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King Charles Attends Easter Service; Pope Francis Led Easter Mass At The Vatican; Netanyahu: No Victory Over Hamas Without Rafah Military Operation; GOP Congressman Appears To Suggest Dropping Bombs On Gaza; Protesters Repeatedly Interrupt Biden's NYC Fundraiser; Gov. Moore: Crane Removing Remnants Of Collapsed Key Bridge; At Least 7 Children Shot In Indianapolis, No Suspect In Custody; Jury Selection Set To Begin In Chad Daybell Capital Case; Gang Violence Making It Hard To Get Aid Into Port-Au-Prince. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired March 31, 2024 - 14:00   ET




FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone. And happy Easter. Thank you so much for joining me this Sunday. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

We begin this Easter Sunday across the pond and the first public appearance for King Charles since his cancer diagnosis in early February. The 75-year-old monarch was all smiles as he greeted a crowd of well-wishers outside St. Georges Chapel at Windsor Castle.

Charles and Queen Camilla attended the Easter service with a small group of royal family members. The outing comes more than a week after the Princess of Wales revealed her own shocking cancer diagnosis. Catherine and her family were not in attendance this morning.

CNN's Max Foster has more from Windsor.


MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: A lucky few royal well-wishes, given a surprise invite into Windsor Castle to see the king making his first major public appearance since his cancer diagnosis.

Then an even bigger surprise when he went for a walk and a chat.

KING CHARLES, BRITISH MONARCH: You haven't got a thin coat (ph).

FOSTER: A royal source telling CNN all future engagements remain subject to medical advice near the time. But this was an encouraging sign of how the treatment is progressing as we look towards summer and how the road ahead is looking positive.

KATE WILLIAMS, CNN ROYAL HISTORIAN: He's obviously looking (INAUDIBLE). I'm really grateful. He's walking. He's, you know, out there again, but we've been told that this isn't a return to public duties. What it is, is a gentle return to the public eyes. So we are seeing Charles out and about waving, you know, seeing people. But he's not going back to the full duties of kingship and we don't yet have a timeline as to when that's going to be.

FOSTER: The service at Windsor is a tradition for the royals. Prince Andrew amongst those invited showing that he's part of the family, if not part of the firm anymore.

The Princess of Wales didn't attend as she receives her own treatment for cancer. But that was expected as she also spends time with her children during the school holidays.

CATHERINE, PRINCESS OF WALES: We hope that you will understand that as a family, we now need some time, space and privacy while I complete my treatment.

FOSTER: It's an unprecedented time to the royal family with two senior royal sidelines due to serious illness, leaving only a handful of working royals to carry out public duties. Queen Camilla has shouldered much of the load in Charles' absence, Prince William is expected to resume public engagements in mid-April, but it's been a strain on the system.

ERIN HILL, SENIOR EDITOR ROYALS, PEOPLE MAGAZINE: King Charles really wanted to have a slimmed=down monarchy when he took on the throne, but he never could have anticipated slimming down to where it is now.

FOSTER: And there's also a matter of trust. The statement by the Princess of Wales diffused a frenzy of conspiracy theories about her health and whereabouts. But there are lingering questions about a digitally-altered photo of Catherine and the children and concerns that the palace isn't being transparent enough.

Media cameras were invited to film the events rather than in-house media teams. Behind the scenes, the King has been carrying out meetings and continuing his work as head of state, as both he and Catherine continue their cancer treatments.

Royal fans often come here to Windsor for a chance to see the king. For a lucky few that are invited into the castle and they actually spent some time with him. And they're all saying how well he looked. So encouraging signs for a monarchist here in the U.K.

Max Foster, CNN -- Windsor Castle, England.


WHITFIELD: All right. Meantime, at the Vatican, Pope Francis led Easter mass after missing some recent services, including a Good Friday event due to concerns about his health.

CNN Vatican correspondent Christopher Lamb joins me now with more details on this.

Christopher, so what was the Pope's message today? CHRISTOPHER LAMB, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fredricka, the Pope

had a strong message, which he gave during his Easter Sunday, Urbi at Orbi blessing from the balcony of St. Peters.

