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Face-off between workers and police in China's Foxconn iPhone factory; Moscow, Idaho Police Department report to be making progress in investigation of four university students killed; Attacks still believed to be targeted and isolated; Dr. Fauci gives final message from White House; Dr. Ashish Jha feels it's important to communicate to Americans why COVID boosters are important; Academy-Award Nominated Filmmaker Lee Daniels shares his thoughts on the LGBTQ nightclub shooting and new Broadway show on what it's like to be black in America; Academy-Award Nominated Filmmaker Lee Daniels shares his thoughts on the LGBTQ nightclub shooting and new Broadway show on what it's like to be black in America. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired November 23, 2022 - 08:30   ET



KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Just in this morning, there is a face- off between workers and police at China's biggest iPhone assembly factory. These videos, the ones you're watching now, showing hundreds of workers clashing with law enforcement officers, many of them in white hazmat suits on the Foxconn campus in Central China.

Apple, who has been facing significant supply chain constraints at the assembly facility, they expect the iPhone 14 shipments to be hit just as, of course, key holiday shopping season begins. CNN's Selina Wang is live for us in China.

Selina, I know a lot of this has to do with the compensation, what these workers thought they were getting and what they're actually getting.

SELINA WANG, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, some of these COVID workers, in those videos you can hear them complaining not just about the pay issue, but also the subpar living conditions, what they say are unsanitary conditions.

Now as you say, this is Apple's most important iPhone assembly factory and it's operating what's - in what's called a closed-loop system. So, these workers, they've got to sleep, eat, live on that campus. And they're saying that their living conditions just aren't good enough. They're even claiming that COVID-positive workers are not being moved to a separate facility. People are also fearful about getting COVID.

Now, some of these clashes they are turning violent. You can see them jostling, pushing with the law enforcement. Many of them are in the hazmat suits. And Kaitlin, this chaos, it's actually been going on for weeks.

A few weeks ago, videos had gone viral of Foxconn workers actually fleeing, escaping the factor, walking miles across highways to try and get away from these COVID restrictions. All of this is a reminder of the risks that Apple faces by relying so much on China for its production. They've been caught in these snap walkdowns before. It's having an impact on its sales, on its output.

China used to be a point of pride for Apple, for why it was able to have efficient, low-cost manufacturing. Now, it's a risk factor.

COLLINS: Yes, absolutely. We're seeing that play out. Selina, keep us updated. Thank you for that.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Well, back here in the United States still no arrests in the stabbing deaths of four University of Idaho students, but police say they are, quote, "Making progress," and will be holding a briefing this afternoon. The homicides nine days ago have rattled the small town, small college town of Moscow where they haven't recorded a murder since 2015. And that's where we find CNN's Natasha Chen for us this morning.

Natasha, good morning. Any closer to finding out - finding a suspect here?

NATASHA CHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Don. That's exactly the question I asked yesterday. And the answer I got was that they are definitely making progress, even though a lot of that behind-the- scenes work is something that the public is not going to be able to see or hear about. A lot of that work includes combing through very large video files, surveillance footage that people have submitted through an online portal, interviewing more than 90 people and chasing more than 700 leads.


CHEN (voice-over): The incomplete and sometimes contradictory information came in the first days of the investigation.

JAMES FRY, CHIEF OF MOSCOW POLICE DEPARTMENT: We believe this was an isolated, targeted attack on our victims.

CHEN (voice-over): Those words echoed in the press, perhaps leaving the impression that the police knew something that should make the public less worried. But some residents and neighbors near the crime scene were not comforted by the terms targeted and isolated.

AVA DRIFTMEYER; LIVES NEAR CRIME SCENE: At first, I thought that they actually had something going, so you think that makes sense, like, oh it's targeted, and you wait to see, you know, what they say. But now they've said nothing and that they know nothing. So, how can you say its targeted?

CHEN (voice-over): Then the local mayor went further, telling "The New York Times" it could have been a crime of passion, later clarifying that was just one possibility.

