, you have a leaky roof because it never rains up until now.

So, this bill allows us to deal with some of those things in the long term to build back better actually, to be more resilient, not just to go to status quo on site.

There are incentives for people to make their homes more energy efficient. There are rebates for the development of certain kinds of fuels. There is investment all along the Colorado River, there's money to make our water systems more efficient. So, we don't lose water as it is delivered to the people. It's a great bill for Nevada.

WHITFIELD: So, what do you believe the impact of this bill will be on midterms? You know, coming up in November? I mean, this is a big legislative win for the president, but he's not on the ballot. You are. And the Republicans believe that they can flip your seat, and they think moderate Democrats will be hurt by this bill.

So, then, what is your message to voters who are skeptical that you and Democrats deserve to stay in power?

TITUS: Well, the more desperate they become, the bolder their lives are. I don't believe moderate Democrats are going to believe them when they have stood by for big oil, they stood by for big pharma.

They voted against some of the social justice measures. All of those things present a real contrast between the Democrats who are getting something done with some solutions and Republicans who don't do anything but throw rocks and come with no solutions.

WHITFIELD: All right, you and the president are pretty optimistic, right? That this bill gives the president some momentum. He's got a lot of wins in his column just within the last week.

And you, very famously said on this program, when Biden was running for office that you are riding with Biden. And so, I'm wondering, you know, when is it going to be a good time? What you believe the right moment for the president to announce whether he is indeed running again?

TITUS: Well, that's up to the president to decide. And that, you know, I don't know what he is going to do other than what he says that he's going to run again.

You're right. I always riding with Biden, and I don't see any reason to switch horses in midstream.

WHITFIELD: All right, Congresswoman Dina Titus. Good to see you. Thank you so much.

TITUS: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: All right. Still ahead, New York Mayor Eric Adams is saying his city is facing a trifecta of infectious diseases.

WHITFIELD (voice-over): Plus, the latest CDC guidelines moving Americans into another realm of the new normal. How those changes can have a big impact on the school year ahead? Stay with us.



WHITFIELD (on camera): New York City health officials say the polio virus is likely spreading in the city after finding samples of it in wastewater.

WHITFIELD (voice-over): The discovery comes after one person north of New York City was recently diagnosed with polio, a case the CDC is calling just the very, very tip of the iceberg.

While 90 percent of people who contract polio will exhibit no symptoms, the virus can cause meningitis that can lead to paralysis. New York's mayor is urging unvaccinated residents to get the polio shot. Saying, his city is facing a trio of dangerous diseases.


ERIC ADAMS (D), MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY: We are dealing with a trifecta. COVID is still very much here. Polio, we have identified polio in our sewage. And we're still dealing with the monkey pack -- monkeypox crisis.

We're coordinating and we addressing the threats as they come before us. And we're prepared to deal with them and with the assistance of Washington, D.C.


WHITFIELD (on camera): And in a sign of just how much has changed since the height of the pandemic, the CDC is making a major shift and easing its COVID-19 guidelines.

WHITFIELD (voice-over): The agency says the nation can move away from quarantines after exposure, COVID screening, and even social distancing.

The focus will now move to reducing severe illness from COVID-19. The agency is still recommending those who get COVID, stay isolated and indoor masking guidelines should stay in place for areas with high community transmission.

All right, let's bring in Dr. Jeremy Faust. He is an emergency physician at the Brigham and Women's Hospital. He is also the author of the Inside Medicine Newsletter. So good to see you. JEREMY FAUST, EMERGENCY PHYSICIAN, BRIGHAM AND WOMEN'S HOSPITAL: Likewise, thanks for having me.

WHITFIELD: All right. So, you say this effectively ends test to exit in real world terms, but it hasn't stopped doing away with all of that?

FAUST: The new guidelines are a little bit hard to parse out, but happy to go through it. They certainly seem to suggest that after day five of illness, if you're feeling much better, if you take an at-home rapid test, which is pretty much the best proxy for contagiousness that we have, that even if you're positive, you could go back to public life as long as you wore a mask.

Whereas, before, they said, no, if you had a test and was positive, please stay home because of that contagiousness.

I think that's a problem. That could work for some people who might have the low viral loads, or who might be wearing a great mask or who might be able to mask if they're younger. But for the rest of us, I worried that's going to spread the virus more.


In terms of dropping the quarantine proposals, I think that makes sense. Look, we have made progress, we know -- we can test our way out of these things in terms of an exposure. So yes, it makes sense to update these guidelines. I think there are some areas where they made some improvements and some areas where I think a lot of us were scratching our heads wondering what will happen next.