He addressed various global conflicts going on in the world today, and he made an appeal for an immediate ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war, calling for aid to get into Gaza and for the release of hostages.

LAMB: He also in the Russia-Ukraine war, called for an exchange of all prisoners, all of them to be exchanged as part of his efforts or his appeal for peace. And he also warned about the strengthening of the winds of war, which he sees blowing across Europe and the Mediterranean.


Francis also again condemned war as an absurdity. He also talked about the children caught up in the conflict. All in all a strong message for peace on this Easter Sunday, Fred.

WHITFIELD: And then what is the latest that you're hearing about the Pontiff's health. He's 87 years old.

LAMB: That's right. I mean, he pulled out of a Good Friday liturgy, which you mentioned at the beginning and he has had some difficulties. He struggled with various bouts of ill health and that has led to concerns.

This Holy Week has been watched closely to see if he could manage all these different services. He has participated closely in all of them. He's been involved at presiding at five services since Thursday.

And this morning on Easter Sunday, he toured the crowd or toured the Square, greeting the crowd, and seemed energized by that and in good spirits.

So whilst there are concerns about his health and he has had difficulties in recent months with various issues such as bronchitis and colds he does seem when he's out and about with the crowds, quite energized and he has been able to give a number of his, of his speeches.

So it seems that if although things are being carefully watched, the Pope is determined to continue, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: He always is pretty charismatic. Christopher Lamb, thank you so much.

As the Pope calls for peace in Gaza, the U.S. and Israel are set to resume talks this week over potential military operations in Rafah. A short time ago, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu doubled down on Israel's position that there would be no victory over Hamas without a military operation in Rafah.

CNN's Melissa Bell is in Jerusalem. Melissa, what do Netanyahu's comments tell us about these upcoming talks about Rafah. MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think -- I think Fredricka,

his determination which he never really wavered that this ground operation in Rafah will be necessary. Remember (INAUDIBLE) Israeli delegation.

What you're seeing here and all the noise you're hearing from around Jerusalem tonight around is a protest that's been held against Benjamin Netanyahu's (INAUDIBLE).

And I think this really shows that the Israeli people are not full square behind him (INAUDIBLE).

-- doubling down as you said on the fact of the Rafah (INAUDIBLE) also ahead of these protests (INAUDIBLE) he believes that has allowed Israel to (INAUDIBLE).

Still the point of the people here is that there are more than 130 hostages still in Gaza and we've been speaking to (INAUDIBLE) great deal of anger as well about the way the war has been handled. The fact that tens of thousands of Israelis along the Lebanese border are still not able to return home and the fact Fredricka that there's no end to this war in sight.

What the people here have been calling for and these crowds go down nearly a kilometer down to the Knesset where they'd set up tents. They intend to be there for the next four nights. Their message is that it's to hold elections and for this government to go.

WHITFIELD: All right. A pretty boisterous gathering there right now. Melissa Bell's lost communication with us in terms of being able to hear me. But thank you, Melissa, for that.

And when we reconnect, we'll be sure to follow up to find out more about all that's happening right now.

All right. Back in this country, a Michigan congressman appears to suggest dropping nuclear bombs on Gaza. Listen to what he said and how his office is reacting to the backlash after a quick break.



WHITFIELD: All right. Welcome back.

A congressman from Michigan is facing backlash for statements he made at a recent town hall meeting where he appeared to suggest that nuclear bombs should be dropped on Gaza.

Republican Tim Walberg made the comments on Monday after being asked a question about U.S. plans to build a floating pier here the coast of Gaza to help deliver humanitarian aid into the war-torn territory.

Well, the Michigan congressman isn't seen on the video, but can be heard saying the U.S. should not be spending any money on humanitarian aid. And then seemed to advocate for bombing Gaza with nuclear bombs such

as the ones the U.S. dropped on Japan during World War II.

We want to note the video appears to have been distributed online by a person affiliated with a Democratic advocacy group.

Here are the Congressman's comments.


REP. TIM WALBERG (R-MI): We shouldn't be spending a dime on humanitarian aid. It should like Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Get it over quick.


WHITFIELD: Congressman Walberg's office released the transcript of the video in reaction to the distribution of that video. And Walberg also issued a statement insisting he wasn't advocating for using nuclear weapons, saying in part quote, "I used a metaphor to convey the need for both Israel and Ukraine to win their wars as swiftly as possible," end quote.