CASEY JORDAN, CRIMINOLOGIST & PROFESSOR, WESTERN CONNETICUT UNIVERSITY: They don't want people to panic. And yet, unless you have the evidence that you are willing to share with the public and be transparent about how the investigation is going, these words are completely giving false confidence.


CHEN (voice-over): But police say they can't share their entire case for fear of compromising the investigation.

AARON SNELL, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, IDAHO STATE POLICE: I mean you can't just put that out into the public's eye. They would impede the investigation and, ultimately, it might impede justice at the very end of this.

CHEN (voice-over): But with no suspect identified, many students packed up and left town.

NATHAN TINNO, UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO STUDENT: There's no perp, car or anything, so it's definitely uneasy on campus right now.

CHEN (voice-over): By day four, police recognized their assurances of public safety weren't resonating as residents fixated on the fact a killer was not caught. Police Chief James Fry went before the cameras.

FRY: We cannot say that there's no threat to the community.

CHEN (voice-over): Still calling the crime targeted but pulling back on assurances there was no public threat and pledging to release more.

FRY: I probably should have been standing here a day or so ago. But I'm here now.

CHEN (voice-over): Before 2016 and 2021, there were no murders in Moscow. So, when the quadruple homicide stunned this town, the 36- person police force was pressed into unprecedented action, with no full-time communication staff.

SNELL: You know, the messaging was a little bit off.

CHEN (voice-over): Idaho State Police were brought in to assist with public messaging.

SNELL: And really put out, hopefully, the best information we can.

CHEN (voice-over): But the rumor mill has been hard to control. A report of a man loitering at a food truck near two of the victims was knocked down by police, who later said they eliminated the man as suspect.

Reports that someone's pet dog was, quote, skinned before the killings are also believed to be unrelated. Meanwhile, police are trying to protect the integrity of the investigation.

SNELL: If you flood the public with information of everything that's going on, then stories might start emerging.

CHEN (off-camera): Stories are already emerging. Rumors are emerging. SNELL: Yes. Unfortunately, rumors are out there. People want answers.

You know, a lot of times - or all the time on TV, you know, these are solved within 60 minutes. There's an appetite to make sure these are done. And we totally respect that, and we will put out as much information as we can, as soon as we can.

CHEN (voice-over): Though some victim's families have expressed frustration with a lack of information.

STACY CHAPIN, MOTHER OF SLAIN STUDENT ETHAN: Together we want to extend gratitude to the following -

CHEN (voice-over): This week the family of Ethan Chapin acknowledged answers and justice can only come now from police.

CHAPIN: The Moscow Police Department, who now carry the burden every day, not only for us, but for all of the impacted families.


CHEN: Police had to clear up yet another thing last night that was floating out there. They said they have so far not been able to verify the existence of identity of a stalker for one of the victims. We hope to get more information and clear up more things that are floating out there during a press conference today at 1:00 pm local time.

LEMON: Awful, but glad you on top of this, Natasha. Thank you so much.

COLLINS: All right, new this morning, updated COVID-19 boosters offer some protection against infection from the virus, but not as much as the original boosters against earlier variants. During what is likely his final appearance in the White House Briefing Room, we heard from Dr. Anthony Fauci. He said the data is good though and that Americans should still roll up their sleeves to get these new boosters.


ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR OF NIAID: My message and my final message, maybe the final message I give you from this podium, is that, please, for your own safety, for that of your family, get your updated COVID- 19 shot as soon as your eligible to protect yourself, your family and your community.


COLLINS: Joining us now is the man standing there next to Dr. Fauci, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, Dr. Ashish Jha. He and Fauci were both there at that briefing, as we noted. And Dr. Jha, when it comes to these boosters, I know that you are on a booster push right. CNN's Betsy Klein was reporting on this yesterday. But when it comes to this push people want to know how long this protection is going to last for these new boosters. What can you tell them?

DR. ASHISH JHA, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE COORDINATOR: Yes, so good morning. And first of all, thanks for having me back. Here's what we know. We know that these new updated vaccines are far superior to the prior vaccine that we had. And it makes a lot of sense, right? Because these new vaccines target the version of Omicron that's out there. So, that's sort of fact number one.