WHITFIELD: All right, so is it overall kind of an acknowledgment that we as a nation, you know, are just going to have to live with, you know, these variants, try to use our best instincts in which to manage the potential?

FAUST: Well, I hope this is not the new normal. We have over at this rate, we would have 150,000 deaths per year, if last week were to keep playing out over and over again, which would be really not a good outcome. I think that there is some suggestion that we want to have the public not have to -- we can't be so vigilant every minute of every day of every year. And what I would hope would be that if we do have increasing surges, that people will be willing to take those steps or taking up putting a mask back on or testing before they go into dangerous situations.

So I think that the CDC is trying to walk a line here. And unfortunately, it's at a time when we still do have a lot of hospitalizations. We still have a lot of deaths, even though we're so much better off than they were. So it's tricky.

WHITFIELD: So what's your concern about school kids, I mean, because the CDC is also changing its recommendations, you know, for schools saying kids who have been exposed to someone who is COVID positive can stay in the classroom, but kids who test positive still need to quarantine, and you've had experience with this with your own daughter. So help us all navigate this?

FAUST: Yes, the CDC's guidelines certainly suggest that routinely screening community settings, like schools is not necessarily cost effective as what they said. They're kind of talking out of both sides of their mouth, it's like, well, it might be it might not be, but a lot of people will interpret this as, OK, we don't need to do routine testing at schools.

I think that that is an effort to keep kids in their seats at school, which is a good thing. But what I worry is that that it kind of buries our heads in the sand, and will cause more spread, and the kids will actually be home more. You have a teacher who is out for longer. And so it kind of -- it could backfire. So I think that the problem with the school guidance is we haven't really seen a good readout on whether this protocol that they're suggesting will actually increase in person learning days or not.

And I think we've seen in the past that doing screening, testing, or having -- and having other things like masks and ventilation are the things that keep kids in school safely, whereas ignoring the disease actually kind of backfires.

WHITFIELD: So with your kids back in school, or assumed to be back in school, will you be asking that they wear a mask or no?

FAUST: Well, my child just had COVID, right, shy of her second dose of Moderna, unfortunately. And we kept her out of the indoor summer camp until she was negative on rapid tests because we didn't want to contribute to contagion. We didn't want to save ourselves two or three days of at home time and cost another family 5, 10, 15 or many more days, how many -- however many kids she in effected.

In terms of going back in the fall, we certainly are hoping that they'll still be some screening, testing going on, the school has done a great job at controlling this. And I think that outdoors, you don't need a mask with these kids, indoors during high prevalent times, I think it still makes sense. And I think most parts of the country, they still do have high prevalence.

So I'd like to see those masks go away. But I think the best way to do that is to control the virus a bit better than we have so far.

WHITFIELD: OK, well, let's shift to monkeypox quickly. There are now more than 10,000 cases in the U.S. The White House has a plan to stretch out the supply of the vaccine, but the vaccines maker actually has reservations about the plan. So help people understand the whole idea of, you know, how the needle is going into the skin with the vaccine and what kind of difference it could be making.

FAUST: Yes, so much to unpack with the monkeypox vaccination. The product that we have is Jynneos vaccine, actually approved for smallpox but tested on monkeypox and animals. So it's really interesting the whole situation. And we also have an older study to suggest that we can stretch the dosing. In other words, we can use one-fifth /5 of the dose by going into the skin as opposed to under the skin. Now, this could be a real innovation, and really a good use of sort of thinking on the fly and being innovative in a true emergency if -- because it could mean that we have all of a sudden five times the doses that we thought we had. So instead of 400,000, we have 2 million.

The problem is that we don't know how consistent that effect is. And there could be, look, we think that there might be more side effects in the first dose when you do the new approach, so maybe people won't come back for that really necessary second dose. So there's a lot of questions, and so I really look at this as truly interested and is this progress innovation and sort of a bold move in an emergency situation or could it backfire. And I think that there are people who are concerned about that.


We need to get a bigger readout on this data before we know how clever this move really is. It could be good or it could not be.

WHITFIELD: Got you. All right, Dr. Jeremy Faust, always good to see you. Thanks so much.

FAUST: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: Still ahead, the latest condition of a prolific author, Salman Rushdie, after being violently attacked and stabbed at a New York event and what the Hezbollah is telling CNN, next.


WHITFIELD: Hardline conservative newspapers in Iran are praising yesterday's stabbing attack on author, Salman Rushdie, in western New York State. Rushdie's agent tells "The New York Times" the renowned author is on a ventilator and unable to speak after being stabbed at least twice on stage during a vent in western New York. Rushdie has been under threat since 1988 when a fatwa was declared against him over his writings on Islam.