With me now to talk about this and more, Sabrina Siddiqui. She is a White House reporter for "The Wall Street Journal".

Sabrina, great to see you. So Michigan is a critical swing state in this year's election. It is one of the nation's largest Arab-American Muslim populations. How might comments like this impact the November election?


Look, I think that even though the congressman is trying to now walk back these comments and say he was simply using a metaphor, it's hard to come up with any other interpretation for when a sitting member of Congress is suggesting that Israel take an approach like the U.S. did at the end of the Second World War dropping atomic bombs on Japanese cities that killed hundreds of thousands of people, most of them civilians.

And frankly, you know, it's part of a string of comments that Republicans in Congress have made aid about Palestinians where they have not shown any regard for civilian life.

I mean, Senator Lindsey Graham at the beginning of the conflict, when talking about Gaza, said level the place. Senator Tom Cotton, also toward the beginning of the conflicts that as far as he is concerned, Israel can bounce the rubble in Gaza.

So you know, I think that it's part of this broader dehumanization that you're seeing of Palestinian life, particularly within the Republican Party. Now, you know, obviously, I think they don't tend to have a lot of

support from Muslim or Arab Americans and even though Democrats are a lot of under a lot of pressure from these communities, it does sort of make more clear I think the contrast between Republicans and Democrats on this issue.

And just this strain of anti-Arab bias within the Republican Party and of Islamophobia, that was once on the fringes, but has now become part of the GOP mainstream.

WHITFIELD: And some of that pressure you're talking about being exemplified by President Biden continuing to have his speeches and events disrupted by pro-Palestinian protesters, demonstrators upset with his support for Israel.

He even had -- had it happened at that glitzy event in New York at the fundraiser with former Presidents Obama and Clinton. You were traveling with the president on campaign stops that week.

Can you tell me more about the pressure that you were speaking of that the Biden White House is feeling and if the White House is showing any flexibility in its position in direct response to this kind of pressure

SIDDIQUI: You know, it's really interesting because we've seen this pressure, this backlash toward President Biden's handling of the conflict pretty much since the outset of the war. And, you know, I was there both in New York and in North Carolina as you mentioned, with the president this past week.

And what we've seen is there's really no where he can go where he is not facing protests or disruptions specifically because of his approach to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

And it extends beyond President Biden. I mean, members of his cabinet have faced similar protests, you know, both Democrats and Republicans in congress being confronted at their events.

But I think, you know, while you've seen the Biden administration, you know, shift their tone somewhat, we've seen them be a little bit more publicly critical of the Israeli government. Of course, we've seen this rift now between President Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. What there hasn't been is a shift in policy.

And that's why I think you see these protesters continue -- continuously showing up at the president's events because what they want to see is an actual shift in policy where the U.S. is no longer supplying weapons for Israel's war in Gaza where there -- where the U.S. is no longer providing funding for the Israeli government during the course of this conflict.

And you know, rather than withdraw military support, the Biden administration, just the other day quietly approved additional military assistance to Israel that included more bombs, that includes fighter jets. And so I think, so long as the Biden administration is not actually

shifting tactically or, you know, making any major changes in policy this is going to be an issue leading up to the November election.

Is it enough to cost President Biden the election, you know, states like Michigan, which are really important? That remains to be seen. But it's certainly not going to go away simply with a shift in tone.

WHITFIELD: but at that event, you heard former President Obama say you have to listen. And I wonder if that was also a gentle nudge that may end up being a prelude to any shift from the White House.


SIDDIQUI: You know, I think that one of the issues here is that the White House and, you know, people like former President Obama, who may be more sympathetic to what the protesters are calling for don't -- they don't necessarily agree with the tactics because obviously the Biden campaign, they're trying to stay focused on a lot of other issues like reproductive rights, the economy, and you know, they're also trying to make very clear the contrast between President Biden and former president Trump.

So, you know, I think what you might see at some point in the coming months is President Biden and his campaign, as well as surrogates like President Obama and others, maybe make more clear to these voters that the alternative, that former president Trump would be far worse, that there wouldn't be any humanitarian assistance for Palestinians if President Trump is back in office.