Fact number two, that we know, is that if people are up to date on their vaccines, they don't end up in the hospital, they don't end up dying, especially if they get treated if they have a breakthrough infection. So, we're now at a point where we can protect people from serious illness. And, you know, how long are these things going to last? Well, the benefit, certainly for a majority of people, from serious illness should probably last a close to a whole year.

For some high-risk people it might last a little bit less time. We may need to do a - something else for the highest risk people, maybe later in the spring or summer. But, if you want to get through the holidays safely, if you want to avoid getting really sick during the holidays, this is the single most important thing that you can do.

COLLINS: But, that plan and your outlook for the holidays really relies on people getting the boosters. So far only 35 million people in the U.S. have gotten one of those revised shots. I know that the White House and the administration bought doses for nearly five times as many people as that. So, the question that you are facing and what I would like to know is, how do you plan to significantly change that number?


JHA: I think the most important thing is we've got to communicate to the American people why it's so important. Look, we're just going into Thanksgiving. Between Thanksgiving and the holidays, lots of socializing obviously over the holidays. So this is a really good time for people to get out and go get that shot.

What we've seen in the past is when you think about the flu vaccine - also another once-a-year shot -- lots of people get that flu vaccine around Thanksgiving, between Thanksgiving and the holidays. That's what we're expecting with these vaccines.

So we're seeing sort of strong, steady uptake of the vaccine, but we need to wrap that up and get a lot more Americans protected especially as get into the holidays.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN THIS MORNING HOST: Dr. Jha, it's great to see you. Could I just ask you about sort of the confluence of all of this hitting our kids? Right, so we're all getting together for Thanksgiving. There's just an increase of spreading any sort of disease even if everyone's boosted - which I hope they are - for COVID.

RSV and what's happening in kids, the Head of Minnesota Children's Hospital was on the program with us this week. They've like merely hit capcity for ICU beds. There are children in America getting turned away from ICU beds with RSV and really scared parents. What is your best advice to parents right now both on that coupled with increase in flu, couple with COVID? JHA: Yes. There are three viruses we're dealing with at same time. As you said them all: COVID, flu, and RSV. So first and foremost, the good news is we've got fantastic vaccines against two them: COVID and flu. And my recommendation to American families, I'll tell you what we've done in our family with our children is make sure that they have gotten vaccinated against those two, COVID and flu.

On RSV, certainly a problem. We have seen it now. It looks like it has peaked nationally, starting to turn down. In terms of hospital capacity, we have been in touch with every jurisdiction around the country. We have been very clear if you need extra help, the federal government is ready to help, ready to send in support staff, ready to support - send in additional supplies.

I am confident we are going to get through this particularly if people step up and protect their families by getting the COVID and flu vaccines.

HARLOW: Just to follow up on your last point, it was the American Academy of Pediatrics and the other national groups that oversee children's hospitals, they've actually petitioned the Biden administration for extra federal funding, and the Head of Minnesota Children's told us they could use that as well. Are you confirming that's coming?

JHA: No. What I'm confirming is that we have made very clear to all the jurisdiction around the country if you need additional help, if you need additional staffing, if you need additional supplies, we've explained what the mechanism is. They can reach out to us. We have a mechanism by which we assess what hospitals and what jurisdictions need, and absolutely we have been doing this over the last few weeks, assessing and then sending help whenever people need it.


LEMON: I got nothing.

HARLOW: You got nothing?


COLLINS: Dr. Jha, I got a question for you when it comes to the question of the confluence of all three of these. Is someone gets the flu and then a week or two later gets COVID, does that make their case of COVID more severe?

JHA: Well it's a really good question. I mean, we have seen coinfections. Thankfully, they're not very common, but obviously, you know, flu can really knock you down. And if you're still recovering from the flu and then get another infection on top of that, it certainly makes it much, much harder. So yes, absolutely. The key here is to try to avoid these things.

If you're going to get infected, if you - look, these vaccines are terrific. They're not 100 percent at preventing infection, but they are going to prevent you from getting seriously ill. So even if you get the flu or COVID, if you've been vaccinated you're going to have a much, much easier time.