CNN's Polo Sandoval is outside the hospital where Rushdie was taken in Erie, Pennsylvania. So Polo, what more are you learning about his recovery, his status.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fred, it was investigators that confirmed that Salman Rushdie was airlifted to this particular hospital to a trauma unit just immediately following that attack yesterday morning, where according to some information that was shared with "The New York Times" by his literary agents. And the news, according to that agent is quote, not good, saying that he could potentially lose an eye. That he suffered extensive injuries to his nerves and an arm, and also his liver. And that he's currently breathing with the help of a ventilator.

The New York State Police releasing some new information a few moments ago, not updating us on his condition, but we certainly hope to learn more in the coming hours perhaps as far as where he is in terms of his prognosis here. But in terms of the investigation, that is one of the biggest questions right now, if not the question that is looming over investigators right now as to what drove this 24-year-old suspect that's been identified as Hadi Matar from New Jersey to charge that stage and carry out this attack as a police officer essentially moved in very quickly, but not before he actually carried out that particular attack.

The motive still remaining unclear, investigators certainly looking into the past here and Rushdie basically looking over his shoulder for decades and that decree, that religious decree that was issued by Iranian leaders have basically reaffirmed as recent as 2017. In fact, it was in 2019, that this highly awarded writer spoke to CNN and talked about what life was like for him constantly living under threat.


SALMAN RUSHDIE, AUTHOR: I mean, it may have been an unpleasant decade, but it was the right fight. It was fighting for the things that I most believe in against things that I most dislike, which are bigotry and fanaticism and censorship. So yes, I came out of it in a way clearer.


SANDOVAL: Matar remains in custody. New York City Police announcing that they are recommending attempted murder charges. Ultimately, the district attorney it will be their role to actually go through with filing those charges, which would we are told could potentially happen today, Fred. But really speaking to the geopolitics here, you mentioned some of those hardline headlines that are coming out of Iran. But you also have for example, Hezbollah, the sort of Iranian- backed militant group, because of reporting out there that suggests that the suspect involved possibly is of -- is a Lebanese national.

Of course, the question there is whether or not that militant group potentially had a role. A spokesperson for the group confirming for CNN, that they have never heard about this individual outside of the coverage. It's been really making rounds around the world now for the last 24 hours. So again, it still leaves that he questioned here as to what drove, what motivated this attack, and whether or not his just decades long fight for freedom of speech or freedom of expression, potentially made him a target when he walked onto that stage yesterday morning, Fred.

WHITFIELD: It's extraordinary. All right, Polo Sandoval, thank you so much.


All right, still ahead, the California governor is making dramatic plans to help the state face a stunning drain on their water supply. We're live alongside the L.A. River, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) WHITFIELD: Welcome back. California is expected to lose 10 percent of its water within just 20 years. That alarming estimate is prompting the state to take action as it battles a long running drought, hotter temperatures, and impacts from climate change. Governor Gavin Newsom has just announced a new multibillion dollar plan to preserve the state's water supply.

CNN's Mike Valerio is in L.A. for us right now along and actually in the Los Angeles River, or what most people know is the river. It's very dry. So what kind of steps is the governor suggesting?

MIKE VALERIO, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Sure. Well, Fredricka, good morning to you. You know, one of the biggest steps that being -- that is being proposed here is creating more storage space to keep water that falls in the winter months, and save it for the summer months and for this environment that we're in right now.

So we wanted to bring you here, Fred, just to show you that this is the opposite of exactly what the plan is calling for, all of this is built to channel water out of Los Angeles. As we point to the south right here, Fred, this goes on for 20 miles out to the Pacific Ocean. Again, designed to send water out of here that is exactly the opposite of what Governor Newsom is calling for.

So the main points that we're going to show you, point one, building over the next 18, 20 years, 4 million acre feet of storage space. Think, Fred, cisterns, reservoirs, things infrastructure to keep water when it falls in California during the winter months to use in drought conditions like right now. Also recycling wastewater, recycling drainage water that goes in your coldest sack neighborhood drainage pipe comes into channels like the L.A. River. And again, just goes out to the ocean.

Why not try to reuse that water, use what we have to combat these drought conditions. And the final point that he's outlining, take out salt from the ocean water, brackish water, around, for example, the estuaries dealt is near San Francisco Bay. Take a listen to what he said about that point.



GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): This technology is much older than I. It's much older than each and every one of you. And the reality is we need to be more creative and we need to be more aggressive in terms of not just promoting this technology but delivering on its promise, moreover, delivering on its potential.