And there wouldn't be any pressure on Israel from a Trump, from a future Trump administration to change their tactics are to do more to protect civilian life. But again, I think that you just have so much frustration within these communities who feel like, you know, this war that's now gone on for nearly half a year, more than 32,000 Palestinians killed according to Palestinian authorities, that they just want, they expect more from a Democratic administration and they're going to continue, I think, when I've spoken to many of these activists to hold President Biden accountable and then until they see some kind of policy change.

WHITFIELD: All right. Sabrina Siddiqui of "The Wall Street Journal", thank you so much.

Still to come, the work to cut and remove the first portion of the collapsed Baltimore bridge wreckage is underway. The latest on the salvage and recovery efforts next.



WHITFIELD: All right.

Major developments today in Baltimore. Governor Wes Moore telling CNN that a crane is beginning the delicate work to remove pieces of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge. Officials are hoping to create a temporary shipping channel around the disaster site, allowing vessels to move through Baltimore's busy port.

But the governor cautions this is an intricate process that will require some time.


GOV. WES MOORE (D-MD): We now do have cranes at the Chesapeake 1000 which has the capacity of lifting 1,000 pounds. That's begun to cut up the remnants of the bridge that we can then prepare for removal.

The complicated nature of this, as you know, we have a ship that is nearly the size of the Eiffel Tower that is now stuck within the channel that has the Key Bridge sitting on top of it. And so this is going to be a long road. It's a very complex operation but, movement is happening and we're grateful for the people who are out there doing this work.

All right. CNN's Gloria Pazmino, toured the site with members of the U.S. Coast Guard this morning. And what did you see, Gloria.

GLORIA PAZMINO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Fred. We got quite close to the wreckage of the Dali and I have to tell you, it is incredible to be able to get that close because you really get a sense of the enormity of the task at hand.

And what the governor is describing there just how difficult this is going to be. They have already started to remove pieces of the bridge. There are cutting them and hauling them off but they have to do that step-by-step.

So being up close really gave you a sense of just how important, but how careful they have to be.

You know, I spoke with members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as well as the Coast Guard who walked us through the process as they go out there every single day. This is happening around the clock.

I want you to listen to the captain who described to us as we were on the boat heading out taking the same path that the Dali would've taken when it was on its way out and when it struck the bridge. Take a listen.


PAZMINO: I know you've just got out of a briefing. Where do things stand as of today, the governor and all the other officials yesterday talked about (INAUDIBLE) 24/7 operation.

A lot of people have been working on this. Where do things stand as of today?

CAP. DAVID E. O'CONNELL, SENIOR COMMANDER, U.S. COAST GUARD: So I think you'll see when you get out to the site like how big these pieces are, and you're just seeing the pieces above the water. So below the waterline is just a really tangled mess of material

debris. It's all twisted. So there's a lot of assessments going on right now. Would they use (INAUDIBLE) sonar? You use the divers, underwater equipment to kind of get a picture of what's under there.

So what's really going to have to happen is they're going to have to cut material. They're going to have the rig material than lift it out of the water and move it.


PAZMINO: So Fred, as we got closer and closer, you really understood just how difficult it is going to be, right?

The governor was talking about just how much weight we are talking about that piece of the bridge that fell on top of the boat of the ship of the Dali, that is 4,000 tons of metal. And they're going to have to go piece by piece to remove it.

And then there's everything that's underneath the water. The part that we can't see. There's debris, there's metal, there's concrete. And the Coast Guard was explaining to me that they have to get to that debris and clean it up because they're trying to improve safety conditions for the divers.

PAZMINO: The divers are the ones that are going in there to try and search and recover for those victims that we know their bodies have not been found yet.

And that's something that both the Coast Guard and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer kept coming back to, the fact that everyone is working together around the clock.


They have all the technology that they need. They have all the teams in place that are needed and their message to the families and to the Baltimore community was that it's going to take sometime, but they are going to get this done. They are focused on that part of it. They know that people are waiting for closure, and they know that Baltimore wants to get back up and running.