COLLINS: So you're not seeing a lot of cases where people are having that combination?

JHA: Not yet. Not yet, and I'm hopeful that we will not. I mean, look, it can happen. We've seen it with other viruses where you can get co-infection, but we're obviously hopeful that that's not going to become a major problem.

COLLINS: Yes. Of course big concern, and I know you said yesterday a lot of the reason that people are getting more flu, more RSV is they've been protected from those mitigation measures that we've seen over the past few years.


COLLINS: Dr. Jha, as always, thank you for answering our questions this morning. We hope you have a great Thanksgiving.

JHA: Thank you. You guys, too.

LEMON: Good to see you, Doctor. Thank you. Happy Thanksgiving. So we have more on our breaking news out of Virginia. Six dead after a shooting at a Walmart in Virginia. It comes just days after a shooting at a gay nightclub in Colorado. We're going to speak live with filmmaker, Lee Daniels, about the state of America. That's next.



LEMON: So happening today, the suspect in the mass shooting at a Colorado Springs gay nightclub will appear in court for the first time after being released from a hospital. This tragedy bringing the community together as mourners gather to pay their respects to the five people killed at a place many believed to be a safe haven.

We're going to discuss all of this and a lot more with Academy Award- Nominated Filmmaker as well as a director, a writer, producer and a longtime LGBTQ activist, Mr. Lee Daniels, and also a very good friend. He is a producer of a new Broadway show, and it's called "Ain't No Mo'". We're going to talk about that. He's got something coming out on Sammy Davis Jr. You've got - don't you have a gay horror movie coming out?


LEMON: Not the gay horror movie.


DANIELS: Just a horror movie (ph).

LEMON: OK, yes. I didn't know if that was - so thank you. Lee, it's so good to see you.

DANIELS: You, too, my friend.

LEMON: Can we talk about what's happening? Because, listen, you speak out on these issues.


LEMON: Can people even go to an LGBTQ club or a gay club now and feel safe? Like what is going on?

DANIELS: I'm going. I'm going. I'm not going to be afraid by these crazies that are out here trying to attack us. I'm going, and you better come, too.

LEMON: Do you use this as motivation or inspiration for --


DANIELS: Absolutely. All of this is part of the work that I - I'm inspired by - not that I want this to happen to any of us, but you are in so much pain because of it. You have to figure out a way to deal with it. So I deal with it through writing.

HARLOW: Let's talk about the show on Broadway right now, "Ain't No Mo'". I told you --


DANIELS: You got it right. White girl got it right!


"Ain't No Mo'", come on, baby! That a girl!


HARLOW: My husband's going to be so proud of me.

LEMON: Did you think she was going to say ain't no more?

DANIELS: I thought this was what you was going to say (ph).

HARLOW: No. Come on. Thank you. Thank you for saying that.

DANIELS: Thank you for being a friend!


HARLOW: Making my morning, making my weerk. But we can't wait to see it, all of us. We couldn't go last night because it starts at 8 p.m. We're going to come to a matanay (ph), but everything I've read about it is just nothing like this has ever been done, certainly on Broadway.


HARLOW: Created with - you worked so closely on this with Jordan Cooper, who's 27-years-old.



HARLOW: Here's what he said, this is a play that I thought never anybody would ever produce, you did, and you say Broadway has not before this been for Black people in the way that this is?

DANIELS: No it's not, I mean it -- unless you are my mom or you want to see Denzel or Viola and Sam Jackson and that -- but this is for -- this is for my cousins who would rather spend $200 on a pair of Nike sneakers. This is for them.

And I don't think Broadway's ever going to be the same. This is disruptive, it's the most powerful thing I've ever worked on -- ever worked on, and it's -- and it's funny. And it takes a look at...

HARLOW: It's funny about a very serious issue.


HARLOW: Tell people what it's about.

DANIELS: Well, let's just say that -- let's say that the government offered me and Don a flight back to Africa.

LEMON: You know I've seen it twice?

DANIELS: You (inaudible)


LEMON: I saw it, I took -- listen, here's what I love about it.


LEMON: I saw it at the public theater, you tweaked it and you tweaked it and you tweaked it off Broadway.