VALERIO: OK, so taking you back here live. We just got a couple inches of water, one to two inches. But, Fred, in the winter months everybody here in L.A. knows, this would be overflowing, I mean feet and feet high. So again, the name of the game here, collect that water, rather than letting it send all out to the Pacific. Fred, back to you. WHITFIELD: Wow. Right now, that is a huge deficit. All right, Mike Valerio, thanks so much.

VALERIO: Yes. So as California continues to experience longer and more destructive fire seasons, there is an ever present need for more firefighters. CNN's Isabel Rosales reports on how the future of firefighting is female.


ISABEL ROSALES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is not the uniform Olivia Lozano-Fuentes would have ever imagined for herself. She'll be the first to tell you, she accidentally fell into firefighting after her life violently changed almost 10 years ago, when someone texting and driving ran her over.

OLIVIA LOZANO-FUENTES, FIREFIGHTER, CALFIRE: So from then on, I decided I wanted to give back to my community. They inspired me to pursue EMT first aid classes.

ROSALES (voice-over): At five foot two, 110 pounds, Lozano-Fuentes wasn't sure she could keep up. One reason some women may avoid the job.

LOZANO-FUENTES: I would say, I might not be as tall as strong as some of them but I definitely when it comes down to and the most important part would be to do the job.

ROSALES (voice-over): In a profession never intended to include them, women still face major obstacles. And the last major survey on the subject, some reports shunning, discrimination, sexual harassment, and other issues like ill-fitting uniforms and gear designed for men. But in her decade of fire service in California.

LOZANO-FUENTES: I have not worked directly in contact with another female firefighter.

ROSALES (voice-over): While the number of women firefighters is increasing, it still remains relatively low, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of women police officers, paramedics, and military service members all surpassing the count of women in career firefighting. They make up less than 5 percent of the U.S. fire service.

But there's a push across the nation to turn that around, 2500 miles away in Arlington, Virginia.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How are you all doing?




ROSALES (voice-over): Camp Heat is showing teenagers what it's like to be a real firefighter.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And then we'll practice bringing the victim down.

ROSALES (voice-over): At 18 years old Heather Strickland Tarrant (ph) is in firefighting.

TARRANT (ph): Working as a team is really is important. And this camp shows why it's important. And I'm just, I'm going to cry. I'm a people's person. I'm humanitarian at heart. I really love helping people.

ROSALES (voice-over): Signs of progress can be seen all the way to the top, a woman appointed in 2020 to the second highest fire position in the country as Deputy U.S. Fire Administrator. The following year another woman was appointed as the U.S. Fire Administrator.

KRISTIN PARDINY, ARLINGTON COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENT: The hard part for young females they may not see themselves as being able to fit in.

ROSALES (voice-over): That representation matters. And the work is nowhere near done. Black and brown women make up just a fraction of the number of their white male counterparts these women fight not only fires but also for a seat at the table.

TARRANT (ph): I got to keep going. I can't stop now. It's -- this is only the beginning.

ROSALES (voice-over): I'm Isabel Rosales reporting.


WHITFIELD: And this quick CNN programming note on the next episode of Patagonia: Life on the Edge of the World, CNN takes you behind the scenes to show how this new series was made. Here's a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The (INAUDIBLE) are no longer afraid of him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, it's fantastic. They couldn't really care less about me. They were all over the housing. It was a very magical moment because you realize that they don't have fear of you.

It is really beautiful to have that on top of you. You see their wet feet. You see their face and their little whiskers. Beautiful.


WHITFIELD: Wow, that is so special. Don't miss Patagonia tomorrow night at 9:00 p.m. right here on CNN.


All right next, food, work, freedom that is the message Afghanistan women took to the streets of Kabul today, the dramatic scene that unfolded, next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: All right in Afghanistan today, stunning video of Taliban fighters firing into the air to disperse a rare protest by women.


That display of violence coming after more than 50 women took to the streets of Kabul demanding rights like food, work, and freedom. Their protests happening almost a year after the city fell to Taliban rule following the withdrawal of U.S. troops. And since then the situation has rapidly deteriorated. Startling new findings from Save the Children, 97 percent of families struggling for enough food to feed their children, almost 80 percent of the children they spoke with said they've gone to bed hungry in the last 30 days.

And Afghan girls are almost twice as likely as boys to frequently go to bed hungry. And nearly half of the girls say they are not attending school compared to 20 percent of the boys.

And tomorrow Fareed Zakaria sits down with former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to ask him why he left the country during that turbulent time as U.S. forces withdrew. The Fall of Kabul One Year Later airs tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.