They know that they need to reopen that port in order for commerce to start flowing again. So the message was they're out there working, making sure it gets done. It's extremely dangerous. It's complicated, but they're committed to making sure that they get it done -- Fred.

WHITFIELD: It's a herculean task.

All right. Thank you so much, Gloria Pazmino.

All right. We're also getting new details about a mass shooting on the streets of Indianapolis. Police say at least seven children, some as young as 12 years old, were wounded in the gunfire late last night, the group was gathered outside a downtown shopping mall. Nearby, officers on patrol heard several shots. This now marched the third weekend in a row, Indianapolis has dealt with a mass shooting.

CNN's Ivan Rodriguez is joining me now with more in all this.

So what are you learning about this latest incident?

IVAN RODRIGUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Fred, Indianapolis police said that they rushed to the scene, found a large group of children, six of them had been shot and the seventh one later for arrived to a different hospital. All those six children were rushed immediately to another local hospital. So far, all of them are recovering from their injuries, no rest have been made so far.

But we do want to show you this map showing the locations and dates of all the recent mass shootings in Indianapolis. Now, March 16, a nightclub shooting left one person dead, five others injured the following weekend, March 24, one person was killed, and five others, including an off-duty Indianapolis metro police officer were injured after a shooting outside of bar early Sunday morning.

And now, this last incident involving youth violence, a greater issue the city of Indianapolis has been trying to get ahead of for several months. Officials also say that 25 officers are patrolling the area Saturday for police to prevent this type of activity from happening.


DEPUTY CHIEF TANYA PERRY, INDIANAPOLIS POLICE: Downtown Commander Burton has already changed resources and directed resources to try to address these juvenile crowds before they get started. And having officers that come in early clear even to try to address that and stay on top of it. So, absolutely, all of our resources are going to be directed at printing this kind of crime.

CHIEF CHRIS BAILEY, INDIANAPOLIS POLICE: It starts at home. That's the first place. You can look to the police all you want to try to solve these things in like the chief said, we have plenty of resources in downtown Indianapolis on the weekends to deal with our issues. And yet, this occurred.


RODRIGUZ: Chief Bailey went on to say they're going to have to take a look in the mirror to see what they can do as a community. After serving as acting chief for four weeks, Bailey was officially sworn in in February and a big focus was addressing and preventing violence.

WHITFIELD: So, do they think it was a fight or something that precipitated this shooting involving mostly kids?

RODRIGUEZ: So at this point, they do believe there was an altercation. And what's interesting is that when you look at the greater picture, right? All those mass shootings, consecutive weekends now, they all seem to be arguments that started and then ended up in that violence. So you definitely hear that recurring conversation of what can we do now? How do we avoid getting to the point of someone being shot or killed? Before just being able to just settle what would be an argument.

WHITFIELD: Right. Sad situation, too many lives disrupted, and this one and the other incidents. Thank you so much, Ivan Rodriguez, appreciate it.

All right. Straight ahead, the trial for Doomsday author Chad Daybell set to start tomorrow. A look at the gruesome capital murder case, next.



WHITFIELD: It was a case that captivated America, capital murder, conspiracy and claims of apocalyptic religious beliefs. Well, tomorrow, Chad Daybell's triple murder trial will finally begin in Boise, Idaho, beginning with jury selection. He's charged with conspiring with his wife, Lori Vallow Daybell, to kill her two children and his first wife.

Lori Daybell, who was dubbed the doomsday mom, was convicted last year in the same case and was sentenced to life in prison.

CNN's Camila Bernal is following this.

Camila, what is expected this week?

CAMILA BERNAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Fred, well, at first, the very meticulous jury selection and then a very long trial, because this can take eight to ten weeks. We obviously followed his wife's trial, Lori Vallow Daybell, and we heard from people close to them the couple who explain these extreme religious beliefs. We heard from law enforcement agents who described finding the body.

So we expect a lot of the same in this trial and expect it to be chilling and possibly bizarre and disturbing in terms of the way they explain these crimes.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: State of Idaho versus Chad Guy Daybell.

BERNAL (voice-over): A high-stakes trial with the death penalty on the table if convicted.


Prosecutors say Chad Daybell killed two of his step children and his first wife, motivated by power, sex, money, and apocalyptic religious beliefs.