DANIELS: Oh, you came to the rehearsal?


DANIELS (ph): That's right, yes.

LEMON: You remember, right (ph)?

DANIELS: Yes, yes.

LEMON: It's a public theater (ph). And then I came to the table read.


LEMON: And so I have not seen it on Broadway, and I say this is a whole another should (ph), the reason it's -- I think it is, you're doing some you know what (ph) in there that it's -- you -- he's got people, they react, they go into the audience, you break down the wall, and you ask people -- not you, but the actor...


LEMON: ...the performer to say the 'N' word.


LEMON: And the thing is, when I'm sitting there, who is going to say this and who's not going to say it, and you see different people from different ethnicities actually saying the 'N' word and reacting to what's on the stage.

DANIELS: People are running out of the theater with their hair on fire, which is exactly what I did with Precious, which is exactly what I did with the pilot of Empire. They've never seen anything like it before, and I think that -- I think that Black -- theater has not been made -- Broadway hasn't been made for African Americans. It's not. I mean, I went to -- no tea, no shade, but I went to see -- I went to see a show...

LEMON: Is it now?

DANIELS: Yes, I went to see Funny Girl, I went to see Funny Girl, and I was the only Black person in the theater. The only -- and this is a -- and this is something I -- this is not unusual, that feeling for me. So this is -- it's like a cookout, but it's smartly written, and Jordan E. Cooper is brilliant, he's -- I would say he's -- he is Norman Lear meets James Baldwin, with a splash of Tyler Perry, you know?

LEMON: Since we're talking about the 'N' word, can we talk -- can I -- I want to play this, and this is Quentin Tarantino I want your reaction to. Okay.

DANIELS: Uh oh. Uh oh.


UNKNOWN: You took on (ph) being the conductor and the audience being the orchestra, so when people say, well, there's too much violence in movies, it uses the 'N' word too often, you say what?

QUENTIN TARANTINO: You should see something else. Really, it's like -- you know, if you have a problem with my movies, there's other movies to go see. You know, apparently I'm not making -- you know, apparently I'm not making them for you.


DANIELS: Whomp whomp.

LEMON: What do you think?

DANIELS: Quentin, that's not the right answer.

LEMON: Really?

HARLOW: What's the right answer?

DANIELS: The right answer is is -- well you know, 10 years ago, or 15 years ago I would have said -- I would have checked it off as artistic. But (EXPLETIVE) is our word. That's my word, and you don't have no right to say that. You have no right to feel that way. Sorry, bro. Next.

LEMON: Let's talk about Mo'Nique.

DANIELS: Hey, the party's on.

LEMON: The reason -- did you want to get in on this?


LEMON: Because -- well listen, there's a whole thing about Mo'Nique, because...

DANIELS: Oh, are you joking me?

LEMON: Yes, you know...

DANIELS: I was just joking.

LEMON: No, but you -- no, no, no, because -- no, Mo'Nique, you came last time, you and Mo'Nique had some beef...


LEMON: It was you, Oprah, Tyler, and the -- but now you and Mo'Nique are working together again...

DANIELS: We are.

LEMON: ...on an amazing project.

DANIELS: Yes, really, it's a -- first of all, it was so healing to get back together with her, and we're working on a film called The Deliverance, which is a Black Exorcist. And I think in this dark time that we're in right now, we're in a dark time. I think people need to find a higher power. We need to find Jesus, we need to find God, we need to find...

HARLOW (ph): Yes.

DANIELS: ...Allah, we need to find somebody.

HARLOW (ph): Yes.

DANIELS: And I think that this scares you into that. So I'm excited about it, I'm excited about working with Glenn Close, Andra Day from Billie Holliday again. COLLINS (ph): I love what you said -- you said I'm scared to even

talk about it. It's scary to edit. Why?

DANIELS: I know, I do within the edit room and I'm -- and I run out. Netflix is going to be mad, because they ain't going to get this movie in time. I am so scared. I am so scared.

COLLINS (ph): You hear that, Reed Hastings?

DANIELS: I get into this dark room and everybody and I -- and somebody touches me, like, aah, you know? It's the scariest thing I've ever worked on. If you -- if you like The Exorcist, this is that.

It's not in for the spooks, you know, it's not -- I'm not here to spook you, I'm here to embrace these people that you're in and out of the -- you think it's Precious, you think you're walking into a situation where a woman is beating her kids, and you find out halfway through that it's not what you think.


That there's a demon in the house.

LEMON: You know, I texted you recently, I was -- woke up in the middle of the night...


LEMON: And...

DANIELS: One of your many textes (ph).

LEMON: No, what was on -- what's his name, (inaudible), I'm having a senior moment from getting up early (ph)...

DANIELS: It's okay.

LEMON:'s for me (ph) -- The Butler was on.


LEMON: And I was like, Lee, I just sat down, I watched the whole Butler, and it was just -- I mean, it's just brilliant. Oprah was brilliant, the actress, everything -- everyone was brilliant in there. And -- but now you're working that I think it will be just as brilliant, if not more, and that is Sammy Davis Jr.

And we're often on the same wavelength, because I -- I was watching a PBS and I said, you know what? I want to -- I want to see something about Sammy Davis Jr. He's fascinating.


LEMON: You think that -- we think that the moment that we're in, it's always new. Sammy Davis Jr. was dealing with, you know, was he Black enough at the time...


LEMON: ...being a Republican, supporting Nixon.

DANIELS: Yes, yes.

LEMON: Being the only Black man who was at that level of fame with the Rat Pack. And I mean, it was -- and you've -- you're working on that.

DANIELS: We're going to explain what it's -- I think that through Sammy we will understand what it's like really to be Black in America, and what he had to -- the sacrifices that he had to make to -- to -- actually, and he was disliked by -- my mom doesn't like Sammy Davis Jr. I'm doing it for my mother, because she thinks he was an Uncle Tom. She thinks he was a sellout.

Well he was really responsible for financing a good portion of the -- of the Civil Rights Movements.

And people don't know that. So I'm...

LEMON: And one of the most talented people...


LEMON: ...on the planet.

DANIELS: That's what I'm going to say (ph). I'm going -- literally, I'm going from the edit room in -- for Deliverance and -- from the edit room to rehearsals on Broadway to hiring writers to help me with my Hulu.

COLLINS: I love how you're keeping your family at the center of so much of your work when you think about your audience.

DANIELS: Thank you. Thank you.

COLLINS: It's lovely. Thank you for coming on this morning.

LEMON: Ain't No Mo. Thank you. I love you.

DANIELS: I love you more.

LEMON: So good to see you.

DANIELS: And your two beautiful cohorts (ph).

LEMON: Aren't they gorgeous?

DANIELS: Ah, y'all kept them in check. I -- listen, we got -- we got through this...

HARLOW: Oh no we don't.

DANIELS: ...without any -- you don't?

HARLOW: Oh no we don't.

LEMON: Okay.

HARLOW: We love him because he's him.

LEMON: The official opening is what, December 1st?


HARLOW: Thank you.

LEMON: On Broadway. Go see Ain't No Mo. Thank you very much.


HARLOW: Thank you so much, (inaudible) great things (ph).

DANIELS: You're welcome.

COLLINS: What a gift. All right, up next, her great grandfather was lynched in 1939. His murderers walked free with no punishment. Now Kyra Harris Bolden is making history. We'll tell you how next.

LEMON: You are...


COLLINS: Thank you, that was so great.

DANIELS: (inaudible)

LEMON: said the 'N' word...


LEMON: ...what else did you say? You said...


HARLOW: Now to your Morning Moment on Tuesday, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer appointed state lawmaker Kyra Harris Bolden to the Michigan Supreme Court. She will become the first Black woman on the High Court of that state when she is seated in January. Her great- grandfather was lynched in Tennessee in 1939, his body thrown into a river when he was 20 years old. The coroner ruled it a, quote, accidental drowning. His killer walked free.


KYRA HARRIS BOLDEN: This is the reason why I set myself on the path to public service. My commitment to the pursuit of justice is inherent in me, in my family, because we know injustice. In just a few.