BERNAL: Murder and conspiracy charges.

DAYBELL: Not guilty BERNAL: All of them, the same plead.

DAYBELL: Not guilty.

BERNAL: His wife, Lori Vallow Daybell, was convicted of the same murders in May of last year.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The answer? Guilty. The answer? Guilty.

BERNAL: And on Monday, it's Chad Daybell's turn to be tried.

Prosecutors say Tylee Ryan, who was 16, and JJ Vallow, who was seven, were last seen on different days in September of 2019. Then, in October, they alleged Daybell killed his then wife, Tammy, who was initially believed to have died in her sleep.

Less than three weeks after her death, he married Lori Vallow.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The search continues for two missing children.

BERNAL: The children's disappearance captured the nation's attention in late 2019, when Daybell and Vallow abruptly left Idaho after police started asking questions.

REPORTER: Just tell us where your kids are?

BERNAL: The couple was found in Hawaii in January of 2020. That June, a gruesome discovery. The remains of Tylee and JJ were found on Daybell's property. Daybell's preliminary hearings have already given a preview of the evidence against him.

STEVE DANIELS, FBI SPECIAL AGENT: Eventually, we uncovered the entire body that was wrapped in this black plastic bag with a lot of duct tape.

BERNAL: And in Vallow Daybell's trial, prosecutors said the two believed themselves to be religious figures who had assistance some of rating people as light or dark, and use their doomsday religious beliefs to justify the killings.

During her sentencing, Vallow Daybell doubled down on her religious beliefs.

LORI VALLOW DAYBELL, CONVICTED MURDERER: Jesus Christ knows that no one was murdered in this case. Accidental deaths happen.

JUDGE STEVEN BOYCE, IDAHO DISTRICT COURT: You justified all of this by going down a bizarre religious rabbit hole and clearly, you are still down there.

BERNAL: She was sentenced to spend her life in prison. But now, the question is whether Chad Daybell's defense will also include these beliefs, or if he well turn on his wife.

(END VIDEOTAPE) BERNAL (on camera): And it will also be very interesting to see if he takes the stand to defend himself. You know, his attorney is speaking out and saying that he is ready to tell his story, Fred.

WHITFIELD: All right. Camila Bernal, thank you so much.

BERNAL: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: When we come back, the U.N. is warning that time is running out to get humanitarian aid into Haiti as gang violence continues its grip on the country. The humanitarian coordinator for the United Nations in Haiti will join us live from Port-au-Prince.

Stay with us.



WHITFIELD: Parts of Haiti, including the capital of Port-au-Prince, remain under nighttime curfew this weekend. The restrictions will stay in place through at least tomorrow. It comes as the U.N. says, 1,500 people have been killed in gang violence just since the beginning of the year.

And new fears are being raised about widespread hunger as humanitarian agencies struggle to get aid into the country.

Joining us right now is a Ulrika Richardson. She as the humanitarian -- the humanitarian coordinator for the United Nations in Haiti.

Good to see you.

And I know this is dangerous, precarious times for you to be there in the capital carrying out the work that you do and you issued a dire warning that time is running out for the people in Port-au-Prince. Explain what you mean by that.

ULRIKA RICHARDSON, HUMANITARIAN COORDINATOR FOR UN SYSTEM IN HAITI: Well, right now, what we are seeing on the streets of the capital of Haiti is that the situation continues very, very tense. It's extremely uncertain the violence of the gangs in addition to the orchestrated attacks against state assets that we've seen airport, ports, prison, police, commissariats.

We also see that there are pushing people to flee their homes. These are thousands -- tens of thousands of people who had to flee their homes. And these people -- these families, many of which who are children they need protection. They need a safe place to stay. They need access to clean water, to health care, to trauma, trauma treating.

These are people who've been exposed to fear and rampant human rights abuses over the past year or so even. And so what we see that these people need water, health care, but also access to food. In fact, in Haiti as the health care struggles to keep -- keep open, and I would like to salute all those very courageous health workers, we also see a problem with food insecurity.

We have close to half of the population in Haiti that is in need of food assistance, 1.6 million people that are actually in an emergency facing terms of lack of food.

And in fact, it is very dire the situation, the funding for humanitarian action is extremely low. We have 6.6 percent of our house -- 670 million envelopes of this year.


It is -- it's really -- we are running out of money and Haitians are running out of time and patience.

WHITFIELD: And assistance can't get in because of the way gangs have taken over you -- essentially, there is no government, you know, in control. It's the gangs that are in control there throughout much of the country there in Haiti. And with this growing shortage of food safe shelter, all of this taking place, tell me what are you seeing on a regular basis. What are you experiencing yourself as it pertains to needing safety, security, food, water?

RICHARDSON: Well, first of all, there is still a government in place in Haiti. The transition is a process. So would I see on the streets of Haiti and you can almost sense it, it's a real sense of fear. People are terrified, many people.

And we talk about people having to sleep on the pavements because they've had to flee their homes. We need urgent assistance to Haiti, to support to the national police who are very courageous, but who face an enormous task, a herculean task with these armed gangs. We need assistance to bring safety and security and tranquility back on the streets of the capital. And we need a solution that really response to the aspirations of all Haitians. So that Haiti can resume the path to sustainable development, with dignity and to (AUDIO GAP).

WHITFIELD: Yeah, well, essentially, the support that would come from government is all jeopardized because of the gang violence that has been taking over.

So, you know, Haiti is just 700 miles away from the south of -- south of Florida. I mean, this is a country that is a neighbor to the U.S. Yet, do you feel the international response or lack thereof makes this country of Haiti feel like it is a world away from any real intervention or help?

RICHARDSON: (AUDIO GAP) really feel this frustration and the bid of sensation that yes, at this time, you know, Haiti forgotten. I don't think so. I would like to hope that it's not.

But there is need for urgent solidarity to be placed on Haiti so that we can scale up our work and continue to support Haitians, and this really very complex, difficult, and dangerous situation.

WHITFIELD: Yeah, it's a very volatile situation. It's underscored by, you know, our signal, which it comes and goes with you. Ulrika Richardson, glad you can hang in there with us there in Port- au-Prince. Be safe and really appreciate the information and the urgency.

RICHARDSON: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: We'll be right back.



WHITFIELD: All right. Much of America will get to enjoy some sunshine for this last day of March, hard to believe. So, those egg hunts, they need to happen today because the week ahead is not going to look so good.

An increasingly dangerous storm system is tracking -- to start April with a real bang.

Joining me right now, CNN meteorologist Elisa Raffa.

All right, so should we brace ourselves here?


WHITFIELD: I was feeling so good this weekend.

RAFFA: And April is going to come in with one of those springs times storms that gives us multiple hazards. We're talking about red flag, fire conditions right now, and then severe weather will really crank is we go into Monday and Tuesday.

Here's a look at the Easter forecast today. You see lots of warm temperatures, 80s from St. Louis, down to New Orleans and Atlanta, really spring-like feeling, but then those showers back to the west as that storm system starts to crank.

So, for a place like D.C., you're warm with just some clouds today. Then here comes as showers and storms by Monday, cooler with rain on Tuesday. Same thing for a place like New York City, warm with some clouds today. And then we start the transition with the showers and storms Monday into Tuesday, and those temperatures trending cooler.

We've got some snow up in the Rockies, a couple of advisories there and some of the usual spots. These are red flag conditions I was talking about. We have warnings because we have gusts up to 50 miles per hour, relative humidity down to about 10 percent. We've got some fire weather conditions here in places that already have some burn scars from earlier in the season.

Remember, we had some record fires up in the Texas panhandle. This is a severe weather that were watching for as we go into Monday and Tuesday. This is Monday. You see this orange, that's an enhanced risk, a level three out of five, looking at some damaging winds up to 60 to 70 miles per hour, hail up to the size of tennis balls. A couple of tornadoes, some of which could be strong. So, we're looking at an active day and that risk continues to move east into the Ohio Valley by Tuesday. So a couple of days that were going to keep weather aware.

WHITFIELD: All right. Good warning. Thanks so much, Elisa, and happy Easter.

RAFFA: Happy Easter.

All right. And this Easter weekend, "Saturday Night Live" brought us the resurrection of Jesus with a twist.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is that noise that comes from within?